Archive for the ‘hotels and resorts’ Category

Three Spire Hospitality Resorts Ideal for Summer Vacation Escape

June 17, 2022

High Peaks Resort in the heart of Lake Placid is the perfect home base for exploring the Adirondacks of New York.

Looking for a resort escape this summer? Consider these three Spire Hospitality properties for your vacation: The Leta in Santa Barbara, CA, Topnotch Resort in Vermont and High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid New York. 

The Leta

If your idea of the ultimate Southern California retreat is longboards, poolside cocktails and coastal cuisine, you’ve found your place in the sun at one of the best Santa Barbara hotels around. At The Leta, they have a Golden State of Mind attitude, surf-inspired décor, and eclectic accommodations, plus a passion for music shared through their VNYL record shop and live music scene. All of their eccentric, laid back touches will no doubt have guests enjoying the good life, one day at a time. The ideally located property with 158 rooms is prized for its cool, hip, carefree Californian personality and it’s artful, quirky, unexpected, open and soulful chemistry. Local art, music, food and wine are at home here and the hotel boasts 6,000 square feet of meeting space welcoming locals and out of town guests alike for one-of-a-kind meetings and events. Designed with an easygoing, California-cool aesthetic, The Leta’s artful guest rooms and suites channel the radiant spirit of SoCal featuring earthy, eccentric textures and fabrics with a nod to surf-culture nostalgia. This charming beach chic hotel in Goleta also welcomes pets. 

High Peaks Resort

High Peaks Resort in the heart of Lake Placid is the perfect home base for exploring the Adirondacks. Guests can choose from three unique lodging experiences overlooking Mirror Lake and the Adirondack mountains: The Resort, a traditional hotel featuring 105 newly renovated guest rooms; the modern retro-vibe Lake House with 44 guest rooms; and the private and serene Waterfront Collection, featuring 28 guest rooms including 10 suites on the shores of Mirror Lake. Amenities available to all guests include two indoor and two outdoor heated pools, an indoor Jacuzzi, an on-site fully equipped fitness center, the Spa & Salon at High Peaks Resort, and Dancing Bears Restaurant, consistently ranked one of the top restaurants in Lake Placid. Guests also enjoy private access to Mirror Lake with complimentary use of kayaks, paddle boats and stand-up paddleboards, special activities such as yoga at the waterfront and birds of prey demonstrations, an outdoor barbecue, a fire pit (with complimentary s’mores), lawn games, sweeping views of the Adirondack mountains and close proximity to the region’s top attractions and activities such as the Lake Placid Olympic Sites, Whiteface Mountain, The Wild Center in Tupper Lake, High Falls Gorge, Ausable Chasm, and numerous hiking trails, kayaking, boating and more in the Adirondack Park. High Peaks Resort is also within walking distance to shopping, dining and entertainment in downtown Lake Placid. Dogs are welcome, with special canine-friendly treats and amenities. 

Topnotch Resort

The AAA Four-Diamond Topnotch Resort, set on 120 acres of woodland at the foot of Mount Mansfield, is located between Stowe village and Stowe Mountain Resort (and within 35 miles of four other popular ski resorts: Smugglers’ Notch, Sugar Bush, Mad River Glen and Bolton Valley). The resort includes 68 guest rooms and 17 two- and three-bedroom resort homes that allow for a private and very socially distant experience. Guests enjoy Vermont fresh farm-to-table dining at The Roost, the Topnotch Tennis Academy (ranked one of the top 10 tennis resorts in the country offering more than 30 programs for all ages and levels of play on six seasons outdoor and four indoor hard courts), the 35,000 square foot award-winning Topnotch Spa, three indoor and outdoor heated pools, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, the Equestrian Center at Topnotch (offering English and Western trail rides, private and group horseback riding, carriage rides and sleigh rides), Mountain Ops Outdoor Gear (an on-property outfitter which can arrange and outfit for any activity year-round, including mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and fishing in the summer), outdoor fire pits with s’mores kits, shuffleboard and other games, specialty cocktails, access to the Stowe Recreation Path and more. Dogs are also welcome at Topnotch, with dog beds, CBD treats and special canine-friendly turndown service and spa treatments. Topnotch is a short drive away from Stowe Village, featuring many locally owned shops and an array of restaurants, music and art galleries. 

Spire Hospitality, led by CEO Chris Russell, is a third-party operator of 7,033 room keys and over 350,000 square feet of meeting space across 20 states. The Spire portfolio, with a focus on large, full-service hotels, includes unique independent properties and premier branded assets across Hilton Hotels & Resorts (HLT), Marriott International (MAR) and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), including 29 hotels and resorts (www.spirehotels.com).

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Club Med to Open 17 New Resorts by 2024, Introduce New Experiences to All-Inclusive Concept

February 11, 2022
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, DR. is perfect for your all-inclusive family vacation offering plenty of dining options and activities. The pioneering resort company plans to open 17 resorts around the world by 2024.

Club Med, a pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, shared details on upcoming developments — including 17 new resort openings, 13 resort renovations, and innovative resort programming — that further solidifies its position as a leader in the booming all-inclusive market. Highlights include:

·       Ambitious Development Plans With 17 New Resort Openings by 2024: Since 1950, Club Med has shaped the all-inclusive industry by pioneering new destinations (like Punta Cana) and vacation experiences to all types of travelers. Looking ahead, the brand is on track to launch 17 new resorts and 13 resort renovations by 2024.

·       New Resort Experiences for Every Traveler: In addition to adapting their portfolio to appeal to affluent travelers and families, the brand is also enhancing its existing resort experiences like: Circus School, an acrobatic playground with activities like flying trapeze and tightrope walking; adding new pickleball courts to cater to the demand of the fastest growing sport in the U.S.; and new teen programming to ensure exciting vacation moments.

·       Continuing to Drive Sustainability Efforts: Club Med has always held a firm belief that memorable experiences cannot be lived at the expense of others or nature and offers a range of commitments to sustainable practices. Examples include the elimination of single-use plastics, reduction of energy consumption, and sponsoring rural farming development projects.

Some of the upcoming openings, renovations, and upgrades from Club Med include: 

Ambitious Expansion Plans + Introducing All-Inclusive Ski to North America 

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Club Med continued its expansion momentum in 2021 with four resort openings, including Club Med Seychelles (Africa), Club Med Lijiang (China), Club Med Québec (Canada), and Club Med La Rosière (French Alps). The brand also completed four renovations, including Club Med Albion (Mauritius), Club Med Peisey-Vallandry (French Alps), Club Med Pragelato-Sestriere (Italian Alps), and Club Med Marrakech (Morocco).

Club Med has also established its commitment to further expanding its all-inclusive mountain product to new markets with the forthcoming December 2024 opening of Club Med Utah. This property will be the brand’s first new resort in the U.S. in more than 20 years, as well as its first-ever Exclusive Collection (5-Star) mountain resort in North America, which will be open year-round. Club Med’s Exclusive Collection portfolio, which features 13 of the brand’s most luxurious resorts and spaces around the world, is characterized by premium accommodations, exclusively beautiful locations, and refined dining concepts. Of the 30 development projects in the works for Club Med over the next two years, several of them will feature new additions to the Exclusive Collection portfolio, well-suited for both families and couples.  

As the worldwide leader of the all-inclusive family vacation continues its global expansion through 2024, some of the upcoming opening, extension, and renovation highlights include: 

NORTH AMERICA & CARIBBEAN

NEW RESORT – Club Med Utah, USA (2024)
The brand’s renowned all-inclusive mountain concept will be expanding to the United States with an Exclusive Collection (5-Star) resort in Snowbasin, Utah. Located 35 miles from Salt Lake City, the Snowbasin resort is one of the most accessible and oldest operating ski resorts in North America. The 320-room four season resort will combine American luxury with Club Med’s French savoir-faire, appealing to every type of traveler including families, couples, and meetings & events groups. Accommodations will include spacious 2-bedroom Deluxe rooms & Family Suites, while private Penthouse Suites will be available for those seeking added luxury. Club Med will also offer its award-winning children’s clubs from 4 months to 17 years old for families seeking a more tailored, family-fun experience. In addition to all-day dining available at the resort’s restaurants and lounges, guests can also enjoy included group ski and snowboard lessons with ski-in/ ski-out access, lift tickets, and a heated swimming pool during the ski season. During the warmer months, there will be opportunities to explore more than 3,000 acres of surrounding mountains and valleys through guided activities like hiking programs, mountain biking, and Club Med’s trademark circus activities.

