15 hotels that go all-out for Christmas

Posted at 8:00 AM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 10:37:05-05

Twinkling lights, glitter and gourmet menus galore — without a single dish to wash or tree to trim.

Spending Christmas at a hotel does hold a certain travel allure.

Whether you stay for a week or drop in for tea, these 15 properties go to great lengths to offer something special for the holidays.

1. The Lygon Arms, Broadway, England

Champagne will be flowing this Christmas season at The Lygon Arms in the heart of the Cotswolds.

The charming, predominantly Tudor coaching inn is hosting a three-night Christmas house party from December 24 to 27 with daily Champagne receptions, cocktails, canapés, elegant meals and a five-course, black-tie gala dinner with dancing on Boxing Day.

The property dates back to the 1300s and saw guests including Oliver Cromwell and King Charles I during the English Civil War in the mid-1600s. In 1963, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor stayed at the inn at the height of the scandal over their affair, and a whole host of other glamorous guests have laid their heads here.

The cost for the three-night Christmas house party, based on double occupancy of a Classic Room, is about $3,300.

The Lygon Arms, Cotswolds, High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire; +44 (0)1386 852 255

2. Montage Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach, California

Montage Laguna Beach, a Forbes Five-Star property, offers Christmas festivities against a stunning Pacific Ocean backdrop.

A 35-foot tree decked out on the Pacific Lawn sets the tone for a luxurious California Christmas. Gingerbread decorating workshops, Santa Claus tuck-ins and holiday stocking deliveries are all extras on offer.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, dining choices include multi-course holiday tasting menus and elegant buffets. Christmas week rates start at $545 for an Ocean King.

Montage Laguna Beach, 30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA; 866-271-6953

3. Hotel Sacher, Vienna, Austria

There are few holiday destinations more charming than Austria. Christmas markets, classical concerts and — with any luck — a blanket of snow; it just doesn’t get much more festive.

At Vienna’s Hotel Sacher — home of the famous torte — four-course Christmas Eve menus will be served in its Grüne Bar and Rote Bar restaurants ($210 per person). From midday on Christmas Day, three-, four- and five-course menus will be offered starting at $140 per person.

For a taste of Vienna at home, the hotel ships its signature chocolate tortes, layered with an apricot jam filling, globally. Rates for Christmas week start at about $715 for a superior room.

Hotel Sacher Vienna, Philharmonikerstraße 4, A-1010 Vienna; +43/1/51 456 1555

4. Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York

Mohonk Mountain House in New York’s Hudson Valley has a full lineup of fun, family-friendly activities scheduled in December.

The 1869 Victorian castle resort is hosting its first-ever Ugly Sweater Weekends on the weekends of December 7 and 14. Cookie-decorating and cocktail tastings are capped off with an ugly sweater contest and dance party.

The Hudson Valley Gingerbread Competition will be hosted at Mohonk on December 9.

On Christmas Eve, breakfast with Santa, a yule log hunt and cookie-decorating are on the agenda, followed on Christmas Day by a lessons and carols service and a reindeer-tracking expedition.

Rates between December 21 and December 31 start at $730 per night, based on double occupancy. Three-night minimum stays required between December 23 and December 31.

Mohonk Mountain House, 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY; 844-207-8368

5. The Ritz, London

The Ritz London is putting on exactly what you’d expect from the elegant property.

Gala dinners with dancing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be hosted in the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant (about $415 for adults, $190 for children). The restaurant, featuring ceiling frescoes, marble columns and an elaborate garland chandelier, was featured on beloved TV drama “Downton Abbey.”

Traditional Christmas afternoon tea, with Champagne, is available in the Palm Court from November 24 through December 30 (about $100 for adults, $65 for children). A pine tree grown in the Scottish Highlands towers in the lobby, dressed in traditional red and gold.

Rates for Christmas week start around $710.

The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, London; +44 (0) 20 7300 2222

6. Four Seasons Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand, a predominantly Buddhist nation, might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think “traditional Christmas vacation.” But many of the country’s luxury resorts put on beautiful holiday-themed celebrations.

At the Four Seasons Chiang Mai, guests can experience northern Thailand’s famed culture and cuisine — but with plenty of Christmas trimmings.

Nestled in the mountains of Chiang Mai’s Mae Rim district, the resort is famous for its natural setting, with many of its guestrooms overlooking luscious green rice fields.

This scene is amplified with a splash of Christmas spirit from December 14, when the resort hosts a beautiful open-air Chiristmas tree lighting ceremony on the Cocktail Lawn, complete with carol singing, cocktails and Christmas treats whipped up at cooking stations.

On Christmas Eve, the Cocktail Lawn hosts an extravagant open-air holiday buffet featuring cuisine from around the world. And there will be plenty of entertainment for the kids, too.

The resort’s Rim Tai Kitchen hosts its annual Christmas Day lunch, which includes classic holiday dishes as well as international favorites. Entertainment includes Christmas carols and a visit from the big man himself — Santa.

Rates start around $1,100.

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road, Chiang Mai, Thailand; +66 (0)53 298 181

7. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, Arizona

Santa’s secret headquarters, an ice-skating rink, trains, holiday characters and more than 4.5 million lights: It’s safe to say that the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess doesn’t believe in overdoing it.

The resort’s Christmas at the Princess festival runs from November 20 through December 30 and is open to the public. Free for hotel guests, the entrance/parking fee for up to six non-guests is $55 for self-parking and includes many of the holiday attractions and events.

