Archive for December, 2010

Holidays in New York – a Walking Tour

December 6, 2010
A walking tour of Christmas in New York

"Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus," a boy learns to his delight at the Macy's Christmas display © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

One of the most marvelous ways to experience the Holidays in New York, is just to walk around, and take it all in – from the enchanting animated windows in department stores, to the ice skaters at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park and Central Park. Buy hot chestnuts from a street vendor.

The City twinkles with holiday spirit, particularly as its famed stores and iconic hotels strive to outdo the previous year’s celebration. Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Macy’s spruce up their window displays with beautiful holiday-themed decor that awes visitors year after year.

Start your walking tour at 34th Street and Herald Square, home to Macy’s, where moving displays on 34th Street retell the story of “Miracle on 34th Street” and continues to exact sheer delight from kids. Move around the corner and the windows tell the compelling story of “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus,” based on a letter from an 8-year old Virginia O’Hanlon, who was skeptical, to “The Sun” (at the time, the authority on “truth”) and the reply, in an editorial by Francis Pharcellus Church, published Sept. 21, 1897….Read more and see slideshow

 

WARWICK HOTELS OFFERS LUXURY ROOMS TO SENIORS STARTING AT $55

December 4, 2010
Metropolitan Museum

The Warwick New York is in close proximity to important cultural sights, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, here at night © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Warwick International Hotels U.S. have polished-up their senior discount for those making travel plans, announcing rates starting from $55 for luxury accommodations in a major American city. Significant senior discounts are also available at 12 international hotels in the Warwick collection, meaning that amazing destinations from Fiji to France are on sale all year round.

The senior discount is available now and will continue to be in effect throughout 2011.

Participating locations are:

  • U.S.: Warwick New York, Warwick Melrose Dallas, Warwick Denver, Warwick San Francisco and Warwick Seattle
  • Europe: Barcelona (Gallery Hotel), Brussels (Royal Windsor Hotel Grand Place and Warwick Barsey Hotel), Geneva (Hotel Warwick Geneva), London (Leonard Hotel & Residence), Lyon (La Reine Astrid), Malaga (Hotel Molina Lario), Nice (Splendid Hotel & Spa), Paris (Warwick Champs-Elysées and Hotel Westminster), Zurich (Central Plaza Hotel)
  • South Pacific: Fiji (Naviti Resort)

Warwick Denver Hotel is offering the promise of a Classic King room at $55 during December 2010 and January-February 2011. For the remainder of the year, Denver will offer a significant discount off of its best available rates for guests 65 years of age and older.

“Last year, senior citizens accounted for over 21 percent of all U.S. travelers, and we want to make their travel more affordable and enjoyable than ever,” said G. Paul LeBlanc, vice president of sales and marketing for Warwick International Hotels. “The Warwick collection has much that appeals to this audience, from historic properties that have been elegantly modernized to gracious personal service.”

Warwick hotels in other cities will offer up to 30 percent off their best available rates for seniors throughout the year. A special feature of the Warwick senior rate is that it can be used for up to two rooms. Since statistics show that one third of U.S. travelers are joined by either children or grandchildren, this means “close” family can come along – without being too close!

All Warwick hotels and resorts offer ideal locations for exploring the cultural and entertainment offerings of the different cities. For instance, Warwick New York is across the street from the Museum of Modern Art and within four blocks to iconic attractions like Central Park, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall and Fifth Avenue Shopping. Warwick Denver is within two and one-half miles of Denver’s Botanic Gardens or Elitch Gardens family amusement park. A Rockies game at Coors Field is only one mile away, or catch the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field, just over three miles from Warwick Denver Hotel. In London, the Leonard Hotel & Residence is only a two minute walk to the shops of Oxford Street and Bond Street and a short stroll to Hyde Park & Madame Tussauds. And in Fiji, the beckoning beaches and waters of the South Pacific are just outside your door.

These rates can be secured either through a professional travel agent or at Warwick’s Web site (the booking code is WKSNR), www.warwickhotels.com.

About Warwick International Hotels

Warwick International Hotels (WIH) was launched in 1980 with the purchase of Warwick New York, a hotel originally built by William Randolph Hearst for his Hollywood friends. Celebrating its 30th anniversary of hospitality excellence, the WIH Group now includes more than 40 prestigious Hotels, Resorts & Spas worldwide located in city centres and resort destinations in the United States, Europe, Asia, Bali, the South Pacific, and Africa. Further details can be found at www.warwickhotels.com.

For more detailed features on destinations, hotels and resorts and senior travel, visit http://www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate.

Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels Spreads Holiday Cheer With Winter Packages

December 4, 2010

Members of Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels International, Inc. have come up with eclectic packages to make holiday/winter travel affordable and fun: Ski with the Rocky Mountains as your backdrop, spend a day at the spa in California Wine Country, or take a bite out of the Big Apple with special rates to fill your holidays with cheer. Wherever you stay, Ascend Collection indie hotels offer a true taste of the local culture. For holiday and winter packages to delight, try one of these offerings from this elite network of historic, boutique and unique hotels in top destinations throughout the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. (Package rates below do not include tax.)

