Holiday hotel packages

Holiday hotel packages: quirky, cool and over the top

There’s no need to stay home over the holidays. Santa not only knows if you’ve been naughty or nice, and he will deliver your gifts even if you’re staying in one the many hotels around the country offering these fun holiday-themed packages and over-the-top Christmas experiences.

If you’ve been really good this year, Santa may even join you for breakfast or give you a surfing lesson.

Here’s a list I put together for CNBC:

Surfing lessons – from Santa

Courtesy Surfing Santa & Florida’s Space Coast

Santa is not only a sleigh rider, he’s also, evidently, a surfer.

The annual Surfing Santas event held in Florida’s Cocoa Beach celebrates St. Nick’s secret hobby every Christmas Eve morning with 300 surfing Santas and thousands of spectators. Travelers who want to join the fun can book a hotel package that includes a surfing lesson and a visit on the beach from one of the Surfing Santas.

“BIG” package, with shopping spree in New York City

Courtesy Arlo Hotel/Nikki Vanko

The Arlo Hotel in New York city is offering ‘The BIG Holiday Package’ in honor of the 30th anniversary of the classic film “Big,” starring Tom Hanks as a twelve-year old boy who wakes up in the body of a 30-year old man. Valid Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, the package includes a $500 shopping spree, a driver to take you shopping throughout the city, and a Chef’s dinner for 4 in the hotels’ heated “ice huts.” As a bonus, guests will get to play on oversize piano keys, just like the ones in the “BIG” movie, with a photographer available to document the adventure. Prices start at $3,600 per night.  

Bedtime Butlers

Coutesy Kimpton Riverplace Hotel Portland

In Portland, OR, the Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel on the banks of the Willamette River, has a year-round Bedtime butler who makes the rounds a few nights a week, delivering a cart of traditional nightcaps and a selection of other treats to guests. During the holidays the cart is decorated with lights and Christmas stockings and is stocked with books, house-made cookies, and hot cocoa for kids, as well as al bourbon, wine, hot tea, toiletries and slippers for adults. Guests can’t schedule the BedtimeButler; her or she visits rooms at random, so guests are advised to keep an ear out for a knock at their door.

Decadent dining

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

 The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, located in a historic property on Michigan Avenue that was once a men’s only private club, is offering an onsite progressive dining experience as part of its Sip, Savor, Stay package. The evening starts with champagne by the fireplace, appetizers on the glass-enclosed rooftop restaurant, dinner in the hotel’s Cherry Circle Room, dessert in the Milk Room microbar, and a nightcap in the Game Room, with a privately reserved bocce court. Breakfast the next day is included and as a bonus guests get to take home two of the hotel’s bathrobes (which mimic boxing robes) and two branded glasses. Price: $3,600 for a two-night stay.

Inspired by Dior in Denver

Ramble Hotel Denver

To coincide with the holiday shopping season and the Denver Art Museum’s exhibit “Dior: From Paris to the World,” Denver’s Ramble Hotel is offering the ”Chauffeur to Dior: From Paris to the World” package.

In addition to a night at the hotel, guests will be able to shop for vintage Dior jewelry from their room, drink specialty “Ginette” cocktails named for Christian Dior’s sister, tour the museum’s Dior exhibit with VIP tickets and be driven to and from the museum’s Dior exhibit in a vintage Roll Royce car. Package starts at $1,300 and is available through March 3, 2019.

Decorated suite and holiday treats

Mandirn Hotel NY/David Lewis-Taylor

As part of the Holiday Winter Wonderland Suite Escape package at the Mandarin Oriental, New York guests will stay in a suite outfitted with an ornately- decorated 9-

tree( and a second 3-foot decorated artificial tree), nutcrackers, live wreath, hanging stockings and other festive holiday touches. Holiday-themed food and beverages, including hot chocolate with Grand Marnier, a gingerbread house, cake lollipops and other treats are included. Available through December 31, 2018. Rates begin at $5,775 per night with a two-night minimum stay.

Christmas in a vintage trailer

The Vintages

 The Vintages trailer resort in Oregon’s Willamette Valey has 33 trailers in 21 different styles and during the holiday offers two $50 holiday add-on packages. One includes candy cane lawn decorations and a champagne cocktail kit, complete with bottle of local champagne; the other is a campfire-themed package that includes a s’mores kit, Moonstruck gourmet hot cocoa, a bottle of The Vintages Pinot Noir, and a “Little Red Campfire” fire pit.

Sugar plum fairies and elf tuck-ins

Mission Inn Festival of Lights

Fun holiday packages are available during the six-week Festival of at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, CA.

The two-night Sugar Plum Fairy Suite Package (Rates start at $1,419) includes a stay in the decorated themed suite with holiday trimmings, a holiday tree, stockings, holiday lights and candy décor. Included is a cupcake turndown amenity for four with hot cocoa and a $200 dining credit. To sweeten the experience, for $50 per child, guests can add on the hotel’s signature elf tuck-in” amenity, which features a resident elf that delivers small, present-filled stockings to children and tucks them into bed with a bedtime story.

