Archive for the ‘historic hotels’ Category

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Offers Families ‘Best in Snow’ Holiday Fun

November 18, 2021
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is continuing its tradition as one of the most festive resorts in the Yosemite National Park region with the return of its popular holiday activities.

FISH CAMP, Calif.— Tenaya Lodge is continuing its tradition as one of the most festive resorts in the Yosemite region with the return of its popular holiday activities. Seasonal offerings begin with Thanksgiving and continue through New Year’s Day, providing guests with a myriad of old and new resort traditions that consistently make the resort a top destination for holiday travel and celebrations.

The most enchanting time of the year at Tenaya Lodge begins when the festive décor goes up, transforming the lodge into a dazzling holiday haven where guests are greeted in the lobby upon arrival by the 35-foot, sustainable grand holiday tree, adorned with ornaments and fully-illuminated with sparkling lights. 

After decking the halls with décor, Tenaya turns its attention to holiday programming designed with the entire family in mind, ranging from the popular ‘Gingerbread House Decorating’ workshops where children and families can build their ultimate dream house using an array of sweets to listening to Mrs. Claus as she reads the traditional holiday story, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  Also offered are a number of family craft experiences, including ornament decorating and stocking decorating

The holiday season also brings the return of beloved winter activities. Guests can enjoy gliding over the ice while surrounded by the Sierra National Forest at the resort’s outdoor covered ice-skating rink that opens Nov. 23. When the area is blanketed with snow, families can indulge in snow play on the resort’s kid-friendly sled hill or guided snow shoe hikes to explore the surrounding area.

When it comes to holiday dining, guests can forget the cooking and cleaning and instead enjoy family time together with Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite serving up Thanksgiving favorites on Nov. 25. Holiday diners can enjoy the Thanksgiving Buffet in the Grand Ballroom from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., featuring a range of carved entrees, soups, salads, sides and all the Thanksgiving favorites. For a more intimate setting, a special plated menu will be available in Jackalope’s Bar & Grill from 4-9 p.m., offering portions for smaller appetites. On Christmas Day,guests can enjoy the Happy Holiday Buffet in the Grand Ballroom from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and a more intimate, plated Holiday Dinner in Jackalope’s Bar & Grill from 4-9 p.m. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all holiday activities at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite will be limited to in-house guests only.

Black Friday Sale 

Black Friday is another holiday tradition at Tenaya Lodge. Visitors can save big on a Yosemite getaway in 2022 during the resort’s biggest sale of the year from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Travelers can save 30 percent off a resort stay with booking dates through June 9, 2022. To claim the deal, readers must sign-up at www.tenayalodge.com. All website subscribers will be sent an exclusive link with instructions on how to book on November 26.

Setting the standard for High Sierra hospitality and adventure, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is an award-winning, all-season resort adjacent to Yosemite National Park’s south gate. Lodge, cottage and cabin accommodations satisfy a wide variety of preferences and are set on 75 acres primed for outdoor recreation that invite visitors to explore and connect with nature. From the nourishing Ascent Spa to custom-curated Yosemite tours, guided hikes and seasonal activities, a deep appreciation for the iconic location is infused into every aspect of the resort experience that also includes world-class views, multiple pools and abundant dining options ranging from casual to candlelit. 

The winter is a great time to visit Yosemite National Park. It’s very quiet and peaceful with fewer crowds. The park is open through the south gate and you can hike. When there is a lot of snow, then snow shoes or crampons are recommended. Tenaya does a guided snow shoe hike around the property that is popular.

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, 1122 Highway 41 Fish Camp, CA 93623, 888-514-2167, TenayaLodge.com

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Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal

February 5, 2021
Romantic gazebos placed along the lake’s edge are extremely popular for popping the question at Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian jewel in New York’s Hudson Valley (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. –“Every day is Valentine’s Day at Historic Hotels of America,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Vice President, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Historic hotels are the perfect place for celebrating special occasions that create lifelong memories and are the ideal location for a romantic proposal.”

These special milestones celebrated at historic hotels include romantic getaways, the ideal place to propose, the destination for the perfect wedding, the getaway for a memorable honeymoon, and the location to celebrate a special anniversary.

“The most romantic hotels are historic hotels.  These romantic historic hotels range from intimate to grand and opulent. Proposing at a historic hotel is a wonderful opportunity to create an ever-lasting memory and increases the chance that the answer will be ‘yes.’ From historic destination resorts with romantic gardens to city-center legendary historic hotels, each provides the setting, the backdrop, and the ambiance for making and hearing yes to the perfect proposal.” 

Each year, the hotel membership organization of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, publishes its Top 25 Historic Hotels of America for a Romantic Proposal: Here’s the 2021 Top 25:  

The Buccaneer (1653) Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands 
The Buccaneer Resort has a history from centuries ago.  The Danes purchased St Croix in 1733, and installed Governor Von Prock, who lived in the original hilltop Great House.  He turned the property into a sugar factory, including a large sugar mill, still intact.  This structure provides a most romantic and unique location for proposals.  With sweeping Caribbean views and gentle breezes, this setting has been a favorite for romance seekers for generations. The Sugar Mill is located on the hilltop overlooking the resort and Caribbean Sea, which combine to make it the perfect proposal location.  For those looking for an evening proposal, just before sunset is ideal as the special moment can be followed by a private dinner in the Sugar Mill. Or pair this location with The Buccaneer’s Pop the Question package to enhance the experience.  The package includes an upgraded room category, welcome basket, private beachside cabana rental for one day, and prosecco at the site on the day of the proposal.  

The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, Virginia 

The Omni Homestead Resort has beautiful, breathtaking views everywhere guests turn. From the gorgeous mountain scenery to the grand and glamorous interior settings, there are numerous places for romantic proposals. The associates at the hotel can accommodate unique proposals on-site. One proposal took place during an archery lesson with a message “Will you marry me” inserted into a balloon on the target. The bride-to-be popped the balloon as the groom-to-be popped the question.  While there are a lot of romantic settings for the proposal, the Dining Room is one of the most popular.  Part of The Omni Homestead experience for more than a century, the elegant Dining Room features custom chandeliers, an incredible domed ceiling, and large windows. Each night there’s music for dancing, a time-honored tradition at the resort. With a little advance notice, The Homestead team can arrange for the band to play the couple’s favorite song while a photographer captures the special moment.   

Inn at Perry Cabin (1816) St. Michaels, Maryland 
The gazebo on The Pointe at Inn at Perry Cabin is the most romantic spot to pop the question. On the shores of the Miles River, the gazebo overlooks a beautiful wide stretch of water often filled with boats of all sizes for a true sense of the place on the Chesapeake Bay. The Inn at Perry Cabin crew will help guests pull off the plan and once they say yes, will help the couple celebrate with a private dinner from an award-winning Chef inside the gazebo before the newly engaged retire to one of their luxurious waterfront guestrooms for the evening. 

