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The Mature Traveler

Where Palm Trees and Prices Sway

October 09, 1994|HANK KOVELL

There are a number of reasons why Honolulu is popular with mature travelers, foremost among them the fact that it's a senior-friendly destination. Honolulu is Hawaii's capital as well as its largest city and offers scenic coastline, tropical parks and open beaches. Hotels and attractions offer discounts for seniors, a sampling of which include:

The Castle Group operates hotel properties on all of the Hawaiian Islands including three on Waikiki: Waikiki Hana, Kuhio Village Resort and Queen Kapiolani. The latter two have kitchenettes with refrigerator and microwaves in most rooms plus lanais. Seniors over 55 receive a generous 50% discount off published rates for an average rate of $40 for two. For an additional $18 per day, guests may rent a subcompact car with air conditioning, automatic transmission and unlimited mileage. For information on all three Castle Group Honolulu properties, call (800) 367-5004.

Aston Hotels & Resorts has a Seniors Sun Club program for its properties on Oahu that offers discount room rates averaging 25% off regular prices for guests over 55. The discounts are valid at 13 Aston resorts in Honolulu. Basic rates vary with individual hotels and type of accommodations desired. Some have double rooms with a refrigerator while others are one- and two-bedroom suites with kitchenettes. Some suites can accommodate up to six people.

The Sun Club program includes a generous $10 per day discount on car rental rates up to five days or a $50 car rental discount for stays of one week. Guests also receive an Oahu Fun Book offering free or discounted meals, gifts and admissions to attractions. Call (800) 922-7866.

Royal Hawaiian Cruises operates three cruises each day on its luxurious vessel, the Navatek I. The cruises are discounted 20% for seniors, with per-person after-discount prices as follows: Skyline Dinner Cruise, $60; Kahala Gold Coast cruise, including Hawaiian-style buffet lunch, $36, and Whale Watch Cruise, $37.60. If whales are not sighted on the cruise, passengers receive a "Whale Re-Sail" coupon for an alternate day. Prices include pickup from Waikiki resorts. For brochures, call (800) 852-4183.

A good value for seniors is the Coconut Plaza's "Seniors Rate With Us" program for seniors over 50. Regular rates, which range from $85 to $150 per room, are reduced between 36% to 42% or from $50 to $95 through Dec. 19, 1995. The minimum rate is for a room with wet bar while other rooms have a kitchenette with refrigerator. Prices include a continental breakfast and Monday evening manager's reception. Call (800) 882-9696.

The Waikiki Parkside hotel has a number of senior-friendly features, such as alarm clocks with large numbers and lighted faces, push button lamps and dimmer switches, extra lighting in reading areas and elevated in-room mini-refrigerators. Designated guest rooms for seniors are located near vending machines and elevators. The Parkside is offering special senior rates beginning at $69 per night, which is a 30% discount. The offer is valid until Dec. 14, 1994. Call (800) 237-9666.

Waikiki's newest luxury hotel, The Royal Garden, opened last year and is offering a "Young at Heart" promotion for guests over 50. A special rate of $76 for two includes a complimentary continental breakfast, an upgrade in room category when space permits and free limosine service to shopping centers and other points in the city. The Royal Garden has terraced gardens plus two swimming pools, one of which has a waterfall. Regular guest room rates range from $95 to $180. Call (800) 367-5666.

The largest hotel operator in Hawaii is Outrigger Hotels Hawaii with 10 hotels in Waikiki, almost all of which have kitchenettes with refrigerators. Outrigger's "Fifty Plus" program for guests over 50 offers discounts of 20% at all Waikiki hotels plus an additional 5% discount for members of American Assn. of Retired Persons. Rates begin as low as $64 for two and vary with room location in the hotel, views and other factors. Call (800) 462-6262.

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