As the world comes to a standstill as we try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we encourage all of you to hunker down right now, too. In the meantime, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to get back out there.
Most hotels just give you a bed to crash on. Sometimes that’s all you need. But if you’re looking to make your next stay part of a bigger adventure, you may want a package that comes with add-ons, like a whitewater rafting trip, free e-bike rentals for getting around town, or the use of custom fly rods. We tracked down some of the most unique hotel packages geared toward those who are checking in to a hotel as a base camp to get outside.
Best for Paragliders
Limelight Hotel Ketchum
The Limelight (from $329), which opened in 2017, has tons of options for exploring Sun Valley’s outdoors, including guided mountain-bike rides and discounted bike rentals at the shop next door, naturalist-led walks through the local botanical garden, and free binoculars and a map of the stars for budding astronomers. It also has a package that comes with two free e-bike rentals for the day. But its Ketchum from the Sky package might be the coolest offering: get 20 percent off your hotel room and a discounted price on a tandem paragliding adventure with Fly Sun Valley, the area’s most respected outfitter.
Best for Anglers
Lodge at Blue Sky
Park City, Utah
The new Lodge at Blue Sky (from $975) opened in June on a 3,500-acre ranch outside Park City. Stay in one of 19 well-appointed rooms or suites in the main lodge. Or you can opt for one of five free-standing Creek Houses along the shores of the secluded Alexander Creek, and your place will come prestocked with fly rods and tackle boxes suited for fishing. Book the four-night Cast and Blast package, and you’ll get discounted rates on half-day guided fly-fishing excursions on the Upper Green River or the local Provo or Webber Rivers, plus instruction on fly tying and casting.
Best for Yogis
Sedona Rouge Hotel
Maybe you don’t want to take a group retreat but you wouldn’t mind a few wellness-related activities mixed into your next trip. Check out the Sedona Rouge’s two-day Wellness Getaway package (from $250), where you’ll get two nights of lodging in the upscale, red-rock-desert hotel, daily morning yoga classes on-site, and two spa treatments, like a deep-tissue massage or a cleanse using purified volcanic ash (which sounds weird but feels good).
Best for Stargazers
Want to catch the night sky in all its glory? The Hotel Boulderado’s Clear Colorado Skies package (from $750) includes two nights at the high-end downtown property, breakfast for two each morning, private transportation to nearby Flagstaff Mountain, which towers over town, and an evening picnic package to help you better enjoy taking in the night sky. You’ll get a blanket, cheese platter, bottle of wine, and tips on what constellations to spot overhead.
Best for Surfers
W Hotels recently launched a package called Now Boarding, which reimburses surfers with a hotel credit for their flight’s board-bag fees when they book lodging at the company’s many oceanside destinations, including the W Costa Rica Reserva Conchal, W Bali Seminyak, W Barcelona, W Punta de Mita, and W Goa. Book a stay for three or more nights at any of these five spots and the hotel will reimburse you for your surfboard baggage fees (which can cost upward of $200) in the form of hotel credit, which be used for food and drinks, spa treatments, and more.
Best for Hikers
The Lost Sierra, as this zone is called, is magical for its endless hiking routes (the Pacific Crest Trail passes through here), stunning high-alpine lakes, and blissfully uncrowded natural setting. Plus, much of the area doesn’t get cell-phone service, so you can truly unplug. For hikers, Nakoma Resort’s Hike and Stay package (from $349) is a dream: get one night of lodging, dinner for two, a picnic lunch to take on the trails, and a copy of Feather River Country Adventure Trails, a guidebook written by Tom DeMund that features maps and details to 101 hikes in the region.
Best for Rafters
Golden, British Columbia
Book a raft-and-stay package at the Whitewater Lodge (from $169), on the shores of the Kicking Horse River, and you’ll save 10 percent on both your overnight accommodations at the charming property, where a home-cooked breakfast is included, and your daylong guided river trip with the Glacier Raft Company. Pick from various stretches of the river canyon, including a mellow scenic float or a Class IV section accessible only by helicopter. After your adventure, soak in the lodge’s outdoor hot tub, overlooking the Purcell Range.
Best for Mountain Bikers
New this summer, Massanutten Resort, a ski locale in winter, is offering a mountain biker’s package (from $300). You’ll get two or more nights in a one-bedroom condo, four tickets to the resort’s lift-accessed bike park, and bike rentals from the local shop. Ride purpose-built trails through the Shenandoah Valley from right out your door. The place has tons of activities for kids, too, like a water park, ropes course, and climbing wall.