“We were provided accommodations in order to facilitate this story. As always, all content and opinions are solely our own.”
“The holiday season awards us a special opportunity to make memories. Whether it’s at home, or on the road, the month of December is a magical time for kids and grown ups alike. We headed south to enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.”
JW Marriott San Antonio – Hill Country Holidays 2016
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “holiday travel?” For most folks, it conjures up memories of airport nightmares, congested highways, and last-minute shopping. None of those sound fun, do they? We didn’t think so either. That’s why we made the trip from Indiana to Texas in the quest for unique and breathtaking holiday family memories.
The City of San Antonio is rich in history and culture. Like most developing cities it’s also rich in traffic, construction, and a bit of chaos. All which intensify during the holiday season. Clearly, we were eager to explore the city, but we were even more excited about our holiday oasis away from the hustle and bustle. And boy, was it an oasis alright!
The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort is the largest JW Marriott resort in the world, and its name reflects it. As a result, I will simply refer to it as the “JW” from now on. The JW sprawls across 600 acres of prime Texas Hill Country, surrounded by rolling hills, meandering creeks and live oak trees. The property’s exterior and interior design is stunning, but also sustainable. Most of the materials were sourced locally, and the majority of the 1,002 luxurious rooms look out to an 18 hole PGA Tour golf course, as well as a nature reserve protected by the Federal Government. That means the lovely view and nature-friendly environment will never change.
Texas is known around the world for its sheer size, cowboys, steaks, and nearly perfect weather year-round. I don’t know about you, but all those things sound pretty darn good to me. Well, except the cowboy I guess—I’ve already found my cowgirl. Furthermore, most holiday aficionados are constantly in the hunt for a white Christmas. Us? We had different plans.
Hill Country Holidays 2016
Once we wiped the drool off our face from the jaw-dropping and palace-like lobby, we finished the check-in process. A gigantic gingerbread house and gingerbread man greeted us with a smile, and the friendly staff quickly got us up to speed on all things Hill Country Holidays.
While most hotels setup a mere Christmas tree, the JW employs an army of elves to completely redecorate the property. If you think I’m kidding, I’m not. The entire place transforms! With over 250,000 outdoor twinkling lights choreographed to joyful holiday songs, Christmas trees galore, and even an official visit by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, the JW’s Hill Country Holidays is a must in your holiday travel bucket.
Whether you’re crafty and want to decorate gingerbread cookies and ornaments, or you’re adventurous and want to plunge into a freezing-cold pool. There’s something for everyone in the Hill Country Holidays itinerary of activities. Oh, and I almost forgot. For a fee, the JW’s Elf boss will send one of his little elves to tuck in the kids at night. It’s called the “Elf Tuck-in.”
Here’s a list of some of the Hill Country Holidays family activities:
- Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Santa – Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the JW’s pristine “18 Oaks” steakhouse.
- Elf Tuck-in – A special elf will tuck in your bundle of joy, as long as he or she is between the ages of 4-12.
- Polar Plunge – Jump into a freezing-cold pool with a lifeguard elf!
- Holiday Stuff ’N Fluff – A hands-on workshop where you can stuff your very own JW Marriott plush animal.
- Ornament and Cookie Decorating – Get your artsy on and make a one-of-a-kind Christmas decoration to take home!
- Making of a Certified JW Elf – Hope you’re crafty, but if you’re not, that’s okay! Make your own Certified JW Elf.
- Stargazing – Whether permitting, kiddos will head out to the beautiful JW lawn and gaze at the stars.
- Santa’s Reindeer – Santa’s favorite reindeer will be on-site to take pictures with everyone! No stuffed animals here, this is the real deal.
- Gorgeous Christmas Decorations – Plenty of beautifully decorated areas perfect for family portraits and selfies alike!
For more activities, details and costs, make sure to check out the hotel’s website.
The holidays are a special time for families. We encourage you to do something unique, step outside the norm, and feel like a kid all over again. Whether it’s at home or on the road, fancy or simple, a tradition or a first—do something special with the kids. They’ll never forget it!
Remember, winter is the off-season in Texas, so rates can easily run 40% lower from November until January. Are you ready for the holidays of a lifetime?