The holidays are coming fast and there’s no better way to celebrate than a near or far festive getaway. Ready for some Yuletide-inspired travel? ‘Tis the season for gingerbread-bourbon spa treatments, Santa on a Lobster boat, last-minute holiday shopping trips to the world’s leading Christkindlesmarkts, romantic strolls through Amsterdam’s illuminated parks, and some holiday season gypsy jazz.
Check out these special savings in the US and Europe on these Christmas travel destinations. There’s still time to book the holiday season trip of a lifetime.
TOP 4 FESTIVE HOLIDAY TRIPS FOR 2014
WHAT IT IS: The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort and Spa, entices travellers’ taste buds with the Gingerbread Getaway, which includes a baking class in the hotel’s on-site Cook Academy, a 3-course dinner for two at the new restaurant Junction, and a choice of a $50 voucher to White’s Tree Farm or $50 spa credit for a Gingerbread-Bourbon spa treatment.
WHAT IT COSTS: Prices start at $596 per couple for a 2-night stay. Add $144 per additional guest. Travel dates are December 12-14, 2014. Package does not include alcohol, gratuity, tax, or resort fee.
For more info, www.essexresortspa.com.
WHAT IT IS: In celebration of Wassail Weekend from December 12-14, the Woodstock Inn & Resort invites guests to the Hot Club Cool Yule where swinging gypsy jazz fills the Town Hall walls with sounds of the holiday season. Enjoy the Wassail Feast, get tickets to The Snow Queen at the Yoh Theatre, watch the town parade and hop on a sleigh ride around Billings Farm.
WHAT IT COSTS: Prices start at $888 per couple for the weekend, with a 2-night minimum stay. Price does not include tax and gratuities.
For more info, www.woodstockinn.com.
WHAT IT IS: It’s a true Christmas shopping miracle at three of the world’s leading holiday markets. Giving Santa a run for his money, the nine-day Classic Christmas Markets Tour weaves through the decorative wooden stalls and booths at France’s oldest Christkindelsmärik in Strasbourg. Sip mulled wine and gather gifts from the vendors in Nuremberg, Germany, take in the glory of the 100-foot tree adorned with more than 2,000 lights in the famous Marienplatz in Munich, and wander the halls of the Neuschewanstein Castle, the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.
WHAT IT COSTS: Prices start at $1,599 (land only, per person, double occupancy), 11 meals and airport sedan service with purchase of airfare. For more info, www.gocollette.com.
WHAT IT IS: This winter, the annual Amsterdam Light Festival will once again bathe the city’s historical centre in light with sculptures and installations from international artists. Experience Christmas at The luxury boutique Dylan Amsterdam with a 3-night stay with upgrade*. The Christmas package includes a 5-course lunch with champagne and amuse-bouches on December 25, daily Dylan Breakfast Buffet, special Christmas gift, a High Wine food and wine tasting experience.
WHAT IT COSTS: Package priced at €1200 (approximately US $1,502.76) for the 3-night package, based on double occupancy. *Upgrade subject to availability on arrival.
For more info, www.dylanamsterdam.com.
WHAT IT IS: The town of Kennebunkport, voted #2 Christmas Town in America by HGTV, kicks off the holiday season with Santa arriving by lobster boat to the annual Christmas Prelude from December 2-14, 2014. Spend two nights at The Lodge on the Cove resort with the Christmas Prelude package. It includes daily breakfast, arrival gift, complimentary shuttle service to and from the festivities in downtown Dock Square (craft workshops, food tastings, walking tours and shopping discounts), all day self-serve hot chocolate and tea stations, and 1pm check-out on Sunday.
WHAT IT COSTS: Available through December 7, 2014, prices start at $559 per couple.
For more info, www.lodgeonthecove.com.
WHAT IT IS: Located just 15 minutes from the Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets and the charming independent shops of nearby Essex, Old Saybrook and Old Mystick Village, Water’s Edge Resort & Spa offers the perfect antidote to the holiday bustle this season: a Retail Therapy package that includes shopping discounts and a rejuvenating spa treatment. From now through March 31, 2015, guests who book overnight accommodations in a Superior room receive a discount coupon book to the Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets, a snack-to-go for shopping, one couple’s massage and a late 1pm check-out.
WHAT IT COSTS: Rates, based on double occupancy, start at $299 per night on weekdays and $349 per night on weekends, plus tax and service charge.
For more info, www.watersedgeresortandspa.com.