Resort Roundup: Where to Stay for the Holidays

Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

It’s officially the happiest time of year! Want to know what makes it even merrier? Letting someone else do all the work. Check-in to these luxury resorts throughout the Southwest for a hassle-free holiday full of festive fun, decadent dining, twinkling displays and more. And the best part is you can treat yourself to special room rates and deals at all of them. Merry Christmas to you.

Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

Historic Hotel Valley Ho is hosting a Sip, Shop + Socialize event on Dec. 9 to make holiday shopping a little less stressful. The event will feature 15 local boutiques, foods, drinks, live music, a photo booth, face painting and a visit from Santa. For Christmas dining, choose from two different buffets and on New Year’s Eve, ZuZu will ring in 2019 with a five-course meal with Champagne pairings. The Deal: The Spare Bedroom Deal includes 20 percent off the best flexible rate, a holiday arrival amenity and a room upgrade upon arrival. Valid for stays Nov. 15 through Jan. 15. Or Extend the Party rate gets you 15 percent off the best flexible rate and breakfast for two. Valid for stays between Nov. 30 and Dec. 30.

An annual tree lighting ceremony at Omni Montelucia will kick things off on Nov. 27 and will lead into a month of exciting activities like a wine and painting class, Yappy Hour Howl’aday Party and the annual Ho Ho Ho Hike. Dining specials include a breakfast with Santa, Spanish holiday-themed chef’s dinner series, Christmas Day brunch and dinner, along with New Year’s celebrations. The Deal: The Season of Giving Package gifts guests a third night for just $10 when staying two nights. You’ll also score an exclusive commemorative 10-year anniversary gift from Joya Spa and an automatic donation to St. Mary’s Food Bank of Phoenix. Valid for stays through Dec. 31.

Newly redesigned Phoenician is bringing the TV and novel Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler to life this season at the resort. A variety of daily, festive offerings include a Christmas Camp reception and book signing with Schaler; mixology, culinary and decor classes and demonstrations; spa treatments and Drybar holiday hair magic; and a gift activity charity. The Deal: The Christmas Camp Room Package include accommodations for two, a complimentary Christmas Camp book, a complimentary glass of Champagne and daily breakfast for two. Starting at $259 per night. Valid Dec. 7-15.

Guests at The Wigwam can enjoy a tree lighting ceremony, breakfast with Santa, fireside s’mores and holiday dining. Holiday Nights in Lights will offer festive train rides, s’mores, photos with Santa and live entertainment on select Fridays through December. The Deal: Book the Holiday Family Fun Package and unwrap a nightly $50 resort credit, welcome cookies and milk delivery and a complimentary s’mores kit. Starting at $199 per night. Valid for stays Nov. 18 through Jan. 5.

For a true winter wonderland getaway, visit the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess where the annual Christmas at the Princess offers everything from ice skating, rinkside fire pits, LED light shows and a Princess Express Train to a Build-a-Bear workshop, Santa’s Secret Headquarters, S’mores Land and much more. The Deal: The resort is offering a variety of holiday deals that each include complimentary general admission to Christmas at the Princess, up to two adult and three child passes with VIP lane access to select attractions and one-hour early access to designated amenities. Book the Sip, Savor & Celebrate Christmas package to receive accommodations in a Fairmont Room and a $75 daily resort credit.

It’s all about festive fun at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort where they’re hosting ugly sweater contests to seasonal spa and dining specials. The popular Breakfast with Santa series will be offered Dec. 15-16, 22 and 24 and will include visits from your favorite holiday characters, photo opps, cookie decorating, story time and more. The Deal: Guests who book with the code P2 will receive a $50 nightly resort credit.

