AJS Travel Consultants is ushering in a new vacation idea it calls Switzerland a la carte. This is a plan-it-yourself program using popular Alpine retreats throughout Switzerland (a choice of 30 resorts and spa hotels). Bookings May through October. Among the resort areas: Davos, Grindelwald, Gstaad, Lucerne, Lugano, Montreux, St. Moritz, Zermatt. Prices start at $292 per person a week, including breakfast, taxes, service charges. Vacationers can also tie into six-day tours of Switzerland that start and end each Monday in Zurich. American Airlines is the cooperating carrier.
These Swiss vacation packages are designed with the independent traveler in mind. Run off on a sightseeing tour or just stay put and relax. The same company is scheduling 15-day tours. One takes in a spa area for seniors (nature walks, concerts, cable car rides).
Contact Max Mermelstein, AJS Travel Consultants, 177 Beach 116th St., Rockaway Park, N.Y. 11694. Telephone toll-free (800) 221-5002.
Elizabeth Towers of Riverside asks for the name of a "romantic inn in Vermont." Black River Inn in Ludlow, Vt., is a "couples only" retreat. Antique double beds with down pillows, thick comforters. Bicycles built for two. And in the dining room, tables for two with candlelight meals. An antique brass bed graces the Romance Room, with its bathroom and clawfoot tub. "Ideal for honeymooners," say proprietors Tom and Marilyn Nunan. A total of 10 guest rooms, plus a suite with two bedrooms, two baths, a shared sitting room. This is a 19th-Century home with river/mountain views. Marilyn Nunan specializes in continental/French cuisine. Menu changes daily. Romantics take note: Breakfast is served in bed.
The Black River Inn, 100 Main St., Ludlow, Vt. 05149. Telephone (802) 228-5585. Rates: $95 bed and breakfast, $135 bed, breakfast, dinner.
Cabo San Lucas
Los Angeles restaurateur Bob Stiles built his dream house at the tip of Baja at Cabo San Lucas. Covers 9,000 square feet. Five bedrooms, six baths (a total of 18 rooms). Push a button in the master bedroom and the roof slides back. Fall asleep counting stars. Rents for $1,500 a day, $7,500 a week with breakfast, lunch. Overlooks both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. Price includes a nine-passenger van, four motorcycles, a cook/maid/guide. A toboggan-type water slide propels guests through two tunnels and a forest of palm trees into a full lap swimming pool. Other features: a Jacuzzi, putting green, driving range, gymnasium.
Bob Stiles, 11831 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90025. Telephone (213) 472-0873.
L.V. of Agoura is looking for a ranch in Colorado that offers cross-country skiing. Wants to avoid the "big, commercial resorts." Plenty of peace, quiet at Frank Brophy's Vista Verde Guest & Ski Touring Ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colo. Prices: $10 for half-day guided tours, $25 for full days. Brophy's ranch is 25 miles north of Steamboat Springs. Elevation 7,000 feet. Surrounded by Routt National Forest and Mt. Zirkel Wilderness Area (more than 100 lakes, 900 miles of streams). The Elk River flows nearby. Vista Verde rates: $60 per person (two guests), $30 for additional persons. Cabins sleep up to six. Add $25 a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cabins are carpeted. Full baths, kitchens, early American furnishings, hooked rugs, calico curtains. The Old West with a heated pool, a Jacuzzi and a sauna. Dog sledding, sleigh rides available. Transportation provided between the airport and Steamboat.
Vista Verde Guest & Ski Touring Ranch, P.O. Box 465, Steamboat Springs, Colo. 80477. Telephone (303) 879-3858.
Holiday Homes in Britain
Another company specializing in holiday homes/cottages/apartments in Britain has published a catalogue listing 500 of the 3,500 properties it represents in England, Scotland, Wales. Rentals from $400/$600 a week (off-season rates as low as $200). Bookings should be made six to eight weeks in advance. Saturday-to-Saturday rentals. Longer stays can be arranged. The catalogue sells for $2 (postage and handling fee).
Contact British Travel Associates, P.O. Box 299, Elkton, Va. 22827. Telephone toll-free (800) 327-6097 (nationwide) or (703) 289-6514 in Virginia. BTA is the U.S. agent for Country Holidays, Britain's largest home rental company.
For the Record
Due to a typographical error in a Jan. 8 article titled "London's Small Hotels," the rate at the 44-room Halcyon Hotel near Holland Park was listed as 65. The correct figure is 165 for a double (singles start at 115). The price for a deluxe double is 185. The Halcyon, set on a tranquil street near Holland Park, has gained a reputation as London's most elegant little hotel (four-poster beds, marble baths, original paintings, room service 24 hours a day). Address: Halcyon Hotel, 81 Holland Park, London W11 3RZ.