A “Sip, Savor & Celebrate” holiday package, starting from $309 per room, includes accommodation, a $75 daily resort credit and express access to some of the holiday attractions.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 East Princess Drive, Scottsdale, AZ; 866-540-4495

8. Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, Montana

Rustic luxury is offered year-round at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana. Add twinkling lights, homespun holiday decor and a blanket of snow for the coziest of Christmases.

Christmas trees — live or artificial — are available upon request in every fire-lit cabin. Guests can decorate trees themselves or have them trimmed and ready upon arrival.

Stockings turn up in every cabin on Christmas Eve. The standard offering is filled with fruits, nuts and sweets, but guests can pre-order (for a small fee) Montana-made stockings filled with small gifts — ceramics, candles, ornaments and treats — from Montana craftsmen.

Winter activities include horseback riding, ice fishing, sledding, skijoring and skiing.

Year-round rates start at $1,050 per couple, per night, all-inclusive.

Triple Creek Ranch, 5551 West Fork Road, Darby, Montana; 800-654-2943

9. Claridge’s, London

Horse-drawn carriages and carol singing await guests at Claridge’s in London, where a two-night package from December 24 includes those festivities, plus accommodation, Christmas lunch and more. Package rates start from about $4,000 per room with two-person occupancy.

The hotel’s highly anticipated designer Christmas tree and decorations are set to be unveiled on November 29. Last year’s tree was designed by fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld.

Claridge’s, Brook Street, Mayfair , London; +44 (0)20 7629 8860

10. Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris

At Paris’ Four Seasons Hotel George V, dazzling decorations by hotel artistic director Jeff Leatham will appear in mid-November.

At Le Cinq, the hotel’s three Michelin-starred restaurant, an elegant Christmas Eve dinner featuring langoustine with Oscietra caviar and capon with chestnut and truffle tapenade is available for $600, excluding beverages.

Christmas Eve dinner will also be served at La Galerie (about $375, excluding beverages).

Rooms for Christmas week start at $1,300. For a true splurge, the Royal Suite is available for a cool $25,600.

Four Seasons Hotel George V, 31 Avenue George V, Paris; 33 (1) 49 52 70 00

11. The Cloister at Sea Island, Sea Island, Georgia

Elf tuck-ins, ornament-decorating and gingerbread-house construction are among Sea Island’s many activities during the holiday period from December 21-26. These offerings are available for a fee, but there are also a range of complimentary events — from caroling to a family fun run.

A Southern buffet brunch will be served on Christmas Day at The Cloister in the Mizner Ballroom ($85 for adults, $30 for kids).

Rates start at $520 per night during Christmas week.

The Cloister at Sea Island, 100 Cloister Drive, Sea Island, GA; 855-572-4975

12. Willard InterContinental, Washington

In the United States’ capital, the elegant Willard InterContinental’s lobby Christmas tree is decked out with the entire line of White House Christmas ornaments.

Afternoon tea — with finger sandwiches and pastries — is served almost daily in December ($65 for adults) in the hotel’s Peacock Alley.

Local choral and vocal ensembles give free performances in the lobby from 5:30-7:30 p.m. nightly from December 1 through December 23.

Right off the lobby, the historic Round Robin Bar will be serving up seasonal cocktails such as the Jingle Bell Julep and the After Eight.

Room rates start at $229 per night for Christmas week.

Willard InterContinental, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC; 800-424 6835

13. The Plaza, New York

Tea time and Christmastime coincide at The Plaza’s elegant Palm Court, where three holiday tea menus are served in November and December.

The New Yorker Holiday Tea ($95) features an array of sweets and savories, including eggnog tart and deviled egg salad, while the Champagne Tea ($125) adds some effervescence to the occasion.

The hotel’s most famous fictional resident, children’s book character Eloise, lends her name to the Eloise Holiday Tea, available for $60 per child aged 12 and under.

On Christmas Day, a grand buffet ($225 for adults, $75 for children aged 12 and under) will be served in the Palm Court.

Holiday rates start at $825.

The Plaza, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York; 888-850-0909

14. The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida

Founded by Standard Oil Co. magnate Henry Morrison Flagler, The Breakers Palm Beach carries its lavish traditions right through the holiday season.

The oceanfront Italian Renaissance-style resort dazzles with sparkling lights, and holiday tea is available at HMF on select days in late December for $55 per person.

There’s a Christmas dinner buffet in the Ponce de Leon ballroom ($175 for adults, $60 for children 11 and under).

Rooms have already been snapped up for Christmas week, but there’s availability leading up to the holiday, with rates starting at $675 between December 1 and December 23.

The Breakers, One South County Road, Palm Beach, FL; 877-724-3188

15. The Roosevelt, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Roosevelt New Orleans’ annual Teddy Bear Tea, complete with Santa and his elves, will be served on November 25, Saturdays and Sundays in early December and December 15-24. The tea is $52 for children ages 3-10 and $72 for ages 11 and above. Sparkling wine and mimosas are included in the price for adults.

A Waldorf Astoria hotel, The Roosevelt is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2018. The hotel’s elegant lobby will light up for the holidays around 5 p.m. on November 27 with 44 birch trees and glittering Christmas trees decked out for the season.

On Christmas Day, brunch — complete with seafood bar, omelet station, carving station and more — will be served in the Crescent City Ballroom ($105 for ages 11 and up, $45 for children ages 3-10, excluding tax, gratuity and service charge).

Rates start at $259.

The Roosevelt, 130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA; 800-925-3673