Make Father’s Day Special With One Of These Packages Offered By Hotels Around The US

Dad’s special day is just around the corner. To help make this Father’s Day memorable, check out the unique packages and manly programming being offered by hotels around the country.

Travaasa Austin
Austin, Texas

This Father’s Day, the Travaasa Austin is celebrating by featuring a full lineup of manly programming at their nature-immersed property. Some activities dads can expect include:

  • Male Bonding: Texas-Style
  • Beer Making 101
  • Grilling and Smoking with the Travaasa Culinary Team
  • Beer Tasting Experience
  • Discover Your Six Pack: Core Fitness
  • Conquer the Prickly Pear Challenge Course

The hotel will also be featuring a new spa menu and line of products, specially designed with men in mind.

Rates for Travaasa Austin begin at $113 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. Programming is included in the rate. Click here to book. Travaasa Hana
Maui, Hawaii

Like its sister property, the Travaasa Hana is offering a lineup of special programming for dads to help them focus on their physique, palate and pastimes in a local way. Some of the activity options will include:

  • Machete Madness Coconut Husking
  • Throw Net Fishing
  • Private surf lessons
  • Hanging in Hana
  • Martial Arts Conditioning (Lua)
  • Chief’s Archery
  • Master’s of Mixology

The spa will also be featuring special treatments and products created with men in mind.

Rates for Travaasa Hana begin at $175 per person, per night, based on double occupancy. Programming is included in the rate. Click here to book.

St. Julien Hotel and Spa
Boulder, Colorado

For fathers who want a laid-back and tasty experience, St. Julien Hotel and Spa is offering a beer-themed package for dads. Being home to four of the nation’s top 50 breweries, Colorado is the perfect destination for brew-loving fathers. The package includes a one night stay for two people, an Urban Oasis spa facial or massage designed specifically for men, a beer of choice before the spa treatment and a Father’s Day cookout with beer can chicken, baby back ribs, corn on the cob, mountain-cured charcuterie and, of course, unlimited Fat Tire brews.

Package rates start at $619, based on two adults.
Click here to book.

Resort at Squaw Creek
Lake Tahoe, California

For outdoorsy dads, Resort at Squaw Creek is offering a “Father’s Day Getaway” package this holiday. Participating guests will receive two nights accommodation in a deluxe room, a 3-hour fly-fishing tour on the resort’s private ponds led by Matt Heron and a gourmet trout dinner for two at the Six Peaks Grille. To compliment the package, the property is also offering a buy-one-get-one-half-off special on rounds of golf. And after the game, players will receive a voucher to receive one meal of equal or lesser value free with the purchase of any meal at Sandy’s Pub.

Package rates begin at $389 per room, per night, based on double occupancy. Offer valid June 15 to June 17. Click here to book.

Hotel Terra
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

During the entire month of June, Hotel Terra is helping dads celebrate their special day with a “Dad’s Days Off” package. Participating guests will receive three nights of accommodation in an eco-friendly boutique room, 18 holes of golf at JH Golf and Tennis including cart and driving range for two and a full-day fly-fishing trip for two.

Package rates start at $529 per night, based on double occupancy. Click here to book.

Pinehurst Resort
Pinehurst, North Carolina

During Father’s Day weekend, June 15 to 18, the Pinehurst Resort will be offering a special package revolving around the U.S. Open. The deal includes:

  • Three nights of accommodation
  • Two rounds of golf
  • A night of golf stories and legends presented by Jim Dodson, bestselling author of “Final Rounds and Faithful Travelers,” and Sidney Matthew, author of “Life and Times of Bobby Jones”
  • Breakfast and dinner each day
  • The chance to watch the U.S. Open on a big screen television in a dedicated room

Package rates start at $795 per person. Click here to book.

The Sanctuary Hotel
New York, NY

For those looking to spend Father’s Day in the Big Apple, The Sanctuary Hotel is offering a special package from June 14 to 18. Dads will receive a $100 gift certificate to Lure Fish Bar in SoHo, a day of spa pampering at John Allan’s, which includes a scalp massaging shampoo, a conditioning treatment, hot towel, haircut, shoeshine, manicure and beverages and two $30 gift cards to The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers.

Package rates start at $479 per night, based on double occupancy. Click here to book.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Scottsdale, Arizona

This Father’s Day, the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is hosting a “Barbecue Basics” class on Saturday, June 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Dads can learn the secrets of sauces, rubs and grilling, while enjoying cold beers and specialty hand-rolled cigars and learning golf tips from experts. Moreover, Executive Chef Mel Mecinas and Executive Sous Chef Jesse Hansen will lead cooking demos. This will be followed by a delicious BBQ meal, complemented by homemade ice cream and whiskey floats. And to help you remember what you learned, participants receive a recipe book, sample sauces and rubs and a cigar.