Enjoy a Cliffside Christmas this year at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort with something for everyone. Indulge in Christmas dinner at Different Pointe of View or Pointe in Thyme or relax with seasonal spa specials. Guests will receive 20 percent off holidays treatments like the Peppermint Pedicure, Cinnamon Sugar Body Scrub, airbrush spray tans and more. Plus, golfers can receive 20 percent off green fees at Lookout Mountain Golf Club. The Deal: Winter rates start at $199 for all-suite newly renovated accommodations with a bonus $50 resort credit applicable towards dining, golf and spa treatments.

Starting December 1, Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock will kick off a month-long holiday celebration featuring daily holiday activities with a focus on wellness, adventure and seasonal festivities. Fitmas & Funmas promises equal parts fun, equal parts fitness. From Six Pack Santa Total Body Conditioning, Rise with Rudolph Yoga, and Santa Fun Runs, to Cookie Decorating, Gourmet S’mores Bars and Story Time with Mrs. Claus, the resort’s roster is chock-full of activities and festivities available to resort guests and local residents. The Deal: Revel in the fun holiday decor, dining specials and more. Starting at $217 per room, per night.

Keep your spirits high this Christmas season at Mountain Shadows, where Hearth ’61 is hosting a special holiday cocktails edition of its Spirited Sipping Seminars. On Dec. 1, enjoy a tasting of three cocktails and learn the spirits behind it. On Dec. 9, sip and savor Taittinger and Domaine during a Champagne battle edition of Sunday Supper Club. And on Christmas night, a prix fixe menu will be served from noon to 9:30 p.m. The Deal: Escape for the Holidays deal offers 20 percent off the best flexible rate, a holiday arrival amenity and a room upgrade on arrival. Valid for stays from Nov. 15 to Jan. 15. Or book the Take the Elevator Home Tonight rate and 15 percent off the best flexible rate and breakfast for two. Valid for stays between Nov. 30 and Dec. 30.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is starting their joyous festivities with a tree lighting celebration on Dec. 2. Visitors during the whole month of December can experience a life-sized candy cactus garden in the resort lobby, created by fondant and candies. Additional activities include a gingerbread workshop on Dec. 24 followed by a Christmas Eve dinner at CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar. Christmas Day will feature a dinner at CORE or Cayton’s Burger Bistro. The Deal: Chill out before the holidays hit with the Experiences Spa, which includes accommodations, a daily spa resort credit and breakfast for two daily.

Welcome the holiday season at the Arizona Biltmore on Nov. 23 during the annual tree lighting, complete with food, drinks, entertainment and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. On Nov. 25, enjoy a production of the Nutcracker Suite performed by Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet, followed by a Royal Tea Service, a meet-and-greet and cookie decorating. Additional seasonal events include a gingerbread tea and family cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus. The Deal: The Best of Arizona Biltmore Experience includes a $50 hotel reward per night, perfect for use at on-property dining, for spa treatments or shopping.

A show-stopping light display will light up Windsinger’s Valley at Westin Kierland and Santa can be caught rappelling down the 11-story resort. Additional activities include 3D holiday Paintscaping, unlimited fireside s’mores on select days and more. The Deal: Round up the whole family and enjoy the Westin Wonderland package which includes complimentary access to Santa’s Studio and family photo station, complimentary unlimited holiday s’mores served fireside, kids eat free at Nellie Cashman’s Monday Club Cafe with adult entree purchase and one complimentary half-day, holiday Kid’s Club session. Starting at $139 per night.

Have a very Southwest Christmas at Hermosa Inn where you’ll find luminaries, handmade ornaments with dried flowers and cozy fireplaces throughout the adobe hotel. Enjoy a prix-fixe three-course menu on Christmas Eve and Day at the award-winning LON’s. The Deal: Save 25 percent on overnight accommodations with the Hermosa Holiday getaway, plus two seasonal welcome cocktails. Starting at $260. Valid for stays between Nov. 18 and Dec. 31.

Celebrate the holidays on the mountain at Sanctuary where guests can dine on a four-course feast from Chef Beau at elements. And stick around to ring in the New Year with dinner seatings at elements and a four-course dinner and party at jade bar. The Deal: Plan the ultimate luxury getaway by booking three nights or more and enjoying 10-15 percent off.

