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Kick off '08 on the Cape or in Chattanooga

Connecticut's Winvian resort is offering a lavish New Year's package that begins at $5,899. Connecticut's Winvian resort is offering a lavish New Year's package that begins at $5,899.
Email|Print| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Correspondent / December 9, 2007

Some will argue that the best way to spend New Year's Eve is at home with a loved one, a glass of champagne, and a good night's sleep. Ah, but others want to ensure that the last day of 2007 and first day of 2008 will be ones to remember all year long. For those seeking something special, here are a few ideas:

Las Vegas and New Year's seem to go together, what with elaborate celebrations on the Strip and downtown. The city's legendary lodging bargains don't always apply around this holiday, but there are some nice packages. One example: The Luxor's New Year's Eve Elite package includes a complimentary Tower deluxe room upgrade if available, outdoor VIP fireworks viewing on Dec. 31, a 2-for-1 buffet, a $20 beverage credit, $10 off per ticket to see Carrot Top or "Fantasy," a $5 Starbucks credit, and a 2-for-1 spa admission and $20 credit on any 50-minute spa service. Guests must stay the nights of Dec. 30 and 31, when rooms are $340 and $390 respectively. There is also a New Year's Eve Elite package with more features for $100 more a night.

Call 888-777-0188 or 702-262-4444 and ask for offer code PDNEW. There are details at luxor.com/promotions, and much more Vegas information at visitlasvega .com or vegas.com.

Much closer to home, the Doubletree Hotel Boston-Downtown and Doubletree Club Hotel Boston-Bayside have a First Night Package with an overnight stay for two and a pair of First Night buttons for free admission to all city-sponsored New Year's Eve activities. Boston inaugurated First Night in 1976, and many say that it remains the best celebration of its kind, with musical, dance, family, and theatrical performances and activities at more than 30 indoor and outdoor venues. Doubletree's package starts at $129 a night. Visit hiltonfamilyboston.com/specials/Boston-Activity-Specials/First-Night-Boston.php or call 800-222-TREE (8733) and mention code L-FIR.

For big spenders, there is Winvian, on 113 acres of pastures and woodlands in Connecticut's Litchfield Hills. At Winvian, where there are never more than 38 guests at a time, the Over the Top New Year's Celebration begins at $5,899 and includes three nights' accommodations, a welcome reception with wine and cheese pairings, breakfasts, lunches, cocktails and dinners, one massage per person, naturalist guided hikes or snowshoe outings, and a lavish New Year's Eve party with dining, dancing, and champagne. There is a 1 p.m. checkout on New Year's Day after brunch. Additional nights are $200 off listed rates.

Visit winvian.com or call 860-567-9600.

In Tennessee, The Chattanoogan hotel's New Year's Eve Package should appeal to those seeking a memorable meal on the final night of the year. Dinner in the Broad Street Grille begins with a choice of butternut squash bisque with arugula and shaved smoked duck or winter Panzanella salad with roasted mushrooms, thyme grilled quail, and micro spinach. The second course is an American farmhouse cheese tasting accompanied by a fig cake. Lemon-champagne sorbet follows, and then comes an assortment of entree selections: seared truffled scallops with foie gras risotto and chervil in white truffle oil; roasted beef tenderloin, lobster whipped potatoes and Swiss chard with a cabernet demi-glace; and roast rack of lamb with fingerling potatoes, broccoli rabe and rosemary pesto. A dessert buffet will conclude the meal. The package includes a deluxe room, live entertainment, a midnight champagne toast, use of the health and fitness facilities; and tips and service charges. The cost is $279 per couple. Call 800-619-0018 or go to chattanooganhotel.com.

The Candlelite Inn Bed & Breakfast in Bradford, N.H., is stressing affordability with its two-night Romantic New Year's Eve, which includes bedtime bubbly, chocolate-covered strawberries, flowers, and an in-room gift for $95 above room rates, which range from $117-$175 a night. A three-course breakfast with dessert is served each morning. Stay a third night and take $50 off the bill; add a fourth night and subtract $75.

Visit candleliteinn.com and click on Packages, then Winter Packages or call 888-812-5571.

Cape Cod is a popular New Year's Eve destination, and in Hyannis, the Heritage House Hotel is offering a one-night package starting at $299 that includes live entertainment and dancing, hors d'oeuvres, four-course dinner, midnight champagne toast, breakfast buffet, and late checkout Tuesday. During the rest of winter, a two-night Cape Escape Weekend for two starts at $199 and weeknight rates begin at $45 a night.

Visit heritagehousehotel.com and click on Rooms & Rates, then Specials and Packages, then Holiday Packages or call 800-352-7189 or 508-775-7000.

Learn to sail . . .

Book an Offshore Sailing School Learn to Sail course in Florida for 2008 and save $200 if you reserve by Dec. 31. The locations are South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island and Pink Shell Beach Resort & Spa on Fort Myers Beach. The package includes a three- or five-day course, classroom instruction. daily on-water instruction, all required textbooks, a certification test if desired, and a practice sail without the instructor. Rates start at $1,580 per person before the discount.

Visit offshoresailing.com and click on Sign Up Now, then Special Offers or call 800-221-4326.

. . . or to make a quilt

The Highland Lake Inn Bed & Breakfast in East Andover, N.H., has teamed with Marsha Siegel, owner of Country Spun Treasures Quilt Shop, to offer private and group classes to inn guests. Classes, which are offered year-round, range from one to five days and cost $125-$900. Among objects to be made are a quillow (couch quilt that turns into a pillow), wool-felted handbag, lap quilt, and king or queen quilt. The inn gives a 25 percent room discount to those who book the classes and room together. Room rates before the discount range from $140-$175.

Visit highlandlakeinn.com or call 603-735-6426.

When not included, hotel taxes, airport fees, and port charges can add significantly to the price of a trip. Most prices quoted are for double occupancy; solo travelers will usually pay more. Offers are subject to availability and there may be blackout dates. Richard P. Carpenter can be reached at carpenter@globe.com.

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