Top 10 Ideas for a Luxury Christmas Getaway
When you're writing your gift list this Christmas, put your own name on it. Then treat yourself to a getaway at a spectacular holiday destination.
Photo By: Hotel Hassler Roma
Photo By: D'Angleterre
Photo By: Milestone Hotel
Photo By: Derwood Pamphilon/Heckfield Place
Photo By: Florian Werner/Schloss Elmau
Photo By: Jack Hardy/Ashford Castle
Photo By: Soneva
Photo By: Chris Sanchez/Hotel Adlon
Photo By: Wil Lee-Wright/Britannia Hotel
Photo By: Merlin Photography Ltd/Baur au Lac
Photo By: Sedrik Nemeth/Beau-Rivage Palace ©Sedrik Nemeth
Hotel Hassler Roma
Skip the ribbons and bows and give yourself the gift of a luxe getaway this holiday season. The festive memories will last long after those Christmas slippers wear out.
Hotel Hassler Roma, a legendary five-star hotel atop the Spanish Steps in Rome's City Center, lets guests experience a true Roman holiday. Its Enchanting Christmas Dream package includes a six-course Christmas Eve dinner for two at the Michelin-starred Imago restaurant, a three-night stay in a Deluxe or Grand Deluxe room, an in-room Christmas surprise and more. Relax in an elegant room with a blend of classic and contemporary decor; later, take in panoramic views of the city, twinkling with Christmas lights, from the restaurant and gym.
Copenhagen's historic Kongens Nytorv, or King’s Square, recently reopened after a decade of reconstruction. Celebrate its return during the holiday season with a stay at D’Angleterre, a landmark on the square since 1755. The facade of this legendary hotel, reimagined as a grand palace with modern features, will be decorated with twinkling lights and unveiled on Nov. 22, 2019. The entire square will also put on its best fairy-tale Christmas finery —appropriate since author Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish author known for his fairy tales, spent the holiday here in 1865.
The Milestone Hotel and Residences
Celebrate Christmas in a stunning suite like the Meghan, inspired by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, at London’s five-star Milestone Hotel and Residences. While you're there, have fun with a kids’ gingerbread decorating workshop in your very own room, or request a private recital of classical Christmas music with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Book a Christmas Elegance package with a champagne afternoon tea and a festive turndown surprise; add a horse-drawn carriage ride around the royal neighborhood of Kensington. Want more? Ask to have a fully-decorated, five-foot fir tree set up in your room. Ballet lovers, choose The Nutcracker Offer, which includes two tickets to the ballet at Royal Albert Hall.
Heckfield Place, in Hampshire, England, dates back to the 1700s. This refined Georgian manor house on 400 acres is now a luxury hotel that celebrates the season with wine tastings, astronomy experiences, caroling, Christmas tree hunts and other festivities. Dine on five-star cuisine at the estate’s farm-to-table restaurants, take a cocktail-making class, enjoy a concert or visit one of three onsite spas. Just for fun: Meet Santa and his reindeer, play charades by the fireplace or take a candlelit walk through the wintery woods to find a hidden troubadour.
Bring your most festive bathing suit (you have one, right?) to Schloss Elmau, in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. The outdoor pools at this spa-resort, one of the most luxurious in Europe, are heated year-round so you can swim while the snowflakes fall. Later, take a ski-safari or sleigh ride or warm up indoors at the bookstore, the largest in any hotel in Germany. This December, the acclaimed SIGNUM saxophone quartet and other renowned musicians will perform in the resort's concert hall, shown here.
Warm up with a hot whiskey when you take a Christmas morning cruise at Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland. Guests of this 800-year-old castle, now a five-star hotel, can sail on Lough Corrib as part of a Christmas package. It comes with other seasonal delights, such as mulled wine, mince pies, a visit from Santa, live entertainment and a black-tie gala dinner on Christmas Day. The next day, Dec. 26, is St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland, when castle guests are invited to try archery, falconry and sheep herding, or simply take a guided walk with a local historian.
See More Photos: Ireland Vacations: Amazing Things to Do, See and Experience
Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani
Santa’s coming to town — and the Maldives. Here, he's relaxing in the master bedroom of a Soneva villa with a retractable roof. He’ll celebrate the season with visiting chefs, athletes and wellness experts at the luxurious Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. During Soneva Fushi's Festival of Color in December, former pro soccer star Mikael Silvestre will lead a kids' soccer camp and former tennis pro Jonas Bjorkman will coach guests in one-on-one sessions. At Soneva Jani, guests can help decorate the resort’s Christmas tree, join a family treasure hunt on the island, build sand castles or learn to cook and surf. Activities and dates may vary by location, so check each resort's website for details.
Thanks to its splendid Christmas markets, decorations and seasonal events, Berlin is one the most festive places in Europe to spend the holidays. Even the city’s Botanical Garden is decked out with lights and sculptures that are displayed from November to January. The elegant, five-star Hotel Adlon Kempinski, across from the Brandenburg Gate, is an ideal base for guests to relax after shopping, sightseeing and merry-making. Bring an appetite for your Christmas visit: The hotel's holiday menus include such specialties as beef tartare, saddle of venison and blood orange sorbet.
Trondheim is the only city in Norway where you can see the northern lights, and December — when the sun sets earlier and the landscape is covered in snow — is an excellent time to go. The city is also home to the elegant, five-star Britannia Hotel, which opened in 1870 and recently reopened after a $160 million-dollar renovation. Don't miss its series of Christmas and New Year's Eve concerts, which will be performed by the Britannia Superior Swing Orchestra among the palms and the star-studded ceiling in the hotel's iconic Palmehaven Theater.
Chalet au Lac
Zurich's historic Baur au Lac celebrates its 175th birthday this year with the lighting of the tallest Christmas tree in the city — which is in the hotel’s private park. The hotel, which boasts views of a lake and the Alps, opens its cozy pop-up, Chalet au Lac, in December. Guests can warm themselves in this mountain-styled cabin with fondues, hot punch, cocktails and raclette (a cheese made on both sides of the French and Swiss Alps). From Baur au Lac, meet locals selling artisanal goods and traditional winter foods at Weihnachtsdorf, one of Europe’s best Christmas markets. Also nearby: a smaller Christmas market, known as the “Singing Christmas Tree and Market,” in Werdmuhleplatz.
Ruinart, the oldest champagne house in the world, opens its magical Bubble Bar from Nov. 6, 2019, to Feb. 29, 2020, at Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland. This magnificent Belle Epoque hotel is furnished with tapestries, frescoes and sparkling chandeliers, and many rooms overlook its ten acres of gardens, Lake Geneva or the snow-capped Alps. Children can ride the hotel's Enchanted Merry-Go-Round; built from the mold of a vintage merry-go-round, it spins from Nov. 30, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020.