The Willard InterContinental (1818) Washington DC 
Throughout the year, The Willard InterContinental is the location for a great number of proposals. Yet the most popular place and time throughout the year to pop the big question, is around The Willard’s iconic Christmas tree in the lobby. Couples enjoy this most festive atmosphere for a proposal, as the hotel shines bright in all its holiday decor. Recently, a groom-to-be worked with the Guest Relations Manager to strategically place a Marry Me ornament on The Willard Christmas tree that the bride-to-be would spot as they came by to view the holiday decorations and have a drink, a holiday tradition they have done each year since moving to Washington DC. In another proposal, the groom-to-be placed a present under the Christmas tree; as the couple was viewing the tree, they spotted the wrapped gift with the name of the finance-to-be that contained the ring that he needed for the proposal.  Coordinating proposals on-site is often a team effort and typically coordinated by The Willard Guest Relations team who will work with the individual proposing in advance to ensure they have the support needed to carry out the proposal and any items required such as rose petals, champagne, chocolates, balloons, and more.  

Omni Royal Orleans (1843) New Orleans, Louisiana  
At the highest point of the hotel is the famous Observation Deck which has a panoramic view of the city with a backdrop of the mighty Mississippi, riverboats, and a view of the infamous Jackson Square.  It truly captures the essence of what makes New Orleans, New Orleans.  It is easy to lure the unsuspecting fiancé up to that area with an invitation from a family member or friend to join them for a cocktail at La Riviera, the Rooftop Pool Bar.   Then a suggestion of “come see the view of the city” brings the intended up the stairs of the Observation Deck.  Sometimes family members are hiding up there and others have a few friends.  Shortly after the intended gets up the stairs, the proposer comes following behind and dropping to their knee to ask the big question. The hotel’s ensures for a memorable event that the area be temporarily closed to the public and provide Champagne with flutes for a congratulations toast.  Others have enhanced their experience by having dinner for two afterwards in a private dining room in the award-winning Rib Room.    

Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama  
As the sun starts to set into Mobile Bay, the romantic couple sits in one of the swings under giant oak trees and pops the question. Named the best large historic hotel in 2019 by Historic Hotels of America, couples have been getting engaged at the Grand Hotel since 1847. After a massive transformation, the resort has even more places for proposals. Private beach and pool cabanas offer a quiet setting for proposals. A very memorable setting is to get down on a knee at Julip Point and make the proposal as the sunsets and majestic pelicans fly above to salute the lovebirds.  Once they say yes, it is time to stroll over to Southern Roots for a delicious meal. A full team of wedding and event experts is available to help in proposal planning and all wedding aspects thereafter. 

Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian castle perched over a private lake, is among the Top 25 most romantic Historic Hotels of America members for proposing (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York 
Mohonk Mountain House is a Victorian Castle perched at the top of a mountain with a private lake. The hotel has 120 “summerhouses” which are rustic gazebos designed for two people to share special moments together; taking in stunning views during or after a hike on 85 miles of trails- all of which provide the perfect romantic backdrop for someone to get down on bended knee. The Sky Top Tower is a hiking destination with panoramic views of the Shawangunk Cliffs and Catskill Mountains and a very popular engagement site, along with the boat dock, which provides amazing views of serene Lake Mohonk.  

Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan 
For 135 years, Grand Hotel provides the charm and beauty of a variety of romantic settings for a grand gesture. The World’s Longest Front Porch, overlooking the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge, provides an enchanting backdrop. At the very top of Grand Hotel, the Cupola Bar offers breathtaking panoramic island views, ideal for that special moment. The picturesque Main Dining Room is an elegant setting with the instrumental background of the Grand Hotel Orchestra. Grand Hotel’s lush gardens provide an intimate opportunity that some couples prefer. Woods Restaurant, an opulent Tudor mansion with Bavarian charm, offers private candlelit dining experiences and is just a short, romantic horse-drawn carriage ride into the wooded interior of Mackinac Island.  Request the Grand Proposal Package and assistance with behind-the-scenes reservations and arrangements. The Grand Proposal Package includes a select location for the proposal, one-hour private carriage tour, 30 minutes of professional photography, VIP dinner reservations with a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a bottle of Grand Hotel Sparkling Wine on the table upon arrival.  

Jekyll Island Club Hotel, Georgia exudes Southern charm and has various settings for a romantic proposal (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Jekyll Island Club Hotel (1887) Jekyll Island, Georgia  
Built in the Queen Ann style, the Jekyll Island Club Resort is like a castle surrounded by Southern charm. With sweeping Spanish moss and hundred years old live oaks, Jekyll Island is one of the most romantic spots in the South.  From the top of the turret to quiet moments in Crane Garden, its little slice of Heaven is perfect for any romantic proposal. The three top romantic spots include The Turret, Crane Garden, and The Grand Dining Room.  The Turret of the Clubhouse is the second tallest structure on Jekyll Island and the tallest structure in the Jekyll Island Historic District with a panoramic view of the Historic District and Jekyll River, most romantic at sunset. The manicured grounds of Crane Cottage, especially Crane Garden, offers couples the perfect romantic garden to sneak away to on property. The sunken garden features a lush lawn, sweeping ivy covered trellis, a running fountain, and an abundance of flowers. The sunken garden allows for a private moment between the blooming flowers with the Italian Renaissance style Crane Cottage framing the background. The historic Grand Dining Room offers the timeless charm of years long ago.  A private candlelit dinner experience can be arranged in advance. Special delivery of the ring can be arranged with the Catering team.  From a special toast to an extra sweet dessert moment, team members are ready to help enhance this special moment. 

The historic, iconic Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Hotel del Coronado (1888) Coronado, California
Hotel del Coronado is lucky to be the “go-to” proposal spot for San Diego. Its enchanting Victorian architecture and beachfront location lend an air of romance to any proposal. While many have popped the question at the holiday ice skating rink and even surprised their intended with a flash mob on the oceanfront Windsor Lawn, the two most popular proposals ideas are both on the sparkling beach. What could be more romantic the dropping down on one knee on the beach at sunset next to a roaring private beach bonfire? The hotel team is happy to assist with reserving the private beach bonfire experience and can also provide a full menu of fireside treats and cocktails to lead up to the big moment. Some proposers even go the extra mile and arrange for family and friends to join them at a neighboring bonfire after the big moment. Another romantic proposal idea is to end a romantic beach stroll with a proposal in front of a custom sandcastle. One of the highlights of the Hotel del Coronado beach resort is the sandcastle man, a talented local artist who builds custom sandcastles daily. Potential proposers can contact him directly, or through the help of hotel team, and he will create a custom sandcastle for the magical moment. With the help of a local photographer, the sandcastle proposal will be a memory that the couple can cherish for years to come. 

Ledges Hotel (1890) Hawley, Pennsylvania  
Ledges Hotel was created from a repurposed 1890s era glass factory. Thoughtful, modern design and a commitment to historic preservation offer a unique atmosphere. Every aspect of the hotel was designed to be in harmony with nature. Gathering spaces and guestrooms boast adaptive reuse furnishings, environmentally friendly amenities, and stunning views of the river gorge waterfall. The historic Bluestone building situated atop Paupack High Falls provides a dramatic backdrop for proposals. The tiered decks overlooking the natural waterfall and river gorge are one of the most romantic spots to pop the question at Ledges Hotel. It is a popular destination for engagements no matter the season. During winter, the frozen falls offer a stunning backdrop. Budding trees and rushing waters are a hallmark of spring. Summer by the waterfall is lush and cool while fall foliage creates a vibrant landscape in autumn. Seasonal specials afford special romantic touches such as a couple’s massage, in-room wine and cheese, a private yoga class, chocolate covered strawberries and split of prosecco. 

