Midwest travel: Get a taste of Santa-style luxury

  • Get a load of Santa's luxury suite on the 41st floor of Swissôtel Chicago various days through Dec. 24.

    Get a load of Santa's luxury suite on the 41st floor of Swissôtel Chicago various days through Dec. 24.

  • Learn about Bridgeport from some of the people who know it best -- bartenders -- when you attend the "Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Bus Tour," Saturday, Dec. 5.

    Learn about Bridgeport from some of the people who know it best -- bartenders -- when you attend the "Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Bus Tour," Saturday, Dec. 5.

  • Stash the in-laws at the Fairmont Chicago with the Relatives and Room Service package.

    Stash the in-laws at the Fairmont Chicago with the Relatives and Room Service package.

  • Tour the B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee, Illinois, considered to be Frank Lloyd Wright's first Prairie-style design.

    Tour the B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee, Illinois, considered to be Frank Lloyd Wright's first Prairie-style design. Photo courtesy of Wright in Kankakee

  • Surprise the James Bond fan in your life with the "GoldenEye Revisited" package in Oracabessa, Jamaica.

    Surprise the James Bond fan in your life with the "GoldenEye Revisited" package in Oracabessa, Jamaica.

  • Surprise the James Bond fan in your life with the "GoldenEye Revisited" package in Oracabessa, Jamaica.

    Surprise the James Bond fan in your life with the "GoldenEye Revisited" package in Oracabessa, Jamaica.

 
By Jacky Runice
Daily Herald Correspondent
Posted11/14/2015 7:22 AM

Chicago

Suite Santa

 

Check out the penthouse view from Santa's luxury suite on the 41st floor of Swissôtel Chicago. The five-room Presidential Suite has been transformed into a stunning hideaway suitable for the Man in Red. See exquisitely decorated Christmas trees, seasonal decor, an elegant dinner table, Santa's trademark red suits and boots lined up in the closet and signature pipe next to his favorite armchair. Take a guided tour of the Santa Suite conducted by Swissôtel elves, stop at a letter-writing station for holiday wish lists, and enjoy complimentary treats and a keepsake gift for all children on the "nice list." Post or tweet a photo of your Santa Suite visit using the hashtag #SwissSantaSuite and automatically be entered to win a number of prizes, including a one-night stay at Swissôtel Chicago. Various days and times Dec. 3-24 at Swissôtel Chicago, 323 E. Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago. (312) 268-8235 or swissotel.com/hotels/chicago.

Take it to the bridge

Chicago Detours will celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the repeal of prohibition with a special event of eating, drinking and learning about neighborhood bar history on the "Big Shoulders Historic Bar and Food Bus Tour." The tour explores Chicago's working-class roots in the city's oldest neighborhood of Bridgeport. At casual neighborhood bars, you'll hear the history of drinking culture, insider stories from longtime barkeepers, the history of Bridgeport's political ties and visit a "secret bar" normally not open to the public. A coach whisks guests between experiences, including a classic Chicago hot dog joint, a Lithuanian bakery, and a driving tour of the area's industry and stockyards. 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Check-in is at the Berghoff Restaurant, 17 W. Adams St., Chicago. All-inclusive tour tickets cost $60 and include tour guide commentary, luxury coach transportation, driving tour, three servings of beer, all food, and server and bartender gratuities. chicagodetours.com.

It's all relatives

Are the relatives already asking about holiday accommodations at your place? Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park has an answer if you're short on space. The Fairmont's Relatives and Room Service Package includes overnight accommodations plus a $25 credit that can be used for in-room dining or at one of Fairmont's restaurants. Available year round at Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago. Rates start at $244 per night plus tax, and the package is subject to availability. (866) 540-4408 or fairmont.com/Chicago.

Midwest

Beery-eyed Black Friday

While shoppers run wild through department store aisles, you can sample one of the world's most acclaimed stouts and visit a trio of new West Michigan breweries in downtown St. Joseph, Michigan. The Black Friday Brewery Tour originates at The Buck Burgers & Brew in St. Joseph, where you'll begin with a flight of Goose Island's Bourbon County with two variants, and then visit Tapistry Brewing Co., Cultivate Brewing Co. and Arclight Brewing Co. Hotel accommodations at special rates are also available in St. Joseph if you'd like to stay the night.

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Friday, Nov. 27, in St. Joseph, Michigan. Tickets start at $59. http://bit.ly/1L9G6Kj.

All Wright now

The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust offers a Wright in the Region day trip to an important Wright building in Illinois. Wright on the River takes you on an in-depth tour of the beautifully restored B. Harley Bradley house, considered Frank Lloyd Wright's first Prairie-style home, in Kankakee. Learn about Kankakee's rich history as a railroad and river town. Enjoy a neighborhood walk and tour the Col. Frank L. Smith Bank Building in nearby Dwight, too. Trip includes lunch and transportation. 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11. Meet at the Rookery Building, 209 S. LaSalle St., Chicago. Cost is $150 for Frank Lloyd Wright Trust members and $175 for nonmembers. flwright.org/tours/wrightintheregion/bradley.

Worth the trip

In celebration of the recent release of the new James Bond film, "Spectre," GoldenEye in Jamaica debuts a four-night package that showcases the island through the eyes of Ian Fleming. Surprise the Bond fan in your life with a stay at the place where the English author and naval intelligence officer penned all 14 Bond novels, GoldenEye, the five-bedroom villa where his writing desk still remains. The "GoldenEye Revisited" package includes: four nights in a Lagoon Cottage, Beach Villa, or the Fleming Villa with daily breakfast; guided snorkeling tour of Fleming's beloved reef; fishing excursion with local fisherman on a traditional wooden fishing canoe (GoldenEye will cook your catch); private tour of Noel Coward's home followed by cocktails and canapés; Bond movie night and bonfire on the beach; and a guided tour of Jamaican night life. GoldenEye is expanding to include 26 new beach huts, opening early 2016. The limited-time offer starts at $4,374 for travel now through Dec. 14 and $5,310 for travel from Jan. 7 through March 31. GoldenEye.com or (800) OUT-POST.

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