EUROPE

NEW RESORT – Club Med Magna Marbella, Spain (May 2022)
Located 45 minutes from the Malaga International Airport in the Andalusia region of Spain, Club Med has retaken one of Spain’s most mythic destinations to open a brand-new resort. With a focus on the cultural and natural richness of southern Spain, the resort will mix tradition and modernity to offer an experience focused on wellness, nature, family experiences, and discovery of the destination. Guests will find unique features in the 485-room resort, such as a family fun zone, garden parties, 14 hectares of Andalusian gardens, a Club Med Spa by Cinq Mondes, and five different swimming areas.

NEW RESORT – Club Med Tignes, French Alps (Dec. 2022)
A historic destination that has been home to Club Med since 1958, Tignes Val Claret is a natural sports paradise located at an altitude of 2,150 meters. The brand-new Club Med Tignes resort will be located in the center of the liveliest part of town, making it a hotspot for winter sports and nightlife. The resort will feature 430 rooms, including 25 Exclusive Collection (5-Star) suites, two restaurants, a full spa and wellness salt wall, the largest Club Med pool in the Alps, a full childcare program, and a ski domain suitable for every level.

NEW RESORT – Club Med Val d’Isère, French Alps (Dec. 2022)
Located in the Tarentaise Valley at an altitude of 1,850 meters, this authentic village is home to an internationally-recognized ski mecca. The resort is undergoing a complete transformation worthy of its soon-to-be Exclusive Collection designation. As such, it will be the brand’s first entirely 5-Star mountain resort, with a total of 216 rooms available for booking in both winter and summer. As well as offering fabulous skiing, gourmet dining, childcare starting at age 4, and a welcoming spa and yoga program, the resort will redefine luxury by combining intimacy, conviviality, and relaxation.

NEW RESORT – Club Med San Sicario, Italian Alps (Dec. 2024)
A new addition to Club Med’s mountain portfolio in the Italian Alps, the bi-seasonal Club Med San Sicario, will feature 200 rooms located on a prime ski location from the 2006 Turin Olympics.

EXTENSION – Club Med Pragelato-Sestriere, Italian Alps (2022)
Nestled in the Piedmont region of Italy, Club Med’s Pragelato Sestriere resort consists of a hamlet of wooden chalets. The expansion plan will include 17 new chalets housing 105 new rooms. Construction will be completed following the architectural style of the region.

RENOVATION & EXTENSION – Club Med Gregolimano, Greece (2023)
One of the brand’s flagship summer resorts in the Mediterranean Basin, located on the Greek Island of Evia, will undergo both a renovation and extension including newly renovated beachfront bungalows.

ASIA

RENOVATION & EXTENSION – Club Med Phuket, Thailand (2023-2024)
Visitors traveling to Club Med Phuket, located on Kata Beach, can look forward to newly refreshed facilities and experiences aimed at recreating an authentic Thai atmosphere for everyone. Enhanced with an eco-chic, modern, and upscale twist, the refreshed resort spaces will include a redesign of the main restaurant, meetings & events center, pool and sun deck, and more.

NEW RESORT – Club Med Hokkaido, Japan (2023)
Following the success of its two other mountain resorts in Japan, Club Med will open a third  property on the northern island of Hokkaido. Known as one of Asia’s top travel destinations,  Hokkaido offers a fun-filled family experience, perfectly powdered snow for skiing and trekking, natural landscapes, and local culinary delights.

NEW RESORT – Club Med Borneo Kota Kinabalu, Malayasia (Opening 2024)
Adding to its portfolio in Southeast Asia, Club Med will build a new resort on the Malaysian side of the island of Borneo. The destination is known for its beaches, biodiverse rainforest, Mount Kinabalu (Southeast Asia’s highest peak), famed dive site Sipadan Island, and native species such as orangutans and clouded leopards. This forthcoming resort embodies Club Med’s pioneering spirit, as it will bring a brand-new resort to a secluded destination.

Dedication to Sustainable Practices 
Since its inception, Club Med has held a firm belief that memorable experiences cannot be lived at the expense of others or of nature, which is why the brand continues to devote itself to responsible practices. Club Med’s Happy to Care program, founded in 2019, features a range of commitments based on sustainable tourism.   

For example, Club Med’s two newest resorts in North America, Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda and Club Med Québec, were designed with sustainability in mind, from the design phase all the way to the resort experience. Today, Club Med’s worldwide objectives to address sustainable practices include:   

  • Phased elimination of single-use plastics, including water bottles
  • Eco-certifications from the best in the industry: BREEAM certification ensuring responsible construction and Green Globe certification ensuring a responsible hotel operation 
  • Construction of new resorts in harmony with nature, with built-up surfaces covering less than 10% of the total site surface
  • Reduction of energy consumption and introduction of green energy sources
  • Responsible, local, and ethical sourcing of food products and materials
  • Employee uniforms created out of recycled plastic bottles; since 2019, 2.3 million bottles have been recycled for this initiative in North America, with 1.2 million more expected to be recycled by 2023
  • Sponsorship of rural farming development projects to increase the efficiency, quality, and demand for local farmers 
  • Promotion of animal welfare by prohibiting experiences involving captive cetaceans, large cats, and elephants
  • Food waste and hazardous waste management
  • Community outreach via the Club Med Foundation, founded in 1978
  • Partnerships with organizations focused on environmental preservation

Happy To Care continues its purposeful objectives in 2022 to achieve the above ambitions. Looking ahead, Club Med’s North American resorts will see more ecological menu options featuring plant-based proteins and an increase in both local and organic products. Club Med North America has also set an objective to source 100% fair trade coffee by 2023 and 100% cage-free eggs by 2025.

New Product Novelties and Digital Innovations 

NEW PROGRAMMING FOR TEENS 
As family travel evolves, Club Med is enhancing its existing teen programming (Club Med Passworld for teens ages 11–17). Club Med’s new teen program will feature unique activities and social-forward events that give teens the opportunity to have exciting vacation moments and experiential content to share online. As part of this new programming, teens will also be able to take part in Club Med’s Happy To Care CSR mission. The pilot program is launching this spring in Club Med Punta Cana and Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda.

NEW RESORT EXPERIENCES  
Over the past year, numerous studies have shown that travelers are eager to get outdoors in destinations that offer plenty of room to roam, are prioritizing health and wellness, and are interested in vacation options that cater to the entire family. With this market research in mind, Club Med enhanced its existing resort experiences, including:  

  • Circus School by Club Med, an acrobatic playground with activities like flying trapeze, tightrope walking, and aerial silk in Club Med Punta Cana 
  • New and/or upgraded pickleball courts in all resorts in Florida, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Coast of Mexico  
  • Club Med Amazing Family Program, a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities designed to help families bond and reconnect, launched in all resorts across Florida, the Caribbean, and Mexico 
  • Club Med Spa by Sothys opened in three resorts including Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Club Med Québec, and Club Med Ixtapa Pacific 
  • Wing foil watersport activity in Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda
  • All-day yoga programming in Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda and Club Med Québec, with planned expansion to other North American resorts
  • The “sunset ritual”, a weekly lifestyle experience on the beach in Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, with planned expansion to Club Med Cancun and Club Med Ixtapa Pacific
  • New dining concepts in existing resorts:
    • “Lucky Lime”, an all-day Mexican taqueria at Club Med Sandpiper Bay
    • “From Jungle to Table”, a sustainable dining concept at the Coco Plum Beach Lounge in Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda
    • “Altamar”, a premium seafood restaurant in Club Med Punta Cana
    •  “Le Chalet”, a gourmet lounge in Club Med Québec featuring locally-sourced, family-style dinners “a la bonne franquette” – meaning cozy, friendly, and without any fuss

DIGITAL INNOVATIONS  
Touchless travel and contactless amenities are critical. To ensure guests feel well prepared and taken care of before and during their vacation, Club Med continues to enhance its digital, touch-free offerings. In 2021, Club Med’s Easy Arrival contactless check-in/check-out service, which prepares guests to get vacation-ready before vacation begins, was deployed in all Club Med resorts in Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Through the app, guests can sign their children up for childcare services or book ski equipment before they arrive to their respective Club Med resort. The My Club Med app features options to create a personalized itinerary, preview the daily activity schedules and, launched in 2021, guests can now book spa appointments at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Club Med Québec, and Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda. In 2021, the “room ready” feature was also deployed in North America, so guests can be conveniently informed upon check-in when their room is ready.  

