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June 23, 1991|JERRY HULSE

For readers wishing to sign up for a July eclipse trip to Baja, Marlene Gordon of The Next Stage is scheduling a bus tour from Los Angeles. Leaves July 6 with return July 17. Lunch the first day at Rosarita Beach followed by accommodations in Ensenada. Other nights at Catavina and Mulege (the oasis on the Sea of Cortez), plus a side trip to Cabo San Lucas. Following the eclipse, the group will retrace the route, attending a ranch barbecue near Ensenada before the final leg home. Price: $795 for 11 nights (hotels, transportation, a fiesta/barbecue).

Contact Marlene Gordon, The Next Stage, P.O. Box 35269, Los Angeles 90035, (213) 939-2688. (Joining the group as lecturer will be Robert Keen, astronomer with the Griffith Observatory.)

Other opportunities are offered by Baja Expeditions:

--A flight, Los Angeles-La Paz, July 10, returning July 14 with lodging available at several La Paz hotels: $1,195 per person, double occupancy, including the flight.

--With air from Los Angeles, Baja Expeditions will provide accommodations, all meals at a tent site south of La Paz, $1,195 per guest, double occupancy. Your travel agent or Baja Expeditions, 2625 Garnet Ave., San Diego 92109, (800) 843-6967 or (619) 581-3311.

Baja Special: Guests who book four nights at the Hotel Twin Dolphin will receive free round-trip air tickets from LAX beginning July 1. The offer is good through Aug. 31. Flights with Aero California. Both LAX and San Diego departures. The Twin Dolphin pours complimentary drinks daily until 6 p.m. Twenty percent discount on charter boat rates for fishing during the July 1-Aug. 31 period. Other activities: a tranquil jogging/hiking trail and arrangements for tennis, golf, riding. Rooms feature ocean views. The Twin Dolphin is a 30-minute taxi ride from the airport. One of those secluded spots where the desert meets the sea. Sunny days. Quiet nights. Not for everyone. Only for the vacationer seeking surcease from the madness of city life.

For reservations: Hotel Twin Dolphin, 1625 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 1005, Los Angeles 90015, (213) 386-3940. Rates: $220 single, $300 double, including breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Booked for Travel: Sandra Soule is the up-and-coming author of a series of travel books titled "America's Wonderful Little Hotels & Inns." The 434-page West Coast edition covers Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Alberta, British Columbia. Hotels/B&Bs/inns. One section describes a restored plantation home in Hawaii whose owner turned it into a B&B (wicker furniture, king-size beds, tiled baths). Soule devotes a couple of hundred pages to properties in California alone. Comments by reader guests, including these words about Scarlett's country inn at Silverado, Calif.: "The first view we had was of an inviting porch tucked amid trees with a tire swing hanging from a high branch . . . Rooms warmly decorated with antique furnishings." Reader recommendations are featured throughout the books. Soule's publications cover the Midwest, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, New England, Middle Atlantic and the South, in addition to the West. More than 2,000 entries.

St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York 10010, or your bookstore. Copies: $11.95/$18.95.

London High Life: If you decide to splurge on a hotel in London, the little 44-room Capitol in Knightsbridge gets high marks for charm. Only 50 yards from Harrods. A member of the prestigious Relais et Chateaux group (only one other Relais member in London). Rooms feature Ralph Lauren fabrics, furniture by Scottish craftsmen. English oils/watercolors. Umbrellas for rainy days. Robes, big terry-cloth towels. The hotel's award-winning restaurant with its French cuisine is the recipient of a Michelin star. It goes without saying that the Capitol is a pricey hotel. Doubles: about $330.

The Capitol, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1AT. From the United States, call the hotel toll-free at (800) 926-3199.

Next door, the same owners operate a French country-style B&B. A dozen rooms. A wine bar in the cellar where breakfast, snacks and other meals are served. This one isn't cheap either. About $210 per double. Same telephone for details.

London's Summer Sale: London's Park Lane Hotel next door to the Green Park in Mayfair has reduced its $300-a-night rooms to $99 per person, double occupancy (including breakfast/value-added tax). The rate is good till Sept. 1. Family suites (accommodations for four) are going for $298. A three-night reservation is required. Antique shows on weekends in the ballroom (the setting for scenes from "Brideshead Revisited," "The Winds of War"). A shopper's bazaar each Sunday just across the street. The hotel is on Picadilly. Within walking distance of Harrods, Fortnum and Mason, West End theaters. Call toll-free (800) 223-5652 or (800) 888-4747.

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