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NEWS, TIPS & BARGAINS | TRAVEL LOG

Newport resort opens next to club

May 18, 2003|Jane Engle

The private Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach, where memberships start at $6,000, last week opened a less exclusive venture next door: a 132-room bayfront hotel where room rates start at $225 per night.

The 55-year-old club has a 17,000-square-foot spa with treatment rooms, fireplace, steam room and more. For $35 per day, hotel guests can use the spa; treatments are extra.

The club's restaurants, pool and 28 guest rooms remain members-only, so hotel guests have their own facilities, including Duke's Place bar and the First Cabin restaurant, serving what's called "contemporary California cuisine." The 15-acre site is now known as the Balboa Bay Club & Resort. (888) 445-7153, www.balboabayclub.com.

For more rustic lodging in Newport Beach, 12 "cottage-style" cabins opened last month at the beachfront Newport Dunes Resort, which also has 406 RV sites. Small cabins, sleeping up to four, go for $85 to $125 per night; larger ones, sleeping up to eight, are $125 to $250, depending on the season. (949) 729-3863, www.newportdunes.com.

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Mammoth Mountain

gondola to open

The gondola between the new Village at Mammoth and Canyon Lodge on Central California's Mammoth Mountain will open briefly next weekend.

The nearly mile-long ride, using 15-person cars, will run 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during Memorial Day weekend and also over the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays before starting daily operation in winter.

The Village at Mammoth complex, with shops, restaurants and lodging, is scheduled to fully open by November. Two of its restaurant- bars opened last month. (800) 626-6684, www.mammothmountain.com.

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Tickets on sale

for Wright

brothers festival

Tickets have gone on sale for the First Flight Centennial Celebration, Dec. 13 to 17, marking the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first manned flight. The highlight at Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., will be a reenactment of the flight Dec. 17. Other days will include exhibits and vintage aircraft demonstrations. Adult tickets are $10 per day or $25 for all five days; children 12 and younger are admitted free but still need a ticket. Call (800) 973-7327 or visit www.wrightbrothers.reserveworld.com.

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Traveler's notes

The State Department has issued travel warnings for Taiwan, based on concerns about the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and Iran, noting that "some elements of the Iranian government and population remain hostile to the U.S." For updates, visit www.travel.state.gov.... Princess Cruises has canceled Asian sailings scheduled for the Star Princess in the fall. Instead the ship will make weeklong Mexico sailings from Los Angeles starting Sept. 27. Fares begin at $1,149 per person, double occupancy.... The annual Fleet Week, when nearly a dozen ships plus troops and military aircraft visit New York City, is Wednesday through May 27. www.nycvisit.com (search for "Fleet Week").

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DEAL OF THE WEEK

7 nights in Tahiti

for under $1,000

Los Angeles-based Tahiti Vacations is offering an air-hotel package to Tahiti starting at $999 per person, double occupancy, for travel through June. The price includes round-trip air from Los Angeles on Air Tahiti Nui, seven nights at the Sofitel Maeva Beach hotel and daily breakfast. Airport taxes, about $65 a person, are extra. It is good only for Sunday through Thursday departures. (800) 553-3477, www.tahitivacations.net.

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FREE FOR THE ASKING

An encyclopedic

study of Phoenix

More than two-thirds of the 96-page "Greater Phoenix Explorer" guide is an encyclopedic listing of hotels, restaurants and other attractions in the Arizona capital and nearby. There are also brief overviews of spas, outdoor recreation and other topics. (877) 225-5749, www.visitphoenix.com.

-- Compiled by

Jane Engle

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