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901) (Waikiki Beach) Honolulu, Hawaii 
The First Lady of Waikiki, overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean, offers either a beachfront table at the hotel’s bar, or on the sand very near the bar. It all depends on how much privacy the couple would like during the proposal. Along the beach or at the bar under the famous Banyan Tree, especially during sunset is the busiest time. If a couple does not mind an audience, something can be pre-arranged with the hotel’s food and beverage department and the nightly entertainer –such as making an announcement to direct attention to the proposal. The Beach Bar located beneath the famed Banyan Tree at the Banyan Courtyard is the most romantic location. If a couple prefers to be engaged in private, a tower room facing the ocean at sunset would be ideal. 

Southern Hotel (1907) Covington, Louisiana 
The Southern Hotel has many romantic spots. Its restaurant, Ox Lot 9, offers a farm-to-table Southern cuisine experience, sourcing from local producers and suppliers to create inventive, seasonal menus. Its ballroom is perfect for a fairytale dance, and its courtyard is the perfect place to share a cup of coffee at sunrise. The most favorite romantic spot is its garden path.  Tucked away beyond the hedge of the courtyard, this quaint little path leads to the pool. Moss covered bricks meander under a trellis—a small, verdant universe. The splashing of the trickling fountain is majestic and musical. Each season brings with it a host of new blooms. Camellias blossom and welcome guests in winter and sleep in summer when the hydrangeas’ vibrant colors illuminate. In spring this garden path truly comes alive when the imperial jasmine blooms and gently perfumes the air. The hotel team can make the moment more special by lighting a few candles, coordinating with a photographer, or picking out just the perfect spot, including finding the right time and spot at sunset for the perfect moment to hear yes. 

Hotel Boulderado (1909) Boulder, Colorado 
For more than one hundred years, Hotel Boulderado has been a beloved place for proposals and weddings in Colorado. One of the most romantic locations at the luxury property is the charming balcony landing of the original grand cantilevered cherrywood staircase in the historic lobby. Couples who say “I Do” on the landing are surrounded by their loved ones lining the cherrywood railing of the mezzanine with the beautiful stained-glass ceiling above. The historic property is the perfect backdrop for memorable wedding ceremonies, rehearsal dinners, and receptions of up to 240 guests.   

Hermitage Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, is the epitome of elegance, storied history and southern hospitality (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Hermitage Hotel (1910) Nashville, Tennessee  
The Hermitage Hotel provides the epitome of undisputed elegance, storied history, southern hospitality all while offering the quintessential backdrop for a romantic proposal. As Tennessee’s only Five Star hotel and designated as a National Historical Landmark, The Hermitage’s legendary grand lobby offers lovers a special place to hear the answer “Yes” to one of life sweetest questions. This stunning space is adorned with soaring columns of original Italian marble, ornate chandeliers, and light filters into the sundrenched space through a magnificent painted glass skylight, which, since the building’s erection, remains the crown jewel of the lobby. To ensure memories from this special day never fade, The Hermitage offers an engagement photoshoot package to capture the life-changing moment. 

Bear Mountain Inn (1915) Bear Mountain, New York 
Built in 1915, the historic Bear Mountain Inn is located within the beautiful Bear Mountain State Park that spans 5,025 acres located on the West Bank of the Hudson River (in Rockland and Orange Counties, New York). Many proposals have been made on these beautiful grounds, from the top of Perkins Memorial Tower, by Hessian Lake, along the Hudson River by the Bear Mountain Boat Dock, to the grand fireplace of Restaurant 1915. And countless other nooks in this luscious park and within the walls of this great historic building to ask the question Many couples who have said “Yes!” to a lifetime of love on the grounds of the Bear Mountain State Park, return to the Bear Mountain Inn to celebrate their wedding with their family and friends. Because it is in a state park and open to the public, many couples return year after year to celebrate their anniversary with a stroll through the zoo, a hike, or a romantic dinner at Restaurant 1915 by the roaring fire. 

La Fonda on the Plaza (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico 
There is no more romantic place to propose than Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the city’s historic La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel sets the perfect scene with its “Blingarita” proposal package.  The engagement experience, orchestrated by the hotel’s expert concierge staff, starts with luxury accommodations in the historic hotel’s exclusive Fireworks Suite.  The deluxe suite has a romantic fireplace and for the popping of the question, its private wrap-around balcony will be festooned with farolitos – the traditional small candles that cast a romantic glow on the adobe.  At the appointed time, a server will arrive at the suite with a pair of La Fonda’s exclusive, ultra-premium “Blingaritas,” one of them bedazzled with an engagement ring provided by the proposer and slipped secretly to staff upon arrival. Arguably the priciest margarita in town and certainly the prettiest, the Blingarita is crafted with Don Julio 1942 tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, Grand Marnier, and a 24-karat gold flake rim. The drinks are served in exquisite keepsake glasses by Southwestern designer Jan Barboglio that the couple will take home to kickstart their barware collection.  Following the proposal, a sumptuous Southwestern dinner for two will be served in the Fireworks Suite.   

Francis Marion Hotel (1924) Charleston, South Carolina 
Located in historic downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Francis Marion Hotel is in one the South’s most romantic cities. It offers so many romantic opportunities to pop the question; from a horse drawn carriage ride to a romantic walk under moss-covered oak trees. The hotel is home to historic charm, romantic details and years of love being celebrated within its walls. Offering a beautiful backdrop in the lobby or even overlooking the view in one of the penthouse suites, a proposal at the Francis Marion is sure to be met with a yes. Including the historic and grand lobby, a few popular places in the hotel that couples have gotten engaged include the penthouse suites overlooking the city of Charleston or in one of the classic and elegant ballrooms. Its concierge can help coordinate details to in-suite amenities like champagne to celebrate saying ‘yes!’

The Terrace Hotel (1924) Lakeland, Florida 
The most popular romantic spot, the Terrace Grille, offers fine dining in a historic setting. The romantic couple can have a candlelight dinner with white linen, fine-dining service. The restaurant features a beautiful cypress ceiling with antique chandeliers, massive arched windows throughout, and a view of downtown even featuring Lake Morton.  Nearby special spots for the question include an area steeped in history, the Lake Mirror Promenade where the happy couple can enjoy sweeping views of the lake and the historic buildings. Another perfect spot is Allen Kryger Overlook Park, a half-acre commemorative park that is beautiful in design and features dramatic columns in an open, flowing space. 

InterContinental Mark Hopkins (1926) San Francisco, California 
The Top of the Mark sky-lounge has become a popular venue for romantic proposals and other celebratory occasions, including weddings and anniversaries. Located on the 19th floor of the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, the world-renowned sky-lounge affords a near 360-degree visit of San Francisco with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands, as well as Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf. 

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa (1927) Sonoma, California  
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the only comprehensive luxury destination resort in Sonoma Wine Country, boasting championship golf, geo-thermal pools, world-class spa, and fine dining. Every guest receives a complimentary bottle of wine as well as champagne upon arrival ensuring that the stage is set for romance.   Mission Suites at Fairmont Sonoma feature a four-poster king bed, wood-burning fireplace, and oversized Jacuzzi tub. All suites have a balcony or patio.  Or lovebirds may prefer a private cabana poolside at the world-famous geo-thermal Willow Stream Spa at the Wine Country resort. The destination expert concierge team at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn can assist in creating the ultimate lavish proposal which may include hot air balloon adventures, bespoke wine blending sessions, private dining options, or decadent couples massage options. 

