Once upon a time, there was a luxury traveler who wanted to share the most idyllic fairytale destination with her family for their Christmas holidays.

As the Christmas tree sparkles in the corner of your living room and the scent of eggnog and spiced nuts fills the air, your family might be thinking of getting away too. After searching high and low for something truly special, our luxury traveler has come up with ten magical luxury hotel options, which will give your family a once-in-a-lifetime experience. From Hawaii’s warm shores to Whistlers snowy slopes, we hope our ideas inspire you.

If you want to book a luxury hotel anywhere in the world, use our luxury travel concierge. Our agents offer exclusive free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at luxury hotels like Four Seasons, Aman, Belmond, Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, InterContinental and more… for the same price as the hotel’s own websites.

Typically, our free benefits* at luxury hotels include:

  • Room upgrade to next category
  • Complimentary breakfast for two per bedroom
  • Complimentary Welcome Gift
  • $100 USD equivalent Hotel experiential credit per room per stay
  • Early check-in / Late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

1. Gainsborough Bath Spa

Our first choice for Christmas fun has to be the Gainsborough Bath Spa, which is situated right in the centre of town about 20 steps from the main street. We choose this hotel for its location, it’s elegance and the fact that you can waste your entire staycation floating about in the magnificent spa waters in the hotel’s historic spa.

Bath town centre is particularly pretty and should not be missed. The historic Georgian buildings provide the perfect backdrop for the many street markets including the annual Christmas market that starts late November and is sure to spread some Christmas cheer.

The hotel is in a beautiful, historic building. which has been beautifully refurbished. The flower-encrusted marble lobby leads to a majestic stairwell, which takes you down to the spa or up to the rooms. All the lounges, bars and restaurants are utterly stylish and the excellent staff mean that there is a great ambience in the bars and restaurant, as well as excellent food. Dan Moon offers the mist delicious dishes inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients in a sophisticated yet informal environment. Dan Moon at The Gainsborough Restaurant has been awarded three AA Rosettes and is a brilliant place to spend the evening.

On Christmas Eve, Tuesday 24th December 2019, you can enjoy a 4-course dinner in Dan Moon at The Gainsborough Restaurant (£75 per person supplement). You will then be personally escorted to Bath Abbey for Midnight Mass (less than 5 minutes’ walk away). When you return to the hotel, you can enjoy a warming Hot Chocolate, Hot Whisky Toddy and Mince Pies.

On Christmas Day, Wednesday 25th December 2019, your children will get a festive gift for the kids delivered by Father Christmas himself! You will also get breakfast in Dan Moon and a 5-course traditional Christmas Lunch with all the trimmings. The Queen’s speech will be shown in The Chapel at 3pm and a festive buffet will be served from 6.30pm to 9.00pm (£55 per person supplement). Could this be the perfect Christmas stay?

The Gainsborough’s sophisticated rooms offer superbly comfortable beds, modern bathrooms with Purple Water amenities and classic deep blue walls which offset the white Victorian pelmets and detailing. There is also a free minibar (containing beer, soft drinks, popcorn and chocolate bars).

If you stay at the Gainsborough Hotel in Bath, they have one of the most impressive spa’s I have ever experienced, all centred around a child-free pool with spouting waterfalls which will pummel your stress away.

I have previously enjoyed a magnesium wrap at the spa, which I found to be surprisingly effective. These treatments come highly recommended (by me!), but if this is an expense too far, all guests are invited to relax on the loungers around and overlooking the pool for free and to bathe in the restorative spa waters for as long as they wish.

2. Amberley Castle, England

If you are based in London, Amberley Castle is only just under two hour’s drive away. If you fly into Gatwick you are less than an hour away from this real-life castle.

Originally built in 1103, this castle comes complete with a portcullis, a moat (although the floor of the moat is now lawned for playing croquet!), numerous cannons, coats of armour and weapons.

When we stayed here, our room was located within the castle walls. Old beamed roofs and open-hearth, complete with a realistic gas fire, makes you feel like you have stepped back in time. In the communal areas, roaring real fires kept each room toasty.

It is so very Christmassy to wake up and look out at the old castle walls and they have a full 3 night Christmas trip prepared for your delight. Arrive on Christmas Eve to a sumptuous homemade cream tea of warm fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and seasonal preserve. Indulge in an exquisite à la carte dinner to the sounds of our live pianist, finishing with Midnight Mass and a nightcap of warming mulled wine.

Wake up on Christmas Day morning to a special gift from Amberley Castle before toasting the occasion with a glass of Champagne and a five-course festive lunch with matching wine flight. Step out for a crisp winter walk before settling beside one of our roaring log fires to enjoy a live harpist and an evening buffet to end the day.

Unwind on Boxing Day and stroll through the twelve acres of frost-tipped gardens in the heart of the West Sussex countryside. Your magical Christmas retreat concludes with an exceptional three-course dinner before retiring to your luxurious guestroom.

