If you want to celebrate the season, visit a hotel. Properties all over the world are spreading good cheer through offerings like holiday lights e-bike tours, exclusive shopping from your hotel suite, a ski mountain you can have to yourself and festive culinary pop-ups.
Start a new holiday tradition with these fun hotel wintertime activities:
Skate in Chicago’s Sky Rink
For the 10th year, The Peninsula Chicago unveiled its Sky Rink, the only hotel skating rink in Chicago. Glide on the ice among the downtown skyscrapers and pine trees while festive tunes and snowflake lighting make the mood merry.
See Scuba Santa
Beginning December 18, visit Atlantis, The Palm’s Lost Chambers Aquarium to glimpse Scuba Santa diving and spreading cheer among 65,000 marine creatures. Stay close to the water at the family film festival of holiday movies under the stars at the Royal Beach.
Claim Your Own Ski Mountain
Wyoming’s Brush Creek Ranch, home to Five-Star Magee Homestead, boasts a private retreat called Green Mountain. Up to 18 guests can zip through Green Mountain’s 600 acres of downhill ski trails, including three new gladed runs — or have it all to yourself. It includes Snowcat transfers, instruction, lunch and après-ski.
Shop from Your London Hotel Suite
Shop Harvey Nichols without leaving your suite at The Lanesborough. Before your stay at the London hotel, a dedicated private shopping consultant from the department store will discover your exact needs and curate a selection of goods accordingly. The consultant will then present them to you in your suite as your butler pours you champagne.
Sip Drinks from Cocktail Trailblazers
Pioneering NYC cocktail purveyors Employees Only will shake things up at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort during a pop-up Dec. 28 to 31. EO will use local ingredients — some grown at the Maui hotel — for the libations and offer mixology workshops.
Golf in the Ocean
Find a one-of-a-kind driving range on a Los Cabos beach. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort’s sustainable wintertime golf pop-up allows players to hit balls from the sand into the sea. When the biodegradable balls land in the water, they reveal fish food.
Try a New Après-Ski Hot Spot
A new Park City après-ski hot spot debuts by Christmas: The St. Regis Deer Valley’s Vintage Room. Visit the clear-walled, heated 1,600-square-foot slopeside structure with vaulted ceilings to nosh on clams, oysters, snow crab legs and rock crab claws and tipple The Poe, the hotel’s pumpkin-infused take on the hot toddy.
Shop Like a VIP in Paris
Hotel Lutetia’s Festive Shopping experience brings you to Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, the world’s first department store, for a welcome in its VIP private salons. You’ll receive an on-demand personal shopper, a US$269 gift card, a Le Bon Marché scented candle more.
Take a Holiday Lights E-Bike Tour
Pedal around California’s picturesque Dana Point Harbor during a holiday e-bike tour organized by Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club and local tour company Expert Active. See festive light displays during the leisurely two-hour nighttime ride and then return to the hotel’s secluded Beach Club for a Veuve Clicquot Tasting Experience.
Watch Love Actually Live
Fans of the holiday rom-com Love Actually will want to check into L’Ermitage Beverly Hills. The hotel will send you to the Wallis to see Love Actually Live, a multimedia theatrical performance, and you’ll receive an autographed playbill as a souvenir.
Witness a Junkanoo
Experience a Junkanoo (Dec. 23-27), a Bahamian holiday carnival parade, at Baha Mar, a resort that includes Rosewood Baha Mar. The parade is an onslaught of rhythmic music, bright costumes and exuberant dancing. Also, check out the resort’s Holiday Flamingo Parades (Dec. 18-25) to see the Bahamas’ national bird.
Toast the Season with Cognac
All winter, Mandarin Oriental, Paris’ Bar 8 terrace will host a Martell cognac pop-up bar. The bar, whose design was inspired by cognac barrels, will serve cocktails in the covered, heated garden. Come Dec. 16 for a gospel concert and New Year’s Eve for a DJ.
Eat in a Cozy Cabin in London
You’ll feel like you’re in the mountains when you step into The Berkeley’s winter cabins. Lanterns, candles, wreaths, fairy lights and fir trees give the five heated wooden cabins an alpine feel. It’s just the setting for some indulgent, warming fondue or raclette.
Pamper Yourself at the Spa
Get ready for the holiday season at Four Seasons Hotel Austin’s spa. The Peppermint Facial soothes dry, winter-worn skin. The Fire & Ice Massage employs cooling wintergreen and hot stones. For jolly pampering, opt for After-Hours at The Spa, where you get the facilities all to yourself for the night, complete with an 80-minute treatment and a visit from the margarita cart.
Find a Swiss Chalet in D.C.
While you may not be hitting the slopes in D.C., you can après-ski at Conrad Washington, DC’s Swiss chalet at its rooftop restaurant. Slip under a blanket and enjoy alpine cuisine, pours from female winemakers, winter beers from local breweries and more.
Join a Christmas Eve 5K
Work up an appetite for your Christmas Eve feast at Montage Palmetto Bluff’s Jingle Bell Jog. You’re encouraged to don gay apparel for the morning 5K in Hilton Head and to bring your dog. All proceeds go to the Hilton Head Humane Association.
Snowshoe to a Champagne Chalet
Embark on a guided snowshoe expedition across Edgewood Tahoe’s golf course to the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Chalet. The rustic wooden hut and bar with outdoor seating will reward your efforts with complimentary hot cocoa, popcorn and, of course, a glass of bubbly.
