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The Mature Traveler

Ocean Views, a Coffee Maker and Thou

October 02, 1994|HANK KOVELL

About 100 miles north of San Francisco on scenic California 1 is the small town of Gualala ( wah-LA-la ), site of the Breakers Inn, which is adjacent to a 150-acre park where the Gualala River flows into the Pacific Ocean. Visitors may spot gray whales, seals, otters, deer and herons. The inn has just 27 rooms, each of which has a private balcony with a 180-degree ocean-front view, fireplace, two-person spa, coffee maker and wet bar.

The area is a favorite of painters and photographers; visitors enjoy kayaking, scuba diving and windsurfing. A golf course and tennis courts are nearby. For an indefinite period, the Breakers Inn is offering members of the American Assn. of Retired Persons a 25% discount off published rates, which range from $165 to $265 per night for two. Reservations are subject to space availability. For a brochure or reservations, call (800) 273-2537, or write to Breakers Inn, P.O. Box 389, Gualala, Calif. 95445.

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Crown Sterling Suites, a new chain of 22 suite hotels, has introduced a discount program it calls "Senior Savings Time" for travelers over 60 years old. The spacious suites have two rooms and accommodate up to four comfortably. Each suite has two color TVs, refrigerator, wet bar, microwave oven and coffee maker with a supply of coffee. A complete cooked-to-order breakfast is served daily to each guest. Moderate rates for all Crown Sterling Suites before discount range from $79 to $129 in business locations and from $99 to $159 in resort areas. These rates are reduced by $10 per suite for seniors over 60 for an indefinite time. In addition to eight locations in California there are seven in Florida, three in Minnesota, and one each in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana and Texas. For a brochure, call (800) 433-4600.

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Early this year Best Western International hotels launched a Seniority Frequent Guest program for members of the American Assn. of Retired People. AARP Members will receive the following benefits:

* Discount of 10% off published room rates;

* Room upgrade upon check-in if available;

* Grandchildren under age 17 stay free in same room;

* Late check-out if requested in advance;

* Food and beverage discounts and other promotions.

A second tier allows members to become eligible for the following additional benefits:

* Additional 5% discount off room rates;

* Earned points based on one point per dollar spent on rooms.

Points will be redeemable for free stays at Best Western hotels, U.S. Savings Bonds and merchandise. Members will also receive a quarterly newsletter with news of travel discounts and other benefits.

Best Western has 1,700 properties in the United States and Canada, more than 1,000 in Europe and 350 in Asia and the South Pacific. AARP members can get information and a temporary membership card by calling (800) 456-9719.

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The "Ramada Best Years Club," which is similar to the Best Western promotion, offers points for each dollar spent at Ramada Inns & Resorts and may be used for free airline tickets, free Ramada weekends and a selection of more than 10,000 items from the Service Merchandise Catalogue. A $15 lifetime membership fee also entitles members to a 25% discount at most Ramadas. Additional benefits:

* Discounts on air fares, Carnival Cruises, Club Med vacations and other attractions;

* Alamo car rental discounts;

* $100,000 free flight insurance;

* Quarterly newsletter.

Travelers may sign up for the Ramada Best Years Club at any Ramada hotel or by calling (800) 672-6232.

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