'Tis the season! I know… it's a little scary. But don't fret. This holiday season, drop the stress and struggles and plan a festive getaway instead. These seasonal hotel packages pack some serious yuletide cheer.
Celebrate the splendor of the season in the Sonoran Desert, where decorating your saguaro cactus is protocol. On Nov. 27, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona kicks things off with a special tree lighting ceremony and festivities continue all the way through Jan. 6, 2013. They've made their list and checked it twice, packing it with activities like the Desert Ice Holiday Rink, a 7-foot gingerbread house, Weekends with Santa and a whole lot more. Choose from three holiday travel specials, like the Family on Ice Holiday Package that includes ice skating, hot cocoa and holiday cookies, a half-day admission in Bobcat Billy's Clubhouse for kids, discount at the Holiday Shoppe, and a keepsake holiday ornament. Prices start at $279 per night.
No one in the family stepping up to the hostess plate? Dash to The Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania for a family vacation with the Holiday Cottage Package. Bordering dense woods with walking trails nearby, the 10 spacious cottages are decorated for the season and have all of the grand trimmings — a great room with fireplace, flat-screen TV, wet bar and marble bathrooms. From Nov. 25 through Dec. 25, rent out a four-bedroom cottage (that sleeps up to 14!) for $1,709 per night. You'll get admission to Hersheypark's Christmas Candylane and a 2.3-mile drive-through light display, plus milk and cookie delivery, daily breakfast, free skate rental and a s'mores roast.
Propped on the sandy shores of Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho, Shore Lodge is a quintessential mountain retreat, which means the holiday season is one of the best times to visit! Outdoor enthusiasts love the resort because of its easy access to protected wilderness and Brundage Mountain, one of the country's best skiing locations. Visit during one of three yuletide revelries: Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 8, Cookie Decorating with Chef on Dec. 22, or a New Year's Eve fete jam-packed with family-friendly fun. The Stay & Ski package starts at $365 for two nights and includes accommodations in a Lake View Suite, plus two lift tickets to Brundage Mountain.
From tiny white lights outlining Victorian towers to decorated trees and cozy fireside dining, a holiday vacation at Wentworth by the Sea Hotel and Spa is a classic experience. The seaside New Hampshire resort goes all out during Christmas — free holiday refreshments in the lobby, a handcrafted gingerbread house and sparkling decor. On Dec. 4, the free Wentworth Illumination event brings horse-drawn carriage rides with live music, carolers and costumed characters from the 1836 Portsmouth Nutcracker ballet. There's also a Grand Christmas Buffet and choice of two New Year's Eve celebrations. The holiday package, which includes accommodations, Christmas dinner and breakfast for two and a special holiday amenity, starts at $269 per night.
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