If holiday time makes you nostalgic, remember that reunions don't have to be confined to the basement family room or the high school gym. I know travelers who catch up with old pals at annual weekend or weeklong get-togethers at resorts from Long Island to Mexico.
They rent a condo, beach house or ski chalet or take over a wing of a city hotel. The lodgings might run from a few hundred dollars a week to thousands of dollars a day, but when you split the rate six or eight ways, you can buy a lot of value.
Some resorts are more conducive to such group getaways than others, offering suite or villa accommodations. Hotel- and B&B-reservations; services also are helpful in coming up with creative options for small groups. San Francisco-based Bed & Breakfast International lists hundreds of options in California and Nevada, including a houseboat in Sausalito, Calif. (about $200 a day for four people). Call (800) 872-4500.
If your fraternity brothers are scattered nationwide, a central location such as Chicago may be the answer. Through Sofitel's "Hotel Baron for a Weekend" package, you can reserve an entire floor -- 30 rooms -- for $2,975 a day on a Friday or Saturday. That's less than $50 per person, assuming at least double occupancy. Call (800) 221-4542.
Golfers can indulge their hobby at Hilton Head Island, S.C., through a wide range of lodgings from private homes and villas to luxury oceanfront resort hotels. At Sea Pines Resort, per-person daily rates start at $82 until Feb. 13 based on four in a two-bedroom villa. Each guest gets 18 holes of golf daily and free tennis. Call (800) 925-4653.
Prefer the beach? A private villa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is $74 a day per person through mid-March for a group of eight. Call Creative Leisure, (800) 426-6367.
Inter-Continental Hotels has a program called "Leisure Options" that offers a choice of five bonuses, including a 50 percent discount for an adjoining room or a free upgrade to a suite (you choose one). It's available at 11 Inter-Continental and Forum hotels in the United States and Canada and at seven North America Global Partner hotels. Through May 27, rates start at $89 a day per couple, at the Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club in Redondo Beach, Calif. The Maui Inter-Continental Resort's "Ultimate Options" runs through 1994. It includes an additional choice: a free night for each three consecutive paid nights. Fees start at $169 a day per couple. Call (800) 327-0200.
Almond Beach Club Barbados has a number of all-inclusive packages in two-bedroom accommodations starting at $800 a day for four persons, $900 for a group of five Dec. 18 through March 31. Call (800) 425-6663.
The new Grand Suites complex at La Cabana All Suite Beach Resort & Casino in Aruba has scheduled all-inclusive rates starting at $614 per person for a three-night stay, $784 per person for four nights, $1,297 per person for seven nights through April 3. Call (212) 251-1710.