Club Med, founded in 1950 by Gérard Blitz, is a pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, offering approximately 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean. Each Club Med resort features authentic local style and comfortably upscale accommodations, superior sports programming and activities, enriching children’s programs, gourmet dining, and warm and friendly service by its world-renown staff with legendary hospitality skills, an all-encompassing energy and diverse backgrounds. 

Club Med operates in more than 30 countries and continues to maintain its authentic Club Med spirit with an international staff of more than 23,000 employees from more than 110 different nationalities. Led by its pioneering spirit, Club Med continues to grow and adapt to each market with three to five new resort openings or renovations per year, including a new mountain resort annually. 

For more information, visit www.clubmed.us, call 1-800-Club-Med (1-800-258-2633), or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube

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Winter for Nonskiers: Take Advantage of Off-Season Rates at Five-Star Broadmoor Resort

January 23, 2022
Winter affords an ideal opportunity to experience the five-star luxury of The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs.

Where can you go if you don’t ski but still want to curl up by a fire, experience the wintry outdoors, and sidestep the premium rates/crowded high season of most ski resort lodging? If you find yourself preferring après-ski to actual skiing, explore a Colorado resort that isn’t all about the downhill: The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

The Broadmoor experiences its off season in winter, so nightly rates at the Forbes Five Star resort are as low as $259/night in winter/early spring (a major savings compared to their starting rates of $555+ in summer). And with 784 guest rooms, suites, cottages, and brownstones, there’s usually plenty of inventory during the winter, making it perfect for a last-minute getaway. And you’ll be anything but bored or feeling left out from the Colorado outdoor fun. Here’s what makes The Broadmoor the best winter resort for non-skiers.

Winter Outdoor Adventures  

  • Fat Bikes keep guests riding throughout the winter at the resort using locally-made Borealis fat bikes. These high-end bikes are designed to handle the winter snow of Colorado Springs’ terrain. Guided tours or rentals are available.
  • Falconry is considered the sport of kings, and The Broadmoor’s team of master falconers gets guests up close to the birds of prey, all year-long. NEW FOR WINTER 2022: one can even participate in a falconry hunt and experience Harris Hawks in pursuit of live game, including pheasants, rabbits or squirrel. Hunts are offered by reservation only through March.
  • Fly Fishing in winter is a great option to opt outside, from quick one-hour casting lessons to full-day trips with The Broadmoor’s professional guides.
  • Hiking with The Broadmoor Outfitters is another way to get the heart pumping, and guided hikes can be customized to fit interest and fitness levels.
  • Rock Climbing can be arranged in the winter months, if Mother Nature agrees of course. The Broadmoor’s guides work with everyone from newbies to seasoned climbers.
  • Develop your Wild West skills with a chance to try your hands at archery, tomahawks, and pellet guns during a two-hour group experience that’s perfect for families who enjoy some friendly competition.  
  • Ziplining at The Broadmoor’s Seven Falls continues in winter, offering stunning views of the secluded South Cheyenne Canyon, often dusted in snow.

Spa + Relaxation

  • The Spa at The Broadmoor is known internationally for its innovative services and integrated approach to health and relaxation. In winter, guests love the Oxygen Infusion: a cutting-edge treatment that delivers oxygen under hyperbaric pressure to infuse an active serum to the deeper layers of the skin. And the spa’s large indoor pool is open for guests to enjoy year-round, no matter the weather.
  • Take in a Movie at the resort’s own theater, including popcorn. It’s free and open to guests with showings each evening and matinees on the weekend (often featuring films that are still in regular theaters).
  • Tucked away just off the main lobby, The Broadmoor’s Portales Library is perhaps the coziest place on the property, with an intimate setting and warm/glowing fireplace. It’s the perfect spot to sit and read one of the library’s classics, best sellers, or children’s books.

Indoor Activities

  • Spend a fun-filled evening at Play, a Broadmoor restaurant with six bowling lanes plus a host of games including shuffleboard, a pool table, foosball, Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii to keep everyone entertained all evening long.
  • Tennis and pickleball are very popular at The Broadmoor, even in winter. Two of the resort’s hard courts are covered by an illuminated, heated bubble during the winter months, and lessons can be arranged.
  • A bit indoor AND outdoor… you can travel to the top of Pikes Peak on the heated rail cars of The Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Winter rides are typically offered Friday through Monday.

Food… Glorious Food

  • NEW FOR 2022: During winter weekends, The Broadmoor now offers hands-on cooking classes. In February, it’s all about Italy. Guests will learn the pizza and pasta classics of Ristorante del Lago, with Broadmoor chefs sharing their techniques and tips for the best pizza dough, classic pizza toppings & how to bake a pizza at home. Guests will also learn how to make ravioli, hand cut pappardelle, a classic beef Bolognese, plus a decadent tiramisu. In March, it’s a focus on classic tapas, with instruction on the finer points of making tortilla Española, Croquetas de Jamon, Gambas al Ajillo, Patatas Bravas, Marinated Olives, and Pan con Tomate, plus desserts like Crema Catalana and Chocolate con Churros.
  • The Broadmoor has 17 restaurants, cafes, and lounges that range from fine dining to casual patisseries. The selection means you don’t have to drive on winter roads to seek out sustenance. A winter favorite is the Golden Bee, The Broadmoor’s 19th century British Pub. The pub was actually transferred to The Broadmoor panel by panel, directly from the United Kingdom. Order the Fish & chips, a beer (the Red Leg Brewing Company’s Prospector’s Pick Kolsch is brewed specifically for the resort) and end with the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding. It’s winter, after all.

For more details, visit https://www.broadmoor.com/.

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Club Med Launches “Your Vacation Your Way” Sale- 45% Off All-Inclusive Spring, Summer Escapes

January 22, 2022
Club Med Ixtapa.  Club Med is offering 45% off all-inclusive spring and summer escapes, plus perks, at its top resorts throughout Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean, and Canada (Photo supplied by Club Med).

MIAMI  — Club Med, a pioneer of the all-inclusive resort concept, is offering 45% off all-inclusive spring and summer escapes, plus perks, at its top resorts throughout Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean, and Canada. The Your Vacation Your Way sale is open for bookings now through February 23, 2022 with select travel dates through August 26, 2022. Additional perks include a free room upgrade and free stays for kids under 4, and single supplement waived.

Club Med’s spacious low-density resorts, which are surrounded by nature and spread across an average of 50 acres, include the eco-chic Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, Club Med’s only Exclusive Collection resort in North America; family-fun Club Med Punta Cana, with new renovations and innovations like the Circus School by Club Med and Club Med’s Amazing Family experience; and Club Med Québec, Club Med’s newest four-season mountain resort offering a unique waterfront experience to discover Quebec’s natural wonders.

Paired with Club Med’s free cancellation policy and Safe Together protocols, guests can enjoy their Club Med vacation with total peace of mind and the freedom to unwind while creating cherished memories together. Guests enjoy unlimited culinary options, premium accommodations, and activities from hiking and biking to standup paddle boarding and snorkeling.  Families will particularly enjoy Club Med’s Amazing Family program, a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities designed to help families reconnect and experience a greater sense of reunion.

