New low-cost airlines, Romantik Hotels discounts, new Basel museum

Two new low-cost airlines to Europe: CityBird flies to Brussels from New York, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco and Los Angeles. One way fares from New York are $188 to $345 coach and $625 Royal Eagle, a business class type service. From Orlando the prices are $250 to $406 in coach and $703 Royal Eagle. From the West Coast the coach fares are $297 to $438 and Royal Eagle is $781. CityBird has been in operation since March of this year. Telephone: 888-248-9247 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Swiss World Airways begins operation in December with flights between Geneva and Miami and between Geneva and Newark. Flights to Chicago/Montreal and Orlando will follow in January of 1988. The aircraft is the Boeing 767-300ER. Roundtrip economy fares are $499 from Newark and $599 from Miami, Chicago and Orlando. Telephone: 888-82-SWISS.

Travelers considering rental of private accommodations such as a flat, apartment or house, should obtain a copy of the October issue of Consumer Reports Travel Letter. In it is a comprehensive report on vacation rentals and home exchanges including an extensive list of some 150 rental and exchange agencies with phone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses and web page URLs. To obtain a copy send $5 to: CRTL, 101 Truman Ave., Yonkers NY 10703-1057.

Want to buy Swiss francs at a 20% discount? Here's one way. In 1998, to commemorate its 10th anniversary, the association of Romantik Hotels and Restaurants in Switzerland offers 100 Sfr., 250 Sfr. and 500 Sfr. gift certificates at 20% off. The vouchers will be accepted as cash for rooms and meal at Romantik Hotels 20 Swiss properties through Dec. 31, 1998. To order contact Romantik Hotel Beau-Site, 3906 Saas Fee, tel. +41/027/958 1560, fax 958-1565.

A week in Gstaad, a favorite of jet-setters, and its expansive Gstaad Super-Ski Region can be had for as little as $914. Included are roundtrip airfare on Swissair, seven nights hotel, breakfast daily, transfers and all taxes and service charges. Contact: Swisspak at 800-662-0021 ext. 33.

On October 21, the Beyeler Foundation opened it doors to the public for the first time in Riehen/Basel. The private art collection of Hildy and Ernst Beyeler, owners of one of Europe's foremost art galleries, is considered one of the best private collections of contemporary art in the world and includes works of Picasso, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Matisse, Klee, Mir, Cézanne and van Gogh, to mention only a few. The Beyeler Foundation, Baselstrasse 77, 4125 Riehen/Basel (tel. +41/061/645-9700, fax +41/061/645 9719) will be open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Admission is 8 Sfr. ($5.50) for adults, 5 Sfr. ($3.50) for children 6-16 and 14 Sfr. ($9.50) for families. Visit the Beyeler website at www.magnet.ch/beyeler.

The Hotel Casa Battista-Palazzo Salis in Soglio, about 45 minutes by car from St. Moritz, has been selected as Switzerland's Historical Hotel of the Year.

Built in 1630, the Palazzo Salis is still owned by the descendants of the original proprietors. In 1876 the Baroque mansion was turned into a hotel and has hosted visitors ever since. The hotel, which has only about 10 guest rooms, is filled with antique furniture, paintings and frescoes collected over three centuries by members of the von Salis family. The entire property was recently restored including its 18th century gardens.

Contact: Mr. & Mrs. Philippe Cicognani, Hotel Palazzo Salis, 7610 Soglio, tel. +41/081/822-1208, fax 822 1600. Singles 70 Sfr. ($48), doubles 170 Sfr. ($116).

Other hotels considered for the award were: Hotel Kurhaus in Flhli (Central Switzerland), Restaurant Schloss Wülflingen in Winterthur (near Zürich), the Romantik Hotel Schweizhof in Flims (Graubunden) and the Hotel Albrici in Poschiavo (Graubunden).