Leslie Golberg operates a reservation service that features both "hosted" and "unhosted" apartments in Manhattan. Golberg says hosted apartments range from "fourth-floor walk-ups in the funky East Village to artists' lofts in SoHo and luxury buildings with doormen on the Upper East and West sides."
Rates: $30/$60 per night single, $50/$80 double. Unhosted apartments begin at $60. In all cases add 8.25% sales tax. (No credit cards, no personal checks.)
Golberg describes his B&Bs "as an alternative to the sky-high prices of New York hotels." Write to Golberg c/o Bed and Breakfast Network of New York, 134 West 32nd St., Suite 602, New York 10001.
For other listings, send a card to Laura Tilden, c/o New World Bed & Breakfast, 150 Fifth Ave., Suite 711, New York 10011. Tilden says that for $50/$60 "we can provide the kind of accommodations you'd pay $150/$300 for in London or Paris."
Snorkelers in Hawaii are booking cruises to Molokini Crater Marine Preserve. This is a waterlogged volcano that serves as an aquarium for thousands of tropical fish. The preserve lies three miles offshore from Maui. Half-day snorkeling trips are offered by Maui-Molokai Sea Cruises aboard the 92-foot Prince Kuhio (features an upper viewing deck, main cabin, galley, two bars, freshwater showers). Snorkeling gear and instruction is provided by crew members.
A continental breakfast is served en route to Molokini, followed by a deli-buffet. The Prince Kuhio leaves Maalaea Harbor (between Kihei and Lahaina) at 7:15 a.m. Rates: $61.36 for adults, $36.50 for youngsters under 12. The same company does whale watch and dinner cruises. Contact your travel agent or Maui-Molokai Sea Cruises, 831 Eha St., Wailuku, Hawaii 96793.
Villas of Mexico (a subsidiary of Hawaiian Vacation Rentals) is booking vacationers into homes in Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Acapulco. More than 100 properties are listed. Everything from condos and haciendas to elegant estates. Rates from $50 up per night. Maids, cooks available.
The parent company in Hawaii has a listing of 500 rentals on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, Molokai. For details call toll-free (800) 322-4642 or (800) 458-8820 outside California.
A retired schoolteacher is offering accommodations for $15 per person at her lodge on the Blue River in Silverthorne, Colo. Within commuting distance of four ski resorts: Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge. Free transportation is provided aboard a county-operated shuttle bus.
Fran Colson has accommodations for 60 guests in 11 rooms, all with bunk beds. If you value privacy, try elsewhere--but that price is hard to beat, and it decreases during summer months.
In the evening, guests gather in a couple of public rooms that feature a TV, VCR, piano, games. There's a library with books that are free for the taking, but Colson suggests that guests leave one of their own books in exchange. The ex-schoolteacher provides meals: breakfast for $1.50, lunch for $2.50 and dinner for $4.50. During summer months guests make use of picnic areas. Colson fashioned her lodge after hostels she visited in Europe, New Zealand and Australia. She's assisted by her son, Dave. Contact Alpen Hutte, P.O. Box 919, Silverthorne, Colo. 80498, phone (303) 468-6336.
Eric and Maggie Schwartz spent a vacation in the Amazon jungle and wound up opening a small "hotel" consisting of 16 cabins with double beds, baths. The cabins are perched on a hill overlooking a lake, with a restaurant/bar on the shore. "We hate tours and so we offer adventure instead," Schwartz said.
He and his wife spent a year clearing the jungle for their hotel. They describe the setting as "unbelievably beautiful" and tell how meals are served with drinks and fruits: guabas, uvillas, granadillas, guanabanas, obos. The couple will take you canoeing, fishing, picnicking. On side trips you sleep in tents and primitive jungle shelters. "We'll provide you with machetes, guides and porters, and you'll get a taste of what it was like for the great Amazon explorers of the past," Schwartz said.
Schwartz concocts exotic drinks. There is one, he says, that "cures everything from arthritis to a broken heart." Here are the statistics: seven days, six nights--$650 per person, double occupancy. Write to Eric and Maggie Schwartz, c/o La Selva, P.O. Box 1162, Quito, Ecuador.
A Letter From Ireland