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Wellness Travel

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Moody Gardens


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Accommodations • Attractions • Events • Destinations • Wellness

Holiday Magic

San Antonio, Texas

Pa t ss

o Fri a e nd

Winter Edition - 2016

Holiday Magic - San Antonio, Texas


Table of Contents


Holidays in Florida

Texas San Antonio Holiday Fun

Destinations 29 8

Monterey, CA


Moody Gardens- Galveston, TX 12

Phoenician Resort - Scottsdale, AZ

Cavalry Court-College Station, TX 14

Orlando, Florida 34

San Antonio Cocktail Conference 16

San Francisco, California


Mansion at Judges Hill - Austin, TX

Faimont Pacific Rim - Vancouver, BC




Wellness Travel 23

Experiences 38

Hyatt Hill Country Resort

Bourbon Hotel - New Orleans



About the Cover:

San Antonio has long been known as a city of immense attraction. During the Holidays, the Alamo City doesn’t disappoint. Lights, festivities and more abound. (Photo: Visit San Antonio)


Ride the Rio


elcome to San Antonio! Hop on a Rio San Antonio Cruises barge for a narrated tour of the River Walk. Visit our website to find one of our four convenient locations. For our Rio Taxi service, hail one of the checker-flagged barges for a trip to your River Walk Destination. (210) 244-5700 • (800) 417-4139 4

The Publisher

A Word From


he Holidays are always a fun time of year to travel. This edition takes us all over the globe with an incredible array of exciting destinations and events. Starting in the jewel of the Lone Star State, get whisked away to San Antonio and venture on the world-famous San Antonio River Walk or the family-friendly San Antonio Zoo for their special holiday events. Can’t go to Texas and not visit Moody Gardens in Galveston. Their new ICELand exhibit is a showstopper. As you leave Texas, there are a myriad of things happening all over the United States and beyond. From the incredible offerings in San Francisco, California to the gorgeous hotels in Vancouver, BC, the holidays are the perfect time to enjoy these cities. With wellness travel being a multi-billion dollar industry, we felt it was imperative we started offering our readers an updated approach to that segment. We are pleased to announce our partnership with IDLife - a health and wellness initiative that can help travelers stay healthy. Be looking for our Wellness Section to expand as we target new opportunities for your benefit. For great story ideas or to be a part of our “Experiences” section, send me a personal e-mail by clicking here. Looking for great hotel deals? Remember that you can book all of your travel from our website or by simply clicking here. Happy Holidays!

Edward R. Leos Publisher

Jennifer Leos

Associate Publisher

Marie Hernandez

Senior Travel Writer

Katherine Belarmino Nicole Connolly Dr. Cacinda Maloney Christa Thompson Michelle Tijerina Travel Writers

Daniel Leos Illustrator

Deanna Barrett Lauren Leos Contributors

Contact Information:

The Hotel Guide P.O. Box 592418 San Antonio, TX 78259


(877) HTL-GDE1 phone (210) 857-2003

Special Thanks to:

• Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority • Denver Convention & Visitor’s Bureau • Texas Department of Tourism • Texas Department of Transportation • Texas Hotel and Lodging Association • Texas Travel Industry Association • Las Vegas CVB • Austin CVB • Tyler CVB •GalvestonCVB • Houston CVB • Corpus Christi CVB • New Braunfels CVB • El Paso CVB • Lubbock CVB • Granbury CVB • San Antonio CVB Copyright 2016 The Hotel Guide. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted in whole or without written permission from the publisher. The Hotel Guide






JANUARY 11-15, 2017 Tickets on Sale Now



A Holiday Destination

San Antonio


he holiday season in San Antonio is an especially magical time, with an array of activities and events. In this cultural, diverse and historic city, visitors can relax with a cup of Mexican hot chocolate while beautifully decorated river barges glide along the River Walk. Bazaars and markets sell festive gifts. Plus, there is a popular tamale festival among San Antonians that provides the most delicious treats of all. Tons of Lights Thousands of lights adorn the River Walk while many cultural festivities promise an extraordinary getaway. Along the river, approximately 200 trees are decorated with twinkling lights and about 20 street bridges are colorfully illuminated with various patterns. The River Walk is also home to the Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias. This centuries-old tradition takes place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 4-20, when the River Walk is lined with several thousand luminarias (small paper lanterns) to symbolically light the way for the Holy Family. Another River Walk favorite is the Ford Holiday River Boat Caroling. From December 2-20, more than 185 choirs ring in the holidays by singing traditional carols on cruising barges. The eclectic mix of participants includes bell choirs, folk groups and Latino ensembles. Plenty of Reasons to Visit Need more reasons to spend your 2016 holiday season in San Antonio? Here are just some of our many festivities that will be sure to get you in the spirit of the season: (Note: Event details are subject to change.) Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza — (November 27 – December 3, 2016) A week-long mariachi music festival that draws the world’s top mariachi artists. The Extravaganza is the largest and longest-running mariachi music festival in Texas, and is known for presenting world-class artists. Various locations, for location

and ticket pricing call 210.225.3353 or visit www. SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration® — SeaWorld San Antonio is decking the halls for its annual Christmas Celebration, a magical holiday program offered on scheduled operating days in November & December 2016. Enjoy stunning live shows in our wintery, watery wonderland. Immerse your family in the spirit of the season, sip hot cocoa as you stroll through a sea of sparkling Christmas lights, and share laughs with a jolly Texas Santa Claus. For exact dates and ticket information, visit A Wonderland Christmas — (November 25, 2016 – December 23, 2016) The world’s first theme park designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment, Morgan’s Wonderland will host “A Wonderland Christmas” on Friday and Saturday evenings, November 25 – December 17, plus December 18-23. Enjoy a winter wonderland—sparkling lights, carolers, Santa Claus and the 25-acre park’s popular wheelchair-accessible rides and other attractions. Morgan’s Wonderland, 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., www. continued on page 10






Bus Stops


The Alamo - MAIN BOARDING POINT The River Walk The San Antonio Museum of Art The Pearl Brewery Complex The San Fernando Cathedral The Spanish Governor’s Palace Tower of the Americas LONDON STYLE DOUBLE DECKERS Tel. 210 224 8687



