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Deal of the Week: Camelot Revisited (6/14/2002)

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Diana: It's time to check back in with our Travel-Expert-in-Residence, Rudy Maxa, for his Deal of the Week. Hi, Rudy.

Rudy: Hi, Diana.

Diana: We need something really touristy. So, what did you come up with?

Rudy: I didn't have to look beyond my front yard. If there's anything that endures in this city, it's an endless fascination with the Kennedy administration. Whether the early '60s was really a modern-day Camelot depends on your political persuasion, but the assassination of JFK forever froze that time in many peoples' memories.

Diana: And on cheesy collectible plates.

Rudy: What do you mean cheesy? In any case, the Corcoran Gallery of Art has a big hit on its hands: a summer-long exhibit of 80 original outfits and other items, including dresses Jackie wore on the campaign trail.

Diana: So they've turned the Corcoran into a glorified walk-in closet?

Rudy: Aw, c'mon! It's our nation's heritage! But you're right. Some critics have scoffed at this as a lowbrow presentation in a highbrow gallery. Still, there's no denying its popularity.

Diana: Do you need a ticket and reservations?

Rudy: You do -- which brings us to my deal. A number of Washington hotels have special packages that include tickets to the exhibition and discounted room rates.

For example, the Willard Inter-Continental, just a block from the White House, has a "Jacqueline Kennedy's Washington" package through the end of August. You get a deluxe room, a pair of tickets to the exhibit, two full-day Metro subway passes, and your choice of breakfast, free parking, or bonus frequent flyer miles. The price is $261, way below the normal cost of a room at the Willard. And speaking of shameless tourism, if you visit the Willard, you'll read these lines: "She had extraordinary taste. She would have known exactly where to stay."

Diana: Yeah, somehow Jackie doesn't strike me as the Motel 6 type. Any other hotel deals?

Rudy: Yes, the Watergate Swissotel gives you a room with breakfast and free parking, plus a pair of tickets, for $282. Information on less expensive packages is listed below.

Keep in mind, too, that the Corcoran isn't the only Kennedy hot spot in DC. Throughout the summer, history museums, theaters, dance companies -- even walking tour guides -- are providing nearly 60 special events celebrating the Kennedys' impact on the city's cultural scene.

Diana: Sounds like great tourism - shameless, and otherwise. Thanks, Rudy! Talk to you next week.

Savvy Resources:

Willard Inter-Continental "Jackie" package details: 800-327-0200 or http://www.washington.interconti.com

Watergate Swissotel "Jackie" package details: Call 888-73-SWISS.

Other hotels offering "Jackie" packages: Click on http://www.washington.org, then choose "Jacqueline Kennedy's Washington" and then "hotel packages."

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