Ultimate Christmas Package

Ritz- Carlton Fort. Lauderdale

The Fully Wrapped: Ultimate Christmas Experience package is available for one family December 24-26 at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale. (Price starts at $12,999) The experience includes lodging in an ocean view 3-bedroom suite, gift wrapping services, a spa package and champagne. On Christmas morning, there will be breakfast with Santa, who will arrive bearing wrapped gifts that will include a pair of custom Adidas Sneakers, an American Girl Doll, a Pandora bracelet with charm, a bottle of Island Company Run and a voucher for a private rum room experience with a mixologist. The package includes use of a pool cabana for the day, complete with cabana attire and, a photographer to document all the special moments.

Holiday hotel packages with dazzling extras

We’re spending the week at a hotel in Florence, Italy this week that (on our budget…) feels extravagant because not only does our room overlook a park, it is super comfortable and comes with a great breakfast buffet, afternoon tea and a complimentary Handy phone that helps us find our way through town.

But this package  we’ve  purchased fades in comparision to some of the unique and over-the-top holiday packages I found for a piece I put together for CNBC this past weekend that include extras such as trimmed trees, stuffed stocking and lots of bling.

 

There’s no charge to visit the Holiday Wonderland on view now through December 27 in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, but it will certainly make you hungry.

Decorations include three trees bedecked with a total of 9,500 French macarons. The hotel’s Bar Cocoa dessert boutique boasts to having constructed the world’s largest éclair tree, using 980 éclairs in glittery red, gold, black and silver.

Starting December 2, the Tucson-area Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain will begin serving meals at its Dine-In Gingerbread House in the resort lobby. The house seats six and is made with 400 pounds of flour, 100 pounds of ginger powder, 50 pounds of cinnamon, 250 eggs, and 10 pounds of nutmeg. Viewing is complimentary, but reservations are required for lunch and dinner. Cost: $200/$250 fee, plus meal costs. Nibbling on the edible walls not permitted.

 

Several packages offer built-in holiday cheer at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park.

The Holidays on the Fly Package offers the add-on options of a three-foot-tall tree to enjoy and take home ($50) or a six-foot-tall decorated artificial loaner tree, complete with lights, topper, skirt and ornaments ($150). For an extra $20, those who book the Snowman in a Box Package will receive a kit with a top hat, red scarf, coal eyes, buttons, pipe cleaner, authentic Chicago Oak Twigs and an organic carrot. Snow is not included, but the kits are available now through March 31, 2018.

And both friends and family can stay out of their holiday hosts’ hair by booking the Winter Fun package (starting at $154, plus tax, gratuity) which includes overnight accommodations and $25 dining credit.

Santa and Mrs. Claus welcome both adults and children to the much-loved Teddy Bear Tea ($94.33 $128 per person; $1500 for a Golden Table for 10) in the block-long lobby of The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which turns on its elaborate lobby lights and décor the day after Thanksgiving.

In Dallas, Texas, the Hilton Anatole transforms its lobby into Peppermint Park, complete with train rides, games, interactive entertainment, light displays, photos with Santa and more. Guests can book the “Breakfast with Santa” package, which includes a guest room, a holiday movie, and breakfast with Santa for up to two children and two adults or the Grand Holiday Experience package which includes the guest room, a holiday movie, breakfast with Santa, and two kids’ fun passes to all the Peppermint Park activities.

When Christmas Eve comes around there’ll be no need to bake cookies for Santa and leave them by the chimney if you’ve booked the Christmas Eve fantasy package at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort & Spa in greater Palm Springs, CA.

The resort’s December 24, 2017 package costs $15,000 and includes accommodations for six in the resort’s Governor’s Suite, a connecting room, a holiday dinner served by Santa’s elves, a private movie screening, bedtime stories with cookies and milk offered by elves, breakfast with Santa and a keepsake family photo. Also included: a decorated in-suite Christmas tree, $2,000 in shopping money, and limousine transportation between the resort and any airport (or home) within a two-hour drive.

For $100,000 per night (with a two-night minimum) the Bubbles & Bling package at the Lotte New York Palace is the most over-the-top holiday package we’ve found (so far).

The package includes round-trip helicopter transfers from any of the major NYC-area airports, overnight accommodations in the Jewel Suite one night and the Champagne Suite the next, extravagant in-room holiday décor that includes a decorated Christmas tree and stockings stuffed with gifts, and evening in-room entertainment by a local jazz duo.

The Jewel Suite includes a Martin Katz jewelry gift under the tree, while the Champagne Suite includes a decked-out bar cart with Martin Katz custom jeweled bottles. Also included in the package: a holiday-inspired food and wine tasting ‘experience’ and breakfast in bed.

Holiday guests who don’t choose the Bubbles & Bling package will still be offered a pencil and postcard at check-in so they can write a letter to Santa and receive a small gift and a personalized response during the daily Palace Hour (5-7 p.m. daily), where December treats include elaborate food presentations, surprise goodies and a life-size Molton Brown bath and body products advent calendar with free giveaways.