Lodge puts own stamp on package

Deals Of The Week

December 16, 2007|By Chicago Tribune

Prompted by the "forever stamp" issued this year, Willows Lodge, which is east of Seattle, has come up with a "Forever Willows" package that guarantees guests four one-night stays at almost any time in the future. "Forever Willows" is priced at $1,000. Now for the fine print: Though "Forever Willows" can be redeemed forever, the package must be purchased by Dec. 30. Tax is additional, and booking is based on availability. Located in the Woodinville, Wash., "wine country," Willows Lodge is an 84-room rustic retreat with a full-service spa and two restaurants (425-424-2589; willowslodge.com).

Natural and man-made wonders highlight "New Year's at the Grand Canyon," a holiday excursion featuring a New Year's Eve gala at the canyon and a gambol in Las Vegas. The trip begins in Chicago on Dec. 28 and includes a day of sightseeing through the Painted Desert. It ends in Williams, Ariz., where the Grand Canyon Railway will transport travelers to the South Rim for a two-night stay at Maswik Lodge.

After welcoming in 2008, the group moves on to Las Vegas for the finale, a three-night stay at Bellagio Resort. The $1,995 fee covers hotel accommodations, some meals and all sightseeing. Sleeping cars and return airfare are additional (800-543-2846; trainholidays.com).

Baseball legend Hank Aaron will be back on deck aboard the Crystal Serenity as the vessel makes its Jan. 4-19 Panama Canal crossing between Miami and Los Angeles. Along the way, "Hammerin' Hank" will host a question-and-answer session and pose for photographs. With ports of call in Grand Cayman, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico, the cruise starts at $4,495 for a deluxe stateroom plus fees, gratuities and shore excursions (888-722-0021; crystal cruises .com).

Hotel Cheval in Paso Robles, Calif., calls on Chester, its Belgian draft horse, to provide the power for a carriage ride through the town's Victorian district. The outing with Chester is part of Hotel Cheval's "Ho Ho Ho Weekend Package," which also includes Friday- and Saturday-night lodging, daily Continental breakfast, port-and-chocolate pairing and champagne-and-cheese tasting. Valid through December, the two-night yuletide package is priced at $875 plus tax and tips (866-522-6999; hotelcheval.com).

The movie Ratatouille has inspired New York's Roosevelt Hotel to offer a package of nearly the same name. The "Ratatouille -- Anyone Can Cook Package" ushers families into the Roosevelt Grill kitchen for a cooking lesson with the chefs and then sits them down for dinner to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Priced at $1,443 for a family of four, the culinary caper also serves up two nights' accommodations, a DVD of the movie and a gourmet-cheese turndown. Tax and tips are extra. Valid through March 31 (888-833-3969; theroosevelthotel .com, click on Ratatouille Package).

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