Zoo Lights - Holiday Nights — (November 19, 2016 – January 1, 2017) See the Zoo in a whole new LIGHT! Wild colors, exotic decorations and intricate animal patterns twinkle in the night to create the kind of holidays only found in nature! This year the San Antonio Zoo shines bright as thousands of lights create an immersion of traditional and unexpected color combinations. A festive soundscape will underscore a journey of light, iconic visuals, experiential displays, festive entertainment and delicious dining to create a holiday celebration that is truly unique and memorable. San Antonio Zoo. Six Flags Fiesta Texas Holiday in the Park — (November 19, 2016 – January 1, 2016) It’s the most wonderful time of the year as Six Flags Fiesta Texas celebrates Holiday in the Park. Experience the park transformed into a winter wonderland. Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Evenings, Holidays in Bloom — (November 25, 2016 – December 31, 2016) Beginning November 25 you’re invited to experience Holidays in Bloom at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. It’s your chance to step away from the holiday whirlwind of traffic and malls and enjoy the season in nature. Guests will find many a spot to capture a memory at the Garden, with picturesque backgrounds for family photographs. Open Year Round 9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Music for Your Eyes–Holiday! — (December 8, 2016) Guests visiting Villa Finale will see beautiful sights and be treated to unique sounds during our special tour, Music for Your Eyes. This evening experience highlights the music machines in the museum’s collection with demonstrations of unique music boxes, antique turntables

and more. During this seasonal version of the tour, museum staff will share comical and little-known holiday anecdotes about the pieces, their inventors, songs played and Christmas traditions around the world. The tour ends with a fifteen-minute concert of traditional holiday songs played on Mr. Mathis’s automated 1921 BechsteinWelte reproducing piano, located inside one of the home’s lavish parlors. Guests will be treated to a glass of champagne as they sit back to enjoy the beautiful music of the season! Space is limited. More details will follow as the season approaches. Ford Holiday Boat Caroling — (November 30, 2016 – December 18, 2016 at 9:30 p.m.) Throughout the 2 ½ miles in the downtown area of the River Walk four or five boats float on the river each night carrying a different group each hour performing live Christmas Carols. More than 185 schools, churches, companies, and civic choral groups participate each year. Joyous caroling fills the evening air along the San Antonio River Walk. The public is invited to stroll on the banks of the river or sit outdoors on a restaurant patio to enjoy the caroling. Ford Fiesta de las Luminarias — (December 2-4, 9-11, 15-18, 2016) Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 6,000 Luminarias. Warmly glowing lights in sand-filled bags line the walkways to symbolically mark the “lighting of the way” for the Holy Family. River Walk, at dusk, for more date info visit: Santa’s Railroad Wonderland — (December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 2016) Santa’s Railroad Wonderland is an extravaganza of Christmas activities including nighttime


train rides. Just about every part of our 40-acre site is decorated, from the historic depot, the trains, the garden railroad, our three other scale model railroad layouts and everything else in between. We have our own character, Choo Choo Claus. Bring your camera and make your own Christmas memories. Our event has been bringing joy to thousands of families for 17 years. Tamales! At Pearl — (December 3, 2016) Pearl Brewery, the city’s newest culinary star, celebrates the beloved San Antonio holiday tradition of tamales. Sample dozens of tamales, from traditional to dessert, from more than 30 vendors. Plus enjoy live music and a children’s craft area. Pearl, tamale prices vary, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Time Travel Saturday: South Texas Holiday Traditions — (December 10, 2016) Imagine the holidays in South Texas during the 19th century. Visit the Log Cabins to drift back into the 19th century when they were keeping the old world traditions alive in their new homes in Texas! Create homemade holiday gifts such as candles, ornaments, mulled cider spices bags and more! Witte Museum, Noon – 4 p.m., La Tamalada at the Witte Museum — (December 10, 2016) It’s a delicious San Antonio holiday tradition— ever wonder how tamales are made? The La Tamalada workshop lets visitors make and flavor their own halfdozen tamales. Witte Museum, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., La Serenata — (December 11, 2016) San Fernando Cathedral will host the annual Serenata a la Virgen de Guadalupe. The Serenata is a special celebration honoring the Virgin Mary on the eve of the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The focal point of the Cathedral’s celebration will be traditional and contemporary music and dance performed by local artists. The Serenata brings together performers as

TEXAS varied as Mariachis, Norteño music and Mexican indigenous dances. There is a Mass at midnight following La Serenata. San Fernando Cathedral, Free, 10 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. La Gran Posada — (December 18, 2016) La Gran Posada is the reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter through historic downtown. It is one of the oldest Christmas Traditions dating back to colonial times. It will begin at Milam Park (across from Market Square), then make its way to the Cathedral where the large crowd is welcomed with festive singing and a party. The journey symbolizes the trials that Mary and Joseph endured before finding a place to stay where Jesus could be born. At the end of the long journey, Christmas carols (villancicos) will be sung and children will break open piñatas. Milam Park to San Fernando Cathedral, Free, 6:15 p.m. (after mass) 24th Annual Valero Alamo Bowl — (December 29, 2016) Major college football comes to the Alamodome in San Antonio. The Valero Alamo Bowl is an annual post-season collegiate bowl game featuring the #2 Pac-12 Conference team (after the Rose Bowl) and the #3 Big 12 team (after the Fiesta and Cotton Bowls). The Bowl has quickly become one of the most popular bowls in the country, producing some of the most-watched bowl games in ESPN history while selling out four of the last six years. Alamodome, 8:00 p.m., Celebrate San Antonio — (December 31, 2016 – January 1, 2017) Ring in the New Year San Antonio style! Enjoy spectacular fireworks, live music on multiple stages, food booths, family activities and more. South Alamo between Durango and Market streets; La Villita and HemisFair Park, Free, 5:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m., For more details and to discover the many events in San Antonio, go to 11




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Moody Gardens

Perfect Holiday Getaway


he North Pole meets the Caribbean as Moody Gardens introduces ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas with a whole new theme and exciting new guest experiences. The award-winning CAA Harbin Ruijing Carving Team of master ice carvers from Harbin, China returned to Moody Gardens to chart the course for the ultimate Caribbean Christmas. What a Journey... Guests will embark on a breathtaking underwater journey from the shores of Galveston Island through the Gulf of Mexico. As they explore the oceans depths, they will discover sunken treasure and see Christmas surprises along the way. An ice slide takes the form of a towering oil rig and gives an opportunity to venture through the beautiful Flower Garden Banks for encounters with spectacular schools of colorful tropical fish, eagle rays, turtles, dolphins, Hammerhead sharks and more on the way to their Caribbean island destination. There is even an opportunity to enjoy some festive holiday spirits inside of ICE LAND at Shiver’s Ice Bar. In the third year, visitors will be fully immersed in the region’s coolest holiday attraction featuring nine different scenes. It will offer a more diverse range of sculptures than ever in the 28,000 sq. ft. insulated tent structure chilled and maintained at nine degrees. “We are very excited to create a signature Moody Gardens theme for ICE LAND this year,” said John Zendt, Moody Gardens President and CEO, who added that this years’ experience will be memorable, engaging and distinctive for visitors and the artists who are creating it. “This attraction shows an appreciation for all of the sea life and beauty offered right here in our own backyard with a special festive Christmas focus.” A Holiday Tradition Moody Gardens has become a holiday tradition