The famed Don Cesar of St. Pete Beach, Florida, was built as a wedding present to rsemble a Mediterranean-style castle (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Don CeSar (1928) St. Pete Beach, Florida 
Built as a wedding present in 1928 to resemble a Mediterranean-style castle, The Don CeSar was once the playground for distinguished celebrities, such as Clarence Darrow and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Don CeSar continues to charm and impress guests today with service preserved from the Great Gatsby era of pampering. Blending European grandeur, seaside elegance, and sweet sunsets with the enchantment of yesteryear, the romantic legend exemplifies the grandness of America’s traditional beach resorts.  Favorite spots to propose are on the beach, in the gardens, or on a boat with the picturesque Don CeSar in the background. 

The Hotel Hershey® (1933) Hershey, Pennsylvania 
Known for its refined elegance, signature services and abundant amenities, The Hotel Hershey is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway with beautiful locations to get down on one knee. The Formal Gardens behind the hotel are a popular spot for proposals. There, guests can find a quiet, romantic, picturesque area with beautiful flower beds, pergolas, fountains and reflecting pools. Inside the Hotel, the Fountain Lobby is another picturesque location worthy of popping the question. It was designed to look like a Spanish-style courtyard with palm trees, a beautiful fountain, and a painted sky on the ceiling. 

Royal Palms Resort & Spa (1948) Phoenix, Arizona 
With lush greenery, vibrant florals, and rustic accents throughout, there are several locations at the Royal Palms Resort for the perfect, romantic setting to propose. The resort grounds have a few favorite locations that are tucked away off the main pathways for a romantic setting, including Camelback Mountain Vista and Cervantes Patio. They are framed with landscape to accent the focal points, allowing for a romantic dinner for two, or a cozy setting to share a glass of wine and focus on one another. Sunset and evenings are the most ideal time to set the mood, with candles and patio lights. The  Via Cappello dining experience is the perfect opportunity for a proposal.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (1965) Kohala Coast, Hawaii 
As a long sought-after romantic destination on the big island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel provides special touches. There are three standout locations at the hotel that have been favorites for more than 50 years. The first is the grand staircase fronting the enormous, ancient 12th century Buddha. The original historic third tee at Mauna Kea’s golf course, perched above the ocean’s edge, secluded and dramatic, particularly at sunset. And lastly, the Vista Decks.  For an over-the-top proposal, sunset from the hotel’s Vista Deck overlooking the soft white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, with views to the ocean’s far horizon, is a popular romantic spot. Offering privacy, views of the white sands of Kauna’oa Bay, and the ocean’s horizon beyond, the Vista Deck can be staged for a romantic torchlit dinner for two or an intimate gathering of cocktails and pupus (appetizers) with family and friends. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s professional team of romance specialists will help arrange for a photographer (who have been known to hide in the bushes until the moment is right), florals, champagne and more to make certain all goes without a hitch and the couple’s future launches spectacularly. The shores of Kauna‘oa Bay provide the perfect backdrop to pop the question. Another option, the stunning venue above the ocean’s edge on Mauna Kea Resort’s golf course, is one of the most popular wedding locales!  The rolling blue surf of the Pacific Ocean and vibrant hues of a setting sun complete this dramatic setting.  From the sand beneath their toes to the sounds of the waves rolling onto the shore, Kauna’oa Bay sets the scene for every romantic proposal.      

Historic Hotels of America is the membership official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. The 300 members have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit HistoricHotels.org.  

Enjoy Holiday Traditions at The Willard, Historic Hotel That Has Hosted Presidents, Dignitaries for 200 Years

November 1, 2019

Willard Hotel DC-xmas e2

There’s something about the holiday season at the Willard InterContinental, a legendary hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, located in the heart of the nation’s capital that has welcomed U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities, as well as has been the site of many historic moments in U.S. history for 200 years.

Washington, D.C.– There’s something about the holiday season at the Willard InterContinental. The elegant garland-wrapped columns outside lure visitors to take in the stately lobby décor, snap a photo by the tree dripping in glittering ornaments and wind through the lobby to find this year’s “how did they do that?” gingerbread display. Year after year the music, aromas, events and traditions offered at The Willard suspend the stress of the season to allow for enjoyment of the simple pleasures that only the holidays can bring, all within the formal yet welcoming backdrop of the beloved property.

The Willard’s collection of holiday offerings fills the hotel, calling visitors from around the world and locals from around the region to pop in and linger longer than they anticipated. Here is an at-a-glance rundown of the seasonal events:

Nightly Caroling Program

Step into the lobby of the Willard InterContinental between December 1 and 23, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., to enjoy complimentary caroling performances.  A time-honored tradition for over 18 years, The Willard’s holiday caroling program features a wide range of highly accomplished vocal and choral ensembles, and is regarded as one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Washington, D.C.  Sip a seasonally inspired cocktail from the lobby’s pop-up bar while listening to a medley of classic holiday carols from groups including The Gay Men’s Chorus, Washington Saengerbund, Arlington Children’s Chorus, Georgetown Visitation and Vox Pulchra, just to name a few.

2019 Gingerbread Display

The unveiling of the hotel’s annual gingerbread display, a cornerstone of the Willard InterContinental’s holiday décor, is one of the most highly anticipated events each holiday season. Every year, The Willard’s pastry department works to create a gingerbread display that pays tribute to an iconic landmark around the nation’s capital. This year, The Willard is thrilled to announce that their 2019 official gingerbread display will be of the Jefferson Memorial, including The Tidal Basin and D.C.’s iconic cherry blossom trees.

Standing at 8.5 feet by 5 feet, The Willard’s gingerbread display will feature a southeast view of the famed Jefferson Memorial, and include the famed bronze statue of Jefferson by Rudulph Evans and all four quotations from Jefferson’s writings that are carved into the walls of the actual memorial. The display will also include an audio feed of Thomas Jefferson’s Inaugural Address, as well as a real water simulate the Tidal Basin complete with live fish. Intricate chocolate techniques, along with the use of fondant, will bring the famed cherry blossom trees surrounding the memorial to life.  Spearheaded by Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez, Pastry Cook Magenta Livengood, and Engineer David Sanabria, the display’s creation is currently underway and is expected to take over 600 hours to complete.  The displays anticipated reveal is slated for November 20th.

The Gift of Giving Back Campaign

This memorial was chosen to be the featured landmark in this year’s gingerbread display as it speaks to The Willard’s newly formed partnership with the Trust for Historic Preservation and the Trust for the National Mall and the fundraising campaign the hotel will launch this holiday season in an effort to bring awareness and necessary funds  for the ongoing efforts needed to preserve the Jefferson Memorial, the Tidal Basin and the surrounding historic grounds, recently named as one of America’s most endangered historic places. Official announcement to follow shortly.

