There’s no place like San Diego for the winter holidays, where guests can warm up to sun shiny days, uncrowded beaches, and inviting laid-back vibes. Evan Hotels’ Bahia Resort Hotel and Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa on Mission Bay and The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla are the perfect coastal retreats to soak in the holiday season and make some merry memories. The three landmark resorts will deck the halls with spectacular themed decorations, as well as roll out a festive holiday program and splendid feasts, beckoning guests to enjoy a holly jolly home away from home.
The warm and welcoming timbered design of The Lodge at Torrey Pines makes for a magical winter getaway. Upon entering the resort’s colorful stained-glass doors, guests are transported to a holiday wonderland complete with a towering Christmas tree in the lobby adorned with pinecones, manzanita branches, woodland owls and tartan plaid reindeer, an ornate Hanukkah menorah display, gorgeous garlands draped upon the mantel, and the scent of white cedar crackling in the fireplace filling the air.
The Bahia and Catamaran resorts get into the holiday spirit with whimsical Gingerbread House Displays in their lobbies, created by the resorts’ team members. Guests are invited to vote for their favorites. The Catamaran puts its own spin on classic gingerbread houses with decorated Hula Huts, reflecting the resort’s island vibe which includes a Polynesian-style Christmas tree in the lobby adorned with parrots, tikis, and tropical flower leis.
The Bahia brings a touch of nostalgia and whimsy to its lobby with midcentury holiday décor – sure to bring out your inner child – including a retro-style TV set, vintage 1950s aluminum Christmas tree, and a leg lamp from the cult classic holiday movie, “A Christmas Story.”
Merry & Bright on the Bay
Gather with friends and family – and Santa Claus! – aboard the majestic William D. Evans sternwheeler for Jingle Belle Family Cruises, a San Diego tradition on the sparkling waters of Mission Bay. Guests can enjoy joyful carolers, photos with Santa, cookie decorating, a balloon artist, face painter, and tasty holiday treats and libations including hot cocoa and an espresso coffee bar. Cruises depart from the Bahia and Catamaran resorts, December 21-25. Reservations are required. The cost is $45 per person, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Mama’s Kitchen, a San Diego nonprofit that provides medically tailored meals to individuals and families at risk of malnutrition due to critical illnesses.
The annual Parade of Lights returns to Mission Bay on December 9. Visitors to the Catamaran Resort can cozy up bayside on the north lawn from 6 to 9 p.m. for a perfect vantage point to view the dazzling boat parade, featuring dozens of vessels festooned with lights and decorations. This family friendly event also features holiday treats for sale such as cake pops and peppermint bark, hot cocoa, and warm winter cocktails.
Bringing the jolly spirit of aloha to the shores of Mission Bay, the Catamaran Resort presents Polynesian Carolers singing holiday favorites on Fridays and Saturdays (5-7 p.m.).
Guests at The Lodge at Torrey Pines can enjoy the sweet sounds of the Westminster Carolers, December 7-9, 14-16, 21-23 (5-8 p.m.) while sipping hot apple cider and enjoying a slice of fruitcake. Also spreading holiday cheer at The Lodge will be a Sing Along with Santa and Mrs. Claus on December 18 and 20 at 5 p.m.
Mingle with Kris Kringle
Santa Claus journeys from the North Pole to the Catamaran Resort on Saturdays (3-5 p.m.) through December, to meet younger guests and hear their holiday wishes – a perfect photo op to snap holiday family photos! Throughout the season, Santa’s Letter Stations will be set up in the lobby of the Catamaran and Bahia resorts and The Lodge at Torrey Pines, complete with a festive oversized mailbox, so children can send Santa their wish lists and good deeds for the year.
Children can tap into their creative side with Holiday Arts and Crafts at The Lodge at Torrey Pines on December 21 and 28 (4 and 5 p.m.). Reservations are required.
ll month long in December, kids at the Bahia Resort can join an Elf on a Shelf Scavenger Hunt, a seasonal twist on hide and seek. Find the magical elf and win a prize!
On select Saturdays (3-4 p.m.) through December, kids – and moms and dads – can take part in Gingerbread House Decorating at Oceana Coastal Kitchen in the Catamaran Resort. The cost is $10; reservations are required through the restaurant.
Chillin’ Happy Hours
Guests visiting the Catamaran Resort are encouraged to pack their favorite holiday sweaters for Holiday Sweater Happy Hour at Moray’s lounge, November 29-December 25. Folks who “don their gay apparel” receive extended happy hour prices from 5:30 p.m.-12 a.m. including $2 off craft cocktails, flatbreads, wine by the glass, and draft beers.
Also at the Catamaran Resort, guests 21 and up can explore their artistic side at Holiday Sip and Paint on December 13 (5 p.m.), an interactive guided painting session with a glass of wine and delicious light hors d’oeuvres. The cost is $65; reservations can be made through Oceana Coastal Kitchen.
Discover more glad tidings this holiday season, as well as special offers and promotions at the Bahia Resort Hotel, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, and The Lodge at Torrey Pines by visiting www.bahiahotel.com, www.catamaranresort.com and www.lodgetorreypines.com