From rooftop terraces transformed into enchanting winter wonderlands to charming, artisan markets selling handcrafted novelties and gifts, hotels from Vancouver to London are pulling out all the stops to offer one-of-a-kind holiday pop-ups, festive events and even a few deals to guests and locals alike this winter. Here are some of the most festive (and luxurious) holiday experiences in the US, Canada and Europe.
Reflections Winter Terrace at Rosewood Hotel Georgia (Vancouver, BC)
Courtesy Roosewood Resorts
Now in its second year, Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s signature lounge will dramatically transform into a magical holiday escape, offering guests the ultimate rooftop winter wonderland complete with enticing beverages such as the Little Helper (rum, port and house-made egg nog) for sipping, duck prosciutto pizza and polenta goat cheese croquettes for snacking, and fluffy blankets and cozy couches for snuggling. “This December, we are thrilled to welcome guests to Reflections: The Garden Terrace for the first time ever during the winter season,” says Philip Meyer, Managing Director of Rosewood Hotel Georgia. “We’ve created a real winter wonderland with warming cocktails, delicious bites, blankets and heat lamps for extra cozy comfort.” (Through December 31st, 2017)
The Peninsula New York (New York, NY)
Courtesy The Peninsula New York
Celebrate the holidays in style with festive decorations, fabulous cuisine and sparkling views of Fifth Avenue at The Peninsula New York. The Peninsula’s Clement restaurant presents distinct offerings through the New Year, inviting you to indulge in a selection of delicious and memorable holiday meals, including a Christmas Eve four-course Pre Fixe and Christmas Day three-course Pre Fixe—both include a visit from Santa Claus and Peter Bear for the kids. Children can also once enjoy the annual Gingerbread House Decorating Class plus a Polar Express Holiday Tea.
The Rink at the Standard Hotel (New York City, NY)
Courtesy Standard Hotel Highline
In between laps on the Alpine-inspired, street-side ice rink adjacent to New York’s High Line (at 442 West 13th Street), guests and visitors can enjoy spiked apple cider and cocoa and munch on a bread and cheese volcano made with taleggio cheese in the hotel’s partially enclosed seating area, warmed by toasty heat lamps. Also at The Standard the Shop at the Standard, High Line will open a pop-up for the ceramist Michele Quan, where you’ll find a stoneware eye ornament hand-painted with sun, moon and stars ($95). (Through December 31, 2017).
Mohonk Mountain House (New Paltz, NY)
Courtesy Mohonk Mountain House
The historic castle resort in New York’s Hudson Valley is decorated every winter to its holiday finest featuring breathtaking Christmas trees, including a 60-foot Austrian pine covered in 1,500 sparkling LED lights. Amidst these storybook surroundings, guests can participate in holiday activities including a family yule log hunt, reindeer tracking, elf hunt and the Hudson Valley Gingerbread competition which invites guests and locals to bring their finest gingerbread constructions to the resort and compete for the top honor.
York & Albany’s “An Awfully British Winter Cabin” (London, UK)
Courtesy York & Albany
Discover a cozy corner of eccentricity in North London with a visit to York & Albany’s Awfully British Cabin this November to February, a playful experience that celebrates all things awfully British. Toast the festive season with friends and colleagues while nestled in the Camden courtyard of Gordon Ramsey’s famous townhouse hotel and restaurant. Sit back and relax whilst enjoying a spot of afternoon tea, extraordinarily unusual British cocktails, lunch or dinner canapés, all whilst revelling in the best of traditional British cuisine in the privacy of your own ‘home’, served by your personal Butler.
Celebrating all things wonderfully weird in British traditions, the cabin is adorned with an old-fashioned telephone, chandelier, stag skulls and vintage books, as well as Union Jacks and cushions decorating the armchairs, sofas and poufs, creating the scene of an eccentric British lounge. Not forgetting the mirrored drinks trolley, sure to take centre stage as you help yourself to festive spirits and aromatic mulled wine. To really get in the spirit, smoking jackets and slippers are also provided on arrival.
Rosewood London (London, UK)
Courtesy Rosewood London (London, UK)
Situated on charming High Holborn, Rosewood London is the perfect getaway for those looking for a cozy, event-filled holiday. The celebrations will kick-off on December 1st with the Mini Wishes campaign. For twelve days, Santa will drive around London in Rosewood London’s Mini Cooper collecting wishes to raise money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. Back at the hotel, guests can marvel at the hotel’s stunning decorations or grab a warm festive cocktail at the Monkey 47 Winter Lodge which will transform the outdoor terrace into a cozy lodge. Kids can delight in breakfast with Santa or an afternoon holiday tea. During the evening, the festivities will continue as the hotel’s iconic façade and elegant archway will be transformed into a festive sensory experience created by Samsung.
Enchanted Winter Wonderland at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (Scottsdale, AZ)
Courtesy Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
From an ice-skating rink, a train, holiday characters, a Ferris wheel, petting zoo and 3 million lights, The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort does not leave much to be desired. Light snowfall sets the scene as the resort’s Fragrance Garden transforms into the Nativity Garden, complete with a 10-minute, 88-foot light and music show narrating the Christmas origin story. (Through December 31, 2017)
La Quinta Resort & Club Very Vintage Holiday Package (La Quinta, CA)
Courtesy La Quinta Resort & Club
Ringing in more than 90 years of historic Hollywood tradition, La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is inviting guests to celebrate the season and escape to the desert for a Very Vintage Holiday. Guests who book the Very Vintage Holiday package (starting $209/night, available Nov. 19 – Dec. 31) will be treated to a festive holiday cocktail upon arrival, special edition La Quinta Resort holiday ornament and breakfast daily. While on property, they can experience holiday-inspired, old Hollywood glamour by stepping into the resort’s take on Bedford Falls, the fictional town where frequent La Quinta Resort guest, Frank Capra, set his iconic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Holiday Festivities include: Chestnut Roasting (by the fireplace in the main lobby), Fireside Holiday Movie Classics, Holiday Eats Christmas Cooking Demos, Breakfast with Santa (enjoy the breakfast buffet…and a holiday Bloody Mary or Mimosa…while the little ones get their photo with Santa Claus) and Seasonal Spa Specials: Tis the season to pamper (Merry Merlot Body Renewal complete with a healing wine-infused serum and the Warm and Toasty Body Massage anyone?).
Teddy Bear Tea at the The Roosevelt (New Orleans, LA)
Courtesy The Roosevelt Hotel
The Roosevelt New Orleans’ annual Teddy Bear Tea comes with a commemorative stuffed animal for kids, sparkling wine and mimosas for Mom and Dad as well as a delicious holiday food, specialty teas, and tasty pastries. The event, complete with Santa and his elves, is held every Saturday and Sunday in December and then everyday from December 17-24. The tea is $48 for children ages 3-10 and $68 for ages 11 and above. Sparkling wine and mimosas are included in the price for adults.