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Omni Bedford Springs
While hotel holiday decorations are pretty to look at, they don't do much to relax you during the holiday season, which let's be honest--can be crazy stressful with all the parties, the shopping, the relatives. So if you need a breather, we’ve put together a list (and we’re checking it twice) of hotel spas across the US who have put together some holiday-themed treatments that you can give to yourself because, contrary to popular belief, sometimes it is better to receive than to give.
The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego normally uses seasonal ingredients and this winter is no exception. From December through January you can indulge in the Chocolate Candied Orange Treatment, and indulge you will! This treatment starts with a hazelnut and orange scrub; then comes a chocolate comfrey wrap and cinnamon scalp treatment; an Acai butter massage follows, as does a mulled cider drink. The spa then sends you on your way with a take home recipe for hazelnut and sea salt shortbread cookies. The cost for this extravagance is $175.
At Lake Arrowhead Resort’s Spa of the Pines (an Autograph Collection hotel) there is a new holiday-themed menu of treatments. The resort is offering a hot stone Holiday Pedicure, a Holiday Swedish Massage using their own special holiday-scented oil (cloves and cinnamon), and a Holiday-Scented Body Scrub using an organic vanilla and brown sugar scrub followed by a rich body cream. For the most bang for your buck go for the Holiday Duo: the body scrub followed by the massage for $165.
L'Auberge de Sedona is offering guests a Warming Gingerbread Sugar Body Scrub and Gingerbread Wrap that are good enough to eat. Using organic sugar and warming ginger oil there are also notes of cinnamon and orange. To tempt you further, we’ll just tell you that after the scrub, the body butter is applied to your skin, you’re wrapped in warm blankets and receive either a scalp and neck massage or a foot massage. You can just lie back and hear the heavenly choir. The scrub and wrap are $145 for both treatments.
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When the Queen of England remarks on your pregnancy (which has gone 11 days past due date) with a "...I would very much like it to arrive. I’m going on holiday”, that certainly puts the pressure on. So, it's no surprise Kate Middleton was admitted early this morning to London's St. Mary's Hospital and is in labor. Looks like the third in line to the throne will be welcomed to the world soon and Queen Elizabeth can go on vacation!
Well guess what? All you other pregnant ladies out there not yet due can still get some respite, thanks to the host of "Babymoon" packages that have rolled out ever since Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge announced she was with child.
From decadent hotel stays to pampering getaways, here are options for women in every stage of pregnancy--just make sure it's doctor approved (Kate got harassed for her own Mustique babymoon, by taking an eight-hour flight). We've decided to skip the outlandish six-figure "Royal Babymoon" deals (cough) for those a bit more realistic--although the Trump Package was such a good Fantasy Friday special they're now doing it in Waikiki! But take it easy, after all, you've got a boatload of diapers to finance in the near future.
However, do get in one more treat before D (delivery) Day comes!
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What’s Out: Chocolates on your pillow
What’s In: Over the top, fun and experiential turn-down services
Everyone loves coming back to their room after a nice dinner out to find that little chocolate sitting on their pillow, right? If you like that, though, you’re going to love this. Some hotels are going out of their way to make sure that you have really sweet dreams with these OTT nighty-night rituals.
Hotel Vermont offers a special “bedtime menu” that includes such delights as a selection of Vermont flannel pyjamas to snuggle up in on a brisk night, local Lunaroma aromatherapy products from which you can choose, a Vermont teddy bear (your choice of six) to sleep with or take home, a selection of bedtime stories for the little ones, a locally-inspired Hot Toddy selection, and 10-15 minute in-room meditation sessions via TV or download.
In Fairmont Gold rooms at Boston’s Fairmont Battery Wharf, you get a message in a bottle with top things to do in Boston during that particular time of the year.
Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport is more than an ordinary airport hotel. It’s known by some to be the original beer hotel and has an enormous beer selection featuring over 100 beers, a poolside bar dedicated solely to local beers, monthly beer appreciation nights and it even has a Beer Advisory Board and a Director of Brewer Relations. If all of that beer surrounding you has made you thirsty for more, you can order a Beer Club Package that includes stocking the in-room mini fridge with your choice of three of your favorite beers and a nightly beer turndown with souvenir glass.
Three more hotels with bedtime treats follow!
Back in January we told you that the Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont was undergoing a major reno. Shortly after that, the hotel closed up shop as it entered the final stage of its makeover. But now the hotel is nearly ready for its close-up and will re-open on June 28.
A Preferred Boutique and Preferred Pride hotel, the fruits of Topnotch's multi-million dollar refurbishment include:
• A more contemporary entryway that opens to a spacious new lobby designed to showcase soaring mountain views
• A brand spanking new bar
• Two new restaurants: The Flannel & The Roost
• 68 newly renovated rooms and suites
• New wedding & events venue
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Today we start a new weekly series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Generic flower aromas
What’s In: Bespoke signature scents
Hotels are getting personal with their smelly goods. More and more they’re looking to give you a local scent experience as soon as you walk in the door or when you’re executing your nightly ablutions. Capitalizing on the strength of olfactory memories, they’re partnering with local scent companies to choose unique aromas that embody the spirit of the hotel and give it a sense of place.
