Pick of the Month: The Phoenician, Scottsdale, Arizona. Want winter traditions without the wintry weather? Get them at The Phoenician, where every day in December is a holiday. Picture an explosion of red poinsettias and trimmed trees decking the halls as carolers sing holiday favorites. And that's just at check-in.
The spirit continues with cookie decorating, pottery painting, scavenger hunts, Menorah lighting, ice cream with Santa Claus, a Christmas Eve "elf tuck-in" service and other family-friendly festivities at this desert getaway. Adults can savor such culinary celebrations as wine and cheese events and wine tastings.
The Phoenician pampers golfers with complimentary 10-minute preround back massages near the first tee, and the resort's Centre for Well-Being provides golf yoga classes for those in need of deep relaxation. Three nine-hole layouts rise from the Sonoran Desert: the Oasis, aptly named for its ponds and lakes; the Canyon, which climbs and dips amid the rocks; and the Desert, wending around the foothills of Camelback Mountain.
Through December 31, the Masters Golf Getaway Package includes a three-night stay, unlimited golf and daily breakfast for two, plus a logoed golf shirt, for $2,685 per person (based on double occupancy, including tax and gratuity). The Golf & Spa Rituals Package, which includes three spa treatments per person, is $3,045 (double occupancy).
The Phoenician, 800-888-8234
And Another Thing... More hotels might have been the last thing sprawling Orlando needed, but the new Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott at the Grande Lakes resort are not just any hotels.
Siblings with the same corporate parent, the hotels share a vast stretch of lush land 15 minutes northeast of Orlando's theme parks. The 584-room Ritz-Carlton has an Italianate feel, while the 1,000-room JW Marriott has a Spanish flavor. A 40,000-square-foot spa and the new Greg Norman-designed Ritz-Carlton Golf Club separate the two hotel towers. The 7,100-yard course weaves through wetlands and woodlands before drawing to a close alongside the hotels. The resort also offers a unique golf-etiquette class for children, in which juniors ages 5 to 12 learn the written and unwritten rules of the game.
Holiday golf packages include a garden-view room and two rounds starting at $509 per night at the Marriott and $609 per night at the Ritz-Carlton.