What To Know Before You Go

October 17, 1993|By Bob Kappstatter dTC

For every "champagne dream" suite, there are dozens of beer-budget flats sprinkled about, all clean, comfortable and conveniently located.

In England, you can pick an apartment in fashionable Mayfair or Kensington, or find a reasonable rental near Piccadilly.

Heading out to the countryside? Vacation cottage rentals abound, from Cornwall to the Cotswolds and beyond.

In the mood for the posh in Paris? High-fashion apartments abound in the Right Bank. And funky Francophiles can take their pick on the Left Bank.

Would you like to sleep in a former 17th-century convent that later became Amsterdam's Town Hall? Then book an apartment suite at the recently renovated Grand Hotel.

Agency help: The Barclay International Group is an agency with several thousand vacation rental apartments in England, France, the Netherlands and other countries. Call (212) 832-3777 or (800) 845-6636. A number of other agencies advertise in newspapers and travel magazines.

What to bring: Not to worry. Kitchens come stocked with pots, pans, utensils and dinnerware. Fresh linens are provided, and in most cases there is daily maid service. A trip to the local grocer will take care of your kitchen larder.

Tourist board: One of the more reliable ways to find a reputable agency is through the tourist board of the particular country you'll be visiting. For the countries mentioned in this story:

* British Tourist Authority, Suite 701, 551 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10176. (212) 986-2200.

* French Government Tourist Office at 628 Fifth Ave. has on-duty staff and brochures, or write to FGTO, 610 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10020. Call (900) 940-0040 (at 50 cents per minute) for specific information.

* Netherlands Board of Tourism, 355 Lexington Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017. (212) 370-7367.

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