as families throughout the region are offered a very diverse range of attractions to compliment ICE LAND including the Festival of Lights, an outdoor ice rink, Artic Slide, a holiday buffet and train rides. Guests can also enjoy new holiday 3D films, the new Rudolph 4D film, and an exciting new Cirque Joyeux Noel Dinner and Show at the Moody Gardens Hotel. ICE LAND ICE LAND will offer a unique holiday experience for the entire family and will be open November 12 through January 8, as Galveston makes its transition into the Winter Wonder Island. Admission for adults is $26.95, $21.95 for seniors and $15.95 for children. A Value Days discount of $5.00 is available Sunday through Thursday, now – December 17. A V.I.P. Guided Experience will also be available Sunday through Thursday with front-of-the-line access, a guided tour through ICE LAND, hot cocoa, souvenir family photo and admission to Festival of Lights. Special packages are available for groups of 20 or more. More Information For more information call 1-800-582-4673 or visit






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Cavalry Court

College Station’s Newest Star

he much anticipated Cavalry Court, a new vintage inspired 141-room boutique hotel opened earlier this month. Elevating the travel and hospitality experience, Cavalry Court is at the cornerstone to College Station’s most vibrant new community, Century Square, a 60-acre destination under development by Midway offering retail, restaurant, and entertainment venues; office space; and apartment homes at 100 Park creating a unique urban landscape authentic to the Brazos Valley. Tradition and More Drawing from the area’s rich history and Texas A&M tradition, the Cavalry Court motor court concept by Valencia Group combines the timeless retro military design from the 50s and 60s with modern luxury amenities. Scrupulous detail was undertaken to create a place that inspires a sense of tradition and camaraderie with unique indoor and outdoor gathering spaces and comfortable and relaxed décor. A throwback to a time when travel was an adventure, Cavalry Court provides a home away from home for even the most discerning traveler. The carefully curated blend of colors, fabrics, textures, sights, and sounds was developed by one of the country’s most innovative designers, Rottet Studio. According to Valencia Group President Doyle A. Graham, Jr., “Like the motor courts of yesteryear, Cavalry Court’s aesthetic coupled with Texas A&M cadet history uniquely captures the true essence of College Station, of Texas, and embraces a bit of Americana.” Perfect Getaway Whether it’s a quiet evening, birthday fête, or celebrating an Aggie victory, The Canteen at Cavalry Court serves up authentic Texan cuisine alongside handshaken cocktails. Stepping into the bar and grill, a

bygone era has been recreated with its family style tables and décor. Or if a quick bite or a coffee is on the menu, saddle up to College Station’s first food truck, the custom converted horse trailer, The Tack Shack. Both The Barracks (deluxe) and The Quarters (standard) offer unique outdoor views of the lavish courtyard, while The Barracks provides the added touch of patio rocking chairs. Luxury amenities include custom bedding with leather headboards and Egyptian cotton sheets; executive workstations; military inspired armoires; seating areas; and an authentic Smeg refrigerator filled with favorite Texas snacks and drinks among other thoughtful touches. Live Music, Meeting Space Cavalry Court imbues relaxation and fun and that extends to its outdoor courtyard and swimming pool with fully furnished poolside cabanas that take on the silhouettes of military camp tents. Adding to the exquisite charm, the courtyard and event space will often feature live music from the area’s hottest acts. Impeccable group accommodations and meeting spaces are offered at Cavalry Court. A combined 6,000+ square feet of indoor and outdoor state of the art event space is available for meetings, weddings and receptions. The Saddle Room offers the perfect setting for board meetings; The Stables, a rustic indoor ballroom; the Parade Green, a unique outdoor meeting space ideally suited for weddings, receptions, and the like. Relax under the outdoor Pavilion or host your guest for an event under the stars. More Information For more information or to make a reservation, visit or call 844-313-7337.


On A Whole New Level. Imagine a place that towers overhead, even though it’s deep underground. A place filled with delicate formations of solid stone formed by single splashes of water. A place that’s eons old, but feels brand new every time you see it. From giant chambers that echo with mystery to passages with discovery around every bend, come see what makes Natural Bridge Caverns… Naturally AMAZING. • 210-651-6101




Drink for a Good Cause

San Antonio Cocktail Conference

ust as the holiday season begins, so do plans for recovering from those family-intense activities. San Antonio Cocktail Conference provides five days and nights of relief in the form of parties, seminars, tastings and whimsy – focused on the creative craft of cocktails. Best of all, a full 100 percent of the profits from SACC ticket sales are donated to children’s charities. The 2017 SACC events promise to be bigger and bolder than ever, featuring new event venues and twists on favorites. Event tickets on sale now include: Women Shaking it Up: Cookies and Cocktails at La Villita ($65) Wednesday, January 11, 7:30 – 10:30pm • Celebrating women who ‘shake it up’ in nontraditional careers, SACC presents cocktails from female bartenders paired with bites from local female chefs, designed to accompany a Girl Scout cookie flavor. The new S’mores Cookie will be the featured “guest cookie.” Not just for women, but cheering on girls and the women they become, this event will benefit the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.


Opening Night at The DoSeum ($85) Thursday, January 12, 7:30 – 10:30pm • Whimsical fun and fantasy performances and music will pair with the imaginative cocktails and creative bites we’ve come to expect from SACC – this time from a new location – at the DoSeum. Waldorf on the Prairie at The St. Anthony Hotel ($100) Friday, January 13, 7:30 – 10:30pm • SACC’s beautiful Friday night event returns to transform the St. Anthony into a regal setting filled with glamour, style, music and boundless hospitality from bartenders and chefs.

