In theory, your Thanksgiving plan was a good one. You were going to get the carpets steam cleaned, buy a new 50-inch television and try out a new pumpkin cake recipe — all before guests arrived for Thanksgiving dinner. What you didn’t really plan for was daily life continuing in between the wishful thinking. You’re less than two weeks away from the big day but you’ve already run out of time. Luckily, all is not lost — a host of luxury hotels around the map know just how stressful this time of year can be, so they’ve gone ahead and done most of the heavy holiday lifting in the form of cooking up lavish overnight promotions and delicious-sounding Turkey Day meals. So, gather the kids and pack up Grandma Rose; this year, you’re taking Thanksgiving on the road. Just be sure to leave your collapsed pumpkin cake at home.
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Scottsdale
Warm up this holiday with a trip to this Four-Star Sonoran Desert retreat. Start at Proof, an American Canteen for seasonal local beer on tap along or cocktails like It’s the Great Pumpkin (butterscotch liqueur, vanilla vodka, spiced rum, cream, pumpkin, simple syrup and pumpkin spice). On the big day, Proof will host a holiday-inspired breakfast buffet and a three-course dinner with beer and chestnut soup, a choice of turkey or bourbon-maple-glazed ham, and caramelized pumpkin pie. Another option is Four-Star Talavera, which will have its own holiday buffet with a raw bar that includes Alaskan snow crab claws, oysters and mussels; a carving station with lavender-infused turkey and slow-roasted prime rib; and a dessert area with braised caramel apple à la mode, pumpkin cheesecake lollipops and more.
The Bernards Inn, Bernardsville, New Jersey
If the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade isn’t how you want to spend your holiday, avoid the crowds with a trip to this Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel in New Jersey’s charming horse country. Expect to savor a meal as good as one you’d find in NYC — The Bernards Inn Restaurant’s executive chef, Corey Heyer, worked under Daniel Boulud at his namesake restaurant. Heyer will create a buffet featuring oven-roasted, organic turkey, along with beef, seafood and pasta dishes and an impressive dessert display. Or opt for his three-course prix-fixe dinner with pork osso buco, crispy day-boat cod, swordfish and more.
Trump International Hotel & Tower New York
For the quintessential Thanksgiving, you can’t beat New York City or the experience at Trump New York. With the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel’s Ultimate NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade Package, you and your loved ones are set up in an amenity-stuffed suite for two nights, given the chance to see parade balloons being blown up the day before the event and granted VIP views in front of the iconic hotel on the morning of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. To complete your ideal NYC getaway, the promotion also incudes skate tickets to Central Park’s Trump Rink and breakfast for four.
The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville
While the aroma of Southern-style green beans and roasted turkey will waft around Five-Star The Hermitage Hotel on November 26, things may be bittersweet at the property this year. Longtime chef Tyler Brown is departing at the end of October to begin a new culinary challenge on a 186-acre farm outside of Nashville. It’s a good thing he’s leaving the kitchen in the more-than-capable hands of a team focused on sustainability and serving the freshest local ingredients for Capital Grille’s annual Thanksgiving brunch. So, if you’ve visited The Hermitage on past holidays, fret not. The roasted sweet potatoes with pecan crumbles, baked Tennessee mac and cheese and molasses-drizzled Niman Ranch ham that you’re used to may be prepared with different hands but, trust us, they’ll have a familiar deliciousness.
Chateau Lafayette at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania
The Five-Star dining experience at Lautrec, located within Nemacolin, is alone worth booking a getaway to the Pennsylvania countryside — on Thanksgiving, partake in either a five- or seven-course dinner menu that will include sophisticated seasonal dishes like acorn squash soup, crispy pork belly and pecan pie served with purple sweet potato ice cream. But there’s also plenty of other things going on here, too, including a turkey trot, a holiday-themed family movie and elf tuck-ins for kiddos. Book a three-, four- or five-night package and you’ll get a resort credit to use any way you wish.
WaterColor Inn & Resort, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Contrary to popular belief, nowhere is it written that you have to don a sweater and long johns on Thanksgiving. Go where it’s sunny and 70 degrees in late November. Santa Rosa Beach’s WaterColor Inn & Resort makes for the perfect place for a little fun, food and football thanks to Thanksgiving at WaterColor, a package consisting of beachfront accommodations, a prix fixe holiday dinner for two at the Four-Star Fish Out of Water and usage of bicycles, canoes and kayaks during your stay. With the Mommy and Me Tea and Father and Son Flag Football action also on the itinerary, the resort manages to buck another myth, that the NFL is the only game in town on Turkey Day.
The Milestone Hotel, London
If you find yourself in London during the holiday, spend it at this boutique hotel. The Milestone will prepare Thanksgiving dinner at Cheneston’s Restaurant. Get a taste of home with truffled mac and cheese, barbecued ribs, cornbread and sausage stuffing and local turkey. The best part is that after you finish your pumpkin pie, you can carry on with American tradition, let the tryptophan take over and nap in one of The Milestone’s individually designed rooms (try the elegant Viscount Suite or the bold Harlequin Suite) or take advantage of your location and walk off the meal across the street in Kensington Gardens.
