News & Politics

Cool Winter Savings

Special reader rates at a family resort in Virginia and a New York hotel, plus good deals on spas, golf, skiing, and more

Snow tubing, ice skating, and skiing are part of the winter fun at Virginia’s Homestead resort. Photograph courtesy of the Homestead

Ski and Tea

In cold weather, the Homestead in Virginia turns into a winter wonderland —skiing on seven trails, snowboarding, ice skating, snow tubing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

If it’s a warm day at the Allegheny Mountains resort, you can try horseback riding, a carriage ride, the shooting club, fly-fishing, or mountain biking—and golfing if there’s no snow.

Then there’s the warmth indoors, with the resort’s spa, spring-fed pool, fitness center, bowling alley, and movies. In the afternoon, guests can have tea in the Great Hall as a pianist plays.

From January 4 through March 15, the Homestead is offering a Family Ski Free Package that includes accommodations and lift tickets. The package starts at $199 a night per room, 45 percent off the usual rate for a family of four. Taxes and a 15-percent daily resort charge are extra.

Mention The Washingtonian and the resort will include free its “light tea”—a $17 repast of tea, cookies, lemon-ginger scones, and Devonshire cream that feeds two to three.

The Homestead, Hot Springs, Va.; 800-838-1766;

Snow Tubing and S’mores

Whether you’re a beginner or expert skier—or not a skier—there’s plenty to do in winter at Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Skiers have a choice of 26 slopes and night skiing. This season more snowmaking equipment has been added.

Snowboarders and skiers have two terrain parks to hone their freestyle skills. Speeds can reach up to 40 mph on the Plunge, the state’s largest snow-tubing park. Families will find tamer snow tubing, a winter carousel, and snow forts at the new Ridgeley’s Fun Park—complete with marshmallows and s’mores for kids.

Off the slopes, Wintergreen offers a spa, fitness center, indoor pool, and indoor tennis. Guests can dine by fireplaces in all the restaurants. And down in the valley, it’s often warm enough in winter to play the resort’s Stoney Creek golf course.

A special Wintergreen Weekend package, which includes two nights’ lodging and three days’ lift tickets, starts at $308 a person for studio lodging, about 20 percent off the regular rate. Other lodging choices are available: A two-bedroom condo, for example, is $276 a person with four people, a 16-percent savings. The package runs January 1 through March 20, excluding holiday weekends.

Wintergreen Resort, Wintergreen, Va.; 800-266-2444;

Winter Golf

As temperatures drop, the crowds also drop in Williamsburg—as do the prices at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club.

Its Sweater Weather Package, available December 1 through April 2, includes 18 holes for each day of your stay at either the Gold Course or the Green Course. Per-person, per-night rates range from $99 for a standard room at the Williamsburg Woodlands to $226 for a superior room at the Williamsburg Inn. The package prices represent up to a 30-percent savings depending on the accommodations and dates. Rates include a cart and use of the driving range.

Williamsburg, Va.; 800-501-0156;

Relax, the Spa Is Included

Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania, a historic property that recently underwent a $120-million restoration, is offering a spa lovers’ deal: The $999 Ultimate Cloud Nine Package, available Sundays through Thursdays until May 7, includes three nights in a deluxe room for two guests plus a $999 credit for the spa.

The large spa uses natural spring water in all of its treatments, which include massages, facials, manicures/pedicures, and body treatments. Beyond the spa, all guests get afternoon tea and cookies and use of the fitness center and indoor pool.

With this package, the only charges are for any food and beverage, taxes and gratuities, and a daily resort fee of $20. Some activities, such as mountain-bike rental ($25 an hour), are extra.

Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford, Pa.; 814-623-8100;

Reader Special: New York

Kimpton’s the Muse, a Manhattan boutique hotel, is close to Times Square, the theater district, and shopping. The hotel, which just did a renovation, is offering Washingtonian readers a Winter Wonderland Package. Besides accommodations, guests get hot chocolate and marshmallows at bedtime, in-room movies, free parking, and a complimentary wine hour.

The package rates, from $269 a night (available through February except December 27 through 31) are a 25-percent savings. To book, use the rate code WMG.

Kimpton’s the Muse, 130 W. 46th St., New York; 212-485-2400;

Luxury on Sale

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania is offering a winter special called the Three-Night Nemacolin Experience.

Among the room choices, guests can opt for Chateau LaFayette or the Tudor-style Lodge. Wander and enjoy the art collection, including works by Alexander Calder and Frederic Remington. There are antique automobiles and vintage aircraft, too.

Nemacolin has nice traditional amenities, including a spa, fitness center, and indoor pool. In winter there are ten ski slopes with an average 300-foot vertical drop (good for beginners), cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snow tubing. On the wilder side there’s dog sledding, an off-road driving academy, and a wildlife park with tigers and leopards.

The food is very good—especially at Lautrec, its fine-dining room. Guests can take a cooking class or do a winetasting from the resort’s 17,000-bottle cellar.

The Three Night Nemacolin Experience, available December through April, costs $1,460 to $1,573 a room, depending on accommodation. The price—which is about what a couple would pay for the room alone, without the package—includes a $900 credit good toward any resort activities, including spa treatments and meals (the golf course closes in winter).

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pa.; 866-344-6957;

River View

Love the water? At Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort, the Choptank River is on full view from many guest rooms.

Enjoy Eastern Shore seafood at the Blue Point Provision Company, overlooking the marina. Have a cocktail in Michener’s Library, with its two-story glass wall and fireplace. Play golf on a course that winds along the water.

The spa features Eastern Shore–inspired treatments such as Riverstone Reflexology and Hot Shell Massage. Charming St. Michaels is 45 minutes away.

December through February, the resort is offering the Balance Package, starting at $299 a night, double occupancy, on weekends. The rate includes a daily $40 food-and-beverage credit in any of the restaurants or lounges, a spa credit of $130 each day, 1 pm checkout, taxes, and a daily $12 resort fee. Total savings: 20 percent.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort, Cambridge, Md.; 410- 901-1234;

For Chocolate Lovers

Milton Hershey built his chocolate empire, and an entire town, in Pennsylvania. Chocolate is still in the air in Hershey—and especially at the spa of the 1932 Hotel Hershey.

Chocolate inspires many of the treatments, such as the Whipped Cocoa Bath and the Chocolate Fondue Wrap. Always fun is a visit to Chocolate World, including a Disneylike ride that shows how chocolate is made.

During January and February, Hershey is offering a two-night Chocolate Spa Getaway at either the hotel or the nearby Hershey Lodge. The package, which starts at $494 a room per night at the lodge and $558 at the hotel (two-night minimum), includes deluxe accommodations and, for each adult a spa rain shower, a 50-minute massage, $175 toward other spa services or products, and lunch in the spa dining room. The price, which does not include tax and gratuities, is a savings of at least 10 percent off normal rates.

Hotel Hershey and Hershey Lodge, Hershey, Pa.; 800-hershey;

This article first appeared in the December 2008 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here