BELLS AND WHISTLES - Ascend Collection Announces 2009 Holiday Packages

Silver Spring, MD (PressExposure) December 02, 2009 -- Celebrate the season with holiday packages from members of Ascend Collection from Choice Hotels International.

You can cozy up on a magical Christmas train ride through the Redwood Forest, stroll through charming, historic towns in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and enjoy yuletide cheer in The Big Apple with rates starting at just $139 per night. For holiday packages with all the trimmings, try one of these offerings from Ascend Collection, an elite network of Historic, Unique and Boutique hotels across the U.S. and Caribbean.

The Redwood Forest Baechtel Creek Inn & Spa, Willits, Calif. Two packages are available at this retreat set amidst the wineries and Redwood Forests in the historic town of Willits located in the heart of California’s scenic Mendocino Coast.

Let the Christmas Train Package whisk you away on an enchanting, 90-minute excursion into the majestic Redwoods. Also part of the journey: Santa and his elves, storytellers, musicians, train whistles, hot cocoa and cookies. Passengers are invited to wear pajamas. The package includes two night’s lodging and train tickets for two adults and one child. Rates start at $286 for the two nights, valid Dec. 4 – 23, 2009.

The misty Redwood Forests are magical in the winter. Relax and unwind with the Winter Escape Package. You’ll enjoy two-night’s accommodations, a bottle of Mendocino County Wine and a Hot Stone Massage for two at the hotel’s Body Boutique Spa. Valid now through Feb. 28, 2010. The package starts at $370 plus tax, based on double occupancy.

Nestled beside tranquil Baechtel Creek, the Inn houses 45 charming guestrooms with pillow-top mattresses, plush robes and free Wi-Fi. The pet-friendly hotel beckons travelers with complimentary continental breakfast, gift shop, and outdoor heated pool and hot tub. The Body Boutique Spa offers the finest organic skin and body care treatments. Guests are close to award-winning wineries, hiking trails, golf courses, art galleries, boutique shops and the breathtaking Mendocino Coast. For more information or to make reservations, call 800.4CHOICE or visit

New York City The GEM Hotels, New York, N.Y. If you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple during the holidays, check out the Cool Yule Special at The GEM Hotels, with nightly rates starting at just $139 plus tax. The package is good Dec. 13 – 29, 2009.

GEM’s three Manhattan boutique hotels are located in the storied neighborhoods of SoHo, Chelsea ad Midtown West. Guests can check out the GEMmine in the lobby to find what’s happening in the area. They can also go on GEMwalkng tours using iPods with audio walking tours of Chinatown, Little Italy, the Meatpacking District and Times Square.

Guestrooms at each property welcome with plush bedding, flat-screen televisions, wired and wireless Internet access, iPod-ready clock radios, paraben-free Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities and Wolfgang Puck coffee.

The GEM Hotel-Chelsea on West 22nd Street is steps away from fashionable art galleries, boutique shops, nightclubs and world-famous restaurants. The 81-room hotel puts guests within walking distance of Midtown Manhattan, Madison Square Garden, Times Square and Macy's/Herald Square. At the 45-room GEM Hotel-SoHo on East Houston Street, guests can do their holiday shopping at celebrated neighborhood boutique shops, or take in the East Village's fine cafes and restaurants. For nightlife, many of the city’s hottest clubs, bars and music venues are within easy reach. Located on West 36th Street, the 39-room GEM Hotel-Midtown West is two blocks from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Guests can take in the seasonal sights and sounds of New York at the nearby Rockefeller Center, Theater District, Empire State Building and Central Park. For more information or reservations, call 800.4CHOICE or visit

Rocky Mountains The Golden Hotel, Golden, Colo. For a retreat in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this historic mountain lodge offers the Holiday Special Package. Guests get deluxe accommodations for two, a $20 breakfast credit at the property’s popular Bridgewater Grill and $50 in Gold Chamber Dollars to redeem at local merchants. Nightly rates for the package start at $159 plus tax and are valid through Dec. 30, 2009.