For full details on the Your Vacation Your Way Sale, visit https://www.clubmed.us/o/best-all-inclusive-vacation-deals.

Participating Club Med Resorts include:

Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: On a 2,000-foot stretch of beach, Club Med Punta Cana caters to solo travelers, couples, and families alike with unlimited land and water sports, from golfing on an oceanfront PGA green to learning how to shoot with a bow and arrow at archery school. Families and groups will particularly enjoy the newly renovated Tiara Exclusive Collection space featuring spacious two-bedroom oceanside family suites, a dedicated infinity pool and bar, and morning room service. While adults indulge in treatments at the Club Med Spa by L’OCCITANE or relax in the adult-exclusive Zen Oasis area, where intimate cabanas, an oversized pool and dedicated Zen Beach await, kids can join their dedicated kids club for a day filled with water and land activities like windsurfing and circus school. Families can partake in the new Club Med Amazing Family program, featuring a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities for families to bond and create memories. 

Club Med Cancún, Mexico: An ideal location for families looking for some much-needed R&R, the only resort in Cancún with three private beachfronts offers families a variety of opportunities to reconnect. Enjoy exhilarating land and water activities, from wind surfing and snorkeling to flying trapeze and archery, before partaking in outdoor activities as part of the new Club Med Amazing Family programming. Relax in the refreshed Aguamarina family oasis area, which features spacious two-bedroom oceanfront family rooms and a dedicated family pool, before kids head off to their respective kids’ club while adults enjoy treatments at the newly renovated Club Med Spa by L’OCCITANE. For added exclusivity, guests can book an ocean view suite located in the resort’s Exclusive Collection (5 Star) space. Families looking for an added sense of adventure can explore the Mayan ruins at Chichén-Itzá (at an additional cost) or discover life under the sea by snorkeling through the world’s second-largest coral reef surrounding the resort with Club Med’s all-inclusive water sport activities.

Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, Dominican Republic: The first and only operating resort in the undiscovered region of Miches – and Club Med’s only Exclusive Collection (5 Star) resort in North America – offers a luxury experience wrapped in an all-inclusive vacation. The eco-chic resort features four boutique villages specializing in wellness, adventure, kid-friendly, and adults-only concepts, catering to an array of travelers seeking a boutique hotel-within-a-hotel experience. Enjoy unlimited refined culinary options, Zen moments with treatments at the on-site Club Med Spa by Cinq Mondes, yoga in the treetop wellness canopy, and relaxation at the naturally-filtered Zen pool. Must-try experiences for families include learning how to plant and compost ingredients at the on-site community garden to the boho-chic Sunset Ritual, the perfect way to end the day in paradise. Families can also satisfy their sweet tooth when discovering a Secret Chocolate Room – a first-of-its-kind kid’s speakeasy featuring unlimited sweets crafted with locally-sourced cocoa (and adults can get in on the fun, too!).

Club Med Québec, Canada: Club Med’s newest four-season, all-inclusive mountain resort, and their first in Canada, is just an hour and a half away from Québec City in the Le Massif de Charlevoix region. With views of the scenic St. Lawrence River and surrounding mountains, this unique waterfront mountain resort is spread across 300+ acres and features 302 spacious guestrooms, including a private Exclusive Collection (5 Star) space with 25 suites. Families, couples, and solo travelers alike will discover Québec’s natural wonders, cuisine, and culture through locally inspired culinary experiences, a variety of activities like guided mountain biking and hikes, and exploration of the surrounding destination through excursions like whale watching on the St. Lawrence River. Leave time to indulge in R&R with the resort’s expansive wellness area which features a 25-yard heated pool, 1,000+ square foot outdoor terrace with a jacuzzi, and the Club Med Spa by Sothys – all overlooking the pristine Charlevoix region and welcoming guests to connect with Canada’s great outdoors. Additional wellness offerings include mountain top yoga and forest meditation.  

Additional participating resorts include Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Mexico, Club Med Turkoise, Turks and Caicos, Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Port St. Lucie, Florida, Club Med Caravelle, Guadeloupe, French Caribbean, and Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek, Martinique, French Caribbean.

Flexible Policies
To ensure added flexibility and peace of mind for travelers, Club Med also offers:

Free Cancellation Policy: For new bookings with travel until June 30, 2022, guests can receive a full refund should they need to cancel their stay (up to 15 days prior to the anticipated travel date).

Emergency Assistance Program: All guests traveling before December 31, 2022 will receive coverage for emergency medical expenses during their stay, including those related to COVID-19.

Safe Together protocols: Implemented in all of the brand’s resorts as they reopen, including those in Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada, these newly enhanced hygiene and safety measures were developed through recommendations from the World Health Organization, local health authorities, and the advice of an International Scientific Committee comprised of a specialized team of doctors and professors.

PCR + Rapid Antigen Testing: As required for re-entry into the United States from international destinations, Club Med offers complimentary Rapid Antigen COVID-19 tests on-site for travel through January 31, 2022. PCR testing is also available at an additional cost.

For full details on the Your Vacation Your Way Sale, visit https://www.clubmed.us/o/best-all-inclusive-vacation-deals

For more information, visit www.clubmed.us, call 1-800-Club-Med (1-800-258-2633), or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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Romance is in the Air at Resorts for Valentine’s Day 2022

January 10, 2022
Alaia Belize Resort is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a Romance in the Sea package (Photo from Alaia Belize Resort)

Love is in the air! Here are some of the best U.S. and international hotels with the best romance packages for Valentine’s Day 2022:

INTERNATIONAL:

Alaia Belize Resort – San Pedro, Belize

Romance in the Sea: Alaia Belize Resort’s Romance in the Sea package includes chocolate and Champagne among arrival, complimentary breakfasts at any Alaia restaurant, dinners for two at fine dining concept Sea Salt, a couple’s 45-minute massage treatment at their K’in Spa, and 10% off all hotel services. The package is available for all resort rooms (studios, suites, and villas) and starts at $508 per night plus tax and service. Available to book here

Situated in the idyllic and historic town of San Pedro, Alaia Belize Resort operates as the first true four diamond resort on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The beachfront hotel sits just 600 yards from the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve offering stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and featuring a piano bar, live art gallery, wine club, three restaurants, four bars, three pools including Belize’s first-ever suspended rooftop pool and lounge with 360-degree views.

Villa La Estancia, Riviera Nayarit – Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Unique Suites package: Couples can elevate their Valentine’s Day getaway in Villa La Estancia’s elegant Spanish Colonial and Hacienda-style guest rooms with the unique suites package. In addition to romantic ocean facing suites with dramatic azure ocean views, guests receive a welcome charcuterie board of cheese and wine, nightly turndown service with Ferrero Rocher chocolates, a “make your own Michelada” kit, aromatherapy experience and access to the spa’s award-winning hydrotherapy circuit to spice up their tropical vacation.

Situated in the exclusive resort community of Nuevo Vallarta on the white sands of Banderas Bay’s Flamingos Beach, Villa La Estancia is an AAA Four-Diamond Resort introducing guests to authentic first-class Mexican hospitality from a jaw-dropping setting. Bottle service at sunset, gourmet cooking classes and Mayan mud massages are just a few premium experiences available to guests. Romance-seekers will also find a variety of offerings to enjoy from relaxing couples treatments from a secluded spa suite at Tatewari Spa – the #1 Spa & Wellness experience in Nuevo Vallarta – to intimate dining at top-rated onsite steakhouse La Casona.

