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THE MATURE TRAVELER

A Golden Years Program Near the Golden Gate

January 21, 1990|HANK KOVELL | Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests

One of San Francisco's Nob Hill hotels has begun a program for mature travelers called "Golden Years at San Francisco's Stanford Court."

Adjacent to the Mark Hopkins and across the street from the Fairmont Hotel, the Stanford Court is sited at the only cable car crossing in San Francisco where two lines intersect, a further advantage because the regular $2 cable-car fare is a mere 15 cents for seniors.

While the prevailing minimum rate at the Stanford Court for a standard room is $215 for two persons, the Golden Years rate is $149 for guests who are over the age of 60 or members of AARP.

Although the number of such rooms is limited, guests will be upgraded to superior or deluxe accommodations on a space-available basis. Complimentary limousine service is provided daily for shopping, the theater, and to and from restaurants or meetings.

The program is available throughout 1990. For reservations or a complimentary brochure, write to Golden Years, Stanford Court, Nob Hill, San Francisco 94108, or call toll-free (800) HOTELS-1.

The Golden Age Club for mature travelers is a feature of Adriatic Tours. Membership is free, and includes a welcome party and orientation tour at each resort stop, plus wine tasting and local food specialties, lectures on the history and culture of the area, candlelight dinner with wine along with special free-time activities such as card games, bingo, ballroom dancing and an evening at a casino.

Emphasis is on Yugoslavia in the off-season, with many of the tours combined with extensions to Athens, Budapest, Istanbul and Rome. Special winter rates for mature travelers are in effect from now until April.

Prices quoted for the following tours vary according to departure dates:

--Two 15-day tours throughout Yugoslavia are priced from $1,295 to $1,398 per person. The cost includes round-trip air fare from West Coast cities.

--The Yugoslav and Italian Connection consists of 15 days which, in addition to Zagreb, Opatija and Dubrovnik in Yugoslavia, includes Venice, Florence and Rome. Prices range from $1,768 to $1,980 per person. (This tour offers an extension to Sorrento for an additional charge.)

--An eight-day Russian Troyka extension that includes Moscow, Kalinen and Leningrad begins at $1,248 per person, while "Mini Packs" or short trips for three or six nights are available from Dubrovnik to Athens, Rome, Budapest or Istanbul.

Prices range from $398 to $488 for the three-night/four-day add-on, or $520 to $650 for six nights/seven days.

Full tour descriptions that outline which meals are included, plus transportation information, type of hotel and other bonus features are available by contacting Adriatic Tours, 691 West 10thSt., San Pedro 90731, toll-free (800) 262-1718 or (213) 548-1446.

Grand Circle Travel has reissued its booklet "Going Abroad: 101 Tips for Mature Travelers." It's an excellent guide, even for those experienced in trip planning. It has three major sections: preparing for your trip, the trip itself and returning home. The book includes tips on currency exchange and the use of credit cards for best value, avoiding delays at customs, what to do if you miss your connecting flight and steps to take for the safety of your home in your absence, plus tips on phoning, sightseeing, tipping and other subjects. For a free copy, call (800) 248-3737 or write to Grand Circle Travel, 347 Congress St., Boston, Mass. 02210.

Two firms that specialize in mature traveler tours have joined forces to create two new "Stay-put" programs in Europe for 1990. University Education Travel and Community College Tours offer two itineraries, one of 24 days and the other 28 days, both of which provide stays of about one week in one place, from which travelers fan out for excursions of one or two days.

Both itineraries include Kitzbuhel in Austria's Tirol, France's Loire Valley and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The 24-day tour also includes Lake Maggiore in Italy, while the 28-day sojourn adds Montecatini-Terme, Italy, and a four-night independent stay in London.

Both tours visit an impressive range of cities, palaces, cathedrals and chateaux, with ample free time for shopping and relaxation.

Pre-departure lectures are given by art history professors who accompany the tours. Other features include four-star hotels, daily continental breakfast, some lunches and dinners, air-conditioned motor coaches, local guides and a professional tour escort.

Prices from Los Angeles, including round-trip air transportation, are $3,595 for the 28-day tour departing June 28 and $3,395 for the 24-day tour departing July 3. For land only, the prices are $2,298 and $2,554.

For full tour descriptions and components, write to Community College Tours, P.O. Box 620620, Woodside, Calif. 94062. In California, call toll-free (800) 527-3137. From other states, dial (800) 525-0525.

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