Stroll on Houston Street ($85) Saturday, January 14, 7:30 – 10:30pm • A street party with cocktails, entertainment, and tastings stretching through two blocks of San Antonio’s historic main downtown street. After Hours: A Draught Party at Alamo Beer ($50) Saturday, January 14, 10pm – 1am o Late night at SACC is at Alamo Beer Brewery where San Antonio’s hometown brews will be served alongside cocktails on draught and late night eats. Live music until the wee hours! It’s Not Over Yet: Brunch in Old San Antonio at the Spanish Governor’s Palace ($50) Sunday, January 15 • Travel back to old San Antonio in this landmark building, with morning tequila craft cocktails and the perfect brunch to cure those morning after blues. Tasting Suites at the Valencia Hotel ($45) Saturday afternoon, January 14, 12:00 – 4:00pm • The Tasting Suites are an opportunity to experience a taste from brands both big and boutique, with time and space for conversation about the spirit from the experts. Seminars and Workshops ($45 - $75 each) Friday and Saturday, January 13 & 14, 11:00am – 5:00pm • Learn from the experts and improve your cocktail skills and knowledge. Seminars are geared to all audiences, from Cocktail Rookie to Cocktail Aficionado, and Industry Specific. Attendance is limited, so these tickets often sell out early. The High-Jinx Pass ($450) • THE multi-event pass for true enthusiasts. Includes entry to all evening events Wednesday through Saturday including After Hours event, plus entry to the Tasting Suites. All tickets and a full schedule of events is available at


JANUARY 11-15, 2017 Tickets on Sale Now



Grapevine, Texas

Christmas Capital of Texas

elebrate the magic of Christmas in Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas! Grapevine is the perfect place to create wonderful Christmas memories with your family and friends. Amazing Sights You’ll be amazed at the more than 1,400 Christmas events in 40-plus days, as you see Grapevine sparkle with millions of lights, enormous decorations, animated characters and much more! Escape to SNOWLAND at the Great Wolf Lodge or create Christmas memories with a Lone Star Christmas package at the Gaylord Texan Resort. Don’t miss ICE! at Gaylord Texan, an extraordinary and magical display of elaborate, lifesized ice sculptures, ice slides and ice monuments with dramatic lighting effects - all created from nearly 2 million pounds of ice. Railroad Adventures Create a unique “Family Christmas Memory” aboard the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express®.


Snug in their pajamas, children’s holiday dreams come true as they climb aboard the magical train for an adventure-filled ride. Singing & Shopping Continuing the merriment of the holiday season, see The Texas Tenors perform “Deep in the Heart of Christmas” or catch some of your favorite, classic holiday movies on the big screen at Grapevine’s Historic Palace Theatre. Don’t forget the unique shopping experience of Main Street! Shoppers can stroll through Historic Downtown Grapevine and marvel at the holiday lighting while checking off their holiday shopping list with all the charming gifts local stores have to offer. Whether you’re looking for a night out with the family, an opportunity to enjoy the holiday with someone special or a unique holiday getaway, Grapevine offers some of the most magical moments of the season! More Info... Visit them online at



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Mansion at Judge’s Hill

Elegance in the Texas Capital


he Mansion at Judges’ Hill has a history as storied as the city it dwells in. Originally built in 1900, the Mansion was a wedding gift to Goodall & Ella Wooten by Thomas Dudley Wooten, one of the founders of the University of Texas. The two both had a passion for life and they used the Mansion as a fountain of new ideas. In fact, in 1929, they hired Neiman Marcus at a cost of $10,000 (today’s estimate of $1 million) to redecorate the home. Since its inception, this grand venue has combined the elegance of its historical roots with the vibrancy of its future. “Fluffy. Not Stuffy.” At the Mansion, you are whisked away to a timeless era with the hint of today. Each room in this fabulous boutique hotel is different, uniquelyappointed with an inviting appeal. All the rooms have a personality all their own. Even the bathrooms have texture and color to give it more style and panache. Amenities in these incredible accommodations include: 310 thread count Egyptian cotton linens, hypo-allergenic down and duvets and pillows, complimentary L’Occitane and Gilchrist & Soames custom bath products, private stocked honor bar, complimentary wireless & high-speed internet access, cable television and dvd players. Additionally, there is twice daily housekeeping services. Food for Thought. The Mansion has its own dining room that boasts a five-star chef and an impeccable array of delicacies. Here you will find an exquisite blend of International Modern and Classic Cuisines. The food is always fresh and the plates are designed to allow you to experience many

tastes all in one meal. The 1900 Lounge is open everyday from 4 pm - 11 pm and features stunning carved wood accents, intimate tables, vivid draperies and the attentive and friendly atmosphere the Mansion has come to be known for. Here you can enjoy a delicious martini, tempting frozen margarita or a glass of wine from our selections. Special Events and More. The Mansion offers groups the perfect backdrop for their events. Regardless of the formality, tastes or budget, they can weave a tapestry of simple elegance into any function. Whether it’s a business meeting, wedding reception, or conference, they can create the right atmosphere for you and your guests. The venue can accommodate up to 250 people. Contact Us For more information on this world-class, boutique hotel, visit them online at or call (512) 495-1800.





Wellness Travel



Medical Travel:101

What Patients Should Know Before Departure

by: Laura Carabello

bout seven million people travel abroad each year seeking care related to everything from dental work and weight-loss surgery to cancer treatment, according to Bloomberg Business. A growing number of companies now offer a medical travel benefit, enabling employees to access high quality, more affordable care, whether abroad or in another U.S. state.


Here’s a look at the top five medical destinations in the world: 1. Thailand Thailand provides access to major procedures that are 50 to 70 percent cheaper than in the U.S. 2. Mexico Mexico attracts more than one million visiting patients each year, many of whom seek dental work and weightloss surgery. 3. United States The nation’s medical Centers of Excellence (COE) offer high quality, more affordable surgical procedures than what is typically available locally. 4. Singapore Singapore offers 22 facilities certified by the Joint Commission International, the U.S.-based quality and safety accrediting organization. 5. India India is known for offering high-difficulty operations, such as coronary artery bypass graft surgery, at 90 percent less cost than in the U.S. Before traveling for care, employees should make sure they have a full understanding of: • Financial incentives – These should not limit the diagnostic and therapeutic alternatives that are offered to patients or restrict treatment or referral options. • Medical Center – The hospitals should be accredited by recognized international accrediting bodies, such as the Joint Commission International. • Prior to Travel – Make sure that local follow-up care has been coordinated and financing arranged to ensure continuity of care. • Rights – Employees should be informed of their rights and legal recourse before agreeing to travel,

especially if traveling outside the U.S. • Medical Records – Make sure that when medical records are transferred they meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Action (HIPAA) guidelines. • Risks – Employees should have a full understanding of the potential risks of combining surgical procedures with long flights and vacation activities. Medical travel is a win-win for employer and employee alike. It’s a way to access the best possible care – no matter where it is located – at reasonable prices, even when the expense of travel, including airline and accommodations, are taken into account. About the Author Laura Carabello has been an entrepreneur and a strategy consultant in both domestic and international businesses related to health care and technology since 1985. She is the publisher/managing editor of Medical Travel Today, the authoritative, online business-to-business international newsletter of the medical tourism industry (, as well as US Domestic Medical Travel (, the newsletter dedicated to U.S. intra-state and inbound medical travel. In 2011, Carabello published Medical Travel Today: Opinions and Perspectives on an Industry in the Making.


