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August 17, 2003|Times Staff and wire reports

San Francisco hotel is fresh out of the can

San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf is adding a new hotel in a historic building: the 252-room Argonaut, run by the Kimpton boutique chain.

The timber-and-brick hotel is in the former Haslett Warehouse, built between 1907 and 1909 for the Del Monte fruit and vegetable label and once the world's largest cannery, Kimpton said.

Many rooms have views of the San Francisco Bay and such landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge and Coit Tower; in 13 suites, guests will have brass telescopes to watch passing ships. The project also includes the nearby Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar, a casual seafood restaurant.

The hotel's ground floor will house the new visitors center of San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, whose floating holdings include the 1886 square-rigger ship Balclutha. There will be interactive exhibits, an auditorium and a museum. Rent paid by Kimpton will benefit the park, which owns the building.

Introductory room rates, good through March, subject to availability, will start at $149 per night; suites will start at $219. The hotel is expected to open Monday and the restaurant on Wednesday. (800) 546-7866,


New nonstops to

three cities from Los Angeles

Several airlines are adding flights from LAX. Among them:

On Sept. 3, Song, the new low-fare carrier run by Delta Air Lines, will begin twice-daily nonstops to Orlando, Fla. Fares were recently about $270 round trip. (800) 359-7664,

On Oct. 26, Alaska Airlines will begin daily nonstops to Spokane, Wash. It said it would be the only carrier with nonstops on the route. Fares vary; they were recently about $213 round trip. (800) 252-7522,

On Dec. 19, American Airlines is to begin Friday, Saturday and Sunday nonstops to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Fares vary; they were recently about $842 to $1,202 round trip. (800) 433-7300,


Cool spell on tap for heat-plagued Europeans

The record heat wave that has choked much of Europe recently was supposed to have loosened its grip by this weekend, although temperatures were expected to remain above normal. forecasts predicted that Paris would cool off by today to the 80s, down from the 102-degree high expected Tuesday, the Travel section's deadline. London, where temperatures last weekend topped the century mark, was expecting 79 today, and Rome was expected to be in the high 80s, just a few degrees hotter than normal.

Italian weather experts said Europe's heat wave was one of the five worst in 150 years. The city of Turin hit 107 degrees Monday, hotter than any day in the last 250 years that temperatures have been recorded there.

Not even Scandinavia has been spared. Denmark hit 89.6 degrees last weekend.

-- Staff and

wire reports



Stay at Yosemite

for half the price

Starting Aug. 24 you can rent tent-cabins at Yosemite National Park in Central California for about half the peak summer rates if you stay Sunday through Thursday. At Curry Village, the special rate, for unheated tents only, will be $30 per night, double occupancy; extra guests will be $9 per adult, $4 per child younger than 12. The deal is good through Dec. 1. At Housekeeping Camp, the special rate, for non-river units only, will be $30 per night per cabin for up to four people. That price is good to Oct. 13. Both deals exclude some holidays; other restrictions may apply. (559) 252-4848,



Compact guide to Greensboro

The "2003 Visitors Guide" for Greensboro, N.C., is packed with facts on historic sites, art galleries, recreation, lodging and more, and it offers discount coupons for various attractions. (800) 344-2282, (Click on "Visitors," then choose "Free Information" from the drop-down menu.)

-- Compiled by

Times Staff

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