The package is for accommodations in a richly appointed room that blend contemporary and antique touches. Guests enjoy free high-speed Internet access, flat-screen televisions, fireplaces and comfy king sleigh bed with luxurious linens, plush robes and oversized jetted tubs.

Located in the heart of historic downtown Golden, this 62-room, mountain lodge offers spectacular views. The pet-friendly hotel welcomes with a lively bar, fitness center and the casual, full-service Bridgewater Grill overlooking picturesque Clear Creek. Downtown Denver attractions are just 12 miles away. Hiking and biking trails, and charming galleries, boutique shops and cultural attractions are just outside the front door. For more information or to make reservations, call 800.4CHOICE or visit

New York State 74 State, Albany, N.Y. See the annual Capital Holiday Lights in the Park Festival with the Light Up Your Night Package at historic 74 State. Guests can partake in the Annual Capital Holiday Lights in the Park festival in nearby Washington Park, featuring more than 125 dazzling displays, including Santa’s Toyland and a Victorian Village; crafts; and refreshments. Afterwards, they can wind down with this package that includes elegant accommodations and a gourmet dinner for two and drinks at the cozy Bistro/Bar at 74. Rates start at $229 per night plus tax, valid through Jan. 2.

Located on historic State Street, this boutique hotel is housed in a century-old building. Each of the property’s 74 guestrooms and suites are elegantly appointed with a Serta Eurotop bed, marble vanity, Wi-Fi and high-definition television. Some rooms also offer sofa sleepers, fireplaces, whirlpool bathtubs and panoramic views of downtown Albany and the Hudson River. The mahogany-paneled Bar at 74 serves up premium cocktails and one of the best views in town through its giant window overlooking State Street. The graceful design carries through to the full-service Marché restaurant. Diners savor fine, fresh-market cuisine in an intimate setting with fireplaces, gleaming brass finishes and plush leather furnishings. 74 State’s central location puts guests close to Albany’s businesses, colleges, museums, State Capital and international airport. For more information or to make reservations, call 800.4CHOICE or visit

Combining personalized service with local flair, the Ascend Collection reflects a growing consumer preference for unique and authentic travel experiences. More than one in four travelers enjoy historic lodgings, according to a 2009 national survey*. A boutique hotel, with unusual atmosphere and décor, appeals to nearly one in five leisure travelers, the survey also found.

Each Ascend Collection property harnesses the resources of Choice Hotels, one of the world’s largest lodging franchisors. Guests enjoy the charm of a small, independent hotel experience, while also participating in the award-winning Choice Privileges program and earning points towards airline rewards and free stays at more than 6,000 hotels worldwide.

*Ypartnership/Yankelovich 2009 National Leisure Travel MONITOR.

About Choice Hotels Choice Hotels International, Inc. franchises more than 6,000 hotels, representing more than 485,000 rooms in the United States and more than 35 other countries and territories. As of September 30, 2009, more than 700 hotels are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing more than 59,000 rooms, and more than 100 hotels, representing approximately 9,400 rooms, are under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in more than 20 other countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide. In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.

Additional corporate information may be found on the Choice Hotels International, Inc. Web site, which may be accessed at

Choice Hotels, Choice Hotels International, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend Collection are proprietary trademarks and service marks of Choice Hotels International.

? 2009 Choice Hotels International, Inc. All rights reserved.

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MEDIA CONTACTS: Jeanette Chin, Ypartnership PR, 212-561-9353, Sharlet Brennan, Ypartnership PR, 407-838-1707,

About Ypartnership

About Ascend Collection
Ascend Collection is an elite network of Historic, Boutique and Unique hotels across the U.S. and Caribbean. The Collection premiered in the fall, 2008, and now has more than 30 hotels, including properties in Chicago, New York, Florida, Hawaii, California, Colorado and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit or call 800.4CHOICE.

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Press Release Submitted On: December 02, 2009 at 12:35 pm
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