GEM HOTELS, New York, N.Y.
The Cool Yule Package from GEM Hotels offers holiday rates from a joyful $150 per night. These boutique properties are located in three iconic New York City neighborhoods: SoHo, Chelsea and Midtown West. Cool Yule is valid Nov. 21 – 30 and Dec. 16 – 27.

Looking to save even more? Complete GEM’S Holiday-Themed Scavenger Hunt and receive a 25 percent discount on a return stay between Jan. 1 – March 31, 2011. The scavenger hunt invites guests to get into the holiday spirit with fun activities. Take a picture of a holiday-themed NYC department store window or sing a Christmas carol for the front desk team as part of the hunt to earn more savings.

GEM Hotels have a neighborhood feel, with the properties’ energy and colors reflecting the surrounding chic art galleries, boutique shops, restaurants, nightlife and treasured historic attractions. The hotels have free Wi-Fi and guestrooms with flat-panel LCD televisions, iPod docks and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities, among other amenities.

THE WOODLANDS INN, Wilkes-Barre, Penn.
Ring in 2011 with the New Years Eve Package at The Woodlands Inn nestled in the foothills of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. This two-night package includes lodging, breakfast buffet, $10 worth of free slot play per person at the Mohegan Sun Casino just one mile away, and discounts at the inn’s restaurant and spa. Priced at $439.00 per couple, the New Years Eve 2011 Package is valid Thurs. and Fri., Dec. 30 – 31, or Fri. and Sat., Dec. 31 – Jan. 1.

The savings continue through the New Year. The Woodlands’ Ski 2010 – 2011 Package invites skiers to immerse themselves in the area’s natural beauty with nightly rates from $119 (weekdays) and $139 (weekends). This package includes hot breakfast buffet; $10.00 voucher for Mohegan Sun Casino; complimentary shuttle to the Mohegan Sun; and discounts for the hotel, casino and lift tickets. Valid Dec. 1, 2010, – March 31, 2011.

Located in historic Wilkes Barre, The Woodlands Resort provides a scenic base from which to explore the region’s renowned ski trails, sports arenas, shopping and dining. This 150-room lodging houses two restaurants, a spa, bar and lounge, nightclub, business center, ballroom and conference rooms, all set on manicured grounds next to the picturesque Laurel Run Stream.

BAECHTEL CREEK INN & SPA, Willits, Calif.
Pamper yourself in California Wine Country at this charming, 43-room lodging. Baechtel Creek Inn beckons with the Spa Sleepover Break Package, which includes a one- or two-night stay in a Superior Room with a complimentary bottle of Mendocino County Wine and a signature 60-minute spa treatment for two guests at the onsite Spa at Baechtel Creek. This offer is available through Dec. 31, 2010. Packages start at $280 for one night and $385 for a two-night stay, based on double occupancy.

Baechtel Creek Inn & Spa is set amidst the wineries and Redwood Forests in the historic town of Willits on California’s spectacular Mendocino Coast. Situated beside a tranquil creek, this property has free Wi-Fi and stylish guestrooms with luxurious bedding and robes. The Spa at Baechtel Creek offers the finest organic skin and body care treatments. Guests also enjoy complimentary continental breakfast. Award-winning wineries, hiking trails, golf courses, art galleries, boutique shops and the stunning Mendocino Coast are all within easy reach.

THE GOLDEN HOTEL, Golden, Colo.,
For a gift your avid traveler will love, give a romantic getaway to The Golden Hotel in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The Golden Romance Package includes deluxe accommodations for two, a bottle of wine, box of decadently delicious chocolates, $30 voucher for breakfast at the hotel’s Bridgewater Grill and late checkout. Rates start at $189 per night.

Located in the heart of historic downtown Golden, the Golden Hotel overlooks picturesque Clear Creek and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This 62-room, pet-friendly lodge welcomes with a lively bar, fitness center, meeting space, business center and the casual full-service Bridgewater Grill. Guestrooms and suites have complimentary high-speed Internet access, large flat-panel televisions and ultra-comfy robes and bedding. Downtown Denver attractions are 12 miles away, and ski trails are nearby too. Minutes away are art galleries, boutique shops and cultural attractions.

For more information on these and other Ascend Collection properties or to make reservations, call 800.4CHOICE or visit http://www.ascendcollection.com.

About Ascend Collection
Ascend Collection made its debut in late 2008 and now has 37 hotels throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Members include The GEM Hotels with three properties in New York City; Inn of Chicago, one-half block from The Magnificent Mile; O’Brien Historic Hotel in Texas, one block from the lively San Antonio River Walk; the historic Hotel Bothwell, Sedalia, Mo.; Le Consulat, within walking distance from Condado Beach, San Juan, P.R.; and Inn on the Lake, just outside Halifax, N.S. For more information on this collection of Historic, Boutique and Unique and hotels, visit http://www.ascendcollection.com.