U.S.:

Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico – Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 
Puerto Rico is one of the most accessible destinations for travelers from the U.S. right now with the convenience of travel without a passport. Set on 72 acres of tropical lush gardens just 15 minutes from the nation’s only tropical rainforest, El Yunque, Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico is a dreamy destination that reopened last winter following a multi-million-dollar renovation. For couples looking for a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day, Hyatt Puerto Rico is offering a Romance Package which includes breakfast for two, a bottle of Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. The offer is valid for stays between February 19, 2022 – June 30, 2022.  The resort offers all-suite, bungalow-style accommodations; three pools including Puerto Rico’s largest lagoon-style pool; full-service spa; five on-site culinary eateries and two 18-hole world-class Tom Kite-designed golf courses.  It is the first destination in Puerto Rico to offer a floating waterpark obstacle course over the ocean accessible exclusively for guests. The resort offers newly renovated private villas, named the Regency Suites which offer an outdoor plunge pool, outdoor shower, outdoor dining area and is steps from the beach. 
Images (Credit: Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico)

ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki – Oahu, Hawaii

Renew & Indulge package:What’s more romantic that an entire 2,250-square-foot floor all to yourselves? How about two complimentary spa treatments and a bottle of Opus One, part of the Renew & Indulge package at Honolulu’s ultra-private boutique luxury hotel ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki. With purchase of a one-week getaway, couples are treated to two 50-minute treatments at the hotel’s penthouse-level spa – which as it happens, has just two treatment rooms. Top off the experience with a private Japanese-French dinner prepared by Chef Jason Yamaguchi at ESPACIO’s rooftop infinity pool overlooking Waikiki Beach.

ESPACIO is an ultra-exclusive 9-floor, 9-suite boutique luxury hotel where each individual accommodation occupies a private 2,250 square-foot floor. Each expansive suite houses a jacuzzi-clad balcony offering panoramic ocean views, spa-like Italian marble bathrooms, in-suite dry sauna, personal elevator entry and designer kitchen. Onsite Japanese-French tasting concept Mugen features 7- and 11-course tasting menus with delicacies including Sasanian Osetra Caviar, Kona Kanpachi, Chateau Uenae A5 and a 500-bottle wine collection.

W South Beach –  Miami Beach, FL 

W South Beach recently reopened after a major dreamy design renovation of its guest suites, world-class Away Spa and bungalows so guests will be among the first to stay in the new spaces. The urban beach retreat designed guest suites offer spacious balconies with endless views of the Atlantic Ocean from every suite. The ultimate W South Beach romantic getaway includes a custom Bespoke Couples Experience at the new stunning minimalistic refuge, Away Spa where guests receive complimentary detox elixirs, charcoal cookies and cell phone sleeping bags. Post spa treatment, relax by the pool in one of WSB’s furnished cabanas and end the blissful day with dinner at the opulent MR CHOW. If you need anything during your stay, each guest receives a W Insider, a personal concierge available 24/7 for anything from dinner reservations, grocery shopping to yacht charters. The hotel is the perennial hotspot for sun-seekers, scenesters and the well-heeled in Miami Beach so you may see some celebrities during your stay.   

HarbourView Inn – Charleston, South Carolina

Allie & Noah’s Timeless Romance Package: HarbourView Inn, a newly refreshed waterfront retreat in the heart of downtown Charleston, offers the Allie & Noah’s Timeless Romance Package for love birds looking to enjoy a romantic escape. Inspired by one of Charleston’s favorite love stories, couples can visit Allie’s family summer house at Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, and tour the iconic Magnolia Plantation and Gardens where Noah rows Allie in a canoe. Upon checking in, one dozen roses are placed in the newly-appointed guest room, and evenings can be enjoyed with a private carriage ride leading to The American Theater, where a romantic saying can be displayed on the marquee, before returning to enjoy rose petal turndown service and a bottle of sparkling wine. Additional package details include a $100 dining gift card to High Cotton and $25 gift card to famed Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

HarbourView Inn is a newly refreshed, 52-room waterfront retreat in the heart of Charleston’s Historic District that sets the stage for unforgettable adventures in the Holy City, close to yet tucked away from high-traffic tourism destinations. This former 1930’s indigo cotton warehouse turned boutique hotel recently unveiled a $1 million interior refresh of the inviting communal spaces, guestrooms and private rooftop terrace, designed by notable South Carolina-based designer Jenny Keenan of Jenny Keenan Design. The property boasts luxurious touchpoints made by local artists, artisans and vendors, while the refurbished rooftop – the only remaining private rooftop in downtown Charleston – offers plush lounge seating and surrounding views of the steeple-lined skyline, historic harbor and Waterfront Park. 

Images (Credit: HarbourView Inn, a Charlestowne Hotels managed property)

Deer Path Inn – Lake Forest, Illinois

Romantic Retreat: For a romantic getaway straight out of a storybook, couples who book Deer Path Inn’s new Romantic Retreat experience will be treated like royalty from the moment they check into their graciously appointed luxury suite. Package highlights include an in-suite romance-themed English Afternoon Tea service, a Valentine’s-inspired welcome cocktail, a complimentary bottle of wine to be enjoyed in-room, and daily in-room breakfast in bed. Couples can also request a rose petal turndown service to take the romance factor up a notch. Package available from January 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022; minimum two-night stay required 

Established in 1929, the 57-room Deer Path Inn is a respite for Chicago city dwellers, out of towners, and Anglophiles alike. The inn is known for its traditional Afternoon Tea service (developed in partnership with a Master of Tea from England), its exceptional dining + cocktail offerings across three restaurants (from elevated European cuisine + white glove service in The English Room to traditional bangers and mash in The White Hart Pub and creative cocktails and Chicago’s best sushi in The Bar), and spacious accommodations (some suites even offer bathtubs that fill from the ceiling!). From taking the inn’s complimentary bicycles out to Lake Michigan for a picnic to strolling through the charming local shops in nearby Market Square, Deer Path Inn offers a sophisticated take on the long weekend getaway.

Images (Credit: Deer Path Inn)

French Quarter Inn – Charleston, SC

Package details: This luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the Historic District offers couples a Romantic Escape package, which includes a$100 gift card to Hall’s Chophouse, a private horse-drawn carriage tour for two, a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries upon arrival, rose petal turndown service with a curated romantic playlist, and a handmade gift basket filled with locally sourced goods. 

This 50-room luxury boutique hotel provides an authentic Charleston experience in the heart of the Historic District. Showcasing the southern charm the city is known, comfortable upscale design is paired with high-touch service and extensive daily complimentary amenities including locally sourced artisanal breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese hour, and turndown service with hand-crafted chocolates and sound sleep pillow menu with seven different options. French Quarter Inn is committed to providing guests the highest level of hospitality and has been ranked a top 5 hotel in the U.S. for four years in a row in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards

The Spectator Hotel

Package details: Charleston’s high-design, distinct boutique hotel for the well-heeled traveler offers a Charms of Charleston package, which includes a historic garden tour for two, a private walking tour of Historic Charleston, and a $100 gift card to local restaurants including Halls Chophouse, Rita’s Seaside Grille, High Cotton or Slightly North of Broad. Couples can also take advantage of personal butler service (this is the only hotel in Charleston with this offering) to coordinate anything from drawing a candlelit rose petal bath to more extravagant requests like creating an in-room movie night complete with food, cocktails, and a selection of romantic classics. 

Charleston’s high-design, distinct boutique hotel for the well-heeled traveler is inspired by the spirit of the Roaring Twenties, marrying elite luxury with ultimate comfort provided by meticulously curated service and amenities. The hotel’s personal butler service (the only hotel in Charleston with this offering) can coordinate anything from developing itineraries and packing services to drawing candlelit rose petal baths and making late night food deliveries, making guests look and feel their best. Additional complimentary amenities include artisanal in-room breakfast, specialty welcome cocktails, and The Bar, The Spectator’s renowned 1920’s themed cocktail lounge serving seasonal hand-crafted specialty cocktails using local ingredients and flavors of the south.

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Woodstock Inn Offers Ski Packages at its Suicide Six Ski Area

January 5, 2022
In the heart of Vermont’s snow-covered Green Mountains and the picturesque town of Woodstock, VT, the Woodstock Inn & Resort offers value-added packages featuring numerous snow sports at the Suicide Six Ski Area and at its Nordic ski center.

