When To Staycation...

By The Thrifty Yinzer

You have a free weekend coming up with nothing planned. But last minute flights are expensive, and you'd rather stay close to home.

The solution?  

A staycation!!! 

I have been bursting at the seams to tell yinz all about our incredibly relaxing staycation at the Doubletree Cranberry! A quick 25 min drive north of the city will give you all the feels of being "out of town." Scroll down to see our fun! 

As soon as we checked in, we absolutely HAD to get downstairs to the outdoor/indoor pool! The lobby bar was serving up some fantastic local brews that we were able to take right outside with us! Jamie is the IPA drinker, I'm more of a Shandy gal! We both had so many options!

After some much needed pool R&R, Jamie and I headed down to Ember and Vine, the acclaimed restaurant situated in the atrium at the Doubletree. I was downright obsessed with the natural light and open floorplan! We were able to enjoy our cocktails right here in the TV area! I adore the little tv "Cubbys" where you could lounge, watch a sports game, and have a drink!

The chefs at Ember and Vine come from all around the country, love farm to table, and truly enjoy their craft. The menu shows! I had oysters on a half shell as an app - could've sworn I was at the shore! For entree I had the gnochi on special and Jamie had the filet!  Yummmmm!

One of my favorite things about picking a hotel for any trip is taking into account the hotel restaurant and the nearby eateries. The Doubletree Cranberry hit all of our hotel must-haves: amazing sit down dinner, and brunch! I love when a restaurant can take on a full menu throughout the day - it makes planning so much easier!! I also loved that I could see right down into the atrium from our room, so we knew exactly when the dinner rush was finishing up and could head right down! 

Let's talk about brunch. Can you even with this bloody mary bar? And above is me customizing my Made-to-order omelette at Ember & Vine!

Fun fact: Ember  & Vine is open to the public and they have a phenomenal brunch with live jazz every Sunday from 11am-2pm! Brunch buffet is only $15/person and includes so many vegan and vegetarian options, as well as non-dairy and gluten free choices!

So, I already mentioned a couple above, but I'm happy to share some of my favorite tips and tricks for a budget-friendly staycation!

First, choose an area that's slightly different than where you live. If you're more of a city dweller (like me and Jamie!) then head out of the county. If you're more suburban, why not pick a trendy downtown hotel? The change up with feel more like a vacation.

Second, take some snacks/bottled water/red wine for your room. When youre in between meals or just in the room getting ready, its easier to have your own stash. Plus, red wine doesn't need refrigerated, so its a great tagalong booze. Jamie and I love to splurge on nice dinners and brunch, so saving on a drink here and there can really add up. 

Obviously I'm all about the pool wherever we go, but, plan for your surroundings! Walking trails, large gyms, winery nearby.. . pick what is important to you. It will feel more vacation-y! 

And my last tip: Its ok to book last minute! You're driving there, so there's no need to worry about flights. Just have a couple hotels in mind in case your first pick isn't available.  Look around for package deals - especially last minute, these could really save you some bucks. 

Right now, the Doubletree and Cranberry has the Dine and Unwind Package - $174 gets you a deluxe room with a king, and a $50 food or beverage credit! That's like getting over $25 in food or drink for free! The Bed and Breakfast package gives free breakfast for two adults and two children for an additional $4! That's over $60 in freebies!

So... Where do you Staycation? 

Thank you again to the Hilton Doubletree and Ember & Vine restaurant for the top notch food and impecible service! I cannot wait to get back there, especially for that bloody Mary bar!  

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