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Combo brings finds deals lurking online



Published: Sat, February 19, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Combo brings finds deals lurking online

Finding a great hotel rate online is as tricky as finding a great airfare.

For the best deals, use Travelaxe.com (which requires downloading a program) and individual hotel sites, reports InternetTravelTips.com.

The combination found the best rates 100 percent of the time in a recent test of major cities.

Best places for hotel reviews? The site suggests Fodors.com and TripAdvisor.com.

Site features Europe from your bicycle

A new company and Web site makes it easier for travelers to find and book overseas bike tours.

BikeToursDirect represents 30 European bike tour companies and offers more than 140 tours in 27 countries. Destinations range from routes in the Loire Valley to exotic routes Slovenia.

Tours start at about $595, which include hotels, luggage transfers, rental bikes and other services. On many routes, clients can choose between guided and self-guided tours.

For more information, call (877) 462-2423 or visit www.biketoursdirect.com.

Getty display offers display of violence

Hollywood isn't the first place to promote violent images.

In medieval Europe, violence was viewed as an integral, even necessary, part of life.

A new exhibition, "Images of Violence in the Medieval World," at the Getty Center in Los Angeles through March 13, examines the culture of violence and its influence and effects on daily, religious and political life in medieval society. It explores violence as depicted in medieval texts ranging from saints' lives and prayer books to romances and histories. Manuscripts drawn from the Getty's collection are on view.

For more information, visit www.getty.edu.

These deals are right for the race fan in you

Race fans can find hotel deals designed for them.

Best Western International offers a RaceFan rate. Guests can get the year-round deal by visiting www.bestwesternracing.com and entering "RaceFan" in the promotion code box or by calling (800) 937-8376.

And guests who stay twice at the rate by April 30 will earn 1,200 bonus points in the chain's Speed Reward loyalty program. The reward is enough to redeem a free night stay or a $50 gift certificate to the NASCAR.com Superstore.

To be eligible, guests must be Speed Rewards members and are required to register online before their first stay or by calling (888) 297-2231 and mentioning the code NASRATE.

These rocks don't melt in your martini

The Algonquin's new "Martini on the Rock" is the only beverage on the New York hotel's menu that requires a 72-hour advance reservation.

It's also the only cocktail with a price of $10,000 (or more) and includes a private meeting with the hotel's preferred jeweler to select a diamond (price depends on the gem's size).

Then the fun -- and the perfect proposal -- begins. On the date and time of your choice, the martini will be poured for your intended and the "rock" dropped in.

To order the drink call (212) 419-9325. Call the hotel (866) 363-9011 or visit www.algonquinhotel.com.

Grand Hotel offering late winter rooms

For the first time, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. -- the world's largest summer hotel -- will offer late-winter hospitality.

For its 119th season, a portion of the hotel will open March 1, more than two months earlier than it has opened before.

Rooms will be offered for $119 per night, continental breakfast basket included.

For more information, call (800) 334-7263 or visit www.grandhotel.com.




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