Patricia Pierson of San Luis Obispo wants the name of a "small, friendly dude ranch in Arizona--some place that's peaceful . . . only a few guests." The Kay El Bar in Wickenburg (one-time "Dude Ranch Capital of the World") is a "survivor of the West that was," say owners Jan Martin and Jane Nash. The ranch (featured in the Travel Section a year ago) is a registered National Historic Site. Hacienda-style adobe buildings, a swimming pool. Rides into the Sonoran Desert, steak fries, peaceful walks along the Hassayampa River. Known as one of Arizona's friendliest guest ranches.
Kay El Bar Ranch, P.O. Box 2480, Wickenburg, Ariz. 85358. Call (602) 684-7593. Weekly rates: $600 single, $1,085 double, including accommodations, meals, riding. (Season extends into April.)
Another: Rancho de la Osa. Sixty-six miles outside Tucson in the high Sonoran Desert. Adobe buildings, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi. Guests gather at a 250-year-old cantina bar. The ranch is described as "a place where the slowed pace of the Southwest has been captured forever."
Rancho de la Osa, P.O. Box 1, Sasabe, Ariz. 85633. Telephone (602) 823-4257. Rates: $75 a day (accommodations, meals, riding).
Travelers using MasterCard can sign up for a new program providing condominium, resort, hotel discounts. Dues are $23.90 per family a year. Accommodations offering discounts are listed in a directory. Subscribers get a book of discount vouchers. All MasterCard card holders are eligible. Discounts at more than 500 resorts/hotels in the United States, Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean. In some cases discounted meals are included. Some restrictions. Heaviest concentrations of hotels/resorts are in Colorado, Florida. For more details write to Resort World, 2770 Summer St., Stamford, Conn. 06905. Or call toll-free (800) 227-1032.
An American in Britain
We're off in a few days to review a country house hotel in Britain that's been getting raves from discriminating travelers. It's called Stapleford Park. It's been described as an "architectural masterpiece." Set in 500 acres of wooded parkland/gardens in Leicestershire. A total of 23 deluxe guest rooms (one designed by Lindka Kierach, who designed Fergie's wedding dress, another by Lady Jane Churchill). Stapleford Park is owned by Chicago-born Anglophile Bob Payton. Same chap who operates London's highly touted restaurant, the Chicago Meatpacker.
For additional information/reservations, call toll-free (800) 223-5581.
A. C. of Van Nuys is planning a trip to the French Riviera. Interested in the village of St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, where actor David Niven had a villa. Near Nice. Try Hotel de la Voile d'Or. Overlooks the picturesque little port of Cap Ferrat. Charming quayside restaurants, gift shops. The hotel features hand-painted furniture, an open-air dining area.
At the same time, ask your travel agent for rates/information on Le Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat. Gardens, a forest of pines. Now undergoing renovation (to be completed early next spring). Marvelous views of the Mediterranean. Romantic, peaceful. Le Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, 06290 St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France.
Introductory offers are in the works at the new Embassy Suites resort on Maui's Kaanapali Beach. The program calls for suite upgrades, extra nights, free car rentals. Embassy Suites is scheduled to open in December. Rates will start at $175 (up to four persons per suite). The suites are described as twice the size of regular hotel rooms. Microwaves, fully stocked bars, twin vanities in the baths. Complimentary breakfast daily, complimentary cocktails in the evening. The upgrade and free cars will be offered to guests Dec. 30 through January.
Contact Embassy Suites Resort, Kaanapali Beach, 104 Kaanapali Shores Place, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 96761. See your travel agent or call toll-free (800) 462-6284.
The Smithsonian Institution has updated its booklet, "A Guide for Disabled Visitors." Popular since 1980. The new edition contains details on more than a dozen museums in the nation's capital, as well as the National Zoo. The 48-page guide sets down information on hours, public parking, transportation to the Smithsonian museums. Other facts on wheelchair accessibility, sign language, interpreters, specially designed tours. A centerfold map points out entrances, locations of Metro subway stations. Free copies from the Associates' Reception Center, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560.
A new restaurant guide prepared by the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau names restaurants serving everything from bagels and borscht to sushi and shepherd's pie. Gives addresses, prices, hours. Restaurants (listed according to neighborhoods) are indexed alphabetically. Pier 17 at South Street Seaport is popular for Sunday brunch. Dozens of ethnic suggestions. A Greek taverna in Queens invites guests to break plates, dance up a storm like Zorba himself.