WOODSTOCK, VT  – In the heart of Vermont’s snow-covered Green Mountains and the picturesque town of Woodstock, VT, the Woodstock Inn & Resort welcomes guests in search of cold weather pursuits with value-added packages for the whole family. The 142-room luxury resort offers numerous snow sports at the Suicide Six Ski Area and Nordic Center, as well as endless après ski activities with its award-winning Spa and farm-to-table dining options. 

Vermont’s leading family ski resort, the Suicide Six Ski Area, is home to 100 acres of skiing and snowboarding on 24 trails and slopes suitable for all skill levels and offers wide open spaces and shorter than average lift times. New for 2022 is a Sunkid conveyor lift named Snow Day, which offers ease of use, weather protection, and increased uptime for reliable transport to the Snow Day Learning Area. Those new to skiing have the option to learn from the resort’s world-class ski & ride school offering private and semi-private lessons to acquaint themselves with new equipment and the slopes. The school also offers uphill travel lessons to learn best practices of “skinning.” Also featured at the mountain is state-of-the-art snow-making technology and a freestyle terrain park. Open weekly Wednesday through Sunday, Suicide Six will also be open daily for holiday weeks and peak periods.

For cross country skiing, fat tire biking, and snowshoeing, 45 kilometers of groomed trails are primed for exploration at the Nordic Center. The extensive network of trails weaves throughout Mt. Peg and nearby Mt. Tom in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Snowshoers & fat bike riders may utilize the groomed ski trail areas in addition to a series of ungroomed trails for a more invigorating hike. Rentals, clothing, winter sport accessories, trail maps and passes are available at the center, as well as lessons, tours, and clinics with local experts.

Families, couples, and snow sports enthusiasts can enjoy one of the 2022 winter packages, including:

The Family First Run Package begins new traditions of learning how to ski. During a family lesson, parents will pick up new tips while the children master the basics.

  • Two nights’ accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • Two day passes to the Suicide Six Ski Area
  • One family lesson
  • S’mores kit for après ski
  • Starting at $753 per night or $1503 for two nights, for two adults and two children

Teach Your Honey How to Ski Package is the perfect romantic getaway for couples who want their partner to learn ski basics while they take to the slopes.

  • Luxurious Accommodations
  • Two-hour private beginner ski lesson (lift ticket included)
  • Lift ticket at the Suicide Six Ski Area for a second person
  • Two après ski cocktails
  • Starting at $631 for a one-night stay for two adults

Unlimited Snowsports Package is the ultimate adventure package that includes alpine skiing, Nordic Treks, fat tire biking, and snowshoeing.

  • Two nights’ accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • Unlimited access to snow sports at the Woodstock Nordic Center and Suicide Six Ski Area
  • Starting at $669 per night or $1,338 for two nights for two adults

Packages are available for stays from January 4 through March 12, 2022, based on availability. Pricing does not include applicable tax, gratuity, and the $35 per room, per night resort fee. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

This season, Perley’s Pourhouse will offer grab-and-go food and made-to-order beverages options at Suicide Six Ski Area.  The ski area’s newly expanded outdoor deck features additional seating, gas fire pits, and wind cover areas for guests to sit back, relax, and warm up by the fire. The Woodstock Inn & Resort offers locally sourced cuisine at The Red Rooster, which is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

After hitting the slopes, skiers can head back to the Woodstock Inn & Resort to relax in the library, participate in a friendly competition in the Inn’s flannel-draped retro game room, or opt for a soothing treatment at The Spa, the Inn’s award-winning, 10,000 sq ft wellness retreat. Guests can indulge in specialized facial treatments that utilize all-natural skincare products, tools, and techniques through a new partnership with Tata Harper, a leading Vermont-based all-natural skincare brand. Guests can opt for the seasonal Winter Rose treatment which restores the skin’s glow with a spiced cranberry orange body scrub followed by a rose-colored clay mask wrap. 

Located in idyllic Woodstock, Vermont, the Woodstock Inn & Resort defines country sophistication in one of New England’s most charming and popular year-round vacation destinations.  The 142-room, AAA Four Diamond Resort and a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts LVX Collection, offers award-winning dining in two restaurants, ranked among the finest in New England.  The Woodstock Inn & Resort is owned and operated by The Woodstock Foundation, Inc.  Proceeds from Resort operations support The Woodstock Foundation and Billings Farm & Museum education and conservation programs.

Recognized as one of the oldest ski areas in the country, Suicide Six has a rich history. America’s first rope tow, introduced on nearby Gilbert’s Farm in 1934, evolved into the opening of Suicide Six in 1936. In 1961 Laurance S. Rockefeller purchased Suicide Six from its founder, Wallace “Bunny” Bertram, as part of his vision for the community of Woodstock. Suicide Six is one of Vermont’s leading family-friendly ski resorts featuring more than 100 acres of skiing on 24 trails with terrain suitable for all abilities.

The Woodstock Inn & Resort is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection, which represents premier global properties that offer engaging stays and memorable moments. Authentic, intelligent, and approachable, this diverse collection presents hotels and resorts featuring responsive service and local dining that articulate culture and style. For more information, visit PreferredHotels.com.

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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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American Hotel Industry Bemoans that Most Americans Plan to Stay Home for Holidays

November 17, 2021
The American Hotel & Lodging Association is bemoaning the fact that while travel has rebounded from the 2020 pandemic, most Americans are still opting to stay home this holiday season with majority of Americans not planning to travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

new national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and conducted by Morning Consult shows that 29% of Americans are likely to travel for Thanksgiving and 33% are likely to travel for Christmas—an increase from 21% and 24%, respectively, compared to 2020. Those who do plan to travel over the holidays expect to drive, but rising gas prices may dampen those plans. Fifty-two percent of Americans say they plan to take fewer trips and 53% plan to take shorter trips due to rising gas prices.

Still, most Americans are still opting to stay home this holiday season with 61% of Americans not planning to travel for Thanksgiving. 

“While vaccines have helped travelers feel more comfortable, rising gas prices and continued concerns about the pandemic are making many Americans hesitant to travel during the holidays,” commented American Hotel & Lodging Association President and CEO Chip Rogers. “Despite a slight expected uptick in holiday travel this year, hotels will continue to face economic fallout from the pandemic, underscoring the need for targeted federal relief, such as the Save Hotel Jobs Act, to support the industry and its workforce until travel fully returns.” 
 
Some recent media coverage regarding this new survey, and you can download a one-pager on the results HERE.
 

  • CBS News Radio: “While rising vaccination rates against COVID-19 have increased travelers comfort levels, most Americans are still opting to stay home this holiday as gas prices break the bank. According to a new survey for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, nearly sixty percent of Americans say they’re unlikely to travel for either Thanksgiving or the Christmas holidays. More than half of those asked say they plan to take fewer trips or shorter trips due to rising gas prices.”
  • Los Angeles Times: “According to a recent survey commissioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Assn., 29% of Americans said they were likely to travel for Thanksgiving — up from 21% last year. The share of people who said they were likely to do so for Christmas, 33%, was also up from last year’s 24%. Of those surveyed, 58% said they were planning to vacation somewhere within driving distance on account of the pandemic.”
  • WFLA (NBC – Tampa, FL): “Not heading to grandma’s for Thanksgiving. You’re not alone. Plenty of Americans are skipping out on that holiday tradition according to the American Hotel Lodging Association just one in three Americans plan to travel for Christmas and only 29% plan to travel for Thanksgiving. The organization blames rising gas prices and the ongoing pandemic concerns for keeping Americans at home.”
  • Chicago Sun Times: Travel Uptick Expected This Thanksgiving, But Hotel Industry Still Hurting, Reports Say “Millions more Americans are expected to be on the road and in the sky this Thanksgiving holiday, but the hotel industry says it’s still hurting. AAA predicts travel will recover to within 5% of pre-pandemic levels this Thanksgiving, with millions of Americans and Illinoisans traveling by car and plane. But the American Hotel and Lodging Association says the industry is still suffering from pandemic-era disruptions. ‘Despite a slight expected uptick in holiday travel this year, hotels will continue to face economic fallout from the pandemic,’ said Chip Rogers, CEO of the AHLA. Over 53 million Americans will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday this year, an increase of 13% from 2020, AAA predicts. And in Illinois, total travel figures will be within 7 % of pre-pandemic levels. In the skies, domestic air travel “has almost completely recovered from its dramatic drop-off during the pandemic” and is up 80% from last year, AAA said.”
  • KOMO News (ABC – Seattle, WA):“Thanksgiving is almost two weeks away and more people will be traveling to see friends and family, a welcome change from last year. But according to one survey, some Americans are adjusting their plans to account for rising gas prices. A new Morning Consult survey on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) found that people were more likely to travel this year, compared to last, but the price at the pump was putting a damper on their plans. The survey conducted at the end of October found 61% of respondents reported they were not likely to travel for Thanksgiving and 59% said they probably wouldn’t travel for Christmas. That’s an improvement last year when 70% said they wouldn’t travel, largely due to COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, AAA is predicting 53 million people will travel over Thanksgiving weekend – the busiest weekend since the pandemic, with Sunday the single busiest travel day of the year.