The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, Houston
Everything in Texas is bigger, right? Well that trope seems to be true when it comes to this Four-Star hotel’s Turkey Day event — the Grand Ballroom Thanksgiving Day Brunch. Held in a 6,000-square-foot space with floor-to-ceiling windows and huge chandeliers, the brunch will include a dizzying array of foods likely to satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your family. That means everything from gingerbread waffles with pear compote to lobster macaroni and cheese to herb-roasted turkey. There are also 23 different desserts on the menu, but why settle for anything less than gourmet pumpkin pie?
Weekapaug Inn or Ocean House, Coastal Rhode Island
One of our favorite fall destinations is New England, and Four-Star Weekapaug Inn on Quonochontaug Pond provides a picturesque Thanksgiving setting. Go to The Restaurant for a family-style spread that includes roasted turkey, ham bathed in birch beer, and smoked white fish rillettes. Or head a few miles down the road to its grand sister property, Ocean House, to enjoy a buffet (cider-brined pork loin, crab-stuffed sole, roasted butternut squash tortellini) in the ballroom or a more upscale affair in Five-Star Seasons (the four-course menu gives you a choice of Maine whitefish, beef rib duo or roasted turkey). Either way, be sure to stay through the weekend to attend Ocean House’s Christmas tree lighting on November 28. Carolers and Santa will be there to help kick off the holiday season.
The White Elephant, Nantucket
It may be the off-season, but Nantucket will teem with Thanksgiving activity. Of course, White Elephant’s casual-chic Brant Point Grill will serve a Thanksgiving buffet. But the celebration goes beyond food. Adventurous souls can take the Turkey Plunge on Children’s Beach Thanksgiving morning (your icy dip will benefit the local Weezie Library For Children). Or watch the frozen fun from your balcony or BPG’s covered deck. The next day, usher in the holidays at the Nantucket Noel. Main Street will be sealed off so that revelers can gather on the cobblestone road to hear carolers and watch more than 100 Christmas trees become illuminated. If you can’t snag accommodations at the Four-Star White Elephant, the historic Jared Coffin House has availability and will serve hot cider and cookies near its cozy library fireplace on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. And White Elephant Village offers a Weekend Package: Stay November 27 and 28 in a two-bedroom residence and get your own cocktail hour of holiday spirits and apps at BPG on either day.
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
At this Palm Springs resort, you can effortlessly eschew turkey and mashed potatoes in favor of palm trees and mountain views. The Holiday Escape Package, available through January 31, is appropriately simple, letting you choose your own adventure — you’ll get a $50 resort credit, overnight valet parking and it will include the daily resort fee. By day, hit one of three pools (one more glamorous than the next), the stunning spa or go for a hike near the Santa Rosa mountains. Come dinnertime on Turkey Day, head to the hotel’s The Edge Steakhouse for the meal you really want.
Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts
It might have a decidedly English air to it, but this Five-Star resort feels just right for a Thanksgiving holiday. Tucked away in the Berkshires, the Tudor estate is all dark paneling, warm crackling fires and cozy upholstered armchairs. Thanksgiving at Blantyre is a family-friendly affair that takes place between November 23 and 28 (there’s a three-night minimum). Book during this time and you’ll get breakfast every morning, see the lighting of a 105-foot Christmas tree, indulge in hot apple cider and more. Naturally there’s a formal three-course dinner on Turkey Day in Blantyre’s Downton Abbey-esque dining room.
Hotel Blackhawk, Davenport, Iowa
Hotel Blackhawk was opened in 1915 in Iowa’s Quad Cities, and while the building still honors its historic roots, its American restaurant Bix is warm, lively and thoroughly contemporary. Dine here for a sumptuous Thanksgiving Day feast with all the fixings — slow roasted turkey, hand-whipped potatoes, sweet potato casserole with caramelized brown sugar, and fresh garden sage dressing. After dinner, you can retire to one of the modern guest rooms or hit up the hotel’s in-house bowling alley to work off some of that stuffing.
Meadowood Napa Valley
When you and your significant other want a more private holiday instead of one filled with small talk and extended family, head straight to this Four-Star wine country retreat. The Great Thanksgiving Escape! package caters to couples with a Thanksgiving Day dinner, a $150 spa credit, a bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival, breakfast one morning and unlimited tennis, golf and croquet throughout the weekend. Opt for an Estate Suite for the romantic wood-burning fireplace and gorgeous views of the countryside.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club, Boca Grande, Florida
Fly south for a Thanksgiving with a tropical feel. At this historic Florida Gulf Coast hotel, you can indulge in a traditional feast, but its family-friendly Thanksgiving Package offers so much more. Nab deluxe accommodations and spend the holiday weekend under the sun learning sand sculpting from professionals, and playing beach games and football. The inn also will hold its annual Family Turkey Woggle, an all-ages 5K fun run/walk along Boca Grande’s bike path. Over the weekend, join in the Christmas Walk, when the village transforms into a holiday wonderland with festive décor, lit-up luminarias, local children’s artwork and Santa.