The Pulse of Medical Travel

· · · ·

Discover options for higher quality more affordable healthcare in the U.S. or abroad Learn about new options for treatment not yet available in the U.S. Explore destinations for health and wellness programs offering spa vacations and more Understand what employers and health plans are doing to make medical travel a new option for you and your family

For Free

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Escape the “Holi-daze”

Hyatt Regency

he rush of the holiday season is here, but there’s a sweet way to get away from it all. Escape the “holi-daze” and relax into holiday fun at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, the perfect getaway to create holiday traditions you’ll treasure for years to come. From the warm welcome that beckons you to stay awhile, the authentic hospitality that never misses a beat and the gentle way you feel yourself relax as soon as you walk through the door, the resort is the perfect place to give your holiday memories a Texas twist. Surrounded by the beauty of the Hill Country and brimming with the country elegance of a Texas ranch house, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa offers a holiday escape to remember. With the best of the Hill Country and the magic of the holidays in the Alamo City at your fingertips, this genuine San Antonio retreat wraps your holiday season in a rustic, memoryfilled bow. Perfect Holiday Fun Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa provides the perfect backdrop for authentic holiday fun. The natural beauty of Hill Country sunsets, the smell of woodburning fires and rolling hills as far as the eye can see will give your holidays a new glow. The land the resort calls home was a working ranch for more than a century


and that ranch culture of hospitality is alive and well at the resort. Guests are surrounded by true Texas history and enjoy a family ranch environment, crafted and refined to suit the tastes of even the most discerning guest. Whether you’re spending a special weekend away or enjoying the holiday season with family and friends making new holiday memories, the resort offers something for all ages to enjoy. From 27-holes of championship golf and fabulous food to waves of water fun—heated against any Christmas chill!—and spa pampering unlike any other, Texas’ first destination resort is the ideal holiday destination. Special Events Holidays at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa include special events for resorts guests to enjoy. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, guests big and small can enjoy family activities designed to give your holidays the perfect Hill Country flavor with holiday arts and crafts, games themed for the season, favorite family-friendly movies and more. The season is exceptionally special on weekends and holiday weeks when the resort helps create even more special holiday memories and fun that will leave your little ones with sugar plum dreams.



Each of the events runs for multiple weekends through December, giving your family time to put the holiday rush on pause and enjoy the fun together. Fireside S’mores Chocolate and Marshmallows Sweeten the Holidays Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa’s signature s’mores bring the sweetness of the holiday season to life every night during the holiday season. Enjoy a holiday evening by the fire, with a toasty s’more in hand, each evening 6—8PM daily. Resort guests are invited to sit by the fire and “roast” the season with ooey-gooey s’more goodness. Fireside S’mores will be held at the resort’s wood-burning fireplace daily and is complimentary for resort guests. Story Time & S’mores Kick start your holiday weekends with the melted goodness of s’mores by the fireplace and story time with local story teller Miss Anastasia on Friday evenings now and continuing December 2nd, 9th and 16th. Held in the lobby of the resort, Story Time and S’mores will delight children—and adults!—of all ages with its holiday magic and give your season some extra sweetness. After the perfect holiday story, be sure to write and mail a special letter to Santa—he won’t mind a few s’more-y fingerprints! Story time will be held in the resort’s lobby 6:30—7:30PM and is complimentary for resort guests. Saturdays, Santa and S’more Each Saturday, now and continuing December 3rd, 10th and 17th, enjoy S’mores with Santa as he spends part of his weekend meeting and greeting his favorite friends at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. The jolly ‘ol man in red will be enjoying s’mores and

ready to hear your wish list as he relaxes by the fire 6—8PM. Resort guests can enjoy s’mores with Santa and capture this family memory at no charge, or for a small fee, have a professional photo taken and decorate one of the resort’s commemorative frames to take home. Family-Style Holiday Flavors to Savor To make the holidays complete, enjoy a family-style dinner at Antlers Lodge for Christmas. Offering a delicious array of holiday flavors, the holiday meal will be served 2—8PM and is open to both resort guests and the public. Prices are $65 for adults, $45 for seniors, $25 for children 6-12 and those 5 and under are free. Call 210-520-4001 for reservations. Traditions Created Create meaningful traditions with your family by spending a day exploring the beauty of the Hill Country, or enjoy the magic of San Antonio’s famous River Walk lights and luminarias—both are convenient to explore and enjoy while staying at the resort. And after days of fun, spend evenings warming your toes by the fireplace, holiday music ringing in your ears, and holiday magic swirling all around you as you embrace the holiday season with Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. So when the holiday hustle becomes too much, or if you just want to spend special time with the ones you love, escape to the beautiful Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa and make new memories with your family. The beauty of the resort makes it a perfect getaway for any season and your Christmas dreams will never be sweeter. More Information For more information about Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, visit 27





Merry Holidays Indeed

Monterey County

ith winter quickly approaching, are you dreaming of a bright Christmas with sunshine, mild weather and postcard-worthy scenery? Leave the snow shovels at home and escape with your family this holiday season to Monterey County. From traditional tree lightings to yuletide carols to a twinkling boat parade, the destination boasts celebrations and festivities for residents and visitors alike, creating unforgettable holiday moments. “The holidays are such a special time in Monterey County as communities put up incredible light displays and plan creative events to celebrate the season,” says Tammy Blount, President and CEO of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Bring your children, loved ones and even your four-legged friends and join us in making holiday memories that will last a lifetime.” TREE LIGHTING CEREMONIES For many communities, the ceremonial lighting of a Christmas tree is a long-time tradition and marks the official start of the holiday season. Monterey kicked the season off on Friday, November 25th, with Christmas carolers, Santa’s reindeer and the 22nd Annual Cannery Row Holiday Tree Lighting. The entire family is invited to join Santa on Steinbeck Plaza. The quaint City of Pacific Grove flipped the switch on Monday, November 28th, with an oldfashioned Christmas Tree Lighting and Santa’s Christmas Party. As jolly old St. Nick is busy making appearances, don’t miss him as he is delivered by the Monterey Fire Department at the City Holiday Tree Lighting and Carmel Plaza Holiday Party on


