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City Offers Old Discounts and New

March 11, 1990|HANK KOVELL | Kovell is a veteran journalist in seniors' interests

Mature travelers heading for San Francisco can take advantage of two transportation bargains offered year-round by the San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI), which operates the famous cable cars, and by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system.

The regular $2 fare on the cable cars is 15 cents for those 62 years and older. BART, meanwhile, offers a 90% discount on fares with the purchase of a $1.60 pass that provides $16 worth of travel. It, too, is available to those 62 and older.

The BART system serves the suburban East Bay from San Francisco, including Oakland, Concord and Richmond, as well as Daly City to the south.

Other San Francisco bargains abound for mature travelers.

Gray Line Sightseeing Tours, for example, offers a $2 discount for all seniors on any of its tours, including city tours, bay tours, Alcatraz, Chinatown-by-night and dinner and nightclub tours.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday May 20, 1990 Home Edition Travel Part L Page 23 Column 4 Travel Desk 1 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
In a recent Mature Traveler column on San Francisco bargains for senior citizens, the minimum age to receive discount fares on the city's cable cars was incorrectly given as 62. The correct minimum age is 65.

Gray Line also is a participant in the AARP discount program that allows a 15% reduction on all of its tour prices over and above the $2 discount.

The company's tours out of the city go to such places as Yosemite National Park, Napa Valley Wine Country and Monterey and Carmel. Brochures are available in all major San Francisco hotels.

Another increasingly popular tour is the Culinary and Historical Walking Tour of Chinatown, a behind-the-scenes look at little-known aspects of that famous community, plus a visit to a fortune cookie factory.

The luncheon tour includes the traditional dim sum. Both offer price reductions for seniors. Write to Wok Wiz Tours, P.O. Box 1583, Pacifica 94044.

"The San Francisco Book" provides 100 pages of information on entertainment, sightseeing, dining and shopping in the city and also includes maps.

In addition, the illustrated guide contains listings for museums, sports and special exhibits. Many listings quote discounts for seniors.

For a complimentary copy, write to San Francisco CVB, Department MT, P.O. Box 6977, San Francisco, Calif. 94101.

All major U.S. hotel chains that have affiliates in San Francisco offer system-wide senior discounts, but some, plus many independents, offer additional special rates. A partial listing includes:

--Cartwright Hotel, a small hotel one block from Union Square. Cost is $89, double occupancy, including full breakfast, flowers in room, robes and tea service every afternoon. Sunday through Thursday until May 31 for guests over age 55. The hotel is located at 524 Sutter St., San Francisco, Calif. 94101. Call toll-free (800) 227-3844.

--Embassy Suites, south of San Francisco, charges $109 for two, which is reduced 10% on Monday through Thursday and 15% on weekends. Two-room suites include full daily breakfast, newspaper and two hours of free evening cocktails. Call (415) 589-3400.

--Four Seasons Clift, San Francisco's only Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond hotel, is one block from theaters and two blocks from Union Square and the cable car line. Posh quarters for those over 65 at $195 a night, a $50 discount, double occupancy. Valid from July 1 to Sept. 9. It's located at 495 Geary St., San Francisco, Calif. 94102. Call toll-free (800) 332-3442.

--Grand Hyatt on Union Square is a 36-story luxury hotel recently reopened after a $20-million remodeling. Room for two is $160 daily, a $70 discount for guests over age 65. Address is 345 Stockton St., San Francisco 94108. Call toll-free (800) 233-1234.

--Juliana Hotel is a small European-style hotel two blocks from Union Square. The over-55 rate is $89 for two, including a continental breakfast and "Cable Car Coupon Booklet" with 40 free or discounted items. At 590 Bush St., San Francisco, Calif. 94108. Call toll-free (800) 372-8800.

--The Majestic, an elegant 60-room Edwardian hotel built in 1902 and beautifully restored, is away from city center and offers limousine service for shopping weekdays. Four-poster canopy beds, some rooms with fireplaces and original claw-foot bathtubs. Rates from $95 for rooms to $200 for suites. Discounts of 10% for those over 65. At 1500 Sutter St., San Francisco, Calif. 94109. Call toll-free (800) 869-8966.

--San Francisco Marriott has 1,500 rooms at Market Street, one block from Moscone Convention Center. Rate for AARP members is $99 single, $114 double occupancy, about 50% off regular rates. Address is 55 4th St., San Francisco, Calif. 94103. Call toll-free (800) 228-9290.

--Marriott Fisherman's Wharf, near bayside attractions and end of cable car line. Special AARP rate is $115, 55% off high-season regular rate. Located at 1250 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94133. Call toll-free (800) 228-9290.

--Parc Fifty Five, a 32-story luxury hotel with more than 1,000 rooms located near Union Square and BART station, cable cars and city center. AARP members or those over 55 receive a 25% discount, lowering minimum rate to $131.50 for two people. At 55 Cyril Magnin St., San Francisco, Calif. 94102. Call toll-free (800) 338-1338.

--Westin St. Francis, the dowager of San Francisco hotels, reigns over Union Square and the cable cars. It's within walking distance of theaters, department stores, Chinatown and restaurants. Seniors age 65-plus get the corporate rate of $195 for a medium room (saving $35) or $215 for deluxe (save $65). At 335 Powell St., San Francisco, Calif. 94102. Call toll-free (800) 228-3000.

Correction: In last week's Mature Traveler column, it was incorrectly stated that this summer's Passion Play in Oberammergau, West Germany, would run from May 21 to Sept. 9. In fact, performances will continue through Sept. 28.

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