Holiday Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley

Beloved by visitors and locals alike, Afternoon Tea remains one of the Willard InterContinental’s most cherished holiday traditions.  Seated in the gilded hall of Peacock Alley, lined with Christmas trees, adorned with whimsical holiday décor, and featuring the elegant sounds of a live harpist, the Willard’s signature holiday afternoon tea experience offers an exquisite menu of sandwiches, scones and pastries with a seasonal twist.  Inspired by Tchaikovsky’s iconic Nutcracker Ballet, Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez has created an assortment of decadent desserts that speak to scenes of the classic Christmas story including sugar plum scones, inspired by the Dance of the Sugar Plum, and Pryanki, a traditional Russian gingerbread cookie inspired by the famed Russian Dance.  An indulgent affair, named among “the top ten places to do Afternoon Tea like a royal” by the Travel Channel, The Willard remains one of the most premiere venues for Afternoon Tea in Washington, D.C., and is a must do event this holiday season. Afternoon Tea is offered daily in December (excluding December 24, 25 and 31) with seatings from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The cost is $75 per adult, or $85 with a glass of champagne, $45 per child (5-12 years of age). Guests younger than five years of age dine complimentarily.

History Happy Hour – The Sweet World of the White House

Back by popular demand, Roland Mesnier, former Executive Pastry Chef at The White House, returns to the Willard InterContinental this December to join The Willard’s veteran bartender Jim Hewes for the holiday edition of History Happy Hour. Providing an insider’s perspective on White House holiday traditions, Chef Mesnier will share memorable moments and entertaining stories from his 26-year tenure serving five American presidents from 1979 to 2004. As no History Happy Hour would be complete without a cocktail lesson or two, Jim will provide attendees with hands-on instruction on how to craft two holiday cocktails inspired by a few of Chef Mesnier’s famous desserts, as noted in his new book, Creating the Sweet World of White House Desserts: A Pastry Chef’s Secrets.  Hosted in partnership with the White House Historical Association, this event will take place on December 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are $56 per adult (21 years+) and can be purchased on the hotel’s website, under the events calendar. Cost includes three cocktails and light appetizers. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this event last year, this event is expected to sell-out quickly.

Holiday Cookie Decorating Class

Calling all junior bakers! Step into the sweet world of the Willard InterContinental’s pastry department this holiday season for a hands-on class on all things cookies! Led by Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez and his talented team of pastry chefs, bakers will learn the art of cookie decorating using a variety of techniques and decorating tools.  Ideal for children ages 4-12, this two-hour interactive experience will take place on December 14 at 11 a.m.  Tickets can be purchased on the Willard InterContinental’s website, under the events calendar. $45 per child.

Chocolate Making Class with SPAGnVOLA

Join the Willard InterContinental and SPAGnVOLA recognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s best chocolate shops, for a two-hour hands-on chocolate truffle making class.  Guided by Head Chocolatier Crisoire Reid from SPAGnVOLA, participants will learn the artisan technique of tempering chocolate, the process to making chocolate ganache, as well as the steps to using the ganache to handcraft your own delicious seasonally inspired chocolate truffles to take home.  Attendees will also have the opportunity to taste a variety of SPAGnVOLA’s signature bon-bon’s and truffles, as well as their incredibly popular hot chocolate, all while hearing from Eric Reid, co-owner of SPAGnVOLA, on his experience as a cacao grower in the Dominican Republic. Offered on December 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., tickets can be purchased on the Willard InterContinental’s website, under the events calendar. $65 per ticket or $100 for two tickets.

Christmas Day Brunch

For Washingtonians and visitors alike, Christmas at The Willard is a feast for the senses. Stepping into the lobby your eyes are drawn not only to the majestic 20-foot Christmas tree but to the whimsical décor throughout. Your nose is drawn to the blend of sweet and savory scents emanating from the extravagant brunch buffet set throughout the gilded hall of Peacock Alley, lined with Christmas trees, while your ears are drawn to the sounds of the season gently playing in the background. Set in the picturesque and ornately decorated Willard & Crystal Ballrooms, Christmas Day Brunch features a festive menu of items, including a variety of action stations offering a range of cuisine from pancakes and waffles, to seafood and wild game, to risotto made in a parmesan wheel, to a carving station with traditional Christmas meats including Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb, Baked Ham and Slow Roasted Prime Rib. An elaborate dessert display, including an action station for cherries jubilee flambe with vanilla ice cream, will also be offered. For the youngest of diners, a buffet offering a selection of tot-approved dishes, such as mac & cheese, pizza, and chicken fingers, will also be available.

Christmas Brunch at the Willard InterContinental is a longstanding tradition among generations of families. As no Christmas would be complete without a visit from Santa Claus himself, families are able to meet and greet the man himself throughout the duration of brunch. Four seatings for Christmas Day brunch will be offered between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The cost is $125 per adult, which includes bottomless mimosas, bellinis and bloody mary’s, and $55 per child (ages 5-12 years old). Guests younger than five years of age dine complimentarily.

Holiday Package

There is really no other place quite like the nation’s capital during the holiday months. Whether wanting to escape for a long weekend away or for a midweek break, guests can keep cozy with the Winter Wonderland Package and receive upgraded room accommodations to an Executive Suite, complimentary breakfast for two at Café du Parc and valet parking for one vehicle.  This wintry retreat will be available for stays between November 21 and March 20, 2020 with rates beginning at $359.  Reservations must be booked 72 hours in advance of arrival and upgrades are based upon availability.

A legendary hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C., is a world-class destination known for its rich history, luxurious accommodations, premier meeting spaces and inventive cuisine. Often referred to as the “Residence of Presidents,” this iconic property located in the heart of the nation’s capital has welcomed U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities, as well as has been the site of many historic moments in U.S. history for 200 years. Recently named among the top two hotels in Washington, D.C. by Travel + Leisure, The Willard offers 335 spacious and elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites that exude a unique blend of contemporary luxury and historic charm.

For more information, visit www.washington.intercontinental.com  or call 202-628-9100.

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Hotel PACAI in Vilnius Old Town, First Member of Design Hotels in the Baltics, Celebrates First Anniversary

August 8, 2019

Hotel Pacai Vilnius

The award-winning Hotel PACAI, located in the Vilnius’s old city, Lithuania, celebrated its first anniversary. A former palace for the noble family of Pacai, the hotel is now becoming increasingly popular among travelers seeking to unwind in comfort and style and explore the city’s vibrant social scene.

Situated in the heart of the historic Vilnius Old Town of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Hotel PACAI celebrated its first anniversary since it opened. The stylish hotel realized its promise to mesmerize guests seeking authentic experiences, offering a blend of history and sophisticated high-end design which so far has delighted nearly 25,000 guests from around the globe.

Former residence of the noble Lithuanian Pacai family, the building that hosts the hotel is a Baroque palace dating back to 1677. The historic palace outlived the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth, the reign of Russian tsars, as well as Napoleon and his armies. Throughout history, countless historic personalities frequently visited the Pacai mansion during their travels in Vilnius.

PACAI is currently the only hotel in the Baltic states that holds a Design Hotels membership. In order for a hotel to become a part of Design Hotels, it must meet the rigorous admittance criteria. Most importantly, a hotel must harmoniously blend into local surroundings and preserve local traditions.

Guests looking to capture the spirit of stylish and sensory Vilnius visit from nearly every corner of the world – with travelers from the USA, Israel, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom being the most frequent visitors. As a testament to its authenticity, Hotel PACAI is also appreciated by locals wanting to reconnect with their history, as well as people from neighboring countries looking to try out the best of internationally acknowledged Lithuanian hospitality.

During its first year of operation, the hotel has been awarded a 1st place in the design category at the International Hospitality Awards. Furthermore, it was also included among the best new design hotels ranked by the Surface magazine. PACAI has also been noticed in a variety of regional awards for the effort to revive historic buildings, sustainable attitude, and the quality of services.