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Greater Williamsburg, Virginia is Aglow With Holiday Experiences

November 16, 2021
From dazzling light events to festive concerts to seasonal celebrations of colonial history, Kingsmill Resort and Greater Williamsburg come alive during the holidays with the spirit of the season.

KINGSMILL RESORT, WILLIAMSBURG, VA, — From dazzling light events to festive concerts to seasonal celebrations of colonial history, Kingsmill Resort and Greater Williamsburg come alive during the holidays with the spirit of the season. The area is packed with special events. Here are holiday highlights:

So much festivity, so little time

Williamsburg’s only AAA Four Diamond Condominium Golf Resort, Kingsmill Resort, is offering guests a winter wonderland of activities during the month of December including Christmas eve and Christmas day horse and carriage rides, holiday mixology classes, breakfast and photos with Santa, glow golf, ugly sweater supper, gingerbread making competition, Christmas cookie decorating, wreath making, petting zoo, magic show, scavenger hunts, letters to Santa and lots more! The Christmas Tree lighting takes place December 1 at 6 p.m.

Have a Blast at Busch Gardens Christmas Town

Be wowed by one of the largest Christmas light displays in North America with more than 8 million twinkling lights when Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns for select dates Nov. 12-Jan. 2. Pay a visit to Randolph and Santa, watch a holiday show, and enjoy festive food and drink to help you get into the spirit of the season.

Have a Christmas-Themed Walk

Need to walk into the Christmas season? Williamsburg Walking Tours offers its Christmas Past and Present Walking Tour Dec. 1-31. Stroll through the colonial streets of the historic area and learn how early Americans celebrated Christmas. Discover the sources of modern-day celebrations in Williamsburg and how a Christmas decoration sparked a battle on Duke of Gloucester Street between a rooster and a Dalmatian.

Enjoy a guided look at Colonial Williamsburg’s historic building exteriors and streets decked out in holiday splendor during the Dec. 1 Christmas Decorations Walking Tour. Learn about the materials and construction techniques of these traditional holiday decorations. 

Revel in the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting

Delight at the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 3, a tradition that began in 1945. The tree is a 20-foot artificial commercial Giant Everest Fir placed in Riverwalk Landing. Tap along to a performance by the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown at the Victory Monument, listen to festive music at Riverwalk Landing, follow the procession of lights through the historic village, and welcome the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Thrill to the Grand Illumination

Grab a blanket and pack a picnic basket or just a thermos, and head to Colonial Williamsburg for the Grand Illumination, the finest fireworks in Williamsburg. Special events take place over three weekends, Dec. 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19. On Friday evenings, join the new Procession of the Yule Log and enjoy holiday songs and stories on Market Square. Saturday evenings will include a dramatic presentation of an original holiday story, yuletide music, and a joyful appearance by Father Christmas, culminating in simultaneous Grand Illumination fireworks over the Governor’s Palace and Capitol building.

Enjoy Holiday Music

A seasonal tradition for the entire family, The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Holiday Pops Concert during the first Grand Illumination weekend, Dec. 4-5. Share in joyful holiday classics and beloved carols with family and friends at the Kimball Theatre.

Watch Lights Dancing on the River

Join in the 25th annual Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 4 at the Yorktown Waterfront. Start by caroling around the beach bonfire, listening to the Fifes & Drums of York Town, and sipping complimentary hot cider before the decorated motorboats, sailboats, and Chesapeake workboats begin their lighted parade on the York River as they compete for best in show.

March in a Parade

Bundle up to join the Williamsburg Christmas Parade on Dec. 4. For the first time, the parade, which kicks off the holiday season with themed floats, live performances, and of course Santa himself, will be held at night.

Munch Cookies with Santa

Bring the whole family to the Gallery at York Hall on Dec. 5 for Cookies with Santa — a complimentary event to make the season bright. After enjoying the refreshments, find unique Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers among the work of hundreds of local artists, including ornaments, paintings, quilts, pottery, and many other one-of-a-kind pieces.

Shop for Christmas Gifts

Looking for the perfect gift for a friend or family member? You’re sure to find it at the Christmas Market on Main Street, Dec. 4 and 5. This is one of the most anticipated Yorktown events every holiday season. Close to 100 vendors line the street selling everything from nautical paintings to handmade soaps to Christmas ornaments and wreaths. On Saturday, enjoy a performance from the Fifes and Drums of York Town, after which Santa Claus himself will greet families. Expect strolling musical entertainment throughout the day and an ice carver set up in front of York Hall on Sunday.

More Yorktown shopping opportunities await at Mistletoe Market on Dec. 11. Browse for chowders and soups; baked goods; jams, jellies, and honey; holiday wreaths; candles and soaps; and local seasonal art. March in the annual Toyland Parade and hop aboard the Riverwalk Landing Polar Express for a loop around the festivities. Marvel at a fascinating live demonstration by a professional ice carver set up in front of the Riverwalk Landing fountain.

Sing Carols of Yesteryear

Ring in the holidays on Dec. 16 with musicians Brian Forsman and Bill Weldon as they trace the roots of seasonal tunes and popular carols to the music that our ancestors sang and danced to in colonial times. During Now Christmas Comes!, sing along with carols from Christmases past before the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree on Market Square. 

Watch the Colonial Williamsburg Christmas Tree Lighting

Gather in Colonial Williamsburg on Dec. 16 for the annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Listen to a special reading of The Night Before Christmas in front of the Courthouse steps and learn about the first Christmas tree in the United States. Sing along to classic Christmas carols and watch as the 40-foot spruce tree on Market Square is illuminated with 7,500 twinkling lights. 

Live an Authentic Colonial Christmas

Christmastide in Virginia returns Dec. 18-31 at Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, offering a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through interpretative programs and demonstrations and period musical entertainment. At Jamestown Settlement, special programs will compare English Christmas customs of the time with how they were observed in the difficult early years of the first permanent English settlement. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the war. Observe open-hearth cooking and watch as period dishes are made in the farm kitchen. Interpreters will also demonstrate a variety of holiday activities, including setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast and decorating with greenery.

Immerse Yourself in Christmas Stories

Gather the entire family together for 12 Days and Night Before Christmas on Dec. 24 at the Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg. Watch two classic Christmas stories come to life.

Participate in a 19th-Century Christmas

Spend an hour with the Colonial Singers for a re-creation of a 19th-Century Williamsburg Christmas in the “living room” of the famous Tucker family home in the Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg on Dec. 26. Clad in beautiful 19th-century costumes, they share stories and songs centered around the Civil War, the college town of Williamsburg, circa 1850, and tales of Charles Dickens. Enjoy decorating the Tucker family Christmas tree.

