The holidays are almost here and that can mean travel for many of us. We jump on overcrowded planes to see our relatives and loved ones located around the world, which is as much stressful as it is a blessing.
But, if you have the means and the opportunity, you can stay in some of the most beautiful hotels in the world. The holidays are the most active season for hotels and many places lavishly decorate their lobbies and restaurants for the season.
Lygon Arms Hotel, Broadway, England
The Cotswolds in England are already a magical place, filled with cozy buildings that date back hundreds of years to rolling green hills that capture the imagination. The Lygon Arms hotel is a Tudor carriage house hotel dating 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, It’s most famous for hosting Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor stayed there during the scandal around their affair, and it became a hotspot for many glamorous guests looking for an English getaway.
The Roosevelt, New Orleans, Louisiana
One of the most iconic hotels of the South, the Roosevelt has become a focal point of New Orleans holiday life. They host an annual Teddy Bear Tea, with Santa and his elves joining the family for a tea service. They have also hosted a “Cajun Night Before Christmas” gingerbread diorama, complete with Santa visiting the bayou.
Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida
The Ritz Carlton hotels are well known for their luxury and tastefully appointed decor, but have you ever heard of the Gingerbread Pirate Ship? Amelia Island was once a haven for pirates and stories of buccaneers and buried treasure have inspired this gingerbread creation. Every year, the pastry team adds a new member to the pirate crew, and the ship takes 1,200 points of sugar and 3000 eggs to complete.
Yo ho ho!
Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris, France
No expense has been spared in the Four Seasons Hotel George V. From the beautiful tree and animal sculptures made with Swarovski crystal to the expertly prepared meals at Le Cirq, the hotel’s 3 Michelin Star restaurant. Rooms for Christmas week start at $1,300. For a true splurge, the Royal Suite is available for a cool $25,600.
The Waldorf Astoria, New York, New York
This New York icon is one of the most famous hotels in the world. Aside from the thousands of glass bulbs, lights, and garlands, the Waldorf hosts several fine dining opportunities, from an elaborate dinner to a fun and informal Christmas brunch buffet.
Guests staying at the Towers of the Waldorf, a boutique hotel located within the Waldorf, can order a Christmas tree to be set up in their room, personalized stockings, and even a grand piano in case the urge to carol strikes.
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Orlando, Florida
Disney World is the happiest place on earth and they go all out for the holiday season, especially at the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando. Each year, the hotel’s pastry and confectionary team take over the lobby for a massive Christmas diorama, with each piece made out of chocolate! There’s a life-sized Santa, a seven foot tall Nutcracker, and every part of the display is edible, so long as you don’t mind consuming an estimated 300 calories.
Hotel Sacher, Vienna, Austria
One of the most festive places to celebrate Christmas in the woods is Vienna, Austria. The city comes alive with Christmas markets, classical concerts, ice skating, and more.
The Hotel Sacher, which invented the Sacher torte that gave the city its reputation, hosts an elaborate Christmas every year. You can order a three, four, or five course meal, served in their elegant dining room. For a taste of Vienna at home, they will ship you a Sacher torte layered with apricot jam.
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California
This gorgeous Victorian-inspired hotel is a perfect place to spend a Dickens Christmas in the heart of beautiful San Diego, California. The hotel hosts an annual Santas Village, with shops and activities, and they have a beachfront skating rink. Plus, if you’re into a creepy Christmas, the hotel has a rich history of paranormal activity. Finally, if you’re up early enough, you can watch the Navy SEALS train on the beachfront nearby.
Four Seasons Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai, Thailand
One does not typically think of Thailand, a predominately Buddhist nation, as being a big Christmas spot, but the Four Seasons puts together a stunning Christmas celebration complete with a Thai twist. The hotel is well known for its natural setting in the mountains of the Mae Rim district, which features views of the gorgeous green rice fields from many of the guest rooms. Against this backdrop, the hotel hosts a tree-lighting ceremony on the cocktail lawn, with themed cocktails and Christmas treats served to the lucky guests.
The Ritz, London, England
The Ritz in London is the height of elegance and visitors during the holiday season are treated to a wonderful and tasteful decoration display. The centerpiece is a large pine tree grown in the Scottish highlands, with accents the chandeliers and ceiling frescos that have been featured in shows like Downton Abbey. You can treat yourself to a tea service or Christmas dinner in their Michelin rated hotel restaurant.
Miss any favorites? let me know in the comments. Happy holidays!