Experience the Valley’s first Miracle Bar at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. The downtown Phoenix restaurant is located at Hotel Kimpton Palomar Phoenix and will transform into an over-the-top winter wonderland this season, complete with decor, holiday cocktails and more. The Deal: A Miracle Experience includes two tickets (including skate rentals) to CitySkate and two Miracle holiday mugs. Starting at $169 per night. Valid through Jan. 5. For couples, the Holiday Romance package includes a dining credit to Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, two tickets to CitySkate (including skate rentals) and two cocktails at Miracle by Blue Hound. Starting at $179 per night. Valid through Dec. 29.

Make your very own gingerbread house at twenty6 Lounge at JW Marriott Desert Ridge starting Nov. 26 daily. Or sip tea and snack on tea sandwiches and scones at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, every Saturday afternoon Dec. 1-29 in the resort lounge area. The resort is also serving up special holiday dinners at stonegrill and MERITAGE, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The Deal: The Winter Wonderland package is the perfect way to experience the Gingerbread Village and Mad Hatter Tea Party amongst other hotel amenities, plus you’ll score a $50 resort credit per day. Starting at $249 per night. Valid for stays through Jan. 7, 2019.

Indulge your holiday tastebuds at JW Marriott Camelback Inn with a three-course Christmas dinner at Lincoln. Rita’s Kitchen will also be hosting a Christmas Day brunch, three-course Christmas dinner and a three-course New Year’s Eve dinner, because stuffing your face with decadent meals is the best part of the holidays. The Deal: Treat a loved one to a getaway with special holiday rates using code M96. Book by Dec. 31. Valid for stays through Feb. 28, 2019.

Celebrate the festive season at Montage Laguna Beach with family-friendly fun with Paintbox Santa’s Workshops, Santa Claus tuck-in, holiday stocking delivery, family gingerbread decorating, a wreath decorating class and season spa specials. Top off the stay with multiple culinary experiences like a mini food and wine festival, an elegant Christmas dinner, bountiful brunch and more. The Deal: Make holiday shopping a little more fun with the Montage’s exclusive experience. Enjoy resort perks plus a $100 gift certificate to use at South Coast Plaza, a welcome at the Plaza’s VIP ACCESS Suite, two nights in an oceanfront guestroom, a daily $60 breakfast credit and a complimentary resort fee. Two-night package starts at $1,250. Valid Nov. 27 through Dec. 27.

The seaside escape L’Auberge Del Mar is hosting a variety of holiday events like holiday wreath making, gingerbread house building, candle making and more. The resort will host a Christmas tree lighting event on Dec. 2 and as Christmas nears closer, a special breakfast, movie night and holiday concert will lead up to the big day. Dining includes a winter-inspired meal on Christmas Eve and Day, along with a three- or five-course meal with wine pairing options on New Year’s Eve. Or relax with holiday-inspired treatments at the spa. The Deal: For those looking to book a stay, the resort is offering Rest and Recharge, which includes overnight parking and a $20 daily resort credit. Package starts at $284 per night. Valid Nov. 24 through Dec. 22.

Neighboring San Francisco hotels, White Swan Inn and Petite Auberge, are decking the suites for the holidays and celebrating the season in the spirit of England (White Swan Inn) and France (Petite Auberge). The Deal: Deck the Suites with Crowns & Candies includes an in-room decorated tree, surprise gift, nightly in-room seasonal treats, a kids’ holiday amenity, shopping guide and gift-wrapping service, matched donation to Toys for Tots and accommodations in the top suites decked out for the holidays. Starting at $369 per night. Valid for stays between Nov. 23 and Dec. 30.