For more holiday specials and hotel/resort features, go to www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

ROCKRESORTS OFFERS ‘THREE FOR FREE’ PACKAGE

December 3, 2010
RockResorts' "3 for Free" Valid at Keystone Lodge

RockResorts' '3 for Free' offer is valid at Vail Resorts in Colorado, including the Keystone Lodge, with a beautiful view of the ice skating rink © 2010 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

For the third consecutive year, RockResorts and Legendary Lodging, A Vail Resorts Company are offering a “Three for Free” package, featuring one free night of lodging, a $50 gift card and new this year, a complimentary hydration backpack. Guests can travel to their favorite destination from Colorado to the Caribbean to the Southwest and more, saving all the way!

Available for travel now through April 24, 2011, the “Three for Free” package includes:

·               One free night accommodation. Guests can stay two nights get the third night free to stay seven nights and get the eighth night free.*

·               $50 RockResorts gift card, on-mountain cash OR dining card

·               One free REI hydration backpack

In addition to the nine participating RockResort properties, this package is available at all Vail Resorts property locations in Colorado, including Vail, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Keystone.

Rates start from $147 per night. Package must be booked by January 31, 2011 and is based on availability. Blackout dates apply. Minimum length-of-stay restrictions apply and vary per property.

For more information, visit www.freenightonus.com or call 1-866-513-ROCK (7625). Follow RockResorts and Vail Resorts on Twitter: @RockResorts, @RockResortsNEWS and @VailResortsNEWS or Facebook: www.facebook.com/RockResorts.

More Deals

RockResorts is welcoming its new addition, One Ski Place at Breckenridge witha “Peaks, Pins & Pinot” package which includes three-nights accommodations in a two-bedroom condominium, three full-day lift tickets for four adults, certificates for appetizers and drinks to accompany one lane of bowling in The Mine Shaft at One Ski Hill Place (reservations must be made 24 hours in advance), and $120 credit to The Living Room, the resort’s premier dining venue. Package starts on November 12, 2010 from $2,311 (4 ppl) representing a savings of 15 percent. www.oneskihill.rockresorts.com / 1-888-906-6303.

Stay at The Pines Lodge, A RockResort at Beaver Creek and book the Ski Free, Stay Free winter package. Buy 2 nights of lodging and 2 days of lifts, and get a 3rd night and 3rd lift ticket free! Starting from $748, based on double occupancy. Valid: 11/24/10-12/19/10, 1/3/11-2/17/11, 2/27/11-3/10/11 3/28/11-4/17/11.

This winter, experience both Aspen and Beaver Creek with the “Ski The Rockies” package, which includes seven-nights accommodations, transportation between Hotel Jerome and The Osprey at Beaver Creek, A RockResort, and three-day lift tickets in each locale (six total). Rates start from $4,184 based on double occupancy. Resort fee and taxes not included. www.rockresorts.com / 866-618-ROCK

Snake River Lodge & Spa, A RockResort is offering a “Ski Free, Stay Free” package, which includes accommodations, daily breakfast, and two three-day lift tickets for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. www.snakeriverlodge.rockresorts.com / 866-513-ROCK

Give the gift of RockResorts!

RockResorts gift cards can be purchased for any amount (up to $2,500), and are valid at all of RockResorts, located in some of the most spectacular destinations in the U.S. The gift cards can be used for everything from RockResorts stays, to RockResorts Spa treatments, to dining at its AAA Four Diamond Award-winning restaurants.

Gift cards are available for use at most RockResorts-managed facilities, including spas, dining outlets, gift shops, and more. View all available locations. Purchase of gift cards does not guarantee outlet availability. A $25 minimum applies to all gift card purchases. Once loaded, cards are like cash; the value cannot be replaced. Cards are not redeemable for cash unless required by law. After 12 months of consecutive non-use, a $2 inactivity fee will be charged per month until the card’s value is depleted (unless prohibited by law).

To purchase, register or add funds to your gift card, visit RockResorts’ online store or call 877-651-ROCK.

RockResorts®, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vail Resorts, owns and operates luxury resorts that offer casually elegant accommodations, lavish RockResorts Spas, renowned golf courses all certified within the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program, award-winning dining and a variety of exciting outdoor adventures. The RockResorts collection includes Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colo.; The Osprey at Beaver Creek and The Pines Lodge in Beaver Creek, Colo.; The Arrabelle at Vail Square and The Lodge at Vail in Vail, Colo.; La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, N.M.; Snake River Lodge & Spa™ in Jackson Hole, Wyo.; and The Landings St. Lucia, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia.  RockResorts 2010 openings include: One Ski Hill Place in Breckenridge, Colo.; Tempo Miami in Miami, Fla.; Balcones del Atlántico, Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic; and future RockResorts include: The Mansfield Inn at Stowe in Stowe, Vt., Rum Cay Resort Marina, The Bahamas; and the Third Turtle Club & Spa, Turks and Caicos.

–Karen Rubin

See full coverage at www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate