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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and at The Umstead we have plenty of gift ideas. From packages and specials to The Gift Shop, wow your special someone at The Umstead.

The By Design Package: Our most flexible package, this special includes your overnight stay and a $200 property credit. Most immediately gravitate to use the credit in The Spa or Herons, but you don’t have to. Use it towards rose petals and candles at turndown, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne upon arrival, or a beautiful bouquet of flowers. You could also go shopping in The Gift Shop, with a wide selection of jewelry from designers, such as Alexis Bittar, Philippa Roberts, and Sarah Richardson. We can even have it gift wrapped and waiting in the room or delivered to you at dinner. The options are endless.

The Umstead Experience: For those who are looking for something more “all-inclusive” this is the way to go. One reservation includes the best of The Umstead. Relax in your room with a hand selected amenity, such as house made chocolates or macarons. Then head to The Spa, where you can enjoy the sauna, steam room, and whirlpool before your treatments. Perhaps you want a massage and your accompanying guest wants a facial, or maybe you both want a couple’s massage, the choice is yours! You also receive access to use the spa facilities during the entirety of your stay, regardless of when your treatments are. Then head into Herons, one of only 62 Forbes Five Star restaurants in the world for a 3-course dinner with wine pairings. Should you want to add anything additional, such breakfast in the morning or an extended spa treatment, go ahead, you will only be charged the difference.

The Gift Shop: In addition to a beautiful selection of jewelry, The Gift Shop also features plenty of classic Valentine’s Day gifts. Chocolate boxes created by our own Pastry Chef, Jonathan Fisher, with our special blend of chocolate straight from Paris, France. Simple floral arrangements and precious stuffed animals are always a success. The Shop also creates custom gift baskets filled with your preferences, such as a bottle of our custom-blended Pinot Noir or Champagne, a luxurious spa robe and botanical body products. The Gift Shop is open daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm and provides complimentary gift wrapping.

Umstead Gift Cards: When in doubt, go with a gift card. A personal favorite of mine, this gives the option to have whatever you want whenever you want it. I love the freedom to choose if I really want that massage or if a manicure and pedicure is better suited, and it can meet my scheduling needs. Or I can go and buy the bracelet I’ve had my eye on. Plus, they never expire, so you can use it anytime you want.

Need more ideas? Pop by The Umstead anytime and speak with one of our many wonderful associates. We are always happy to help you make the most of your stay and choose the perfect gift.

Welcome to 2018! We are excited to ring in a wonderful new year and here is how we plan to celebrate and spend the month of January:

New Year’s Eve: Though technically not in January, we thought it best to share how Raleigh regulars like to spend New Year’s Eve in the Triangle. If you would like an intimate celebration, our own restaurant Herons will be offering a four course dinner to help you ring in 2018, along with Capital Club 16, Death and Taxes, MOFU Shoppe, and more. If you are interested in heading out after dinner to enjoy other festivities, then head around the corner to Raleigh City Plaza to watch the famous acorn drop - we are the City of Oaks after all.

New Year’s Day: After a night of frivolity, we are ready to start 2018 with a great New Year’s Day brunch. Though it falls on a Monday, several restaurants will be open to satisfy your needs, including Herons, Beasley’s Chicken and Honey, and the Raleigh Times - who’s Bloody Mary has been an award winner for quite some time.

Inspiring Beauty- 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair: An incredible exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Ebony Fashion Fair covers 50 years of beauty, style, and empowerment with 40 amazing outfits from Dior, Givenchy, and Alexander McQueen to name a few. The exhibit will be available until January 21st, tickets are $15 for adults and can be purchased here.

Chinese Lantern Festival – While we mentioned this in our December blog, it is worth mentioning again in case you missed it over the holidays, as it will be on display through January 14th. More than 25 Chinese artisans and performers arrived in November to assemble these handmade lanterns, including the 21 feet tall and 200 feet long Chinese Dragon floating over Symphony lake. Details and tickets can be found here.

Triangle Restaurant Week: The Triangle has grown drastically over the last few years, but nothing compares to the culinary renaissance our city has experienced. A great way to try out some of these incredible new spots is during Restaurant Week from January 22 – 28. Our list this year includes Garland led by James Beard Semifinalist in 2017 Cheetie Kumar, Linus and Peppers for incredible sandwiches, and Vidrio for a fresh take on Mediterranean. More information available here.

Winter wonderland at Bond Park: We don’t always get snow in Raleigh, so to ensure we enjoy all the elements of winter, Bond Park will have a winter wonderland on January 26 – 27 that includes an amazing sledding hill covered with man made snow. No need to bring your own sled, as they will be provided to you. Details can be found here.

African American Cultural Celebration: As January winds to a close, we prepare to kick off Black History Month by celebrating at the 17th annual African American Cultural Celebration. This year’s event will feature more than 75 musicians, story tellers, dancers, authors, and more. This event takes place at the North Carolina Museum of History of January 27th beginning at 10:30 am. More details are available here.

For more events taking place this January, visit our friends at VisitRaleigh or speak with our Concierge at 919-447-4030.

It’s hard to believe another year is coming to a close, but before we celebrate the start of a new one, we still have the holidays to enjoy! Here are a few great activities to experience this holiday season around the triangle:

Tree Lighting Celebration: The best way to start the month, and of course the holidays, is at the annual Tree Lighting Celebration at City Plaza in downtown Raleigh on December 2nd. The Celebration begins at 4:00 pm and includes a gingerbread house competition, food, activities, and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, with the tree lighting taking place at 7:00 pm. And as this takes place in the heart of downtown, there are plenty of incredible restaurants nearby, such as Garland, Death and Taxes, Capital Club 16, and more. Make your reservations in advance, as it is sure to be a busy night.

A Christmas Carol: Every Raleigh native has seen A Christmas Carol performed by Ira David Wood III at least once, and there is a reason why. In it’s 43rd year, it is one of the best productions of the story and perfect for all ages. The show runs from December 6th to 10th, details and tickets can be found here.

Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour: If you are looking for a small town holiday evening, be sure to stop by the Historic Oakwood Neighborhood on December 9th and 10th for the 46th annual candlelight tour. Enjoy the beautiful Victorian architecture of these historical homes from the mid 1800’s to early 1900’s as docents provide you with the rich history of each house. This event is always wonderful because you can take the tour at your own pace as you journey on a walk through the past. Details available here.

Kwanzaa Celebration: December 29th brings with it the 23rd annual Kwanzaa Celebration to the Cary Arts Center. This year’s theme of “Peace, Love, and Respect…For Everybody” includes performances by The African American Dance Ensemble, ethnic food, a vendor market, and more in this celebration of African American heritage. There will also be the traditional procession of the elders and Harambee Circle at this complimentary event. Doors open at 11:00 am, details can be found here.

Chinese Lantern Festival: One of our favorite newer additions to the holidays is the Chinese Lantern Festival at Kokabooth Amphitheater in Cary. These larger than life lanterns light up night, with the highlight being the 21 foot tall dragon floating over the lake. Tickets are available here.

For more events taking place this December, visit our friends at VisitRaleigh or speak with our Concierge at 919-447-4030.

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