Here are just a few examples:
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Burlington, Vermont – the state’s largest city – is getting its first boutique hotel sometime this spring in the form of the Hotel Vermont.
The 125-room hotel is billing itself as providing “an authentic Vermont experience” so we’re picturing something woodsy, homey, and surrounded by mountains and greenery. In fact, we’re not far off because the hotel will have furniture made from indigenous white oak, reclaimed red oak floors and a wood-burning hearth in the lobby. As far as greenery goes, there’s 2,000 square feet of green space on the roof along with the 7,500-square-foot Harbor Terrace. Throw in the smell of the apple cider that’s offered to guests in the lobby, and they’ve got all of the bases covered.
As long as we’re talking about authentic Vermont experiences, Burlington is located on Lake Champlain and, from the hotel’s outdoor terrace, you can see both the lake and the Adirondack Mountains. That's a pretty sweet backdrop. If you’re a ski fiend, the city’s only about 25 minutes away from Bolton Valley and 50 minutes away from Stowe, but Burlington itself has a neat little arts scene going on with local performers, crafts people and artists that presents no real reason to leave. There's also some sporty pursuits in the area such as bass fishing, if you're so inclined.
Topnotch Resort at Stowe Mountain in Vermont is undergoing a face lift this ski season, redoing the lobby to provide views of Mt. Mansfield (Vermont's highest peak). The construction will also result in updated guest rooms and a new restaurant.
Despite the work being done on property, the resort is still open for business as usual (FYI there are no longer cranes on property as the project has entered "phase two"). The resort is offering a reduced rate during the revamp , a gesture we can appreciate. The discounted "Renaissance Rate" starts at $200 per night. Normal rates begin at $250. So, you're basically saving the cost of a tank of gas. Pretty decent.
Many hotels remain open during renovations, but with something so central as the lobby under the knife, we wondered how it might affect a guest's experience. So we did some digging around to see what people were saying.
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Recent snowfall in Colorado and Utah have kicked off an early ski season sparking a storm of deals and packages from resorts across the country. It's not uncommon to see early-bird discounts this time of year, but it appears there's an extra bit of excitement after last year's flop of a season.
It seems every mountain resort imaginable is offering some sort of bargain, whether it's ski and stay discounts, kids ski free, or complimentary hotel nights, so check around before checking in.
Here’s a sampling of some of the best deals from major areas in the US and a few from afar:
Winter Park, Colorado: This local favorite owned by the city of Denver rewards guests who book a five-night stay ($169/night) at the Vintage Hotel before December 12th with a free season pass. The resort puts icing on the cake with a snow guarantee - previously booked nights can be rescheduled if snow conditions are not up to your liking.
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The weekend is upon us and all we can think of is having a Calgon moment. A soothing, it’ll-be-all right session seems about due, and we’re certain you can use one as well. The stars must be in alignment because we received a great mix of spa news this week, so we’ve gotta share. Chances are, some of you need a good old massage, and the spa gurus are searching for the new treatment du jour. And because it’s summertime, that means kids are hopped up on ice cream, candy and the like, so they need to calm the heck down, too. Just thinking about these treatments are already calming our nerves.
The new Chillax Lounge at Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Lodge is tailor-made for the hyperactive whippersnapper set. Kids come in fresh from a day at the pool or on the mountains, wrap a plush robe around their clothes, and hop into a cozy Pier One-style papasan chair drapped with a covered massage pad (the kind you can get at the Sharper Image). After they get over pressing the buttons and settling into the right vibrations—the relaxing and pampering begins with a chocolate face mask, cucumber slices for the eyes, and well a soothing scalp massage. The room looks right out into the mountains, so the view is incredible and the destimulation begins. What’s amazing is, according to Stowe's spa director, this service is booked more by preteen boys than girls! Apparently the guys are better at kicking back, enjoying the silence, and decompressing for a while, while girls tend to turn into chatty Cathy’s after a few minutes. Hmm, go figure.
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Cake is nice but a hotel stay is much sweeter.
As kids we showered mom on Mother’s Day with love, from the burnt but well-meaning breakfast to the glue-stained handmade card. Fast forward and our big kid selves may have slacked off a bit with cheesy e-cards, half-dead flowers, and even lame IOUs for our spouses. So, we’ve drummed up a few getaways you can still book to wow her on her special day.
Last week we gave you the lowdown on Valentine's Day deals that we'd actually book. This week, it's time to show you the strange, outrageous and plain cray-cray packages that are out there.
Tucked inside a friendly looking, sunny-yellow house, the Woodstocker Inn looks like an unlikely place for some naughty Valentine's Day ruckus. But the small Vermont inn is asking all the freaks in the sheets to come out for its Duvets and Dildos package.
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As one of friends said to us when we pulled up at the vintage Inn at Montpelier on Main Street, "Montpelier's got charm coming out of its butt." Never were truer words spoken. The charm that oozes from Montpelier is especially apparent during autumn, its top tourist season, when leaf peepers from around the world descend on the state to pretty much watch grass grow, or rather, leaves die.
Said friend is a native of Montpelier, and according to him, The Inn is the place to stay as a base for forays into the foliage. Maybe it's the expansive front porch or maybe it's the fiery red trees already around the property, but we get why it's so popular. Hint: it's both. The main house and its ten fireplaces were built early in the 1800s and it remains independently owned.