tvl BRIEFS Spa vacations popular

The Boston Globe

SPA SEARCH: Spa vacations are becoming increasingly popular. Spa Finder has a series of what it calls Hot Deals, offering discounts on packages that include a variety of amenities at a wide range of prices. Recent offers range from a two-night package at Le Grand Courian Resort &; Spa in Tobago for $123.75, single or double occupancy, through Dec. 20, a savings of 56 percent; to a six-night package at Holistica Hawaii in Honolulu for $8,096, double occupancy, a discount of 10 percent.

FREE INTERNET: Chatham Bars Inn in charming Chatham on Cape Cod has a new wireless network, offering free, unlimited, high-speed Internet access in all guestrooms throughout the resort's 25 acres. Rates vary dramatically by season; for instance, a deluxe room listed at $150 in March is $310 in August.

Call 800-527-4884 or visit

LOWER FARE: The Delta Queen riverboat, a genuine bit of Americana, has begun its first season under new ownership, with fares lower than last year.


The riverboat, a National Historic Landmark, sails the rivers of the South and Midwest. Its parent company filed for bankruptcy last year, and it is now part of Delaware North Cos., as are its sister boats, the American Queen and Mississippi Queen.

Delta Queen fares begin at $375 per person, double occupancy, for a three-day cruise, compared with $495 last year. Port fees are included.

Call 800-543-1949 or visit for other offers.

JAZZY WEEKEND: The Hotel Giraffe, a boutique hotel on New York City's Park Avenue South, has teamed with the barbecue spot and jazz club Blue Smoke &; Jazz Standard for a "Smokin' Hot Summer Weekends" package. Available through Sept. 30, the getaway includes a deluxe guest room with a balcony for $229 per night (single or double occupancy) for any Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, a 40 percent discount from the regular room rates, which start at $395; a complimentary Blue Smoke gift basket, complete with T-shirt, hat, and a bottle of Blue Smoke's signature barbecue sauce; complimentary VIP seating for two at the Jazz Standard (a value of up to $25 per person); and two free drinks.

For more information or reservations, call the Hotel Giraffe at 212-685-7700 and specify the Smokin' Hot Weekends package.

STRETCHING DOLLARS: Information on how senior travelers can stretch their dollars during a visit to England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland is contained in the free guide "Britain: Time to Travel," published by the British Tourist Authority for those 55 or over.

Call 877-899-839 or e-mail The guide has an associated Web site,

FREEBIE: Maine's Poland Spring Preservation Park and Museum is now open at no charge. The park takes visitors back to America's Gilded Age in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when Presidents Taft, McKinley, and Harding, as well as Lillian Russell, Mae West, and the prince of Prussia, came to relax and "take the waters." You can explore the Spring House and Bottling Plant, Maine State Building, and All Souls Chapel, all of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.


Poland Spring is about an hour from Portland, at 115 Preservation Way; phone 207-998-7143. The Poland Spring Inn is an extremely reasonable place to stay, if you follow the unique rules for booking. Visit

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