If you have children, they will love all the weapons that hung on the walls of the great hall, including historic pistols, spear guns and a large selection of swords. Whether you want to be Rapunzel sitting at the top of your castle tower, or you fancy yourself as a knight in shining armour, this castle is the real fairytale deal and an ideal place to spend Christmas!

3. Four Seasons Lanai, Hawaii

Ever since Clark W. Griswold watched his “Christmas Bonus” swimming pool from a frost encrusted window to Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka” in the classic National Lampoon Christmas movie, the Hawaiian Islands, with their peaceful pacific rhythms and endless sunshine have been a holiday mecca for me.

Here, Santa Claus heads down the beach, an enormous 15 metre Christmas tree shines and Elvis harmonises Christmas melodies along the shore of Waikiki as the warm sea laps on the white sand. An absolute favourite hotel on these islands is the Four Seasons Lanai with arguably the best beach in the entire world.

Christmas in Hawaii shouldn’t work. No snow, no log fires, no wrapping up against the cold, and yet it does. Stay at one of the best Four Seasons on Hawaii, which are spread across these islands or the Halekulani in the centre of Waikiki and as the song says; “Christmas here is green and bright, the sun shines here by day and all the stars at night”.

Alternatively, choose a hotel from our review of the best luxury hotels in Hawaii or if you are on a tight budget, pick one of the cheapest Hyatt hotels in Hawaii. Enjoy an unbeatable festive atmosphere and oodles of decorations sparkling in the sunshine under those swaying palms.

Get the following free benefits* at Four Seasons Resorts, by booking via our Luxury Travel Concierge:

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
  • Food and beverage or Spa credit of USD100
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites, villas, and private residences)
  • Welcome note at check-in acknowledging you and the amenities that are being extended
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

4. Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Life doesn’t come more glamorous than Monaco on the French Riviera (pictured above). This tiny Principality blows the budget at Christmas turning the iconic Casino Square into a Narnia style wonderland. Here, the streets jingle to Christmas tunes and snow-encrusted trees are jammed into every corner. The Prince schedules a Christmas market on the main harbour, evening fireworks, street shows and music around the main Casino.

The Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo is one of the best hotels in Monaco and offers a family package which includes gifts for the kids, an afternoon of tea, music, one-on-one with Santa, a gala dinner on Christmas Eve, and even a real tree in your hotel room!

This Christmas I will be sipping a hot chocolate under the Riviera stars, warmed by live music, circus folk on stilts and of course heater lamps. The snow is fake (even in winter it is often warm enough to wear t-shirts during the day in Monaco) but the festivities and decorations are probably the best in the world.

Get the following free benefits* at Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, by booking via our Luxury Travel Concierge:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • VIP welcome
  • Full Buffet Breakfast served at the Mezzanine Eiffel
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full, does not include minibar)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

5. InterContinental New York Barclay, New York

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York is a world-wide symbol of the holidays. With guaranteed cold, glamorous shopping and innovative window displays down Fifth Avenue and the jumble of toy stores up 5th Avenue, New York is the perfect place to enjoy a consumerist Christmas. Head to the southwest corner of Central Park, for a Holiday market where more than 100 vendors sell festive clothes, gifts, snacks and drinks. Skate on the two skating ponds or wrap up and hail one of the horse-drawn carriages for a ride around the park. Wrap up warm as it will be cold and it might just snow.

And where to stay? We have reviewed the best hotels in New York with a club lounge and one of our top picks is the InterContinental New York Barclay which is located behind Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue store, on East 48th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues.

The rooms hotel here are large by NYC standards but the bathrooms are quite cosy. There are 702 rooms, which include 33 suites at this hotel and the interior look is elegant and classy.

The lounge here is called Club InterContinental and is excellent. It can be found to the left of the lobby and is open 6.30am-8pm. It serves a very good buffet breakfast including gluten-free options, snacks, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Club guests can check in here and have the use of its business centre and meeting room.

Get the following free benefits* at InterContinental New York Barclay, by booking via our Luxury Travel Concierge:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary daily buffet breakfast for two served in Club InterContinental Lounge
  • Complimentary access for two to Club InterContinental Lounge ($100 value)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

To get your usual loyalty & status benefits, just share your loyalty number with our agent.

6. Almhof Schneider, Lech, Austria

With a blue-blooded guest list that visit Lech includes the Jordanian royal family, the Dutch royal family, Monaco’s Princess Caroline and the late Princess Dianna. You are in good company spending Christmas in Lech.

This pretty farming village clustered around the church and mountain river guarantees a chocolate box Christmas. During Advent, a traditional Christmas market takes place at the Church square, or you can do your shopping in Strolz department store which sells thick fur coats, designer clothing and hand made toys.

Stay at the ultra luxury Almhof Schneider for mesmerizing alpine views which is just a few steps from the village centre or the Aurelio hotel (owned by a Russian billionaire) for an equally exclusive experience mid way up the main slope. Both feature in our best luxury ski hotels in Austria.

7. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

It may be a cliché, but Walt Disney World offers man-made magic that’s hard to beat. The weather in Florida is a whole lot better than England at Christmas too! Mickey has a Christmas party every year with fireworks, Disney’s Holywood Studios creates flurries of snow on their boulevard and of course, rising at the end of Main Street is the iconic fairytale castle, inspired by Disney’s Cinderella, this palace is straight out of a fairytale.

Stay at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort which is one of the best Four Seasons in the world and is where even adults can enjoy a magical experience. Relax by the pool while your kids enjoy the amazing waterslides. Get a free upgrade, breakfast, late checkout and a gift by booking through our luxury travel concierge.

8. Four Seasons Whistler, Canada

If you are in search of some real snow, a magical village, and scenery straight out of a Hans Christian Anderson story, you won’t beat Whistler in Canada. This picture-perfect village sits astride a rushing mountain river and is decorated in sparkling lights and Christmas trees for the festive season. Just before Christmas day, you can ski for free if you dress like Santa and Mrs. Claus. They even have real-life bears in the forest.

Stay at the Four Seasons Whistler which is the best luxury hotel in Whistler. It’s roaring fires are magical and the warm outdoor pools enable you to swim about as snowflakes fall on your head. Get a free upgrade, breakfast, late checkout and a gift by booking through our luxury travel concierge.

9. Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort, Los Cabos

Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort, is described by some as “heaven on earth” and if you are looking for Christmas sunshine, this is a great option! The hotel is one of the best luxury hotels in Los Cabos and is situated near the peaceful San Jose Del Cabo and offers 84 luxurious suites and villas, including 12 Signature beach villas. The resort is just half an hour from Los Cabos airport.

From the first moment you arrive behind the discreet gates, you are welcomed with open arms. Your stay starts with the complimentary arrival Mariachis (frozen margaritas), a special touch and your stay will get better from here on in. The welcome at the hotel can be overwhelming or cute, depending on your mindset, with around 4 members of staff and often a full-on mariachi band all celebrating your arrival.

Rooms come with suite butlers and the grounds are gorgeous. Taking the Gardenview Jr. King Suite as an example, this room is large and most rooms in this category have a distant view of the Sea of Cortez. Although these rooms are not directly oceanfront, the view from their massive balcony is an angled ocean view.

The best rooms at Las Ventanas al Paraísois (without breaking the bank) are near the smaller pools (201-208 & 301-308). These rooms are also closest to the ocean. We think these are the best as you rarely have to share the pool nearest your room with more than 2 couples, making the whole experience very private.

Extras within each room, such as a telescope for viewing the night sky and aromatherapy choices included with turndown service, make this place even more special.

This resort is most special at night with the twinkling glow of lanterns and candles that illuminate the pathways. Some nights there are fireworks, others will tempt you to sit on the beach in the evenings, listening to the waves and looking up at the clear night sky dotted with stars.

Get the following free benefits* at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, by booking via our Luxury Travel Concierge:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily Full breakfast for up to two in-room guests per bedroom, available in El Restaurante, Sea Grill, or through in-suite dining
  • $100 USD equivalent Spa Services credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full, not valid on products)
  • Oasis Margarita & Taco Sampler Experience from Taqueria (one per accommodation booked, for up to two guests to enjoy once during stay)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Take a look at their video to get an idea of just how lovely this resort is!

10. Marbella Club, Spain

Just 3 hours from London but a world away is the Marbella Club, the epitome of beachfront luxury. Drive through the pantheon style arch at the entrance to this iconic hotel and you drive into a slice of tropical beach-side paradise on the Marbella coastline. As one of the southernmost parts of Spain, this is a great destination for low season sunshine.

The first thing that strikes you when you arrive is how perfectly manicured the beautiful grounds are. The tropical trees and flourishing bourgenvilla that clad the whitewashed Spanish style buildings.

Many of the rooms at the Marbella club sit in outbuildings, reached via a short golf cart drive and then winding paths that intertwine between the buildings right down to the sea. The fact that the rooms are so spread out means that each block has its own garden area and is beautifully secluded beneath the trees.

There is an upper pool and a lower pool which is part of the beach club and which has a Hawaiian feel. In the evenings the “Champagne Room” bar and “The Grill” restaurant are atmospheric candlelit venues for your evening’s dining. There are also a number of other eateries to choose from during the day.

Golf at the Marbella Club is meant to be outstanding, the spa has an excellent reputation and the kids club is the best on the Costa. You simply can’t beat the Marbella Club for lazing, fine dining, swimming and simply wandering around the beautiful gardens.

Get the following free benefits* at the Marbella Club, by booking via our Luxury Travel Concierge:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Full Buffet breakfast for two per bedroom daily
  • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • A complimentary round of golf once during stay, per person, including greens fees
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

*benefits offered were correct as of 2019 but may be amended at the hotel’s discretion.

Disclosure: Most reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.


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