Get Out of Town with Marcia Frost

Two great getaways this season

Champaign, IL -


Winter Baseball and Holiday Travel Deals

By Marcia Frost


Whether you are looking for a winter getaway that is sure to please you and your significant other, or hoping to steal a deal close-by for the family during the holidays, it’s the time to plan those trips.


Baseball and Spa Combine in Arizona

A trip to Arizona in the winter combines three of my favorite things: warm and dry weather, baseball, and spa.


It may seem like the baseball season just ended, but it’s about to start again in the form of Spring Training. Fifteen Major League Baseball teams, including the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Socks, will be taking the field in the Phoenix area as part of the Cactus League.  Within a 47-mile radius, all of these teams play from the end of February until the end of March, when they’ll get ready for the regular season


Sanctuary at Camelback is an ideal place to stay if you’d like to catch all the action, or stay back and relax while your partner does. This luxury resort has recently renovated casitas, an inviting infinity pool, endless hiking opportunities (check out their Hike Tech package), and restaurants ranging from fine dining to poolside sandwiches.


The real allure here is the Sanctuary Spa, one of the best in the country (and Travel & Leisure Magazine agrees with me). The Asian-inspired treatments in the mountain backdrop will bring the ultimate serenity to your vacation. In fact, the setting is so idealist that Architectural Digest recently named it the Most Beautiful Resort in Arizona.


If all this luxury is a bit out of your price range, keep in mind that hotel rooms go down in Arizona when the temperatures go up. Consider heading to Sanctuary at Camelback in April for their Nirvana Food & Wine Festival, or in June, when prices are at their best and the severe heat hasn’t hit yet.



The Holidays at A Few Favorite Places

If you want to get away for some holiday-themed fun this season, you’ll find a selection of unusual offerings. Here are some from a few of my favorite spots:


The Kinzie Hotel in Chicago’s River North is getting into the spirit with a Holiday Express Package. You’ll receive a vintage bar cart guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth It includes a hot cocoa station, complete with peppermint and whipped cream, hot apple cider, doughnuts, cookies, and more. (They can even include dog-friendly cookies on request.) The package also includes an ornament craft station and skating passes to Millennium Park.


For a nearby spa with a great deal for a great cause, check out Spaliday At Kohler Waters Spa in Burr Ridge. On December 4, 2017, bring your friends for two mini treatments, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, and special on holiday products. It’s only $35, to be donated to charity and the sessions are 4:00-6:00 pm or 6:00-8:00 pm.


The Godfrey Hotel is opening its Winter Wonderland today. Chicago’s largest indoor/outdoor rooftop will offer firepits with s’mores kits, hot specialty drinks such as the Godfrey Toddy, and domed igloos for you and 10 of your friends to get cozy in. Check their website to see the overnight specials they are offering in conjunction with Winter Wonderland.


The holidays have only just begun at the Hilton Chicago. This Michigan Avenue hotel is close to all of the downtown activities, but you may not want to leave the hotel when you see the festive cocktails, cozy fireplace, life-sized gingerbread, and decorated 24 ft. Christmas tree. Visit their site to see what holiday deals are available.


If you are looking for a true emersion into the holidays for the whole family, consider a stay at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. It starts with an Old-World Christmas Market December 1-10. Also in December, they have brunch with Santa and his reindeer, holiday workshops and hayrides, spa specials, horse drawn rides, and Christmas day brunches.


For a true fun and games experience, consider the Holiday Buffet and Stay at Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells. The resort has the largest indoor waterpark in the region, as well as a game room, planned activities, and an Indoor Theme Park.


Connect with Marcia here.

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