Dive into the holidays at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay with festive handmade cocktails, restorative winter spa treatments and multiple holiday dining events at Navio. Enjoy a Christmas Eve dinner and a Christmas Day brunch. Or fill up on a six-course Christmas Day dinner with classic holiday dishes and desserts. The Deal: The Winter Bliss Package includes a stay in a Coastal View or Terrace Fire Pit room, a Sugar Plum Facial, a seasonally inspired welcome pastry, valet parking and resort fee. Starting at $1,120 per night.

Step into a holiday fairytale at Renaissance Indian Wells where there will be oversized storybook characters, scenes from holiday tales, a giant walk-in snow globe and visits from a laidback Santa. Events kick off Dec. 2 with a tree lighting ceremony. The rest of the month includes live entertainment, a gingerbread house decorating contest, complimentary treats, photo opps, holiday movie screenings and more. The Deal: Add a little magic to your stay with the Storybook Holiday Package which includes a $100 resort credit, in-room milk and cookies and the gift of a holiday storybook. Valid in December.

At Park Hyatt Aviara, a life-size chocolate sculpture of Santa Claus himself sitting on a wooden chocolate chair, surrounded by holiday favorites such as snowmen, elves and Christmas trees will take shape in the hotel lobby from November 30-January 6. The treat will be prepared by the resort’s talented pastry chefs; Al DiBartolo, a Food Network champion and participant in Halloween Wars; Liz Marek, award-winning cake decorator; and Mike Brown, designer and professional sculptor. The Deal: The resort is offering 30% off best available rate over select days in December 2018 and January 2019. Offered all day Monday, Nov. 26 only.

Make it a tropical holiday this year at The Lodge at Kukui’ula where they’re hosting a tree-topping event with Santa; cookies, caroling and cocktails; a top-tier wine dinner; moonlight glow golf; and a New Year’s Eve dinner and dance party. The Deal: With any five-night stay at The Lodge at Kukui’ula, a $1,000 credit is available for guests in 3-4-bedroom homes and a $500 credit for guests in 1-2-bedroom homes. The experiential credit can be used at the Hi’ilani Spa, Huaka’i Outfitters, golf course and dining outlets. Additional highlights include, daily complimentary fitness classes and continental breakfast. 

Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa is welcoming the holidays with fun family events like a build-your-own gingerbread house with elves, build-your-own hot cocoa, a kids’ night out, s’mores under the stars, holiday spa treatments and holiday dining. The Deal: At Lake Arrowhead’s SkyPark at Santa’s Village, a sugar plum fairyland just minutes from Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, there are North Pole adventure activities for the whole family to enjoy – from ice skating to rides and games to outdoor sporting activities. The Holiday Fun at Santa’s Village Package includes deluxe accommodations; passes to SkyPark at Santa’s Village, including ice skating; welcome s’mores kit for the family; and milk and cookies at turndown. Starting at $324 per night. Valid through Dec. 30.

Treat yourself this year at Hotel Palomar Los Angeles-Beverly Hills with a retail and rest package that encourages plenty of shopping all season long at Westfield Century City mall. The Deal: The R&R Palomar package includes accommodations, a $150 Westfield gift card, Westfield’s personal concierge, VIP Meet & Greet, welcome beverages, complimentary valet and your choice of one concierge experience for two to be redeemed at Westfield: hand and arm massage and intro to fragrance combining at Jo Malone London OR a VIP fitting with stylist at Ted Baker.

Make this holiday season one you won’t forget at Tilden Hotel in San Francisco. The urban hotel is keeping things classic with holiday-inspired cocktails, cozy fire pits and convenient access to Winter Park at Civic Center Ice Rink. The Deal: The #TildenOnIce Holiday Package includes two Tilden on Ice cocktails (gin, aquavit, aloe, peppermint and blanc vermouth over ice) at the speakeasy bar The Douglas Room, two s’mores kits, two tickets to the Winter Park at Civic Center Ice Rinks and a $10 donation in each guests’ name to the SF/Marin Food Bank. Starting at $129 per night. Valid for stays through Jan. 6, 2019.

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