Friday, December 2nd in charming Carmel-by-theSea. Before the main event, toast the beginning of the holiday season at the Sunset Center with a celebration in the theater library including free portraits in front of their Christmas tree. Also, happening that Friday evening is Historic Downtown Monterey’s Traditional Christmas Tree Lighting on Colton Hall Lawn featuring carols, candles, cookies and cheer. HISTORICAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS Monterey County is rich in history and stretching back to 1850. Folks can take a step back in time and visit bed and breakfast inns dressed in Victorian-era splendor at Christmas at the Inns in Pacific Grove. Stroll through Historic Downtown Monterey for Christmas in the Adobes on December 9th and 10th. The annual event includes exploring 19th century adobes for fandango dance lessons, bagpipes, games and more with proceeds benefiting the Monterey State Historic Park children’s educational programs. The Carmel Heritage Society works to preserve and promote


the history of Carmel-by-the-Sea; and every holiday season, the non-profit group hosts the Inns of Distinction Tour. On Sunday, December 4th, participants will have the opportunity to tour the inns including Doris Day’s Cypress Inn which has been a landmark since 1929. And if you’re looking for a Christmas Eve celebration, The Peninsula Harmony Company choir will be caroling around the lobby at Hyatt Carmel Highlands in their Victorian attire. The community and visitors are invited to join as the carolers spread Christmas cheer on the night before Santa arrives. PARADES AND LIGHTS Strike up the band for the Holiday Parade of Lights in Salinas. Marching bands, floats, classic cars and more travel through Oldtown Salinas to the National Steinbeck Center for this lighted event on Sunday, November 27th. Santa and Mrs. Claus travel all the way from the North Pole to celebrate the 15th Annual Holiday Parade of Lights on Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove. The parade will be held on the first of December and includes local marching bands, floats and equestrian groups. We mustn’t forget the traditional Brighten the Harbor Lighted Boat Parade, sponsored by the Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club. Taking place Sunday, December 4th, decorated illuminated boats cruise Monterey Bay, competing for “Best Decorated Boat.” GINGERBREAD HOUSES FOR A CAUSE Icing, candy canes and swirly twirly gum drops! My Museum’s Gingerbread Extravaganza Weekend is sure to be a sweet treat and raises funds for the


museum. The extravaganza kicks off on Thursday, December 1st with adults getting in on the fun by decorating their own gingerbread houses followed by the kid-friendly gingerbread house event on Sunday. Hofsas House in Carmelby-the-Sea also hosts a Gingerbread Making Fundraiser for families to enjoy on Saturday, December 3rd. The 5th annual benefit supports the Carmel Public Library Foundation. YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS… With a festive spirit in the air, Santa arrives a little early in Carmel Valley. Instead of a sleigh and reindeer, Kris Kringle and the Mrs. make a grand entrance by helicopter and are greeted by excitement and joy. The 58th Annual Carmel Valley Santa’s Fly-In is happening on Saturday, December 10th, at Carmel Valley Airfield. You can also catch Santa as he joins the Snowman and Snow Queen at the 23rd Annual Stillwell’s Fun in the Park event in Pacific Grove, featuring complimentary rides, bounce houses and a petting zoo. MORE INFORMATION From holiday traditions to unique events, unwrap the secrets of the season and family fun in Monterey County! Hotel properties and restaurants throughout the destination are also offering special holiday deals and meals. For a list of events and specials, please visit



Luxury in Scottsdale

The Phoenician Resort

ince it first opened its doors in 1988, The Phoenician has set the standard for luxury and service in the Sonoran Desert. The AAA Five Diamond resort is a visual masterpiece, spanning 250 acres of lush gardens and dramatic desert terrain against the spectacular backdrop of Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tons to Offer Everyone But what truly sets The Phoenician apart is the remarkable diversity guests will find here, allowing them to create the travel experience of their dreams. Accommodations range from luxurious guestrooms to residential-style casitas. Dining can be a casually elegant affair, as found at the Italian-inspired Il Terrazzo; as informal as a refreshing salad enjoyed poolside; or as memorable as a romantic feast just for two under the stars. The world-class recreational offerings of The Phoenician’s golf, tennis and spa facilities are balanced by the more unconventional pleasures of touring the resort’s fascinating Cactus Garden or exclusive $25 million art collection; or feeding Koi at Necklace Lake Lagoon. Spacious, Elegant Accommodations The Phoenician offers guests a choice of 643 spacious accommodations from guestrooms and luxury suites to casitas with private entrances. In the main resort building, there are 450 beautifully decorated guest rooms, plus 12 luxury suites and two expansive, 3,000 square-foot presidential suites. The intimate Canyon Suites, nestled against Camelback Mountain, is a boutique resort within the resort offering guests enhanced signature services, such as a personal wake-up call served with a choice of freshbrewed tea or coffee in a sterling silver set, a seasonal amenity presented by Executive Chef Paul Carter and a Canyon Ambassador to take care of the guest’s every desire. The Canyon Suites features 20 guestrooms, 38 luxury suites and two presidential suites, as well as its own secluded “edgeless” pool and cabanas. A short stroll from the main building adjacent to the Necklace Lake Lagoon, the casitas include an additional 119 guestrooms and suites offering doorstep parking and private entrances. Award-Winning Dining The Phoenician offers seemingly endless dining options that are as diverse as they are inspired. Among the nine restaurants is Il Terrazzo, featuring authentic American-Italian cuisine; and J&G Steakhouse, showcasing a bill of fare created by world-renowned Chef


Jean-Georges Vongerichten. For a more casual experience, the charming Café and Ice Cream Parlor serves tempting treats and light meals in a family friendly atmosphere; and the Oasis and Canyon Grills present a variety of poolside favorites; while a complete lineup of signature burgers, appetizers and desserts await at the Relish Burger Bistro. For a more traditional experience, relax to the rich temptations of Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Tea Court. Another popular gathering spot, the Thirsty Camel Lounge, serves luxury spirits, light fare and rare cigars with live piano or saxophone adding to the ambience. And for private dining, The Praying Monk offers an intimate, Renaissance-inspired setting for small parties. World-Class Leisure Pastimes At The Phoenician, world-class recreational options abound. The golf club offers 27 holes of championship play on three, nine-hole par 70 combinations designed by Homer Flint and Ted Robinson, Sr., while the 11-court Tennis Garden is the only resort facility in the Southwest to offer four playing surfaces. Guests in search of enlightenment can indulge in an array of pampering and rejuvenating spa treatments at the 22,000 square-foot Centre for Well-Being, or learn about the resort’s many treasures – both natural and cultural – with guided and self-guided tours of the two-acre Cactus Garden and The Phoenician’s $25 million art collection. More info? Visit them online at



Capture the moment, as well as the imagination. With elegant accommodations, award-winning cuisine, a stunning golf course and a lavish spa, The Phoenician is where your highest expectations are met and always celebrated in style.





©2014 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Luxury Collection and its logo are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.