Class is $75 per person and reservations are required. Participants who stay overnight will get a free room upgrade and complimentary parking by mentioning promo code “DADBBQ.” Click here to book.

The Ocean House
Watch Hill, Rhode Island

For dads who love a bit of adventure, The Ocean House is offering a fishing safari weekend from June 15 to 17. Fathers can learn the fundamentals of fly-fishing during a time when the environment is perfect for catching fish. Participating visitors will receive accommodations in a water-view room, a cocktail reception, a seminar on fly-tying and equipment primer at table stations with lunch provided, an afternoon fly-fishing excursion at the Ocean House East Beach, dinner in Seasons Restaurant featuring participants’ catch of the day and a jazz brunch.

Package rates start at $1,200, based on double occupancy. Click here to book.

Cambria Suites
Traverse City, Michigan

The comfortable and affordable Cambria Suites will be offering a “Father’s Day Weekend” package from June 15 to 17, to help dads celebrate their special day. Package includes two nights accommodation in a King Suite, a $50 gift card to Boones’ Long Lake Inn, two $25 gift certificates for a Micro Brew Tour and 18 holes of golf with cart for two on one of five championship golf courses.

Packages are $559 including all taxes. Reservations must be made by June 12. Click here to book.

Museum Month: Kalaupapa National Historic Park And Leper Settlement, Molokai

Some people – me, for instance – tend to skip museums when traveling in favor of fresh air or outdoor recreation. It’s always a treat when I can combine the two, especially because I’m fascinated by indigenous cultures. Though not considered museums in the strictest sense, National Historic Parks, Monuments and the like often do have buildings, exhibits, or relics with educational materials that provide a museum-like experience. When I can combine that with some physically challenging activity, it often makes for an incredibly rewarding day.

While relatively few visitors ever make it to the Hawaiian island of Molokai, located just off of Maui’s western shore, its fame is global due to its tragic history. From the mid-19th century until 1969, thousands of islanders afflicted with leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) were forced into isolation on the Kalaupapa peninsula on the northern shore. A smaller settlement also exists at Kalawao, on the eastern side. Today, Kalaupapa National Historic Park receives thousands of visitors annually, who come to pay tribute – and satisfy their morbid curiosity – to a tragic episode in Hawaii’s turbulent history.

Molokai’s North Shore is covered in dense rainforest and has the world’s highest sea cliffs, which tower over 2,000 feet. These geographical features made Kalaupapa the ideal location in which to displace lepers, often by cruel methods such as tossing them off of ships, which sometimes resulted in fatalities. The forcible removal of native Hawaiians from their ‘aina – family and land, which are at the core of their culture – devastated generations of islanders.

%Gallery-155196%Critical to the development and notoriety of the settlement was the arrival of Joseph De Veuster, a Belgian missionary better known as Father Damien. Although not the first missionary or caregiver at Kalawao and Kalaupapa, it was he who turned the colonies into a place of hope, rather than exile and death.

Father Damien spoke Hawaiian and established schools and other educational and recreational projects. He developed a water system, expanded St. Philomena Catholic Church, and became a source of comfort to residents. He died of Hansen’s Disease in 1889, and was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1995.

Although a cure for Hansen’s Disease was discovered in the 1940’s, most of the colony chose to remain at Kalaupapa, as it had become a tight-knit community. Today, only a, uh, handful of elderly residents remain, keeping alive Kalaupapa’s legacy by talking story with visitors and relatives alike.

The National Park Service established Kalaupapa as part of its system in 1980 (previously, it was a National Historic Landmark, the Kalaupapa Leper Settlement). While somewhat pricey and challenging to get to, it’s worth a visit if you’re at all interested in Hawaiian culture and history.

You can get to Molokai year round by either regional air carriers or ferry via Maui. To enter the Park, state law requires a permit from the State Department of Health, and no children under 16 are permitted. All entries are booked and must be prearranged through Damien Tours (808) 567-6171, which is endorsed by the National Park Service (there is also a Father Damien Tours out of Honolulu, but I can’t speak with authority to its quality).

Two excellent ways to gain entry to the park – via prior reservation – are by hiking the 3.5-mile trail or on muleback. Kalaupapa Mule Tour has been a park concession since the early 70s, and I highly recommend the ride if your butt and legs are in good shape and you don’t have a fear of heights. It provides a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, but be prepared for insanely steep, narrow trails and brutal switchbacks. Whether you hike or ride, please be sure to do an honest assessment of your physical abilities beforehand; another option is to do a flightseeing/ground tour. There are no medical facilities at the park.

[Photo credit: Flickr user University of Hawaii – West Oahu; Father Damian, Wikipedia Commons]

The Gadling 2010 Dads and Grads gift guide and giveaway

Yes – you have just over a week left to pick out a great gift for the dad or grad in your life. This summer is tougher than ever to find the right gift, because new gear is being released at a crazy pace.

