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Reasons NOT to Stay with Relatives this Holiday Season

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Of course you love your relatives, quirks and all. There’s your great-aunt with her affinity for squeezing your cheeks, your boisterous uncle sipping his bourbon-laced coffee all day, your weepy sister who cries at every sappy movie and any mention of her recent weight gain, and then there’s your mother-in-law giving lectures on how to do everything the “right” way, from wrapping gifts to hanging tinsel on the tree. Maybe it would be okay if you skipped sleeping at a loved one’s house in favor of a relaxing stay at a relaxing hotel. Here are five reasons NOT to stay with relatives this holiday season.

Elf tuck-in at JW Marriott San Antonio Resort & Spa - 5 Reasons NOT to Stay with Relatives this Holiday Season

Elf tuck-in at JW Marriott San Antonio Resort & Spa (Photo credit: Marriott International)

Retreat from the holiday hubbub

The holidays are a wonderful time to create family memories, but too much togetherness can heap stress onto your already overloaded plate. After trimming the tree with loved ones, escape the holiday hubbub at one of 35 JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Renaissance and Marriott Resorts, and Gaylord properties across the United States. Whether you choose to stay at a Marriott International hotel or resort near loved ones or you take off on a multigenerational Marriott vacation with your relatives, you’re sure to make holiday memories that will last a lifetime.

Poolside restaurant at Marriott Orlando World Center (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Poolside restaurant at Marriott Orlando World Center (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Escape cooking and dishes duty

Sure, you love your mom’s cooking, but does she provide room service? There’s something so enticing about having a delicious meal delivered to your room at your whim. It’s the epitome of vacation decadence.

Skip the grocery shopping, cooking, and clean-up associated with holiday meals. At Orlando World Center Marriott, you can choose from eight on-site restaurants. Choose from such options as innovative Italian cuisine at Siro Italian Urban Kitchen and poolside casual fare with a  at Fall’s Pool Bar & Grill. Most fun for my family during our stay a few years ago was Mikado Japanese Steakhouse, where kids and adults are entertained by chefs who prepare Teppanyaki-style dishes before your eyes.

The big and beautiful flower-shaped pool at Kauai Marriott Resort (Photo credit: Marriott International)

The beautiful flower-shaped pool at Kauai Marriott Resort (Photo credit: Marriott International)

Take time to play

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to forget to slow down and savor the moment. Take time out during the holidays for some water play. The Kauai Marriott Resort is home to one of the largest and most beautiful pools in Hawaii. When my husband and I stayed at this hotel with our firstborn baby, we spent much of our time in the massive flower-shaped pool splashing with our little one and soaking up the ocean view.

Many Marriott locations boast kids clubs, which offer a whole lot of fun for children and a nice reprieve from parenting duty for mom and dad. Camp Oasis at Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Palm Springs (for ages 5 to 12) is open year-round but is based on occupancy. Kids are kept busy with activities like sack races, hula hooping, and craft projects like painting on palm bark. They even get to mix up their own date shakes at snack time. Kids’ Night Out on Saturdays gives parents an opportunity to enjoy a little bit of romance on family vacation.

Parents deserve to play too! Clear your mind of your holiday to do list by hitting the links at JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. My husband loved this TPC – PGA course, situated on 2,800 rolling acres designed by Pete Dye and Greg Norman.

TPC - PGA Golf Course at JW Marriott San Antonio Resort & Spa (Photo credit: Marriott International)

TPC – PGA Golf Course at JW Marriott San Antonio Resort & Spa (Photo credit: Marriott International)

Get pampered

Tired of sleeping on that blow-up air mattress in a spare bedroom/office at your relative’s house? Trade in that lumpy sofa or futon for a good night’s sleep on a cushy bed with plush bedding. Made exclusively for Marriott, travelers can even purchase a Marriott Foam Bed to take their sweet dreams home.

Take a reprieve from holiday shopping with a much-deserved spa treatment, like a Restorative Organic Massage at The Spa at Camelback Inn at JW Marriott Scottsdale. It starts with a citrus inhalation and vigorous scalp massage to restore mental clarity and is followed by a steaming hot towel massage and foot treatment.

The stage is set for live holiday entertainment at Gaylord Palms near Orlando in Florida (Photo credit: Marriott International)

The stage is set for live holiday entertainment at Gaylord Palms near Orlando in Florida (Photo credit: Marriott International)

Add magic to your holidays

Many hotels get dressed up for the holidays with festive wreaths and ornament-bedecked evergreen trees. Marriott’s Gaylord Hotels take celebrating the holidays to a whole different and fantastical level. Gaylord Hotels add magic to the holiday season with ice sculptures, cookie decorating, special holiday shows, and visits with Santa. Gaylord has partnered with DreamWorks to offer up the DreamWorks Experience featuring interactive adventures with movie favorites like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar characters. Now, that’s something you won’t find at grandma’s house!

Would you consider staying in a hotel rather than with relatives over the holidays? Let us know in the comments below!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Marriott.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. I love the idea of not cooking!!

  2. I love spending time with relatives during the holidays, but we enjoy having our own space when we travel to see them. Sometimes a hotel stay makes the holidays easier for everyone, and I won’t complain if we get a great pool or spa in the bargain!

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