Have yourself a merry little Christmas getaway By Suzanne Rowan Kelleher
Winter Wonderland at Omni Amelia Island (Hotel Del Coronado)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at top family resorts around the country, some of which are already busy breaking out the tinsel for the busy holiday season. With children around the country enjoying as much as two weeks of school holidays, many families will turn Christmastime into an opportunity for a vacation.
Here are six luxurious resorts pouring on the Christmas cheer for families with festivities ranging from cookie decorating and elf tuck-ins to visits with Santa.
Christmas at Paws Up (The Resort at Paws Up)
Where: Greenough, MT
Why: Because this luxurious Montana resort is offering an all-inclusive holiday escape that gives your family its own decorated Christmas tree and even—gasp!—your very own Santa. The five-night Montana Christmas Vacation starts at $570 per person per night for a family of four and includes 5 nights of accommodations, all meals, snacks and beverage, your own personal Santa, Christmas Eve dinner with special Christmas menu, Christmas dinner feast, a decorated tree in your home, and horse-drawn or sleigh rides, a gingerbread house-building contest, cookie decorating, and a selection of holiday DVDs to watch.
Where: Amelia Island, FL
Why: Because this upscale northeast Florida beach resort is looking swell after an $85-million renovation and tempts with multiple swimming pools and a kid-centric splash park. The Winter Wonderland Package starts at $257 and includes luxurious accommodations, daily breakfast, valet parking, a holiday welcome amenity, milk and Christmas cookie turndown and unlimited access to Santa’s Workshop. Available from November 28 to December 30, 2014.
Holiday lights at Hotel Del Coronado (Hotel Del Coronado)
Where: Coronado, CA
Why: Because the iconic grand beach resort near San Diego goes all out for the holidays, with a beachfront ice skating, fun activities, lavish feasts, festive decor, and thousands of white lights adorning the historic Victorian building on top of a holiday festival and Sunday brunch with Santa. The Holidays at The Del starts at $339 a night and includes one ice skating session for up to two (2) adults (and two children if applicable), a $25 daily resort credit, and a $15 self-parking discount. Available for stays November 26 to January 3, 2015.
Classic Broadmoor Christmas (The Broadmoor)
Where: Colorado Springs, CO
Why: Because this luxurious and sprawling mountain resort is outdoing itself this holiday season with a spectacular decorations, sumptuous holiday buffets, a life-size gingerbread house, live Christmas show, daily holiday culinary demonstrations, and cupcake and gingerbread decorating. The Classic Broadmoor Christmas package starts at $190 per person and includes overnight accommodations, tickets to the Christmas show, 15% off on select retail purchases at Broadmoor owned shops, and 25% off published Suite rates. Available December 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, and 24, 2014.
Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation
Where: Greensboro, GA
Why: Because this plush lakeside resort near Atlanta is making the season bright with an array of nostalgic traditional activities, including s’more-roasting, ice skating, gingerbread house-decorating and, for the kids, elf tuck-ins, breakfast with Santa, and complimentary Story Time with Mrs. Claus. The Breakfast with Santa package is available weekends, starting at $379 a night for a two-night stay, and includes overnight accommodations in a resort view room, lake view room, or an Executive Suite plus pajama breakfast with Santa for a family of four. Valid November 28-30 and December 5-7, 12-14 and 19-21, 2014.
(TRIP PLAN: Make your own holiday vacation planning easy by using MiniTime’s free Trip Plan tool.)
December Delight at Mohonk Mountain House (Mohonk Mountain House)
Where: New Paltz, NY
Why: Because this all-inclusive family-friendly retreat in the Hudson Valley is less than two hours from New York City, making it a perfect midweek escape during the holiday season. On display are spectacular handmade swags, elaborate gingerbread creations, and decorated Christmas trees, while holiday activities include a family Yule log hunt, holiday craft-making, and caroling. The December Delight package starts at $186.90 per person–a wink to the historic landmark hotel’s founding in 1869–and includes afternoon tea and cookies, a three-course dinner, bountiful breakfast buffet, charming accommodations, and most resort activities like ice-skating, swimming in indoor heated pool, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowtubing. Available for midweek stays, Sunday through Thursday, only from November 30 to December 22, 2014.
Suzanne Rowan Kelleher contributed this to MiniTime.