A Holiday Destination

Orlando, Florida

ith candy cane hunts, a life-size chocolate Santa, Macy’s Holiday Parade and marching toy soldiers – imagination comes to life in an Orlando vacation this holiday season. Now and running through New Year’s Day, Orlando makes the most out of every Yuletide day. Theme Park Holiday Events Walt Disney World Resort: Select nights (Now- Dec. 31) Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party presents a winter fairytale, as Queen Elsa covers Cinderella’s castle in glittering ice. Lively stage shows feature Disney characters in their holiday best, and a festive holiday parade sends toy soldiers and snow flurries dancing on Main Street, U.S.A. Guests can even enjoy complimentary cookies and hot cocoa around the park. Disney’s Hollywood Studios debuts a new show this year, “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” The explosive event features spectacular fireworks, special effects and infectious holiday music every night. The Candlelight Processional at Epcot is a beloved Disney tradition. This joyous retelling of the Christmas story features a celebrity narrator, 50-piece orchestra and several magnificent choirs. Narrators this year include Neil Patrick Harris and Whoopi Goldberg.


Universal Orlando Resort: Select nights (Dec. 3 - Jan. 1) At Universal Studios Florida, the Macy’s Holiday Parade fills the streets every evening with the same

larger-than-life balloons seen in Macy’s famous Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Elaborate floats, dancers and other entertainment will dazzle and delight as well. At Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Grinchmas descends on Seuss Landing with a live retelling of Dr. Seuss’s beloved holiday tale during, “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular,” featuring the Whos from Who-ville and an original musical score by Mannheim Steamroller. SeaWorld Orlando: Select nights (Now - Dec. 31) Waves of holiday spirit splash in during SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration. Here in a wintry, watery wonderland, live shows inspired by the natural world light up the park with majesty and cheer, including a charming nativity show with live animals. New this year, guests can meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends, and enjoy Rudolph-themed attractions. LEGOLAND Florida Resort: (Dec. 17-18, 24-30) At Christmas Bricktacular, families can block time to marvel at the more than 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree, made with 270,000 LEGO and DUPLO bricks, and pose for a perfect holiday picture with a life-size LEGO Santa, reindeer and sleigh.


Holiday Cheer at Orlando Resorts An Orlando holiday getaway wouldn’t be complete without a holly, jolly place to stay, and the destination’s wide variety of resorts join the festivities. The holiday spirit is shared in events, dining and entertainment, creating comfort and cheer around every corner. The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort features lavish holiday offerings and décor Dec.1 – Jan. 3. Festive events at the resort include candy cane hunts or sleigh decorating for children or adults-only wine tastings. Opt to host a personal holiday party with Mickey and Minnie or Anna and Elsa from “Frozen,” upon request. Those who stay in top suites even get a butler to help wrap holiday gifts, decorate the suite and arrange a hot cocoa and cookie decorating party. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel offers sweet holiday treats this year, including a LifeSize Chocolate Holiday Santa Scene in the Swan lobby, constructed with 2,000 pounds of real chocolate. The Dolphin hotel lobby will offer even more holiday magic, with an indoor-snow fall and 45-ft tall Christmas tree. For the most amazing Night Before Christmas, guests can invite a fully-costumed elf to deliver milk and cookies to their room for a Christmas Eve bedtime story and tuck in. Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center returns with an Orlando holiday classic: ICE! At Gaylord Palms, featuring an elaborate tableau of interactive hand-carved ice sculptures and displays, Now – Jan. 1. This year, ICE! has a new theme: Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz. Guests can follow along as Charlie Brown discovers the meaning of Christmas and bask in the chilly, award-winning splendor carved by a team of 40 skilled artisans. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort’s Mediterranean yule time experience includes holiday carolers and a Hanukkah Candle Lighting Ceremony. For a unique celebration, the

FL resort recreates an evening in seaside “Italy” with live holiday music, wine tasting and the grand illumination of the Christmas tree. A Unique New Year’s Eve in Orlando Ring in 2017 in a big way at one of the destination’s many New Year’s Eve events. Some of the year’s biggest firework shows light up the night as fine dining, entertainment and champagne flow below. The “Disney Countdown to Midnight” at Disney’s Contemporary Resort sets a thrilling tone for the New Year, with a live DJ, dancing and libations, culminating with Magic Kingdom Park fireworks viewing and a champagne toast. Five Star New Year’s Eve at I-Drive 360 will gather local celebrities and Orlando’s most influential people to celebrate in style beneath the CocaCola Orlando Eye. The exclusive event features world class DJ’s rotating through the night as visual entertainment of fireworks and fire shows entertain. General admission offers a full-service open bar with beverages, beer, vodka, whiskey and Prosecco. Those looking to party hard into the new year can head to Universal CityWalk for jam-packed celebrations, including unique party zones, live music, unlimited gourmet cuisine and a pulse-pumping outdoor dance floor. Families can ring in the New Year before bedtime At “Kids’ New Year’s Eve” at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. Move and groove at an exclusive dance party, catch the giant LEGO brick drop at a kid-friendly hour and wind down the year with LEGO-inspired fireworks – all before midnight. The Orlando Destination Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the No. 1 family vacation destination, THEME PARK CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, and most visited destination in the United States. For more information on this incredible city, visit:



Holiday Fun Abounds

San Francisco

an Francisco loves the holidays so much that it can’t limit itself to a single giant Christmas tree. There are actually dozens: Macy’s soaring 80-footplus tree in Union Square, an officially nondenominational tree at City Hall, and another majestic tree at PIER 39. But once you’ve wished for peace on Earth and goodwill to all, there’s still plenty to do besides sip an eggnog latte at the nearest third-wave coffee shop. Between major art shows, musical events and big performances, winter is brimming with culture. SHN Musical Romps and Curran Reopens SHN offers two holiday diversions onstage this season: “The Lion King” Now-Dec. 31, 2016 at the SHN Orpheum and Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” Dec. 12-14, 2016 at the SHN Golden Gate. The legendary Curran Theatre will also reopen in January 2017 with the ground-breaking, Tony Award-winning musical “Fun Home.” Built in 1922 the 1,600-seat Curran is reopening in the heart of Union Square after a major restoration and renovation. Westfield San Francisco Centre From Dec. 1-31, 2016 Westfield San Francisco Centre’s iconic dome will come to life each night with a holiday bazaar under the grand dome. Partnering with local retail and food vendors, Westfield is creating a marketplace, performance space and lounge for shoppers to enjoy shows and entertainment, savor some special holiday treats and buy holiday gifts. “The Place to Holiday,” Westfield will host performances by the San Francisco Ballet and ensembles from SHN’s “White Christmas” and A.C.T.’s “A Christmas Carol” under their new inverted crystal tree. Name Droppers Bruce Conner, the Brothers Le Nain and Frank Stella are just a few of the boldface names being featured in local museums this winter. We think you’d like to get to know them better. Bruce Conner was an active force in the counterculture of the mid-1960s. His show, “Bruce