“We are a unique hotel in Vilnius and the Baltic states in that we offer the most integrated experience. The music, the plants and the decor are all matched with our theme of un-fussed sophistication. We integrate works by local artists and blend modern aesthetics with authenticity. The 25 thousand guests that have visited us in the past year is the best testament to our creativity and effort to make staying at PACAI an extraordinary experience,” says Rūta Pulkauninkaitė-Macikė, General Manager of Hotel PACAI.

It is not only the historic appeal of the opulent Baroque palace that makes staying at PACAI a unique experience. The guests can also indulge in authentic experiences at the hotel’s restaurants and SPA.

Restaurant Nineteen18, featured in The White Guide as 2nd best restaurant in the Nordics, is located on the premises of the hotel. It invites to indulge in its tasting menus of the New Nordic Cuisine that uses Lithuanian ingredients and local food traditions. The chefs source the food from local farms located within a 100-kilometer radius around Vilnius, ensuring locally inspired gastronomical experience.

Brasserie 14 HORSES, also sourcing seasonal products from local suppliers and infused with Lithuanian and Baltic traditions, is a perfect place for breakfast, lunch or a laid-back dinner. Evenings at PACAI usually end up in SOFIJA bar, where guests can unwind in comfort and style while enjoying classic and modern cocktails, local craft beers, artisanal spirits, champagne and wine from around the globe.

One of the most unique aspects of PACAI SPA is that it’s located in the historical Hotel PACAI and is surrounded by exposed antique brick walls and artifacts.

Member of the Design HotelsPACAI is a 104 room hotel situated in a 17th century Baroque Palace in Vilnius, Lithuania. Opened in May 2018, the 5 star hotel was designed to preserve as many architectural details as possible, showcasing elegant simplicity through local aesthetics. Breaking creative boundaries, the PACAI complex is now a meeting point with local artists and entrepreneurs, and home to the Nineteen18 restaurant, a brasserie and a cocktail bar as well as a SPA, specializing in uniquely tailored treatments and beauty packages.

 

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Cyber Monday Travel Deals in the Berkshires of Massachusetts

November 16, 2018

Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA

The historic Red Lion Inn (it was depicted in Norman Rockwell’s famous painting of Stockbridge) is offering a Cyber Monday travel deal © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Two renowned historic hotels in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts are offering Cyber Monday travel deals. 

The Red Lion Inn – Stockbridge, MA 

Save up to 40 percent off bookings at The Red Lion Inn. Rates for winter and spring travel start at $99 per night; summer dates start at $179 per night. Offer is only available on Monday, November 26 and can be booked online at: https://www.redlioninn.com/getaway-deals/.

The Red Lion Inn, situated in the heart of Stockbridge, MA, is centrally located near major cultural events and venues and is a patron of the Berkshires’ visual and performing arts. Providing food and lodging to guests for more than two centuries, the Inn offers 125 antique-filled rooms and suites and four restaurants with formal and casual dining with locally sourced food. For more information, visit  www.redlioninn.com.

Porches Inn at MASS MoCA – North Adams, MA

At Porches Inn at MASS MoCA receive 25 percent off midweek stays (Sunday through Thursday) through Labor Day 2019. Rates start at $119 per night in the winter; $157 in the summer. Offer only available on Monday, November 26 and can be booked online at: https://www.porches.com/berkshires-hotel-specials/

Guest of the Porches Inn stay just steps away from the mecca of art and culture that is MASS MoCA in 19th Century Victorian row homes, where retro-industrial architecture blends with paint-by-number pictures and vintage TV lamps to create a whimsical, granny-chic stay. For more information, visit www.porches.com.

Reservations for both hotels must be fully pre-paid and are non-refundable. Bookings have limited availability for each date. Blackout dates apply and may change throughout the sale and a minimum stay may be required on select dates.

 

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The Willard Intercontinental, DC’s Iconic Hotel, Decks its Halls for the Holidays

November 16, 2018

Willard Hotel, Washington DC

The Nation’s Capital is pure magic during the holiday season and the iconic Willard Intercontinental, where Abraham Lincoln stayed before his inauguration, is offering a Wintertime Holiday Package © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Washington, D.C. – The elegant and historical Willard InterContinental will transform into a holiday-inspired wonderland, a beloved tradition that both locals and visitors have come to anticipate each year.  Beginning on November 24, an unforgettable display of yuletide trimmings, musical fanfare and epicurean delights will permeate the property through January 1, 2019. From the historical happenings at the Round Robin Bar to the highly-sought after holiday afternoon tea in Peacock Alley, guests will have their pick of endless festive offerings.

At the center of each Willard Christmas stands the treasured tree, boasting decades of sentiment on each carefully curated branch. The only hotel in D.C. to feature the White House Ornament Collection, an initiative founded by the White House Historical Association in 1981, each ornament honors a different U.S. President or special White House event. This year will honor Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States, and will reflect three significant changes made by Truman during his administration – one to the Presidential Seal and two to the White House itself.  Another iconic facet of the hotel’s décor is their picturesque gingerbread display in the lobby that pays tribute to an iconic landmark in and around D.C.  This year’s display will pay homage to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and its storied past with a magnificent replica that will include all terminals, lighted runways, a control tower and even parts of the Washington Metro.

As always, Holiday Pies to Go will be available through the Willard’s French-inspired brasserie, Café du Parc.  From November 1 through December 24, holiday foodies can rely on pastry chefs at the property to provide an assortment of homemade, seasonal pies using the freshest of ingredients including the famed Candied Pecan Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie, Classic Chocolate Crème Pie, Citrus-Cranberry Crumble Apple Pie, Cinnamon-Oatmeal Crumble Blueberry Pie and Limencello Merengue Pie created with Executive Pastry Chef Jason Jimenez’s famous lemon curd, a popular favorite at the hotel’s afternoon tea.  Ranging from $30 to $38, forty-eight-hour notice is required for all pie orders, which can be placed by calling 202-942-7000.

Those visiting the hotel or the D.C. area at Thanksgiving and Christmas can indulge in the Thanksgiving Day Brunch and Christmas Day Brunch set against the magnificence of the Willard and Crystal Ballrooms. This scrumptious presentation offers epicurean delights involving both traditional and original Thanksgiving dishes created by Executive Chef Luca De Marchis.  This year’s highlights include a Mash Potato Martini Bar, a Carpaccio Station on a Himalayan Salt Block, a Risotto Station, and a Wild Game Meat Station plus all the holiday fixings. Kids can also rest assure that all the tot-friendly staples will be on hand from chicken fingers and mini cheese burgers to mac and cheese and curly fries. Seatings are offered between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on both November 24 and December 25. The cost is $125 per adult and $55 for children under 12 (complimentary for 4 and under).  Reservations are required and can be booked by calling 202-628-9100.

Café du Parc will offer its customary breakfast, lunch and brunch a la carte options during the holidays in addition to a four-course prix-fixe lunch and dinner menu for $75 per person on Thanksgiving. Likewise, the café will create a three-course prix-fixe Christmas Eve menu for $85 per person and a New Year’s Eve prix-fixe dinner menu at $155 per person for a six-course meal. Reservations are required and can be secured by calling 202-942-7000.

