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PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 12:00am

Holiday at home: The InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong is offering five winter packages until March 31, ranging from $1,080 to $2,460 per room per night. Packages include Design Your Own Stay ($1,230), with which you can choose from nine added options such as free movies, frequent-flyer miles or a $500 food and beverage allowance; Gourmet Lovers ($1,780), a superior room with champagne and chocolates on arrival and a $500 food and beverage credit; and Suite Splendour ($2,460), a deluxe suite with champagne on arrival, breakfast in the Belvedere, the Club Lounge on the top floor or in-suite, and unlimited cocktails and canapes from 6pm-8.30pm in the Club Lounge. Additionally, all packages feature welcome fruit, and complimentary use of the fitness centre, the rooftop pool and the Tsim Sha Tsui shuttle bus. Note, however, that a $600 high-season supplement will be levied if your stay is during November 1-15, December 1-8 and January 1-15. Call 2731 2882 or visit for details.

Reaching out: In addition to offering discount online rates at 15,000 hotels worldwide, is spreading its tentacles into sightseeing tours. More than 1,000 activities in 112 countries are now available on its refreshingly user-friendly Web site, offering everything from wine tasting in France to whale watching in New Zealand. Simply specify the country, date, number of people and language (32 available, including Flemish and Bulgarian) then see what comes up. A Sydney search for an English-speaking tour yielded 26 results including a 4WD exploration of the Blue Mountains and Grose Valley (also known as Australia's Grand Canyon), and dining in the bush surrounded by kangaroos, parrots and kookaburras ($1,408). Meanwhile, 14 options are currently available for Bangkok, including a candlelight dinner down the Chao Phraya on board a river cruiser ($308). Visit or call the customer services line on 2865 6848 for information.

Piste de resistance: The top ski resorts in North America, from Ski magazine's annual readers survey:

1 Vail, Colorado

2 Deer Valley, Utah

3 Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia

4 Snowmass, Colorado

5 Beaver Creek, Colorado

6 Steamboat, Colorado

7 Park City, Utah

8 Aspen Mountain, Colorado

9 Jackson Hole, Wyoming

10 Breckenridge, Colorado