Conner: It’s All True” at SFMOMA through Jan. 22, 2017 is the first comprehensive retrospective of this pivotal artist’s prolific output and includes 250 pieces in various media. Active in Paris in the 1630s and 1640s, brothers Antoine, Louis and Mathieu created some of the most enigmatic and beautiful works of art in history - this presentation at the Legion of Honor features more than 40 of their masterpieces through Jan. 29, 2017. In an exclusive West Coast presentation, “Frank Stella: A Retrospecttive” at the de Young through Feb. 26, 2017 surveys the career of this towering figure in post-WWII American art. Illuminate SF Festival of Light Light art will illuminate block after block of San Francisco’s corrugated surface from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Day, 2017 for the Illuminate SF Festival of Light. The fourth annual light fantastic includes 35 dramatic, eco-friendly light art installations accessible by public transit and admission-free. A two-month celebration during the longest nights of the year, it features free light art tours, nighttime neighborhood walks, artist talks and participatory experiences. Many of San Francisco’s intimate neighborhoods will also light up shopping districts, streets and galleries, and host participatory holiday activities. More Information Thinking of visiting, San Francisco? Find them online at:


A Vancouver Dream

Fairmont Pacific Rim airmont Pacific Rim is delivering a little bit of naughty and nice this season with fashionforward décor, holiday feasts and fêtes, and gift giving essentials. Oh Christmas Tree... For the second year, Versace Home Vancouver and Fairmont Pacific Rim are collaborating to present a Christmas filled with Versace. The traditional Christmas tree has again been reimagined, this time shedding its branches. In its stead, a shimmering silhouette - an aluminum frame embedded with lighting and finished with gold metallic paint - standing over 3.6 metres tall. Exposed from within are luxurious silk and velvet cushions all featuring iconic Versace patterns. Hanging from the ceiling, the tree ‘topper’, is a miniature Versace Vanitas chair, a signature item of the Versace Home brand, originally designed by Gianni Versace. ‘Tis the Season to Be Hungry... ORU Cuisine is the hot spot for holiday hosting, featuring traditional flavours with an ORU twist. From Now thru December 23, ORU will offer a holiday prix fixe lunch option with all the trimmings for the ideal office party gathering or post-shopping stop. And special buffet and brunch menus on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day mean a cooking-free holiday. GINgle Bells Are Ringing At The Lobby Lounge, bartenders are making spirits bright, stirring up festive libations in style. With live music served seven days a week starting at 3:00pm, The Lobby Lounge is the premier destination to sip on holiday cheer. For do-it-your-selfers, the Black Barrel Back Flip is a twist on the traditional eggnog - created and tastetested by head bartender Grant Sceney. Shop ‘till You Drop giovane market is the city’s hottest boutique this season and has all the holiday shopping essentials under one roof with the best gifts for her, him, furry friends, and baby. With more brands than you can shake a



candy cane at, check out giovane market and Willow Stream Spa boutique look book for gift-giving inspiration. Spa-la-la-la-la Check off the “hard to get” on the holiday list with the brand new Willow Stream Spa ‘Pamper Me Program.’ Enrollment includes a selection of 60-minute luxurious signature treatments – one per month –exclusive offers on retail, plus access to additional VIP perks and events. For more information on the program, click here. Take the Elevator Home After all the shopping, sipping and holiday mingling, guests can take the elevator home to a luxurious guest room at Fairmont Pacific Rim. With rates from $299 per night, the ‘Take the Elevator Home’ offer is based on availability and available from Thursday through Sundays until January 1. Contact Them Holiday Dining Reservations and further holiday information can be made by contacting the Festive Desk at 604-695-5574 or





French Quarter Treasure

The Bourbon Orleans


by: Marie Hernandez,

ew Orleans has quickly become one of my favorite cities. The city’s charm and great food draws me back over and over. During my last trip, I chose to stay with The Bourbon Orleans Hotel a hotel of the New Orleans Hotel Collection. It’s an elegant and historic luxury hotel with a staff and service that makes you feel like you’re among friends. Located in the French Quarter, the boutique hotel is a charming place that has an alluring past. From the minute I walked in I knew my stay would be ideal. Met at the curb by a kind and humorous staff, I was quickly led through check-in and right to my gorgeous room. With several room types to choose from, I chose a King room overlooking the beautiful pool courtyard. The unique slatted, half moon windows gave the room a wonderful aura. The luxurious bed made my nights unbelievably comfortable and hard to get out of in the morning! I’m a firm believer that the service a hotel offers can make or break a visitor’s experience regardless of how beautiful the accommodations are. The Bourbon Orleans excels far beyond expectations. Each member of the staff was eager to go out of their way to make sure my stay was perfect. From the front desk to the chambermaids, everyone met me with a smile and made sure I had all I needed for a perfect stay. The hotel boasts a really great bar called Bourbon O with live music on certain nights and a great staff that will keep you enthralled with local ghost stories and spot on advice for places to get Olean’s famous eats.


The pool area with deck chairs, umbrellas, and towel service is inviting. It’s a comfortable place to spend a hot day or sit in the evening with a drink or chit chat with friends. The Hotel offers its guests free Wi-Fi and an outstanding onsite restaurant, Roux on Orleans, where you’ll find a great breakfast to start your day, great choices for lunch, dinner, or a late night snack in your room. Definitely try their Southern Pulled Pork Sandwich….to die for!!! The Bourbon Orleans is located close to some of New Orleans great sites. A short walk to Café du Monde is a must and is literally a couple of blocks away. As is the famous Cathedral, great tour companies, and eateries. The hotel is also a beautiful site for a wedding as it’s elegant and newly restored interior makes for a gorgeous setting and pictures. I would highly recommend the Bourbon Orleans when visiting New Orleans; it’s a perfect home base while exploring the French Quarter, getting away for a romantic evening, or enjoying a girl’s get-a-way. For more information or to book your stay: Bourbon Orleans Hotel 717 Orleans St. New Orleans, LA 70116 T: (504) 523-2222 Reservations: (866) 513-9744 39



URBAN. There’s always something NEW TO DISCOVER in Downtown Orlando. Be ENTERTAINED with a Broadway show at the new performing arts center. TASTE local flavor while dining outdoor at one of our award winning restaurants. EXPLORE local art at a nearby art gallery. INDULGE in retail therapy with boutique shopping. UNCOVER Orlando’s rooted history with a walking tour.



The Hotel Guide - Holiday Edition 2016  
The Hotel Guide - Holiday Edition 2016  

Revel in our Holiday edition featuring such incredible destinations as San Antonio, Monterey, San Francisco, Moody Gardens in Galveston and...