Destinations

Deck the Halls at the World’s Most Festive Hotels 

Step into a living Christmas card at the world’s most festive hotels, where snow-laden streets, glistening fairy lights and the aroma of mulled wine beckon.

There’s something undeniably enchanting about Christmas. The air is perpetually spiced with the scent of gingerbread, buildings twinkle with strings of fairy lights and the hum of Christmas carols echoes into the night. There’s nothing quite like celebrating the most magical time of year in the world’s most festive hotels. Escape to a world of grand Christmas trees, sparkling baubles, outrageously decorated lobbies and memorable festive dinners. Whether you plan to stay or simply stop by for a meal or a Christmas-themed cocktail, these hotels are sure to skyrocket your festive cheer. 

The Plaza, New York City, USA 

Is there anything more magical than Christmas in NYC? If there is, you’ll find it during the silly season at The Plaza. With Saks Fifth Avenue’s shimmering lights, the gleaming Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree and the high kicks of the Radio City Rockettes just moments away, a stay here offers the iconic New York City festive experience. You’ll find The Plaza where the fairytale-like Central Park meets the beaming Fifth Avenue. Inside, be spellbound by the lobby’s elegant Christmas tree, be spoilt at the enchantingly embellished Palm Court where cheerful staff make the season oh-so-merry with candy cane handouts, or marvel in movie magic with The Plaza’s Home Alone 2: Escape to New York experience (which includes set visits, limo rides and a Home Alone ice-cream sundae). 

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada 

Stay in the Canadian Rocky Mountains’ iconic castle hotel, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, for an unforgettable Christmas escape. The landscape turns from rugged parkland to winter wonderland, with snow-covered mountains, frozen lakes and icy meadows. Stunning year-round, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise sparkles even brighter when decorated for the holidays: in the hotel lobby, delight in soaring Douglas firs covered in twinkling lights which reach up to shimmering chandeliers, as well as ornate wreaths and replica gingerbread houses. Amp up the festive cheer with a full suite of Christmas activities from sleigh rides through a wintry landscape to reindeer encounters in Santa’s workshop and carolling.  

Claridge’s, London, UK 

The quintessentially British Claridge’s hotel in London’s elegant Mayfair area is a festive season must. From the highly anticipated annual tree reveal to the dazzling decorations, the hotel personifies Christmas. Having long been a festive London landmark, Claridge’s draws the crowds who cherish its magnificent festive design, which changes each year. This year, Claridge’s Christmas tree pays homage to Jimmy Choo with a design that’s reminiscent of the brand’s diamond icon, which guests are invited to step into. After admiring the marvellous decorations, toast to the festive spirit with decadent high tea or visit Claridge’s Christmas Shop to bring the hallmark Claridge’s festivities home with you.  

Hôtel de Crillon A Rosewood Hotel, Paris, France 

Christmas in Paris is an enchanting affair. Flurries of snow dance on the crisp air, store windows are aglow with magical displays, and fairy lights twinkle brighter than the Eiffel Tower. There is no better place to celebrate the most wonderful time of year than at the glistening Hôtel de Crillon A Rosewood Hotel. Adorned with shimmering lights, evergreen wreaths and glasses clinking in a toast to the season, this hotel offers a one-of-a-kind Christmas-themed high tea. Feast on delicate pastries, homemade scones and gingerbread alongside tea, hot chocolate and bubbly. Curated by Head Pastry Chef Matthieu Carlin, the beloved afternoon tea takes on a festive twist centred around an indulgent Yule Log dessert. 

The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection, Dublin, Ireland 

Christmas lovers rejoice – Dublin is filled with the smoky scent of roasting chestnuts, good cheer and toasty tipples served beside a crackling pub fire. When it comes to holly, jolly Irish escapes, nowhere is more festive than the merry The Shelbourne, Autograph Collection. Experience all the excitement and glamour of this Dublin institution, which decks the halls with glittering baubles, proud nutcrackers and lavish garlands. During your stay, uncover world-class festive dining and be treated to time-honoured Christmas feasts, inspired by the flavours and aromas of the season. Think warming forest mushroom soup, Black Angus beef ribeye and spiced Christmas pudding enhanced by a festive signature cocktail and served with a side of old-fashioned Irish hospitality. 

For more festive cheer, read Seven Festive Reasons to Spend Christmas in Europe. 

Hero image: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada 

Lover of gelato and all things travel. Annabel is happiest when exploring new places, soaking in the glorious sun rays and scuba diving. When she's not writing about the most glamorous destinations, she's on the lookout for her next adventure.