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May 20, 1990|JERRY HULSE

Munich has unveiled a new hotel--the elegant little Rafael. This is a charmer. Only 74 rooms (just steps from Munich's famous Hofbrauhaus, the Glockenspiel and the chic shops of Maximilianstrasse). Its restaurant, Rafael's World, features an international menu. The new Rafael joins a group of 11 properties that include the Breidenbacher Hof in Dusseldorf and The Mark in New York. Rates begin at 350 marks per night for a single (about $225 U.S.), 500 marks double occupancy (approximately $320), including a continental breakfast.

Hotel Rafael, Neuturmstrasse 1, 8000 Munich 2. For reservations see your travel agent or telephone toll-free (800) 223-1588. Callers from New York should dial (212) 661-4540.

A Bit of Britain: The Close Hotel is a 400-year-old mansion in the village of Tetbury in England's Cotswolds. Fifteen guest rooms. Four-poster beds. This is one of England's top country-home hotels. The former private residence has been restored floor to ceiling. The Royal Automobile Club gave it a blue ribbon for excellence. Sitting rooms, drawing rooms, antiques, old-fashioned wardrobes, thick comforters on the beds. The hotel's restaurant features fresh baked breads/pastries, turbot, bass, salmon, rack of lamb, quail, pheasant. Manager David Broadhead, formerly of Claridge's and the Savoy in London, offers individualized service.

The Close Hotel & Restaurant, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England GL8 8AQ. Doubles from $156 U.S. per night, including morning tea, a continental breakfast, newspaper.

Colorado Inn: Readers continue to praise Colorado's Eagle River Inn near Vail. Dates from 1894. Adobe walls, a dozen guest rooms, Santa Fe-style furniture, a beehive fireplace. Decks overlook the river. Guests soak in a hot tub on chilly evenings. Fresh flowers throughout the home. Marvelous views of the Rockies. Wine/cheese by the fireplace each evening. The breakfast menu includes granola, yogurt, croissants, fresh fruit. For lunch/dinner, guests visit Chili Willy's, the Turntable and other restaurants in Minturn. Activities: hot-air ballooning, white-water rafting, hiking, biking, fishing.

Eagle River Inn, P.O. Box 100, Minturn, Colo. 81645. (Reopens on Friday.) For reservations, call toll-free (800) 344-1750. Summer rates: $69 double occupancy, $59 single. Visa, MasterCard, American Express. No smoking, no pets.

Maui Hideaway: On Maui there's a hideaway up-country from Wailea on the flanks of Haleakala (the extinct volcano that dominates the island's skyline), where the air is cool and the pace is laid-back. It's called Makawao. No swaying palms, no big hotels, no fancy restaurants. This is a cow town that resembles the set in a Hollywood Western. Cowboys (paniolos) with plumeria in their hat bands roam the main drag, and women wear jeans rather than string bikinis.

Plenty of action at Kau Kau Korner, a tiny cafe that serves saimin, rice, beef hekka , salted pork cabbage and pork tofu. Seats only a dozen customers. Meanwhile, islanders drive for miles to buy fresh bread and pastries at Kimodo's Store & Bakery. The lineup begins at 6 a.m. Sometimes they're sold out by noon.

Makawao was settled by Portuguese ranchers at the turn of the century. During World War II, U.S. Marines claimed it as their turf. (More than one leatherneck returned after the war to take up permanent residence.) Makawao is a low-gear town. A good destination for day-trippers.

For the Record: A Tips item last Sunday told of a free round-trip flight (LAX to Cabo San Lucas) for guests booking rooms for four nights at Hotel Cabo San Lucas. Failed, however, to mention the offer is good during July only. Rates begin at $112.50 per guest, double occupancy, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and complimentary drinks till 6 p.m. The Twin Dolphin is a low-rise resort with 50 rooms/suites on the Sea of Cortez.

Contact your travel agent or call the Twin Dolphin at (213) 386-3940. Outside California dial toll-free (800) 421-8925.

Maryland: Brampton is a Greek Revival manor house (circa 1860) on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Rises on 35 acres in Chestertown. Twelve-foot ceilings, five guest rooms (four with working fireplaces). Furnished with antiques. The old home is in the Register of Historic Places. Fresh fruit in each room. Afternoon refreshments. Wine served after dinner. For breakfast: orange juice, fruit, muffins, eggs, sausage, French toast. On special occasions, proprietress Danielle Hanscom whips up Swiss bread and butter pudding with strawberry sauce. Danielle, who hails from Switzerland, is married to an American.

Brampton, Box 107, Chestertown, Md. 21620, (301) 778-1832. Rates $90/$95.

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