The very British tradition of Twixmas is in full swing. The term ⎯ from the Old English betwixt ⎯ describes the period between Christmas/Boxing Day and New Year’s.
Twixmas hasn’t quite caught on yet this side of the pond. But, those lucky enough to be in the UK might take advantage of promotions like the one at Ellenborough Park in the Cotswolds.
The 15th-century manor inn is located on the outskirts of Cheltenham Spa. Countryside pursuits for Twixmas guests include archery, air rifles and Land Rover excursions. There’s a two-level spa and a seasonal tasting menu prepared by an award-winning chef. A special pop up Hunter’s Lodge at Ellenborough Park’s Brasserie offers game, fowl and other locally-sourced fare. Menu items include wild boar salami and roast quail small bites, medallions of venison and game pie.
Guests can try some winter alternative teas, such as a Valrhona chocolate fondue. And wintertime hikes are another popular activity. The boot room at Ellenborough Park is stocked with Hunter wellies and Dubarry boots for those who’d like to explore nearby Cleeve Hill. It’s the highest point in the Cotswolds and all of Gloucestershire.
"With all the pressure and festivities that are involved with Christmas the 'holidays' can sometimes feel exactly the opposite of that. Twixmas at Ellenborough Park means guilt-free sleep-ins with luxury amenities, not having to think about the cooking and a spa experience plus landscape at your doorstep synonymous with relaxation for a completely refreshed start to the new year," hotel spokesperson Lucy Ballantyne tells Travel Agent.
Elsewhere in England, Bath has promoted itself as a relaxing wellness haven since the Roman era. Twixmas visitors this year will find a new property in the center of the UNESCO World Heritage city. Gainsborough Bath Spa opened in late September as part of YTL Hotels. The 99-room property is located in an historic Georgian building. It’s the only member of The Leading Hotels of the World in southwest England.
The hotel is also the only property in the United Kingdom offering a natural thermal spa within a hotel. Guests receive a complimentary Bath House experience, consisting of a dip in three natural thermal pools heated to varying temperatures. The experience also includes the use of saunas, steam rooms, ice alcove and relaxation areas. A range of treatment options at the spa includes aquatic body therapies and Asian-inspired massage rituals.
Though it may be too late to make it for Twixmas this year, Gainsborough Bath Spa will offer a number of spa packages for 2016.
If clients are already making plans to travel, it’s a good idea to remind them of the new State Department passport regulations.
“With the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of State regarding the elimination of visa page inserts for U.S. passports, travelers needing additional pages will have to obtain a new passport or renew,” David Alwadish, CEO and president of the passport and visa service ItsEasy.com tells Travel Agent.
ItsEasy.com is launching a new app designed to make the entire process easier. The company will debut the app next week at the New York Times Travel Show.