Away for the weekend. Weekend `mini-vacations' are becoming a choice for business people, families, and couples without children. Hotels and travel services ride the wave of this trend.

IN Boston, several hotels are set for the hordes of expected visitors to the exhibit ``Ramesses the Great.'' A 3,000-year-old, 55-ton colossus of the Egyptian pharaoh has left his home on the Nile and is taking up summer residence at Boston's Museum of Science until Aug. 30. And he's not alone; His Majesty is traveling with the largest collection of ancient Egyptian treasure to be seen in the United States.

The Royal Sonesta Hotel is just a spear's-throw from where Ramesses II is camped. The Museum of Science has named the Sonesta the official Boston hotel for the exhibition.

For $85 per person (double occupancy) one can stay in the shadows of the great king for two days and one night, beginning with any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday arrival until Aug. 28. Tickets to the exhibit, breakfast, and free parking are included.

And there's no need to hail a chariot to take you to the Science Museum: The Sonesta operates a courtesy van service. Or, better still, walk like an Egyptian. It's only five minutes away. (For reservations, call [617] 491-3600.)

About midway between the Science and Fine Arts Museums - and near most of Boston's finest shops as well, is the Sheraton Boston Hotel & Towers. The Sheraton, a co-sponsor of the Ramesses show, offers two types of weekend packages.

You may spend a night in royal fashion - at pyramid heights - at Sheraton Towers. After you've hobnobbed with the Ramesses court - the two tickets are complimentary, of course - you can zip back to the Towers. Parking is free, and your butler will direct you to afternoon tea and pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres, and hand you a thick bathrobe and point you toward the swimming pool - New England's largest indoor/outdoor pool.

It's $115 per night per person, double occupancy. Additional nights are available for $92.50. If that's a bit too rich, the main hotel has rooms at $79 with many of the same amenities. Sorry, no butler or hors d'oeuvres for this one. (Call [617] 236-2000 for reservations.)

Other hotels in Boston also offer weekend specials to commemorate Ramesses the Great. Remember, if you come to Boston on your own, the exhibition is by reserved tickets only. You may telephone the museum at (617) 723-2505 for reservations.

If you decide to come for the Ramesses exhibit, certainly you should tour the Museum of Fine Arts collection of Egyptian sculpture. This museum has monumental, magnificent pieces by the ton - considered the best collection this side of Cairo. Good deals in Florida

If a swinging court life means tennis rather than ancient Egypt to you, consider the off-season rates at South Seas Plantation on Captiva Island, Florida. South Seas has come up with the ``Any Day Weekender,'' which means you can practice your serve during any three-day period from now until Dec. 22.

Twenty-two tennis courts with unlimited court time await you. After you work up a sweat, there are 18 swimming pools, a deepwater yacht harbor, and 2 miles of beach to cool off at. Golf, restaurants, land and water sports, and three restaurants await you, too. Rates, based on double occupancy, range from $100 to $192 for any three-day period, depending on what style villa you choose.

Each villa is complete with living room, dining area, kitchen, and one or two bedrooms and baths. Land's End Village is the most exclusive and overlooks the Gulf of Mexico.

Call your travel agent, or get in touch with South Seas Plantation, PO Box 194, Captiva Island, FL 33924. In Florida, telephone 800-282-3402. Outside the state, call 800-237-3102.

New York for theater buffs

For 32 years now, Sutherland Travel Service has been taking slack-jawed country folk down ol' Broadway and getting them best seats to some of the hottest shows in town. ``Hit Show Tours in New York City'' means two days and one night, to four days and three nights, for $109 to $550 per person, double basis. Prices vary considerably depending on when you go, where you stay, and what shows you see.

This year you have eight hit shows to chose from, including ``Phantom of the Opera,'' ``Les Mis'erables,'' ``Me and My Girl,'' and ``Starlight Express.'' And a list of 15 hotels, from affordable to deluxe.

According to Sheila Pollack, president of Sutherland Travel, getting good seats to shows this year was ``a major challenge for us ... given the unprecedented advance sales for shows such as ``Phantom'' and ``Les Mis'erables.'' But their 31-year track record helped. For reservations and information call 800-221-2442.

The Omni Park Central Hotel in New York City is offering for the second year a special ``two-for-the-price-of-one'' room rate. It's being offered as a parent/child deal and being promoted as ``the hotel industry's first `real' solution to accommodating families - one room for parents and a free adjoining room for the kids.''

A special ``Concierge for Kids'' will be at the hotel fully versed and polished in Big Apple activities for young folks.

This program runs from July 1 through Labor Day weekend. Rates are $159 a night, which includes the free room for kids and is available seven nights a week.

San Francisco weekender

Who wouldn't want to stay an extra couple of days while in San Francisco on business? The Stanford Court Hotel, atop Nob Hill, is offering special weekend rates to entice its business weekday guest to stay and relax a little longer.

Effective Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and holiday weekends, accommodations are available for $135 per night for standard rooms and $165 for superior rooms. The offer continues throughout 1988.

For reservations from outside California, call 800-227-4736. In San Francisco, call 989-3500. Elsewhere in California, call 800-622-0957.

What to see in Washington

If you're thinking of a Washington, D.C., weekend, pack a ``Capital Kit'' along with your camera. To get one, send a check for $2.40 - payable to ``WCVA.'' This helpful brochure will get you around Washington's main attractions and shopping and dining areas. A map, calendar of events, and theater, museums, and sports happenings are all listed.

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