If your holiday planning takes a turn for the worse, the folks at Kingsmill have a package filled with gingerbread houses, holiday cheer, five-course meals and good ol' southern hospitality.
A holiday vacation doesnt have to be complicated -- especially when there are places like Kingsmill making the traveling easy. You can choose to arrive via plane, train or automobile to Kingsmill; either way, you'll arrive. We recommend taking the train (via Amtrak) to Kingsmill, a resort located in the historic town of Williamsburg, Va. A train ride is stress-free and gives you time to relax before and after your destination.
Kingsmill, a four-season resort, is located smack dab in the middle of the historic triangle, a series of colonial communities that include the towns of Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown.
Kingsmill is a must-see during any season, but we're partial to winter holidays because of the sparkling lights, the nearby Christmas Town in Busch Gardens (10 minutes from the resort) and the beauty of seeing three (very green) 18-hole championship golf courses, making your winter a little more green even when there's a dusting of snow on the ground.
Upon our arrival, we expected the Kingsmill to be a large hotel-like structure that features all the rooms, restaurants and amenities in one building. However, rooms are actually located in condos completely separate from the main resort center. Some feature a wood-burning fireplace, full kitchen, washer and dryer, and a view of the massive James River.
The property itself spreads out over a total of 2,900 acres of land along the river, where you'll find activities and amenities for all ages and every season. You might also notice -- with a peek from your deck -- about a mile upstream, the 10 or so defunct but maintained "Mothball Fleet" of naval ships sitting idle along the rivers edge. It isn't every day you see gigantic ships resting in a sleepy river.
You'll also find that the many of the restaurants and buildings on the property are named after early colonists who owned plantations along the James River, some of whom also served as part of the legislative assembly of the New World. Many of the foundations from these original historic sites can be found at Kingsmill Resort.
The resort consists of several buildings: the guest condos, the resort center which houses the spa, the sports club, the marina and many restaurants. In summer, avail yourself of the three pools, an outdoor lazy river with a waterside, 15 tennis courts and many walking trails.
The spa features Swedish, deep tissue and aromatherapy massages along with facials and body wraps. We opted for a 50-minute deep tissue massage that left us so relaxed that we had to take a nap afterward. You'll also find a sauna, steam room and full-service salon at the spa as well.
As for activities outside the resort, there are two that are a must-see: Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens, both of which are a 10-minute drive via the Kingsmill shuttle service -- which also happens take you anywhere around the resort you want.
We found the Busch Gardens Christmas Town to be fascinating because you envision it to be for a younger demographic, but we found ourselves in complete merriment with everything it had to offer. We loved the many sparkling trees, a decorated gondola ride and the festively designed train excursion that takes you around the entire park, driven by conductors in Santa hats. You should expect to plan at least two hours for Christmas Town and try to go later in the evening when it gets dark out.
A trip to Colonial Williamsburg sends you back in time to the settler days with the streets filled with colonial interpretors and 18th-century-style buildings. Daily events and demonstrations -- like mock court hearings, tours of the Governor's Palace, and seamstresses using spinning wheels -- will show you how life was back in the day.
Kingsmill is about 150 miles from downtown D.C. See resort packages here.