Rethinking the holiday “staycation” you planned? Sure, you wanted to avoid that holiday family dinner where long-buried arguments are brought back to life followed by awkward pauses, but spending the holidays at home is more "ho-hum" than "ho ho ho." If you have yet to make travel plans, don't worry that all worthy rooms are taken. Hotels around the world still have availability for some top holiday packages, with special rates, discounts on dining, and access to some of the world’s best holiday events and festivities.
New York is one of the most iconic Christmas destinations, what with Fifth Avenue's charmingly decorated shop windows and that enormous Rockefeller Center tree. Book a room at the Affinia Manhattan with their Miracle on 31st Street package, which starts at $179/night. The package includes a VIP skating package for two at the Bryant Park ice-skating rink (with line-cutting privileges and skate rentals), two cocktails at the Niles Bar nearby, and an in-room holiday movie night with cookies and hot chocolate. The package is available through February 26, 2012.
Some may savor a white Christmas, but there’s something to be said for a holiday spent by the sea. Sausalito’s Casa Madrona is offering a Sausalito Stocking package, which includes a two-night stay in one of their hillside cottages (complete with fireplace and balcony; both pair well with wine) and classic Christmas stockings hung by the fireplace, filled with tons of locally sourced goodies like a gift certificate to Angelino’s, bath salt scrub from the hotel spa, a box of Ghirardelli chocolate, Heath Ceramics candles, and a scarf from a local boutique. This special is available through January 1.
Spend the holidays tucked away at a mountain resort with more hot chocolate than cell service. Telluride’s Hotel Madeline is offering a six-night stay, all-inclusive holiday package; five days’ worth of lift passes and ski equipment rentals for two; and a $100 resort credit for spa services, cocktails, or meals. The package runs $6,500 (tax and tip included) for two and is available through February 25, with some blackout dates. (Photo courtesy of Hotel Madeline)
Or, why not escape the country altogether and spend a romantic holiday weekend in the English countryside? Coworth Park in Berkshire is a luxe retreat offering a cozy, family-friendly three-night Christmastime holiday, with story time for the kids, champagne, afternoon tea in the Drawing Room, a three-course dinner in The Barn, gifts from Santa for the kids, and cake and chocolate-making lessons from the hotel’s pastry staff. Rates start at $1,575 per person for the full three-night stay, and this package is only available from December 24-27.