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The Bargain Corner

Lodgings Down Under

December 20, 1987|JACK ADLER

The Southern Pacific Hotel Corp. will offer its Down Under hotel pass again in 1988, but with new rules.

You will have to buy a minimum of 12 coupons at $32 per coupon, or $384 total. The brochure you get with your purchase tells how many coupons are needed at the 66 hotels--in Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Fiji--where they are valid.

Most participating hotels are in New Zealand and Australia. Rates range from $64 to $128 per room a night on a single, double or triple occupancy basis.

At least two coupons would be required for one night's stay at any of the properties, even if you are traveling alone. The hotels require two to four coupons (except one property in Tahiti, where you need five), with the number depending on the time of year.

More coupons might be needed during the peak season that runs until April, 1988. The most nights you could get for a set of 12 coupons would be six.

The coupons have to be bought in the United States and are good until the end of 1988. Reservations can be made in the United States or overseas. Booking the first night abroad while still in the United States is always advisable. The coupons don't have to be used on consecutive nights.

The value of the coupons is guaranteed, regardless of any currency fluctuations. While the coupons represent an average discount from regular rates offered at the hotels, Southern Pacific indicates that there may not necessarily be a discount at every participating hotel all year.

But use of the coupons also covers all of the service charges and government/state/city taxes at each property.

When sharing a room with an adult, children 18 or younger can stay free in most places. At 12 Tourist Hotel Corp. properties in New Zealand, the free stays are only for children 12 or younger.

No refunds are given on your purchase of 12 coupons. But if you buy more coupons and then don't use them, you can get a refund on these extra vouchers minus a $10 service charge per order. There is no limit on the number of coupons you can buy.

Among the cities with hotels in this program are Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Brisbane (site of World Expo 88, April 30-Oct. 30, 1988), Darwin and Perth, Australia; Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, New Zealand; Suva and Nadi, Fiji, and Papeete, Tahiti.

Contact travel agents or Southern Pacific Hotel Corp. at (213) 557-2454 or (800) 252-2155.

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