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Apr 13,2007
FYI Travel: Leave your heart in San Francisco at the Fairmont hotel
by Tom Roebuck

In San Francisco, the Fairmont hotel's famous Penthouse Suite epitomizes the glamour and sophistication of a bygone era. With rates at $12,500 per night, it is one of the world's most expensive and unique suites. It features three large bedrooms, a living room with grand piano, a formal dining room, a kitchen, a two-story, circular library crowned by a rotunda where the constellations are etched in gold, a billiard room covered in Persian tile and a terrace offering sweeping views of San Francisco. President John F. Kennedy, Prince Charles of England, Nat King Cole, Marlene Dietrich, Mick Jagger and Tony Bennett are just a few of the suite's famous guests.

READING ROOM - At $12,500 per night, the Penthouse Suite at The Fairmont hotel in San Francisco is one of the world's most exclusive hotel suites. Not many hotel rooms have a two-story, circular library. CNS Photo courtesy of The Fairmont hotel 
Somewhat more affordable is the "Live the Legend" package, starting at $599 plus tax, which offers the quintessential San Francisco experience at savings of 38 percent.

The package features:

- Two nights of luxurious accommodations at the landmark hotel.

- A $100 dining certificate.

- A commemorative book documenting The Fairmont's rich heritage.

- A bottle of champagne with two centennial toasting glasses.

Scheduled to open soon after April 18, 1906, the Fairmont survived the great earthquake that struck that day, but was ravaged by the subsequent fire. When the hotel opened exactly one year after the earthquake, it symbolized the rebirth of San Francisco.

Since 1907, the Fairmont has played host to royalty, heads of state and entertainment legends; witnessed the drafting of the United Nations Charter in 1945; and provided the stage where Tony Bennett first sang "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" in 1962.

FYI: For reservations, call 800-441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com.


For the first time in North America, the five musicians of the Spaghetti Western Orchestra will bring spaghetti Westerns back to life at this year's Montreal Jazz Festival, and through much more than a simple musical rendition. With some 100 different musical instruments, the group reconstructs the scenes from the Italian Westerns that impacted the film industry worldwide, re-creating the sound effects from famous scenes from "Once Upon a Time in the West," "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," among others. In a setting embellished by film projections, this dramatic and funny show stands as a veritable tribute to film score composer Ennio Morricone, who was recently honored for an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars.

FYI: The Spaghetti Western Orchestra will perform at the Montreal Jazz Festival from Wednesday, June 27-Monday, July 2, showtime 7:30 p.m. The festival's complete indoor concert program will be announced May 2, while the program for the free outdoor concerts and activities will be made public June 5. For more information, call 888-515-0515.


Starting in June 2007, Carnival Cruise Line will introduce a cruise schedule of 78 voyages from San Diego. The year-round schedule, the first in San Diego, will offer four- and five-day cruises to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico, on the Elation, a 2,052-passenger ship. In addition, Carnival will continue to offer eight-day voyages to the Mexican Riviera.

The San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter is offering the Snooze 'n' Cruise package, which aims to eliminate pre-cruise hassles by including one-night accommodations, valet parking for 10 days, transportation to and from the cruise ship terminal and breakfast for two. Prices start at $319 per room.

FYI: For more information on Carnival Cruises, visit www.carnival.com or call 800-CARNIVAL; Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, call 888-800-8118.

© Copley News Service

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Hungary's Sziget Festival spices up the summer by Tom Roebuck posted on Jun 21,2006

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