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Feb 19th
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Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Latest News, Deals & Savings for Aug. 17

Latest News, Deals & Savings for Aug. 17

San Francisco Hostels is celebrating the group’s 100th anniversary with a progressive party on Aug. 29 at its three hostels, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Kona, Hawaii has unveiled its 15-month, $40-million renovation, and growing interest in camping vacations as a fun and affordable way to get away has caused one company to come out with a compact towable tent unit.

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San Francisco Hostels Host Free 100th Anniversary Party Aug. 29

Hostelling International-San Francisco is hosting a free 100th anniversary progressive party at its three San Francisco hostels on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009, from 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The party is a three-stage progressive event that includes a pancake and mimosa brunch at the Downtown Hostel (312 Mason Street), a wine and cheese reception at the City Center Hostel (685 Ellis Street), and a BBQ and outdoor concert in Fort Mason, at the Fisherman's Wharf Hostel (Fort Mason, Building 240).

In addition to complimentary food and drink, the event includes a live performance by The Jenny Kerr Band, music by DJ Chris Taylor, scavenger hunts, hostel tours, and prize giveaways.

The events include:

  • From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., there will be a pancake and mimosa brunch at HI-San Francisco Downtown, one block from Union Square, with a scavenger hunt, prize giveaways, and tours of the hostel which has recently undergone major renovations and upgrades.

  • From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., a wine and cheese reception is planned at the Ivy's Place cafe in HI-San Francisco City Center, with music by DJ Chris Taylor, a scavenger hunt, prize giveaways, hostel tours, and displays highlighting the mission and history of this beautiful 1920s boutique hotel turned hostel.

  • From 2:30 p.n. to 6 p.m., a barbecue and outdoor concert will be held at HI-San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf, located in Fort Mason and overlooking San Francisco Bay with views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. A full spread including Niman Ranch burgers, hot dogs, and vegetarian options will be served, along with local microbrews. At 4 p.m., The Jenny Kerr Band performs a foot-stomping live show which forays into swamp rock, straight-up soul, backwater honky tonk, and old-time blues. The event also features a DJ, scavenger hunt, prize giveaways, and hostel tours.

The 100th Anniversary Party marks the centennial of the worldwide hostelling movement, which began in Germany in 1909 when a schoolteacher named Richard Schirrmann first conceived of the idea of hostels.

The San Francisco Downtown, City Center, and Fisherman's Wharf hostels are operated by the Golden Gate Council of Hostelling International USA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding, environmental stewardship, and world peace through travel. The San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Hostel is an authorized Concessioner of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

For more information visit the Web site at

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Unveils $40 Million Renovation

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Kona, Hawaii has unveiled its 15-month, $40-million renovation, showcasing 20 new suites, a sweeping spa transformation, a renovated beachfront bar, lounge and restaurant and stylish new retail boutiques.

The AAA Five Diamond award-winning resort's management said the changes reestablish its reputation as an unparalleled destination that honors the essence of Hawaiian design, culture and tradition.

In celebration, the resort is offering guests a $495 promotional rate on stays this fall, beginning Sept. 15, 2009.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai's 20 new one- and two-bedroom suites offer between 1,150 and 1,950 square feet of indoor-outdoor living space characterized by expansive living rooms, spacious balconies and commanding ocean views.

The suites feature comfortable custom furnishings and the textures of Hawaii. Exotic woods, stone and natural textiles complement clean-lined furniture that is accented with traditional Hawaiian fabrics. Traditional and contemporary Hawaiian art graces the walls. Extra touches include slate bathrooms with steam showers and lanais off both the master bedroom and living rooms, maximizing the ocean views.

The completely transformed 28,000-square-foot Hualalai Spa integrates tropical gardens with cool interior spaces and feels distinctly Hawaiian. Guests are welcomed into a tranquil interior space rich with dark tropical woods, high-pitched woven ceilings and dappled sunlight falling through bamboo screens.

In terms of dining, Beach Tree, the pulse of the resort, has newly transformed interior and exterior spaces and a style of "barefoot elegance." Sixteen-foot-high vaulted ceilings and expansive water views lend the oceanfront restaurant a Hawaiian beach-house feel. New Chef de Cuisine Nick Mastrascusa, who joins Four Seasons Resort Hualalai from 57 Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel New York, oversees a menu featuring the best of California with Italian influences.

Two new resort boutiques offer expertly chosen merchandise that even the most sophisticated shopper will appreciate.

The $495 fall promotional rate is per night for a Golf View room, plus tax. This special rate is available from Sept. 15, 2009 to Dec. 17, 2009. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. For reservations, call a travel professional or Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at 1 (808) 325-8000

Interest in Camping Vacations Spurs Launch of Wacky Shack Bungalows

Growing interest in camping vacations as a fun and affordable way to get away has caused one company to come out with Wacky Shack Bungalows, a folding tent built upon a single-wheel transporter unit that can be towed behind the family vehicle.

Fast Master Products of Katy, Texas, makers of the very popular Swivel wheel, single-wheel transporter unit, introduced its Wacky Shack Bungalows at Bass Pro Shop's Fall Hunter's Classic events.

The six-person sleeping unit, made of heavy duty 14oz. waterproof canvas, featuring an a/c, heater port, Flood Guard flooring, Rain Shield 99 Technology, and a heavy duty steel support and frame system, is mounted on the no-fishtail, no-jackknife Swivel wheel transporter unit and is priced for today's budget-minded consumer.

Included with all units, is a "Patio cover" which can be easily converted to sleep six more adults comfortably, with the optional party room attachment. The entire unit collapses into a 5' x 6' x 8" portable package, with a dirt, dust, and rain-proof, soft PVC cover.

Fast Master said it began development of Wacky Shack Bungalows after several travel and leisure publications began to report that Americans are indeed viewing camping as a fun, much less expensive family vacation and get-together option.

Since it's mounted on the Swivel wheel transporter unit, it can be pulled by most rear-wheel drive cars, crossovers, SUVs, small trucks, or full-size trucks, with a class III or higher receiver package. Makers say it will not jackknife or fishtail, eliminating the need to know how to back a trailer, because it simply tracks with the towing vehicle.

Pricing was not announced. For more information, visit the company's Web site at