The highly anticipated and quick-to-sell out Holiday Afternoon Tea presented in the grandeur of The Willard’s Peacock Alley will be held daily throughout December from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (excluding December 24, 25 and 31) priced at $65 per person and $75 with champagne. Surrounded by festive décor, visitors can indulge in a medley of distinctive teas, delectable sandwiches including Mini Pimento “BLT” Cheddar Biscuits and Citrus Crab Salad Vol-Au-Vent and seasonally inspired pastries such as Eggnog Meringue Tarts and Peppermint Profiteroles.

Now in its 17th year, The Willard’s nightly caroling program has evolved into one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Washington, with a wide array of highly accomplished choral and vocal ensembles from around the D.C. metropolitan area.  Between December 1 and December 23, city dwellers and visitors alike can enjoy the sounds of the season with complimentary, nightly chorale performances from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m in the hotel lobby. The Washington Chorus, Gay Men’s Chorus, Arlington Children’s Choir, Potomac Harmony Chorus and Carmina & Illuminare are only a few of the many musical troupes making an appearance this year.

For those seeking a festive night out, The Willard will present a special Holiday Edition of History Happy Hour on December 14 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. This two-hour event combines mixology and history for an unforgettable curated experience. Jim Hewes, the esteemed mixologist and legendary bartender at The Willard’s iconic Round Robin Bar will be joined by former renowned White House Executive Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier.  Bakers and history buffs alike will appreciate an insider’s perspective of White House holiday traditions as Chef Mesnier leads an intimate conversation regarding his 26-year tenure in the White House pastry kitchen. Guests will observe firsthand his famed culinary skills while hearing fresh insight into the six presidencies during which he worked, all while sipping on holiday-inspired dessert cocktails.

The Nation’s Capital is pure magic during the holiday season and the Willard is offering a Wintertime Holiday Package for all those interested in an overnight stay with upgraded accommodations. Booking now for November 16 through February 11, 2019 rates begin at $299 and include a $50 food and beverage credit and a 2018 commemorative White House Christmas Ornament (minimum two-night booking, 72 hours advance notice required, all based on availability).

For more information, visit www.washington.intercontinental.com  or call 202-628-9100.

 

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Experience Holidays of Centuries Past at Jamestown Settlement

November 16, 2018

Jamestown-xmas

Holiday feast in Jamestown Settlement.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va.— Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown offer  visitors the opportunity to experience holidays of centuries past during seasonal events “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia,” November 22-24, and “Christmastide in Virginia,” December 20-31.

Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, November 22-24 – The holiday season starts on Thanksgiving Day with a three-day event that explores foodways of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia and centuries-old cooking and preservation methods. At Jamestown Settlement, historical interpreters demonstrate how food was gathered, preserved and prepared on land and at sea by Virginia’s English colonists and Powhatan Indians. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, programs examine typical soldiers’ fare during the Revolutionary War and trace the bounty of a period farm from field to kitchen. While food preparation in the museums’ outdoor living-history areas is for demonstration purposes only, the Jamestown Settlement Café will offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22.

Christmastide in Virginia, December 20-31 – Holiday traditions of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia are recalled with special interpretive programs and period musical entertainment, along with daily appearances at Jamestown Settlement by the Lord of Misrule, “grand captain of all mischief.” Jamestown Settlement interpretive programs allow visitors to compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how English colonists may have observed the season in the difficult early years of the Jamestown colony. Visitors to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown can hear accounts of Christmas and winter in a Continental Army encampment and glimpse holiday preparations at a period farm.

This holiday season and throughout the year, visitors of all ages can enjoy the museums’ immersive indoor gallery exhibits to learn about America’s past, including two ongoing special exhibitions – “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia” at Jamestown Settlement and “Blast from the Past: Artillery in the War for Independence” at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Outdoors, experience historical interpretation and hands-on activities in re-created outdoor settings – a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 ships and colonial fort at Jamestown Settlement, and Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

These living-history museums of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia offer many ways to make the holidays memorable, from tickets and packages, some of which include other Williamsburg area attractions, to unique shopping opportunities in the museum gift shops.

Visitors can experience the holiday fun with a variety of tickets and packages, available online at historyisfun.org/visit/vacation-packages:

  • History is Fun – This online ticket offers unlimited admission to Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown for seven consecutive days and represents a 20 percent savings over individual admission. The ticket, which includes daytime special events and special exhibitions, is $25.50 for adults and $12.25 for ages 6-12, and can be packaged with Williamsburg area lodging. Children under 6 are free. Private tours for 14 or fewer people are available at each museum for an additional fee and can be reserved in advance online or by calling (757) 253-4939.
  • America’s Historic Triangle – This ticket features unlimited admission for seven consecutive days to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Yorktown Battlefield. The ticket is $93.50 for adults (ages 16 and older), $42.75 for children (ages 6-15), and can be packaged with lodging. Holiday events include Colonial Williamsburg’s “Grand Illumination,” December 2; Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown’s “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia,” November 22-24, and “Christmastide in Virginia,” December 20-31.
  • Four-Site Value – This ticket features unlimited admission for seven consecutive days to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Yorktown Battlefield. The ticket is $39.50 for adults (ages 16 and older), $27.50 for ages 13-15, and $14.25 for ages 6-12, and can be packaged with lodging.

For holiday shoppers, Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown museum gift shops offer a selection of books, prints, museum reproductions, educational toys, games and souvenirs relating to the 17th and 18th centuries. Jamestown Settlement’s special exhibition gift shop has an assortment of items related to “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia.” Admission is not required to visit the museum gift shops, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Shop online at shophistoryisfun.com.

Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round, closed December 25 and January 1, are separated by a 25-minute drive along the Colonial Parkway, a National Scenic Byway.  Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown. Parking is free.

Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $17.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12 and, to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, $15.00 for adults and $7.50 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are admitted free. A combination ticket to both museums is $25.50 for adults and $12.25 for ages 6-12. An American Heritage Annual Pass, $38.00 for adults and $19.00 for ages 6-12, makes a great holiday gift and offers recipients one year of unlimited admission to both museums. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free, (757) 253-4838 or visit historyisfun.org.

 

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Historic Lord Baltimore Hotel to Participate in World’s Largest Ghost Hunt: National Ghost Hunt Day on Sept 29

September 17, 2018

Over the years, guests and hotel staff of the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel, built in 1928, have reported sightings and supernatural activity, and on September 29, 2018, the hotel, along with R.E.A.P. Investigations and Spirit Flows Studios, will kick off the Halloween season by taking part in the world’s largest ghost hunt as part of National Ghost Hunt Day © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Baltimore, Md.) – Over the years, guests and hotel staff of the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel, built in 1928, have reported sightings and supernatural activity. On September 29, 2018, the hotel, along with R.E.A.P. Investigations and Spirit Flows Studios, will kick off the Halloween season by taking part in the world’s largest ghost hunt as part of National Ghost Hunt Day. 

Activities will include three different supernatural settings including an intuitive development class with Spirit Flow’s Amanda Jackiewicz at 5:00 p.m., which will teach participants how to strengthen their intuition and heighten their awareness and conscientiousness. Following the workshop, Jackiewicz will conduct a limited amount of individual mediumship sessions from 6:00-7:30 p.m. During these sessions, guests will work one-on-one with Jackiewicz to communicate with loved ones that are living in the afterlife. For the final portion of the supernatural event, attendees will participate in a ghost hunt with the R.E.A.P. Investigation team led by Bill Reap beginning at 8:00 p.m. R.E.A.P. Investigations will hunt for ghostly activities throughout four areas of the hotel, including the Calvert Ballroom and the 19th floor, which are said to have heightened supernatural activities. At 10:00 p.m., the Lord Baltimore Hotel will join a live feed with more than 100 other locations as each conduct a ghost hunt at the same time.

