• Joey Amato

Resorts Come Alive this Holiday Season



The Meritage Resort & Spa and Vista Collina Resort - Napa Valley, CA

The Meritage Resort and Vista Collina Resort’s ice rink, which is the only holiday ice rink in Napa Valley, will run from November 11 - January 2. The ticket link is now live. Tickets include 90 minutes of skating and ice skate rentals. Ticket prices are $25 (military and first responders can receive $5 off tickets on Tuesdays). Find a full schedule of theme nights and events, as well as hours of operations here. In addition to skating, hotel guests and visitors can also book experiences including a fire pit rental (seats up to eight guests; Available for $225) or a Veuve Clicquot private igloo experience (seats up to six guests; Available for $175) to continue the fun once skating concludes. Holiday tea experiences will also be available, allowing families to enjoy tea, housemade sandwiches, cookies, storytelling, special princess appearances and more in the property’s heated and outdoor restaurant space from Dec. 4-18. Families can also visit with Santa Claus weekly, followed by reading time at 4:30 pm each Friday-Sunday from Nov. 26- Dec. 19. Guests can also do their holiday shopping on property at Fivetown or stop by the Merry Meritage Artisan Market to support local artisans and take a piece of Napa Valley home.


Pasea Hotel & Spa - Huntington Beach, CA

Pasea Hotel & Spa’s annual outdoor Oceanfront Ice Rink returns to Huntington Beach from November 25 - January 2. Locals and visitors can celebrate the holidays with unbeatable ocean views and fun for all. Tickets can be purchased here for $25, including skate rentals. For a limited time, Pasea is offering $5 off all tickets purchased through Nov. 12. This secluded skating experience is complete with spiked cider and hot cocoa, specialty holiday cocktails, s’mores kits and savory items, holiday movies playing on the big screen and more. Additionally, the rink will offer special theme nights including: First Responders Night, Ugly Sweater Night, Santa visits and more. For the giving season, Pasea is offering $5 off for active military every Monday, $5 off for all first responders, doctors and nurses every Tuesday, and various Giving Tuesday nights where $5 from each ticket will be donated to select organizations including Surfrider Foundation, Toys for Tots and more. In addition to the skating experience itself, guests can book a VIP firepit experience to warm up post skate with a cozy fire pit, blankets, and bottle of champagne


Florida (Miami and Sarasota)

Every year during the first week of December, Art Basel Miami brings the world’s premier artists – and a host of high-octane celebrities – to Miami for a week filled with cutting edge creativity, an unmatched social scene, and arguably the best weather you’ll ever experience in South Florida. Art Basel preferred hotels are abundant in the Miami Beach area, but none like Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel, offering guests exciting Basel-inspired exhibitions and experiences, as well as newly renovated accommodations, direct beach access, stunning cabanas for an elevated poolside experience, and much more. Later in December, Kimpton Surfcomber will be debuting a pop-up VIP dining concept featuring an unmatched alfresco and intimate setting, a menu of super over-the-top dishes, and fabulous live music – this will be the place to be and be seen over the holiday season. Further up the state on the west coast is Sarasota, an exciting urban destination and an elegant coastal retreat. Between its colorful history and enticing natural landscape, the destination attracts visitors from around the world. With average high temperatures in the mid-70’s all December-long, it’s no surprise this is one of the most popular times to visit. The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, the area’s premier luxury property, is just the place to get into the holiday spirit. Guests can expect a myriad of festive experiences available, but the hot ticket this year is an intricate in-door holiday sand sculpture made with 450 pounds of sand! This impressive structure will be front and center in the lobby for all guests to enjoy and will include both Christmas and Channukah themed icons.

