Sunday, December 13, 2015

New Years Eve Getaway Packages

Whether you’re looking to cozy up fireside and watch the snow fall or party all night to the sounds of some of this year’s hottest artists, here are a few unforgettable New Year’s Eve packages that are sure to have you ring in 2016 in style.

This year, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is offering some the most exciting New Year’s Eve celebrations
on the strip. On December 31st, the critically-acclaimed, Grammy-Award winning Bruno Mars will perform alongside his eight-piece band, The Hooligans, at The Cosmopolitan’s state-of-the-art concert venue The Chelsea. The hotel is offering a New Year’s Experience package that includes a two night’s stay, two tickets to see Bruno Mars live at The Chelsea, brunch for two and VIP check-in.  Additionally, guests can enjoy New Year’s Eve at The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan, a winter wonderland overlooking the heart of The Strip. The only outdoor Ice Rink in Las Vegas will feature snow showers every half hour between 6pm and 10pm Wednesday through Sunday during the holiday season. For a more romantic option, guests can head to The Chandelier Bar, a three story bar made of over two million crystals. The three-story bar offers a range of toasting options from sophisticated cocktail lounge to lively dance floor.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach will be ringing in 2016 with performances by two of this year’s hottest artists,
The Weeknd and KYGO. The festive nightlife experience will take place around the hotel's poolscape. Prices range from $275 for one general admission ticket up to $50,000 for a stage-side private space with room for up to 30 lucky guests. All packages include premium open bar from 9 p.m. until midnight.

Castle Hill Inn (Newport, Rhode Island)
An Effervescent New Year’s Eve (December 30 - January 2)
Champagne is synonymous with the celebration of New Year’s. This year at Castle Hill, we are fully embracing the fine art of “Bubbly”, starting with a bottle of Champagne in your room upon arrival. On the
afternoon of New Year’s Eve, Beverage Director Anthony Boi will host a premium Champagne tasting, followed by a screening of the 1954 film classic Sabrina. After an evening of dinner and dancing to ring in the new year, make your way to the dining room to enjoy our New Year’s Day Hangover Brunch, featuring an artisan Bloody Mary bar (not included in the cost of the package).  $720/night - $1,200night (based on double occupancy).   Nestled on a 40-acre peninsula in Newport, Rhode Island, overlooking Narragansett Bay, Castle Hill Inn exemplifies the warmth and quiet luxury of 19th century seacoast life.  Combining the elegance of a boutique hotel with the inviting comforts of a coastal inn, the Inn offers resplendent lodging options to suit the needs and preferences of all guests.  Accommodations include seven guest rooms and suites in the original 19th-century Agassiz Mansion, and 24 private, waterfront accommodations in the Harbor House, Chalet, Beach Houses and Beach Cottages. Within the mansion, indulgent meals are prepared by renowned Executive Chef, Karsten Hart, and the recently renovated Lawn at Castle Hill is the epitome of classic New England al fresco dining.  On property activities include stargazing, clambakes, bonfires, games on the lawn, kayaking, paddle boarding, yoga, surfing, sailing and much more. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Sunshine State's Annual Winter Wonderland Getaway

As a native Floridian, it is not very often that I get to experience a white Christmas, but thanks to the
Gaylord Palms in Orlando, we get to drive about one hour to visit their annual winter wonderland known as ICE! And there is so much to see and do, that we always make it a two-night stay.

ICE! is a 9-degree, indoor holiday event.  It features a walkable attraction that with two million pounds of ice, four 2-story ice slides, six rooms depicting the story of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (this year’s theme), The Frostbite Factory with live carving zone, and a breath-taking Nativity scene carved from crystal clear ice.

Between my two brothers and I, we have six kids under the age of 7, and they all look forward to going to ICE! each year.  Our annual Gaylord Palms visit is highly anticipated not just because the kids love the ICE! experience, but they also love spending time together and ‘sleeping in a nice

Upon arrival, our first stop was breakfast with Mr. Claus at the Villa de Flora restaurant (voted Critic's Choice for Best Brunch by the Orlando Sentinel), which provides an incredible breakfast buffet, as well as visits from some of Santa’s top elves who visited our table.  We all ate until we could pop, and the kids all took turns on Mrs. Claus’ lap letting her know what they’d like for Christmas.

After we ate breakfast, we walked to the Convention side of the resort where most of the ICE!
festivities take place in the Alpine Village.  We had 11:00 AM reservations for the Gingerbread Decorating.  The kids (and adults) got into the holiday spirit decorating their gingerbread cookies, which then went straight into their bellies. We even enjoyed a visit from Gingy.

The Alpine Village also features an eight-lane tubing hill that’s fun for all ages and covered in REAL SNOW, visits and photos with Santa, hot chocolate and holiday shopping.  Other activities include the hotels Elf on the Shelf® Scavenger Hunt, which make strolling through the resort a ton of fun.

After cookie decorating, we made our way into ICE! with its various rooms filled with beautiful ice sculptures and several depicting scenes from the popular story ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  The boys had a blast on the 2-story ice slides, and
we are always mesmerized by the talented ice carvers.  Next stop: hot chocolate and photos with Santa.

We ate an early dinner at the hotel’s revamped and renamed seafood restaurant, MOOR, which provides fresh seafood caught nearby for freshness and prepared just the way you like it.  The adults had a great meal, and the kids had fun eating dinner on the large ship placed inside the resort.

In the evening, we enjoyed Cirque Dreams UnWrapped Live Stage Show and the hotel’s amazing 54-foot Christmas tree with more than 2 million twinkle lights.  The 25-minute show features an array of seasonal characters brought to life in a dreamscape of imaginative costumes and creativity, while stunning feats of showmanship are unwrapped, performed on stage and in the air.

Many thanks to the Gaylord Palms Resort for their amazing hospitality and for providing a white
Christmas for those of us who call the Sunshine State home.  

We cannot wait to come back next year!