Learn to Make a Wreath
Decorate your home for the season after taking a wreath-making workshop at Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection on Dec. 18. The Napa hotel will have Christina Yan, a contestant on HBO’s Full Bloom floral competition show and a Bay Area local, lead the craft class.
Warm Up in a Glass Igloo
Celebrate the season among skyscrapers at The Peninsula New York’s 23rd-floor rooftop Chalet de Ning. Stay toasty in the two chalet-inspired glass igloos with fur throws while sipping libations, savoring cuisine inspired by Switzerland’s Engadine region and soaking in the wintry scene outside.
Attend a Holiday Festival in the Desert
Sedona’s Enchantment Resort is throwing its first Holiday Festival. Through December, the hotel will offer a slate of activities, including caroling performances, ice skating, tea with Santa, storytime with Mrs. Claus, a s’mores bar, holiday cooking classes, wine experiences and more.
Dine in a Gondola
Ocean House’s pop-up Gondola Village is a wintertime tradition, where the Watch Hill, Rhode Island, hotel decks out three gondolas for charming private meals. This year, French fare like Brie flambé and beef Bourguignon is on the menu, and there are new seatings: Après-Ski, a cocktail hour with light bites, and Celebration du Soleil, a fireside gathering with gourmet snacks and champagne at sunset.
See Scout Elves in Fort Lauderdale
Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach’s new Elf on the Shelf butler will create elaborate in-suite elf displays that will delight little ones. Kids also can dial the hotel’s North Pole hotline for a complimentary video chat with Santa on New Year’s Eve from their suite.
Embark on Winter Adventures
Get your heart pumping at The Ranch at Rock Creek with activities like downhill skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing, ice skating, hockey, horseback riding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, sledding and sleigh rides, all of which are included with a stay at the luxury Montana ranch.
Reenergize Yourself in St. Martin
Start 2022 on a positive note by participating in La Samanna, A Belmond Hotel, St Martin’s energy healing offerings. Wellness expert and healer Christine Caruso will lead complimentary classes on kundalini meditation, breathing and sound healing, and sacred stone activation, a kinetic experience that moves energy along with the elements.
Go from the City to the Slopes
Get two trips in one nicely wrapped Northern California getaway. First, visit The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco for a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping spree, a wine and caviar tasting at JCB Tasting Lounge and tickets to acrobatics show Dear San Francisco. Then you’ll fly a private jet to The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, where the journey continues with a private chef’s table experience at Manzanita and ski-in/ski-out fun.
Get a Holiday Haiku
Check into the new Pendry Manhattan West in December and receive a winter warmer —a spiked hot toddy or spiked hot chocolate — as your welcome drink. Linger in the lobby for on-demand poet Marshall James Kavanaugh, who will write you a personalized, holiday-themed haiku that will be printed on a typewriter (Dec. 18).
Have a Yurt Feast
Retreat to The Chanler at Cliff Walk to feast in luxury yurts. The Newport, Rhode Island, boutique hotel’s inviting yurts, which seat up to five, have a Scandinavian aesthetic to match the Scandinavian-inspired holiday meal prepared by executive chef Jacob Jasinksi.
Shop in San Francisco
Pick up holiday gifts while staying at The St. Regis San Francisco. The hotel’s Bloomingdale’s Shopping Package includes a recently redesigned guest room, a $100 Bloomie’s gift certificate, a 15 savings card, a personal shopper styling session and Bloomingdale’s travel accessories, including shoe bags, a luggage tag and a garment bag.
Head Out on a Hike
Welcome the season with a Winter Solstice Hike at Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The Dec. 21 guided nature trek ambles through plant trails and stops at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, which curates exhibits on the peninsula and the local Pacific gray whale.
Try Yoga and Set Intentions
Usher in the winter solstice at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole. The hotel’s spa will hold two restorative yoga and intention-setting sessions on Dec. 21. The yoga will focus on slow, mindful poses. Afterward, set intentions fireside with a complimentary wassail, a warming drink.
Meet with Santa
Kids can hitch a wagon ride at Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, to visit Santa’s workshop for a socially distanced photo op with St. Nicholas (Dec. 12, 19, 23 and 24). They’ll also do a festive craft, enjoy s’mores and hot chocolate and get a stuffed animal.
Do Dinner and a Holiday Show
For more than 25 years, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs has put on The Broadmoor Holiday Show. This year, Grammy winner Sheena Easton, Broadway’s Marcus Lovett, Colorado songwriter Jim Salestrom, the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale and Ken Miller and the Broadmoor Pops Orchestra will star in the dinner show (Dec. 17-19, 24 and 26).
Sip a Winter Warmer
After hitting the slopes, refuel at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler’s vintage camper. Roast your own s’mores at the firepit and order a Tipsy Snowman, a hot chocolate spiked with Baileys, peppermint schnapps, Disaronno or whatever you crave and topped with a sprawled-out marshmallow snowman. Kids get complimentary hot cocoa and cookies (daily 2-4 p.m.).
Become a Gingerbread Master
Through Christmas Eve, The Ritz-Carlton, Doha will host Gingerbread House Masterclasses. Let little ones decorate an edible home then hit the Lobby Lounge’s Hot Chocolate Treat, a spread that includes a hot cocoa station, a chocolate fountain, pastries and more chocolate.