Get Outta Town!
W NEW YORK DOWNTOWN
Everyone knows Manhattan’s hot spots, but the up-and-coming hipster hangouts are trending downtown, particularly toward the Financial District. We suggest you try the recently opened W New York Downtown, close to shopping and dining. Have an afternoon cocktail on the fifth-floor Living Room Bar and Terrace, or check in at the office at Wired, the hotel’s business center. You can even work off those holiday pounds with a session at Sweat, its state-of-the-art fitness center, where the views of the Manhattan skyline will distract you from the tedium of exercise. 123 Washington St., New York, NY, 877- 822-0000; whotels.com/newyorkdowntown
For close-to-home comfort food with flair, try BLT Bar & Grill, the W’s connecting resto that offers new twists on old favorites such as Scottish salmon burgers and gooey mac and cheese.
We never pass up an outing to Topshop, the British chain with insanely stylish duds and accessories. Uptown luxury heads downtown at Hermès, where you can still special-order your Birkins, but we also like the brand’s housewares and cuff links. Also try Burberry for a classic trench coat.
Hip sippers should try the “Five Points” cocktail, made with pineapple, lime juice and wild arugula, courtesy of the W’s mixologist, Charlotte Voisey.
If it’s the delightful year-in, year-out stability of the holiday season you seek, then pack your bags for the short and scenic trip to The Greenbrier, a stately resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Santa Claus makes a stop there on Christmas Eve for the Jingle Bell Parade, which winds its way to life-size ice sculptures of St. Nick’s sleigh and reindeer. Bring the kids to the Gingerbread Ball, a family dinner dance for puppets, artists, jugglers and ballet dancers, and don’t forget the Christmas carol sing-along and Yule log ceremony. 300 W. Main St., Sulphur Springs, WV, 304-536-1110; greenbrier.com
The Greenbrier has a multitude of activities for visitors. We like the nightly concerts and wine tastings, but we’re also eager to try ballroom dancing and take a shot at indoor laser tag, a new addition along with an outdoor skating rink.
Be a high-roller at the Casino Club, the resort’s new Monte Carlo-esque gaming mecca that encompasses an astonishing 40,000 square feet of belowground gaming space.
FOUR SEASONS RESORT VAIL
Brand-new and with all the trimmings, Four Seasons Resort Vail is the ultimate skier’s getaway this season. The American West style shines throughout the grounds, with balconies on most of the 121 suites and rooms and fi replaces galore. Rooms connect in innovative and creative ways, so large families can feel like it’s a true holiday for everyone. Sports-lovers have incredible outlets for high-adrenaline excitement: There’s snowboarding, hiking, biking, golfi ng and dog-sledding. If cold-weather climes aren’t your thing, just relax at the spa, which has custom treatments to battle the altitude, or take a dip in the heated, year-round saline pool. 1 Vail Road, Vail, CO, 416-445-5031; fourseasons.com/vail
Visit the dedicated Four Seasons Ski Concierge and make use of the amenities, including private lockers, a full-service ski shop and a lounge for guests of the resort.
Participate in the après-ski ritual at Fireside Bar and Lounge, where cocktails will warm the soul and Latin American-inspired cuisine will satisfy hunger after a day on the slopes. For dinner, indulge at The Flame, a hearty steakhouse.
Spa services are all top-notch, but don’t skip the Spirit of the Rockies, which starts with a foot soak to ease boot-fatigued skiers and continues with a series of mini-treatments made from natural elements like evergreen, fir, pine and juniper.
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