Branson New Year’s bargain

9 Jan

New Year’s Eve in Branson was a great time. The Branson Convention Center Hilton offered up a great one-night package for $299. The price included a room, five-course dinner for two, champagne party at midnight in the bar and a fantastic New Year’s Day brunch at Trofi, the hotel’s restaurant. Include parking, internet access and tax and the total bill was under $350 for a couple. That’s a good deal by anyone’s standards. Many agree: they get great reviews on Trip Advisor.

Details, details details…

I booked a single room, but asked for an upgrade and landed it. Sweet deal. Moved from a single king room to an 11th floor condo overlooking Lake Taneycomo. Always ask about upgrades. Often times if a better room is available you can upgrade at little or no cost. Never hurts to ask. Dinner in the hotel’s restaurant retailed at $50 a person. Buy the package and get a bargain. Great smoked cheese appetizer, salad, clam chowder and sorbet; choice of steelhead, pork loin or a steak; dessert and all the Champagne we could drink for  one price. Wow! Later in the night it was down to the lounge for a champagne party and light snacks. Photos by Branson Hilton.

Free with the package

Didn’t need the snacks. Too many children ringing in the New Year for my tastes. So, back up to the room for some Cathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper…Oh, and a bottle of Branson Ridge Winery’s Sparkling Brute for a night cap. Had I mentioned the car was safely parked 11 floors down and I was in no danger of needing a bondsman to spring me after a DUI arrest. Don’t drink and drive.

Best way to go.

Trofi

I welcomed New Year’s Day a lil’ late the next morning.  An 11 a.m. check out and it was off to the brunch. Again, it was an all you could drink affair. Hello vodka and cranberry. The seafood table was a sight to see. Crab legs stacked tall, oyster on the half shell and more shrimp than I have ever seen in one place. Great display. The buffet offered a carving station with prime rib, pork loin, and trout. The omelet station was cookin,’ and for those just interested in a light snack, an Italian styled bar full of breads, crackers, slices meats, cheeses, condiments and grilled veggies.

No pushover

Great presentation. The servers were great and the food exceptional. Don’t get me wrong… I’m no pushover. When I’m shelling out a few hundreds dollars for a single night of entertainment, I expect good…no, great service. The brunch’s dessert bar was a religious experience. I noticed the dessert station as I piled my plates high with omelets, and meat, and veggies, and… well, you get the idea. I kept noticing people heading to the sweets station time after time, but didn’t really ‘get it.’  Photos by Branson Hilton.

Dessert bar wows

Full and slow to move, I headed over for a bite of dessert. Again, wow. After elbowing a old woman wearing a Christmas sweater and snowman earings to the side as she reached for the tiramisu I was eying, I realized that this was easily the sweetest dessert bar on which I had grazed. I should have known, the folks I saw returning from it were toting three or four plates. All that to say this… You can have a big city holiday out of town and not break the bank. Had we stayed in Joplin and enjoyed the same kind of experience it would have set us back a lot more than the Branson trip. The lesson: Always check for a holiday package when booking travel and lodging, and always…always… check on an upgrade. Check out the Hilton’s Valentine’s Day offerings for the next package holiday. Could be worth your while. Cheers!

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