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November 21, 2018updated Dec 19, 2018

Festive Hotels for the Holidays 2018

By Lauren Jade Hill

Get into the festive spirit by staying at one of these lavish hotels as they celebrate the season with cozy winter terraces, impressive Christmas trees and plenty of indulgence, among many more seasonal offerings. Here’s our pick of festive hotels for the holidays in 2018.

Claridge’s London, UK

Each Christmas, this iconic London hotel reveals a different design for its spectacular Christmas tree, and the 2018 edition is sure to impress. This year’s creation is set to be unveiled on November 27th, so you’ll have to wait to see it, but we do know it was designed by the long-time Claridge’s guest and fashion icon, Diane von Furstenberg. This Christmas tree unveiling marks the start of the festive season for Claridge’s when a stay is complemented with stockings, mince pies, horse-drawn carriage rides and festive menus at each dining venue.

Mandarin Oriental Geneva, Switzerland

This Christmas, Mandarin Oriental, Geneva is celebrating the season with husky sledding and Swiss fondue at the hotel’s pop-up winter restaurant, Le Chalet – this festive experience will be open to guests staying for a minimum of two nights between December 1st and January 18th. Tucked into the plush Geneva hotel, the pop-up restaurant brings a flavor of the Alps to the heart of the city, with traditional Alpine dishes and drinks, including gruyère and vacherin fondue, and meringue with Gruyère cream, to indulge in.

The Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue, USA

Adding to New York City’s festivities this year, The Langham is getting into the holiday spirit. Book the Holiday Suites at The Langham package to stay in one of the lavish Roche Bobois designed suites overlooking the Empire State Building and city skyline, and have bespoke in-room decorations including a Christmas tree. A gift will be placed under the tree for each individual guest and you’ll have in-room treats provided by The Langham’s pastry team. In addition to this, you’ll have a car and driver take you to Central Park for activities like ice skating, and you’ll be given tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, The Langham’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Ai Fiori, will then be serving special tasting and prix fixe menus.

Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Each year, Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo famously transforms its grand entrance and interiors into an opulent winter wonderland. This year’s theme, “Thousands of Gifts,” features a grandiose lobby Christmas tree made not of pine, but of thousands of holiday gifts, from classic nutcrackers to festive rocking-horses.  Like a scene out of a holiday movie, children (and adults) are instantly enchanted by the atmosphere that’s reminiscent of Santa’s own workshop. Here you can soak up the Christmas spirit in style while dining on Mediterranean-inspire cuisine at the hotel’s Joël Robuchon restaurant and Japanese restaurant, Yoshi, before sipping cocktails in the glamorous Lobby Bar.

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Lotte New York Palace, USA

This lavish hotel in Midtown Manhattan has just announced its holiday programming. Highlights of the festive season include the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Molton Brown advent calendar grand reveal, letters to Santa, storytime sessions and a special Christmas culinary offering. The festivities begin with the invite-only Christmas tree lighting ceremony on November 29th, followed by the Molton Brown advent calendar reveal. From December 1st to December 24th, guests will then have the chance to win prizes in the advent calendar giveaways. November 29th through December 24th, customized postcards will be distributed among guests encouraging them to write their own letter to Santa, and every Saturday, families will be able to visit Santa and join the hotel’s storytime. The holiday food and beverage offering ranges from hot buttered rum cocktails in the hotel bars, Troubles Trust and Tavern on 51, to hot chocolate at the hotel’s boutique pastry shop Pomme Palais.

Corinthia Hotel London, UK

The stunning Corinthia Hotel London isn’t short on plans for the holiday period. During the lead up to Christmas you’ll be able to tuck into a festive afternoon tea of turkey with caramelized apple and stuffing finger sandwiches and festive cakes in the Crystal Moon Lounge; indulge in festive menus encompassing Norfolk Bronze turkey and plum pudding at The Northhall; and celebrate Christmas Day at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill. The grand hotel will be adorned in spectacular Christmas decorations throughout the festive period.

The Nai Harn, Phuket, Thailand

If you’re looking to spend Christmas in the tropics, The Nai Harn is one hotel to head to for festive cheer. This year, the resort is hosting a celebratory Christmas Eve gala dinner starting with Christmas cocktails on the infinity-pool-edged rooftop bar Reflections with a special appearance from Santa, before the dinner takes place in the restaurant, Cosmo. The festive banquet promises to include oysters, snow crab, slipper lobster with avocado cocktail and seared tuna, plus a carving station with turkey, Australian beef and slow-cooked lamb. This indulgent dinner will be accompanied by carols sung by the local school.

The St. Regis Atlanta, USA

Holiday traditions at The St. Regis Atlanta range from a life-size Sugarfina-decorated gingerbread house and Storytime with Santa, to the Astor Holiday Ice Rink and a Christmas Day brunch. The life-size gingerbread house, which is going to be unveiled on November 23rd, will take 500 hours to construct and encompass 300 pounds of flour, 100 pounds of sugar and 10 pounds of spice among its other ingredients. A pop-up holiday candy shop will sit alongside the gingerbread house, selling limited-edition candies such as sugar cookies. The Christmas tree lighting is also set to take place on November 23rd, in a celebration including a visit from Santa and champagne sabering, and through its partnership with the luxury tea blender, Tealeaves, the hotel is collaborating with one of the tea company’s partners, the Atlanta Ballet – try special Nutcracker and Organic Sugar Plum Fairy tea blends and catch a guest appearance by The Nutcracker ballerinas.The 10th annual Astor Holiday Ice Rink will launch on November 23rd too, and Christmas Day will see an extravagant brunch unfold with live music and festive entertainment.

Montage Deer Valley, USA

Montage Hotels & Resorts is hosting an array of Christmas celebrations across its US properties, and its mountain retreat, Montage Deer Valley, is certainly no exception. Following its Thanksgiving revelry, the hotel is laying on an Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt and 5th annual Tree Lighting on November 24th with family-friendly activities and carol singing. Christmas Eve will see the return of Santa’s reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas and parents can arrange a visit from Santa with milk, cookies and a story at their children’s bedtime, along with bespoke holiday stocking delivery. Christmas feasting is at the heart of the festivities here with lavish dinners on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

La Réserve Genéve, Switzerland

This year, the lakeside hotel, La Réserve, in Geneva is pushing the boat out for Christmas with the creation of a Winter Lodge and private ice-skating rink for hotel guests. In this mountain-view setting you can glide across the ice using complimentary skates and cozy up in the wooden chalet for crepes, waffles and hot chocolate or mulled wine. If you’re planning to head into the mountains for some Alpine skiing, first take part in the hotel’s special Fitness Preparation Program that’s designed to improve skiers’ performance. Each program is tailored to suit the individual. The hotel’s Winter Lodge opens on November 29th and the skiers’ fitness program is on offer throughout the winter months.

Illustration by Richard Atlan

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