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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.
Mother's Day Hotels / Beverly Hills Hotels / Turks and Caicos Hotels / Vermont Hotels / Biggest Loser Resorts / → All Tags
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.
Historical Hotels / Fall Hotels / Fall Foliage Hotels / Vermont Hotels / Bed and Breakfasts / Montpelier Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Services / Doughnuts / Luxury Collection Hotels / Vermont Hotels / → All Tags
Time to make the donuts...
It's a fact. Doughnuts are the new cupcakes and it was only a matter of time before hotels began incorporating the yummy fried dough into their menus.
At The Equinox Resort & Spa in Manchester Village, Vermont, you can rest assured that their doughnuts are the freshest they can be as the hotel has its very own doughnut machine. And Chef Jeffrey Russell put the machine to good use immediately, concocting Vermont apple cider doughnuts which he's been giving out to guests.
We’ve always heard wonderful things about Vermont’s loveliness in the spring, summer and fall, but anytime anyone said "Vermont" and "Winter" in the same sentence, we covered up our ears. Not all of us love
shaving ice er...skiing and many of us refuse to vacation somewhere below 40 degrees.
But if there’s anything to sway us up to Vermont for a weekend, it’s a cozy-looking, colonial inn promising a third-night free.
Of course, said inn would have to have some crazy appealing amenities to make us pack snowboots and parkas and trip it up to Vermont at this time of the year. Fortunately, The Pitcher Inn delivers on that with its in-room Jacuzzi tubs, heated floors and wood-burning fireplaces.
And right now, they are offering guests who pay for two nights, a third night free. The $850 price tag includes three night’s of accommodations, full breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner (though the dining room is closed on Tuesdays). Not bad, considering this is a Relais & Chateaux property.
The offer is good through December 18, so if anyone wants to expose themselves to Vermont’s winter elements, you better get crackin’.
Yesterday was the first official day of fall...still plenty of time to book a leaf-peeper getaway. The US Hotels Group just announced two getaways at their upscale New England resorts, The White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine (where the Bush parents call home), and The Windham Hill Inn in West Townshend, Vermont.
Between September 22nd and October 18, and starting at rates of $1100 per person, you get two nights accommodations, dinner for two each night, breakfast and afternoon tea, and er, driving maps of the area.
Rooms at the The Windham Hill come with fireplaces, jacuzzis, and decks -- while The White Barn Inn, built in the 1860s, has an on-site spa and its White White Barn Inn Restaurant has won a Mobil 5-Star, AAA Five-Diamond rating.
Fortunately, the hotels don't charge you extra if you stay mid-week or weekend. And your fee includes, well, driving maps, which you could probably get for free from the state tourism board or local visitor centers, anyway. Or the internet. But you get the point.
[Photo: The Notorious Meg]
But those rolling green hills won't stay that way for long. According to the Vermont Vacation's Foliage Report, the wet weather New England has been having will translate to a spectacular palette of autumn hues.
This website's pretty cool, too - they even tell you what regions of the state are most likely to have available lodging. (Hint: The weekend of October 10-12 is nearly a statewide blackout of rooms.)
So where to spend some time leaf-gazing? Ironically, a good stop is at Mount Snow, at the sprawling Grand Summit Hotel. Predominantly known for skiing, it's got all the seasonal benefits of slope life without the snow plows -- outdoor pool, sauna, hot tubs...
When you get tired of all that natural beauty, there are nearby wineries, mountain biking, working farm and dairies...not to mention a local Oktoberfest right at the mountain base, October 11 & 12. Room rates for a room with two queen beds start at $138 a night.
During today's lesson you may get a bit choked up, find your body temperature rising and a shiver shooting down your spine. If you haven't guessed already, we're talking about Legionnaires disease, symptoms of which include coughing, high fever and chills.
Similar to pneumonia, Legionnaires was first identified in 1976 and got its name after a spate of guests at what is now the Park Hyatt Philadelphia--who happened to be attending an American Legion convention--contracted the disease. It was later discovered the bacteria spawned from the hotel's cooling tower.
Why should you care? Because Vermont's Cortina Inn & Resort was closed yesterday after water tests showed evidence of the bacteria, confirming it as a source of recent cases. It is not yet known when the hotel will reopen, thereby squashing any hopes hotel guests may have had of catching the last ski runs of the season.
Hotels without climate control systems are known breeding grounds for the disease, but lest you think quaint country inns like the Cortina are only susceptible (we're unawares if the hotel has climate control), the last reported outbreak of Legionnaires occurred as recently as last month, at a Quality Inn in Orlando.
Perhaps climate control could be the hot new amenity hotels can start touting?
We are suckers for a room with a killer view. We find that we are even more likely to forgive some minor hotel inconveniences if we can stare out the window at something pretty--yeah we are that shallow. Let's help out our fellow hotel mavens by uploading rooms with killer views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. We will feature our favorites in this space from time to time. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number of the hot view.
This sounds like a perfect weekend getaway: heading up into the Green Mountain National Forest, near Romance Mountain, to a place with "the luxury of open lands, spectacular panoramic views, privacy, fresh air, freedom from noise and a less hurried pace". And that's exactly how it looks if you see this killer view from the Blueberry Hill Inn in Goshen, Vermont.
The inn has four original rooms in the upstairs of the main building, all quaintly decorated to give you the charm of a time past. There are also three rooms off the Conservatory with lofts, a cottage and four pond-side rooms, each with slightly different features--choose the room that suits you best.
Double rooms start at $130 per person, while a single is just $160 for the room; prices are higher on weekends, holidays and during the foliage season. And you can run around on this great lawn free of charge.
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same region (or this time, around the same activity) and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quoted here were captured on January 22, 2008 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]
Skiing is hard enough without having to sort through math problems ahead of time. That's why we like this one-page rundown of Northeast ski deals from Travelocity. Most are simple "ski and stay" packages at quality hotels and resorts around Stowe, Lake Placid, and Stratton.
To see how many restrictions we would run into, we ran a few searches from different cities in the southern U.S. and scored more often than not. We found a sub-$600 deal for four nights around Valentine's Day from both Nashville and Atlanta for the Green Mountain Inn at Stowe. We were getting prices around $900 for packages to New Hampshire's White Mountains from Dulles Airport and Charlotte, but the package did include a one-day lift ticket.
Naturally there is going to be a lot of fluctuation on these deals depending on flight prices from your airport, but you don't have to read any fine print or call a reservation agent to check the bottom line pricing.