We’ve teamed up with Office Depot to select 5 fantastic (and affordable) gifts – but the best part is that everything in this lineup can be won. And better yet – we’ll do our best to get your prize delivered on time for Father’s Day!Flip Ultra Digital Camcorder

The Flip Ultra is the most popular pocket HD camcorder on the market – with its pocketable size and great quality HD sensor, the Flip is ideal for capturing vacation moments, or for you to film your husband try to extinguish the fire shooting up from the grill.

Price: $149
Office Depot product link

Garmin Nüvi 1300 GPS navigation system

Is your dad or grad one of the millions of people who have never believed in the power of maps or asking for directions?

Help them out with a GPS unit. The Nüvi 1300 widescreen GPS unit features spoken street names and EcoRoute
calculations for fuel saving route planning.

Price: $129.99
Office Depot product link

Sony PRS-300SC reader pocket edition

The Sony PRS-300SC is not only one of the most compact ebook readers on the market, it is also one of the most affordable at just $149.99.

The reader has enough storage space for 300 books available from 100’s of sources. The PRS-300SC also supports PDF and Word documents.

Price: $149.99
Office Depot product link

Ativa Mobil-IT Ultimate Rolling briefcase

With enough storage space for a laptop, file folders and an overnight set of clothes, the Mobil-IT briefcase is the perfect solution for the one-night traveler. Best of all, the bag features a removable laptop bag, increasing its internal space.

Price: $149.99
Office Depot product link

Ativa Mobil-IT Ultimate Organizer Backpack

With over 10 different compartments, the Ativa Mobil-IT Organizer Backpack is excellent for the over-packer. Its padded shoulder straps provide cushioning, and its internal laptop compartment holds machines up to 16″.

The bag has loads of special features – including a headphone grommet, deep front pockets and a weight balancing structure, designed to reduce pressure on your back.

Price: $64.99
Office Depot product link

As we mentioned earlier – all the products in this gift guide are being given away – all you need to do is describe why your dad or grad is the best in the world.

  • To enter, simply leave a comment answering the question posted above.
  • The comment must be left before Monday June 14 2010 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Five Prize Winners will be randomly selected to receive one item from the gift guide. Our judges will pick what you receive.
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia who are 18 and older.
  • The total value of each prize is approximately $149.99 (Flip Ultra), $129.99 (Garmin Nuvi 1300), $149.99 (Sony Reader), $169.99 (Mobil-IT rolling briefcase) and $64.99 (Mobil-IT Ultra Organizer Backpack).
  • Click here for the complete official rules of this giveaway.

Give dad a custom vacation from Kensington Tours this year

Father’s Day may still be a couple of weeks away, but if you’re struggling to figure out what to give dad this year, than Kensington Tours is here to help. The travel company, which specializes in private guided adventure travel to more than 80 countries around the globe, has officially designated a Vacation Valet who is prepared to help create a custom itinerary to fit your dad’s needs.

Kensington has named Brad Crockett as their official Vacation Valet for Dad, and he is ready to help apply his years of experience in the travel industry to create an unforgettable vacation experience. Whether your dad is an experienced global traveler or this is his first time abroad, he’ll have a custom designed itinerary that has been developed with his interests in mind. Best of all, these custom trips are surprisingly affordable, ranging from $200 to $2000 per day depending on your destination and options.

Of course we all know that every dad is different and each has their own idea of what constitutes a great travel experience. Fortunately, Kensington has the resources to deliver those experiences to even the most demanding traveler. For instance, if your dad is an adventurous traveler, then perhaps he’d enjoy trekking in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco or hunting with Pygmies in the Congo. Is he a history buff? Then let Kensington send him on a tour of famous battle fields in Vietnam or on an archaeological expedition through Egypt. Other options include exploring Kenya by motorcycle, dog sledding in the Yukon, white water rafting in Peru, or fly fishing in Chile. And for the dad who’s passion is golf, Kensington can even arrange a trip to the British Open in Scotland, including rounds of golf and whiskey tasting.

If you have one of those dads who already has everything, perhaps this year you can give him something that he has been lacking in the form of an international adventure of a lifetime. For more information go to

Golfing dads should keep Keystone Resort in mind this summer

Father’s Day is coming, and if you’re old man’s a golfer, you might want to ship him off to Keystone Resort for a weekend. The “Stay and Play” package includes two free rounds of golf at the Ranch Course, and kids 17 and under can join dad (after 5 PM) for no charge, as well. For fathers with kids who are looking for some bonding time, this can be a great way to get together free of distraction (except that pesky white ball) for a few hours).

For the big weekend, rates start at only $144 a night, and they are as low as $125 for the rest of the summer. The “Stay and Play” package is also available at the RockResorts in Vail, Beaver Creek and Jackson Hole.