- From coast to coast, vacationers have a range of holiday options.
- Offerings include a 'Big' themed experience in New York, or a $13,000 stay at the Ritz in Fort Lauderdale
With the sheer number of hotels and resorts offering quirky, cool and outright over-the-top vacation specials, there's no need to stay home over the holidays.
In fact, Santa (who knows if you've been naughty or nice) can deliver your gifts to one of the many hotels around the country offering fun holiday-themed packages and Christmas-themed experiences. CNBC recently took a look at a handful of locations offering up everything from shopping sprees to surfing lessons (which old St. Nick himself is teaching at one location).
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.
The Arlo Hotel in New York city is offering 'The BIG Holiday Package' in honor of the 30th anniversary of the classic Tom Hanks film. 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 in "Big"), with a photographer available to document the adventure. Prices start at $3,600 per night.
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 loads of X-mas goodies. However, guests can't schedule the BedtimeButler, who visits rooms at random, so keep an ear out for a knock at their door.
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 includes champagne, 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.
Denver's Ramble Hotel is offering the ''Chauffeur to Dior: From Paris to the World'' package, designed to complement the Denver Art Museum's exhibit of the same name.
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, get a VIP tour of the museum's Dior exhibit, and be driven in a vintage Roll Royce car. Package starts at $1,300 and is available through March 3, 2019.
As part of the Mandarin Oriental's Holiday Winter Wonderland Suite Escape package, guests will stay in a suite outfitted with an ornately- decorated 9-foot tree, a live wreath, hanging stockings and other festive holiday touches. Holiday-themed food and beverages include hot chocolate with Grand Marnier, a gingerbread house, and cake lollipops. Available through December 31, 2018. Rates begin at $5,775 per night, with a two-night minimum stay.
The Vintages trailer resort in Oregon's Willamette Valley has 33 trailers in 21 different styles: During the holiday the location offers two $50 holiday add-on packages. One includes candy cane lawn decorations and a champagne cocktail kit; the other is a campfire-themed package that includes a S'mores kit, Moonstruck gourmet hot cocoa, a bottle of the signature The Vintages Pinot Noir, and a "Little Red Campfire" fire pit.
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 all the holiday trimmings. 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" featuring the mythical creature delivering present-filled stockings to children, and tucks them into bed with a bedtime story.
For the deep-pocketed, Fort Lauderdale's Ritz Carlton has the Fully Wrapped: Ultimate Christmas Experience, available for one family December 24-26 (Price starts at a whopping $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 high-end gifts like custom Adidas sneakers, an American Girl Doll, a Pandora bracelet with charm, and a voucher for a private rum room experience with a mixologist. The package includes use of a pool cabana for the day, and a photographer to document all the special moments.