Chris Chown writes from Scotland: "I wanted to tell you about a new venture my wife and I started this year. Our objective is to give a totally relaxing holiday to anyone who would like to visit Scotland for whatever reason--golf, fishing, sightseeing, visiting castles, palaces or even distilleries--but who does not want the headaches of organizing. All guests stay with us in our home and we do all the organizing, all the catering and driving. Our home is near Perth (less than an hour from Edinburgh), with 30 golf courses close by."
Chown offers to "collect visitors" at Edinburgh or Glasgow airports, prepare "enormous" breakfasts, picnic lunches and other meals as well as drinks ("even a Harvey Wallbanger or two!"). Hosts up to six guests at about 65 ($131) per couple per day.
Chris Chown, Wester Lumbennie, Newburgh, Fife KY14 6EX, Scotland.
London Apartment: For readers looking for apartments in London, here's one that's recommended in fashionable Mayfair: features a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, two baths, extra sleeping sofas (accommodations for up to three couples). Normally rents by the week, but can be booked for shorter periods. Just off Berkeley Square, overlooking gardens, town houses. A short walk to the Dorchester Hotel, the Connaught, Claridge's, Brown's, Hyde/Green parks, Oxford/Bond/Regent streets, Piccadilly Circus. Daily maid service, central heat, color TV, direct-dial telephone (plus a 24-hour switchboard to collect calls while occupants are away). For the businessman: telex-fax facilities. Rate: 180 per day.
Contact King Associates, 50 Sutton Place S., New York 10022, (212) 759-8133.
Britfrance Railpass: New for '91: A pass good for unlimited travel on the rail networks of both Britain/France for periods of five to 10 days. Besides the railpass, travelers are given a round-trip ticket by Hovercraft across the English Channel. Prices range from $249 for a five-day economy-class pass to $375 for 10 days. Youth passes: $199/$299. Details from BritRail, 1500 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York 10036-4015, (800) 677-8585.
Meanwhile, although crews boring the new Eurotunnel between France and England have met, the tunnel isn't scheduled to open to the public until June, 1993. During the next 2 1/2 years, crews will be reinforcing walls, installing rail lines. With the opening in '93, travel time between Calais and Dover will be 35 minutes. Departures every 20 minutes during the day, hourly at night.
Hawaii: Casey Evans of La Habra asks if Hawaii's Moana Hotel is still in business. Indeed, and its fame is spreading. The Moana underwent a 20-month, $50-million face lift nearly two years ago. This was Waikiki's first hotel (opened in 1901). For 40 years it was home to the old "Hawaii Calls" radio show. With the renovation, the Moana is rated as one of Hawaii's leading hotels. Teakwood floors, tasteful furnishings, fine dining in the Ship's Tavern restaurant. The Moana's impressive three-story, Ionic-columned Porte Cochere faces Kalakaua Avenue. Only a short walk from the Sheraton Royal Hawaiian. In the Banyan Court (beneath the Moana's famous banyan tree), musicians still perform each evening. The perfect spot for watching one of those stunning Hawaiian sunsets.
Sheraton Moana Surfrider, 2365 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii 96815, (800) 678-8946 or (808) 922-3111. Rates: $185/$285.
For Dreamers: If you get the urge to go for broke on your next vacation, consider the new Wakaya Club in Fiji (the newest rage in the South Seas). One of those spots created for the rich and famous. If you're traveling alone, they'll put you up for $675 a day. But who wants to go it alone on a romantic island? Doubles go for $875 a day (accommodations, meals, drinks, activities). An air taxi delivers you to Wakaya from Nadi (about a 35-minute trip). This is the ultimate hideaway. A 2,200-acre island with eight thatch-roof bungalows, 30 white-sand beaches. Magnificent sunsets. Bungalows face a lagoon like those seen on South Seas calendars. Wakaya is similar in respects to Fiji's Matagi Island (profiled in the October issue of Traveling in Style by David L. Kirp). Vacationers snorkle, windsurf, stroll on the reef, play tennis/croquet. With 30 beaches, couples can be totally alone. At night, an umbrella of stars lights up the heavens. The island is shared by rare birds, fallow deer, horses. If you're turned off by ocean bathing, there's a pool with a waterfall. The chef serves up fresh fish, organic vegetables/fruits harvested on the island.
The Wakaya Club, P.O. Box 15424, Ground Floor, Civic House, Suva, Fiji. Details from Wakaya Ltd., 450 Park Ave., Suite 2100, New York 10022, (212) 644-7100.