All event proceeds will be donated to Back on my Feet, an organization that helps to combat homelessness through the power of running and community support.

Pricing for the National Ghost Hunt Day activities range from $20-50 per person. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrate-national-ghost-hunting-day-at-the-lord-baltimore-hotel-tickets-49226293168.

Lord Baltimore Hotel is also offering a discounted guest room rate for National Ghost Hunt Day participants. Reservations can be made online through: https://reservations.travelclick.com/85390?groupID=2360767#/guestsandrooms.

Held on the last Saturday of each September, National Ghost Hunt Day serves to enthusiastically commence the start of each new Halloween season.  Its noble intention is to globally observe the most haunted properties in the world while recognizing the novice, curious, experts and professionals that investigate paranormal activity in these iconic locations!  For more information, visit http://nationalghosthuntingday.com.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel is located at 20 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201 in the heart of downtown Baltimore and within walking distance to many local attractions. Recognized by the Historic Hotels of America as the “Best City Center Historic Hotel” in 2014 and one of the “10 Best Historic Hotels” by USA Today in 2015, the hotel towers over the Baltimore skyline at 23 stories and offers 440 new guest rooms and suites, more than 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space, and dining options including The French Kitchen, LB Tavern, LB Bakery, LB Skybar and LB Speakeasy. Additionally, art plays a major role in the hotel design with more than 2,500 pieces of artwork displayed throughout the building. Originally built in 1928, the hotel was purchased in 2013 and completely renovated by Rubell Hotels.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America (historichotels.org), the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

More information on the Lord Baltimore Hotel can be found at www.lordbaltimorehotel.com.

 

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Romantic Getaways: Fall in Love Around the World with Red Carnation Hotels

February 9, 2017

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.– The Red Carnation Hotel Collection offers the perfect romantic rendezvous for lovers around the world. Rekindle passion in London, discover the true meaning of romance in Dorset, create unforgettable memories in Guernsey or Geneva. Florida’s tropical Palm Beach is ideal for a beachside escape, while South Africa’s stunning scenery boasts a multitude of indulgent activities.

Every Red Carnation hotel sets the scene for tender romance – rose petals and candles, Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, delectable dining and exquisite turndown surprises – each capturing a unique Valentine’s Day experience.

  • London, UK: Hotel ‘41’ overlooks the Royal Mews and grounds of the Buckingham Palace – A Night under the Stars
  • Dorset, UK: Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa is located within the glorious countryside in the picturesque village of Evershot – Valentine’s Hideaway
  • Guernsey, The Channel Islands: The Old Government House Hotel and Spa is in the heart of St. Peter Port sitting proudly just up the hill from the main shopping street and a five-minute walk from the picturesque quayside  – A Valentine’s Break
  • Geneva, Switzerland: Hotel d’Angleterre has unrivalled views of Lake Geneva’s Jet d’Eau – Romantic City Escape
  • Palm Beach, Florida: The Chesterfield Palm Beach is located in the heart of Palm Beach, just two blocks away from the world famous Worth Avenue and moments from the beaches – Sweetheart Package
  • Cape Town, South Africa: The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is situated above the Atlantic Ocean and flanked by the majestic Table Mountain National Park and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range – The Perfect Proposal

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection has additional luxurious packages to ensure your Valentine’s Day getaway is one to remember.

Red Carnation Hotels are a collection of family-run, award-winning boutique hotels in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA.

Each hotel is a landmark of history and tradition; from the recently restored Ashford Castle in Ireland, to the Milestone, a historic mansion hotel in the heart of London, to the truly iconic Oyster Box in South Africa – our hotels are unique and characterful with a personal approach to hospitality.

With a peerless reputation for exquisite fine dining, leading spas and sumptuous surroundings, we pride ourselves on delivering warm, thoughtful and highly personalized service.

For more information about The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, visit www.redcarnation.com.

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What Could Be More Romantic Than Surprise Getaway to New England Inns

February 9, 2017

Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA

Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA has a Date Night Package © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

From the mountains of Vermont and cultural hub of Massachusetts to the canals of Amsterdam, what could be more romantic than surprising your special someone with a last-minute Valentine’s Day escape?

The Inn at Manchester, Vermont 

For couples still looking for a special Valentine’s Day getaway, the Inn at Manchester’s Fireside Romance package helps set the mood for a romantic winter escape. Lovebirds can sip on cocktails in the Inn’s cozy living room-style pub, discover the peaceful charm of Southern Vermont, and relax by their own private fireplace.

Available through March 31, 2017 based on availability, the Fireside Romance package includes: two nights’ accommodations in a room with a fireplace;  full breakfast daily; Vermont chocolate and a bottle of wine upon arrival. Prices start at $255 per night in a suite, based on double occupancy. Valid on new reservations only. Call 802-362-1793 to book.

The Inn at Manchester is located at 3967 Main Street, Manchester, VT. For more information, visit www.innatmanchester.com.

 Romance in The Berkshires

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Berkshires transforms into a picturesque New England destination for travelers looking for a romantic winter getaway. Two renowned Berkshires properties – Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, and  Porches at MASS MoCA in North Adams – invite guests to rekindle the romance with value-added Date Night packages:

Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA: Red Lion Inn’s warm lobby fireplace has been welcoming travelers since 1773, and this winter will welcome couples looking to rekindle the romance. The inn’s Date Night package includes overnight accommodations, a $50 dining voucher, a bottle of wine and a box of locally-made chocolates.  Rates start at $210 Monday-Sunday and $280 Friday and Saturday based on double occupancy. Available until May 25, 2017.  To book, visit www.redlioninn.com.

Porches Inn at MASS MoCA, North Adam, MA: Guests can discover of the art of romance at the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA. The Date Night Package includes accommodations, two tickets to MASS MoCA, and a three-course dinner for two at the Gramercy Bistro, Pera Mediterranean Bistro or The Williams Inn restaurant. Rates start at $287 per night Sunday – Thursday and $337 per night on Friday and Saturday based on double occupancy. Available through May 18, 2017. To book, visit www.porches.com.

 The Dylan – Amsterdam 

For couples looking to take their romance international, The Dylan, the refined luxury boutique hotel centrally located in Amsterdam’s trendy “nine streets” shopping area, welcomes couples with sweet poetry.  On February 14, Amsterdam’s Poetry Pusher will create personalized poems for couples on an old fashioned typewriter based on each couples interests and likes.

Available February 11-19, 2017, The Dylan’s Valentine Package features, one overnight stay; Dylan buffet breakfast; the hotel’s signature High Wine experience; a special Valentine gift and poem created by the “Poetry Pusher” (customized poem for guests staying on February 14 only, guests visiting other nights will receive special Dylan Poem crafted by the Poetry Pusher). Rates start at €405 (approximately $431 USD) per package, based on a double room for two people. Additional nights are available starting at €400 per night including breakfast.  Package is subject to available and excludes 5% city tax. To book, visit www.dylanamsterdam.com.

The Date Night packages are available throughout the winter, blackout dates may apply; taxes and gratuities additional.

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