U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas)

With an unbeatable sunny climate, and a charming island carnival ambiance, this mountainous island is the perfect warm winter reprieve. This December, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas is taking the holiday’s up a notch with a robust festive offering all December long. Offering an abundance of exclusive activities and events for all ages, the Ladies & Gentlemen of the Resort are committed to gifting each Guest with indelible memories to take home with them. Guests can expect holiday dinners that combine traditional dishes with St. Thomas flavors, holiday-themed spa treatments and therapies, a resort-wide daily Elf On The Shelf scavenger hunt, 12 Days of Christmas Happy Hour with holiday-themed cocktails, decked out poolside cabanas for a unique Christmas morning gift unwrapping, sailing excursions on the resort’s luxury sailboat Lady Lynsey II, special visits from Santa Claus, option for in-room Christmas trees and/or Menorahs, New Year’s Eve countdown celebration and dinner, life-sized Christmas Tree sand castle creation on the beach, and much more.


Lido House's Exclusive Holiday Cottage: Lido House in Newport Beach is transforming two of its residential-style cottages into festive getaways (with a SoCal twist) for families and groups to enjoy starting Nov. 1. Curated by Newport Beach designers Grace Blu & Blackband Design, the Balboa and Collin’s Cottages are taking on the holidays by decking out each three-story, 1,500-square-foot space with over-the-top holiday decor. The overnight experience also comes with a special holiday package that includes an in-cottage family dinner prepared by The Mayor's Table Executive Chef, Riley Huddleson.


12 Nights of Marvel at MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa: MacArthur Place is launching 12 days of holiday festivities starting Nov. 26 with a Christmas tree lighting and stolen cooking class with MacArthur’s general manager. Open to guests of the hotel as well as the public, events will include a meet-and-greet with Santa, marshmallow roasting at the firepit, candlelit sculpture tour with AERENA Galleries, wreath-making class with Marion Moss Floral and a creative workshop led by MacArthur's December artist-in-residence, Lisa Hunt.


Apple Farm Inn: Apple Farm Inn in San Luis Obispo is relaunching its restaurant and marketplace in time to celebrate a picturesque Hallmark Holiday. Inspired after six Hallmark holiday movie titles, selfie vignettes for families to enjoy are active throughout the property including upside down tree hanging from the two story windows in the cellar from “Window Wonderland,” three colorful toy soldiers and gingerbread houses at the restaurant entrance from “A Cookie Cutter Christmas” and more. Additionally, two Sip & Graze events will punctuate the vignette program, where guests can enjoy wines, ciders and other local San Luis Obispo treats and meet the makers.


Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

These holidays travelers can discover the captivating beauty of the happiest island of the Caribbean at Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Located at Palm Beach, the resort offers spacious accommodations with a breathtaking view if the beautiful Palm Beach. Every Monday, those who are looking to learn something different, the resort offers a mixology class with breathtaking views of the sunset. At this class, guests can craft their own versions of the Smoking Old Fashioned and Elite Martini to surprise their friends and family. For the holidays, at Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino has prepared some fun activities to celebrate it with your loved ones, like building a Sand Snowman, Christmas Arts and Crafts or making Christmas Cards. During New Year’s Eve, the resort is ringing the bell by offering a beach dinner affair on South Beach or a new year’s celebration at the Adult Pool. Also, guests will be able to enjoy pop-up bars, live music and a unique set menu in all of their restaurants for a special dinner experience.



Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort

Located in Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort will celebrate the return of international visitors on November 20 with some handcrafted holiday offerings and an inspired annual theme of Evolving 2022: The Way Forward. Guests will embrace the beauty of the stunning sea views of the resort, while enjoying the best activities for a unique holiday season. Through different activities that cultivate the strength, kindness, happiness, and adaptability the travelers will live the art of evolving and return to their homes with an inner feeling that excites them. From an incredible Paper Lantern Ceremony on New Year’s Eve to a delicious Asian-inspired Christmas Dinner, travelers are sure to be inspired this winter season at Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.


Igloos at Lumin Skybar & Kitchen: Sitting atop the recently-opened AC Hotel Columbus Downtown on its 8th floor, the pink-decorated Lumin boasts panoramic city views while transporting hotel guests and locals alike to evenings in Barcelona with a variety of Spanish-inspired tapas, local craft beers and hand-crafted cocktails. This holiday season, the rooftop bar debuted two igloos on its patio, which are heated inside, only available by reservation, and can sit 6-10 people -- a perfect way to view Columbus’ plethora of holiday lights on Park Street down below while staying warm, eating good, and feeling festive.