Escape the Cold for the Holidays and Head to Palm Springs
Being a native Angeleno, I am not fond of cold weather. I have spent many a winter holiday in New York and Seattle, and my body does not acclimate well to what in my mind is a Siberian climate. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but I still think the temperature should qualify as freezing. The preparation alone is daunting, buying long johns, thermals, snow shoes, scarves, gloves, beanies, and parkas, all which I will probably never wear again. On the off chance I do need to wear them, the likelihood that they still fit me is most likely slim to none.
So where does one go to enjoy the holidays, but not freeze his or her tush off? I have found Palm Springs to be the ideal destination with its quintessential holiday traditions, great deals on shopping, and fabulous places to eat, play, and stay.
Every year Palm Springs hosts the “12 Days of Christmas” with signature events including the Festival of Lights Parade; Holidays at the Follies, a lavish song and dance spectacular that concludes with a gentle fall of snowflakes blanketing delighted theatergoers; and the WildLights Holiday Festival at The Living Desert, which turns into a twinkling wonderland after dark with camel rides, Wildlife Wonder shows, and holiday entertainment. Santa also makes his traditional stop at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
For those seeking a romantic getaway this holiday, the Riviera Palm Springs is offering its Starlite, Star Bright Lovers’ Retreat. Now through February 28, 2013, couples can snuggle up under the starry night skies at this retro-fab-meets-Old-Hollywood-glamour hotel.
Guests will start off with a wine tasting at the ultra-chic Starlite Lounge, followed by a fireside dinner for two from Circa 59. The evening continues with a decadent nightcap and S’mores under the moonlight at a private fire pit, and the weekend concludes with a Twilight Massage Treatment at SpaTerre and a zodiac turndown featuring personalized astrological horoscopes that reveal what destiny has written in the stars.
Speaking of stars, and not the ones from Hollywood, the Greater Palm Springs area offers some of the best stargazing in the United States. This year, Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa partnered with astronomer Dennis Mammana to introduce the Desert Stargazing Package, from December 14 through December 16, 2012.
This unique opportunity to view the annual Geminid meteor shower with the highly acclaimed astronomer is one that astromancers will not want to miss. On Friday, December 14, stargazers will receive an instructive and educational orientation and a review of photography equipment for those who want to try their hand at capturing the meteor shower. Guests will also enjoy dinner and conversation with Mammana before the Night Sky Tour, where one can experience the wonder of the cosmos from comfy lounge chairs, pillows, and cozy throws. The celestial package includes accommodations for two at the private and tranquil resort.
For those traveling with family, Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa is the place to stay. From December 22 until December 31, 2012, this luxury resort is offering its Desert Christmas Holiday Package, which is perfect for making holiday wishes come true. Guests will revel in the merriment at the WildLights Holiday Festival at The Living Desert, and enjoy the family friendly activities during the day and cozy up with hot cocoa by the fireside in the evenings in the heart of the plaza.
The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa is celebrating the yuletide season with an array of holiday dining experiences and inspired spa treatments, all the while giving back to the community through a partnership with local non-profit, FIND Food Bank. Packages include the Holiday Breakfast Package, which provides a romantic holiday escape for two, and the “Spa’liday” at the award-winning Agua Serena Spa. The Spa’liday package offers luxurious and decadent treatments such as the Sugar and Spice Mani/Pedi, the Holiday-Do-Dazzle, or the Sweet Sensations, a lavender vanilla Swedish massage and a cranberry cleansing facial.
Throughout the month of December the hotel also serves up daily epicurean delights from Citrus Marketplace and Café; Agave Sunset, the Hyatt’s signature tequila bar and lounge; and Lantana Restaurant. Other holiday dining experiences include a Christmas dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. on December 25, 2012, and a stylish New Year’s celebration with party favors and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, set to the sounds of John Stanley King. Families with kids can let the little ones frolic at Camp Hyatt, where they can participate in a glow-themed scavenger hunt, make “glow” lemonade, and play games.
Palm Springs has something for everyone this festive season. Whether looking for a family affair, a romantic couple’s escape, a reprieve from the in-laws, or a way to get away from the perils of winter, hop in the car or on a plane and feel the warmth of the shining sun during this magical time of the year.