Re-Live Four Centuries of Virginia Christmases

Enjoy early hymns, English songs of roast beef and revelry, Irish and Scots dance tunes, poetry, prose, and stories galore during Four Centuries of Virginia Christmases at the Hennage Auditorium in Colonial Williamsburg on Dec. 28. Sing, clap, toe-tap, and share the fun of beloved holiday traditions as veteran Williamsburg musicians Kelly Kennedy, David Gardner, Cliff Williams, and Doug Austin celebrate Christmases past in the Old Dominion. 

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Club Med ‘Splash Into Winter’ Sale Offers Up to 45% Off All-Inclusive Escapes

November 12, 2021
Club Med Quebec, Canada, a four-season, all-inclusive mountain resort, will be Club Med’s first in Canada, just an hour and a half away from Québec City in the Le Massif de Charlevoix region. Save up to 45 percent during Club Med’s Splash Into Winter sale.

MIAMI — Club Med, a pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, invites travelers to take advantage of up to 45% off all-inclusive escapes plus perks at Club Med’s top resorts in Florida, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean, including Club Med Ixtapa Pacific (reopening December 11, 2021), offering a family-fun getaway under the sun, and Club Med Québec (opening December 3, 2021), offering an unforgettable all-inclusive mountain escape. The Splash into Winter sale is open for bookings now through January 10, 2022, with travel dates through July 1, 2022 and additional perks including a free room upgrade and free stays for kids under 4 – just in time for upcoming holiday getaways and spring vacations.

Club Med’s spacious low-density resorts are surrounded by nature, spread across 50 acres, and operate at a limited capacity. Paired with Club Med’s enhanced safety and hygiene protocols, free onsite antigen testing, and free cancellation policy, guests will enjoy total peace of mind and the freedom to unwind while creating cherished memories together. Guests will also enjoy unlimited culinary options, premium accommodations, and activities for all interests – from skiing and snowboarding to standup paddle boarding and snorkeling – and families will particularly enjoy Club Med’s Amazing Family program, a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities designed to help families reconnect and experience a greater sense of reunion.

For full details on the Splash Into Winter Sale, visit https://www.clubmed.us/o/best-all-inclusive-vacation-deals.

Splash Into Winter Sale

  • Booking window: Today through January 10, 2022
  • Travel window: Select dates from November 6, 2021 – July 1, 2022 (blackout dates apply)
  • 45% off plus perks:
    • Free room upgrade
    • Kids under 4 stay free
    • No single supplement
    • Free Antigen testing
    • Free Cancellations^

Participating Club Med Resorts
Travelers looking for opportunities to reconnect and create cherished memories with their loved ones on their next vacation will find that peace of mind is a destination at several Club Med resorts, including:

  • Club Med Québec, Canada: Opening December 3, 2021. The four-season, all-inclusive mountain resort will be Club Med’s first in Canada, just an hour and a half away from Québec City in the Le Massif de Charlevoix region. Spread across 300+ acres, the family-friendly resort will feature locally inspired culinary experiences, a private Exclusive Collection (5 Star) space, sweeping views of the scenic St. Lawrence River and surrounding mountains, and unlimited ski-in/ski-out access on the biggest vertical slope east of the Rockies. Guests can enjoy a variety of year-round activities like skiing, biking, and hiking, as well as activities traditional to the region like ice skating and dog sledding. Indulge in some R&R in the expansive wellness area, featuring a 25-yard heated pool with river views and a Nordic-inspired spa, or explore the destination through excursions like a sugar shack visit to enjoy Québec’s famous maple taffy and a trip to Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure with 400 years’ worth of history. Explore the destination even further through the resort’s first-of-its-kindSki Workshops, where guests can enhance their ski and snowboard skills while adventuring through the wonderous ski domains of Le Massif de Charlevoix.
  • Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, Dominican Republic: The first and only operating resort in the undiscovered region of Miches – and Club Med’s only Exclusive Collection (5 Star) resort in North America – offers a luxury experience wrapped in an all-inclusive vacation. The eco-chic resort features four boutique villages specializing in wellness, adventure, kid-friendly, and adults-only concepts, catering to an array of travelers seeking a boutique hotel-within-a-hotel experience. Enjoy unlimited refined culinary options, Zen moments with treatments at the on-site Club Med Spa by Cinq Mondes, yoga in the treetop wellness canopy, and relaxation at the naturally-filtered Zen pool. Must-try experiences for families include learning how to plant and compost ingredients at the on-site community garden to the boho-chic Sunset Ritual, the perfect way to end the day in paradise. Families can also satisfy their sweet tooth when discovering a Secret Chocolate Room – a first-of-its-kind kid’s speakeasy featuring unlimited sweets crafted with locally-sourced cocoa (and adults can get in on the fun, too!).
  • Club Med Cancún, Mexico: An ideal location for families looking for some much-needed R&R, the only resort in Cancún with three private beachfronts offers families a variety of opportunities to reconnect. Enjoy exhilarating land and water activities, from wind surfing and snorkeling to flying trapeze and archery, before partaking in outdoor activities as part of the new Club Med Amazing Family programming. Relax in the refreshed Aguamarina family oasis area, which features spacious two-bedroom oceanfront family rooms and a dedicated family pool, before kids head off to their respective kids’ club while adults enjoy treatments at the newly renovated Club Med Spa by L’OCCITANE. For added exclusivity, guests can book an ocean view suite located in the resort’s Exclusive Collection (5 Star) space. Families looking for an added sense of adventure can explore the Mayan ruins at Chichén-Itzá (at an additional cost) or discover life under the sea by snorkeling through the world’s second-largest coral reef surrounding the resort with Club Med’s all-inclusive water sport activities.
  • Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: On a 2,000-foot stretch of beach, Club Med Punta Cana caters to solo travelers, couples, and families alike with unlimited land and water sports, from golfing on an oceanfront PGA green to learning how to shoot with a bow and arrow at archery school. Adults can indulge in treatments at the Club Med Spa by L’OCCITANE or relax in the adult-exclusive Zen Oasis area, where intimate cabanas, an oversized pool and dedicated Zen Beach await. Families can partake in the new Club Med Amazing Family program, featuring a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities for families to bond and create memories, like participating in Circus School by Club Med, an interactive playground with more than 25 acrobatic and artistic activities for guests of all ages.

Additional participating resorts include Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Port St. Lucie, Florida, Club Med Caravelle, Guadeloupe, French Caribbean, Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek, Martinique, French Caribbean, Club Med Turkoise, Turks and Caicos, Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Mexico, and Club Med Columbus, Bahamas.

Flexible Policies

  • Flexible Cancellation Policy: For new bookings with travel until June 30, 2022, guests can receive a full refund should they need to cancel their stay (up to 15 days prior to the anticipated travel date).
  • Emergency Assistance Program: All guests traveling before December 31, 2022 will receive coverage for emergency medical expenses during their stay, including those related to COVID-19. 
  • Safe Together protocols: Implemented in all of the brand’s resorts as they reopen, including those in Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada, these newly enhanced hygiene and safety measures were developed through recommendations from the World Health Organization, local health authorities, and the advice of an International Scientific Committee comprised of a specialized team of doctors and professors.
  • PCR + Rapid Antigen Testing: As required for re-entry into the United States from international destinations, Club Med offers complimentary Rapid Antigen COVID-19 tests on-site for travel through January 31, 2022. PCR testing is also available at an additional cost.

Full details on the can be found here.

Club Med, founded in 1950 by Gérard Blitz, is the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, offering approximately 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean. Each Club Med resort features authentic local style and comfortably upscale accommodations, superior sports programming and activities, enriching children’s programs, gourmet dining, and warm and friendly service by its world-renown staff with legendary hospitality skills, an all-encompassing energy and diverse backgrounds.

Club Med operates in more than 30 countries and continues to maintain its authentic Club Med spirit with an international staff of more than 23,000 employees from more than 110 different nationalities. Led by its pioneering spirit, Club Med continues to grow and adapt to each market with three to five new resort openings or renovations per year, including a new mountain ski resort annually.

For more information, visit www.clubmed.us, call 1-800-Club-Med (1-800-258-2633), or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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