Here’s a good — but not so good — “interesting fact” to throw out during a conversation lull at your next holiday feast: By 2019, more than 768 million vacation days were going unused, with more than half of Americans finishing the year with unused time (according to the U.S. Travel Association). Ouch! Hopefully we’ve learned some lessons since then about better balancing work and home life, especially since those lines have increasingly blurred.
As the new year approaches, have you taken stock of your lingering PTO? If there are vacation days left to use, consider taking some time off for a little rest and relaxation before diving into 2023 (or even after – thank goodness for rollover days). You don’t have to settle with last-minute travel. Benchmark Resorts & Hotels has made your job easy by rounding up four terrific, easy-to-reach destinations for using up those remaining vacation days. The following suggestions are sure to make your time off worthwhile.
Hotel Valley Ho (Scottsdale, AZ)
Set in the heart of Scottsdale, Hotel Valley Ho is a vibrant year-round destination that exudes mid-century marvelous architecture, eccentric colors, and modern flair. With the average temperature in the cooler months a balmy 78 degrees, guests can spend their remaining vacation days lounging poolside under the palms, savoring delicious cocktails and enjoying Arizona’s fabulous desert weather. Or venture into downtown Scottsdale and peruse the boutique shops, stroll the Old Town ArtWalk or play a round of golf. In the evening, dine at the hotel’s on-site restaurant, ZuZu where various cuisines from around the globe can be found.
Hotel Theodore (Seattle, WA)
Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or are very much the “indoorsy” type, consider the Emerald City and a stay at Hotel Theodore. Guests will find that this elevated boutique hotel stay reflects the spirit of Seattle while still embracing all of the Pacific Northwest’s incredible bounty. Walk a few blocks to the popular Pike Place Market, and shop for artisan goods and delicious bites while taking in the dramatic views of Puget Sound. Also, within walking distance (or an easy light rail trip) are imaginative bars and restaurants, headed by some of the most brilliant and lauded chefs and mixologists in the world. For a little outdoor exploration, Discovery Park is nearby and at 534 acres, is the largest park in Seattle (and perhaps the wildest). With 11 miles of trails to explore, the odds of spotting whales, sea lions, seals, and hundreds of types of birds are high.
La Cantera Resort & Spa (San Antonio, TX)
Nestled high up in the Hill Country, La Cantera Resort & Spa will put those coveted vacation hours to good use. Spend your days in a cabana poolside, playing golf, unwinding in the spa, or exploring over 50 unique wineries scattered throughout the scenic countryside of San Antonio. Additionally, just minutes from the resort, the San Antonio River Walk is a must for any first-timer to the city. Guests can take a ride on a River Boat or stroll along the shops and restaurants stretching through downtown and beyond. For history buffs, the historic Alamo is another must-see attraction.
Cardozo South Beach (Miami Beach, FL)
Miami is always an excellent idea, as is Cardozo South Beach, set in the heart of South Beach. From the historic Art Deco architecture and jaw-dropping stretch of white-sand beachfront to world-class shopping, dining and nightlife, South Beach is a must-visit destination. At the Cardozo, you’re never more than a block away from sparkling sands, crashing waves, and a glowing tan. Don’t miss the inventive cocktails and vibrant Cuban flavors of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Call Me Cuban, which is by the creators of the James Beard award-winning Yuca Miami. The Ropa Vieja dish is a winner.