A festive getaway requires something extra special: a home away from home, but with added sparkle.
It may have a room with a view, perhaps a welcome cocktail or two.
A city center gem, a short walk from the sights. Something to set the heart alight.
Lavish multi-course dinners and a comfortable bed in a suite. A trip to the spa, for a special holiday treat.
These five European hotels should certainly do the trick. They’ve got some jolly good packages, so you best get in quick.
St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel
This neo-gothic Four-Star beauty is a resplendent spot to take in some holiday fun — and there’s plenty to choose from with this year’s lineup.
Will it be the Veuve Clicquot pop-up winter terrace out front, serving champagne by the coupe from an Airstream bar, amid Christmas trees and carol singers?
Perhaps, it’s the five-course feast on the big day itself that will feature an array of savory and sweet dishes (slow-braised pork belly, beetroot tarte tatin, venison Wellington and St Pancras Christmas pudding) to choose from?
Or will you go all-out glamour on New Year’s Eve, when the Booking Office is transformed into a Victorian Moulin Rouge with a live jazz band and champagne dinner?
Whatever you choose, settle in for the night and put on your dancing shoes, safe in the knowledge that a comfortable suite is but a sweeping staircase away.
With direct access to the Eurostar railway platform, you could easily check out after breakfast and be on to the next destination with no worries.
This newly refurbished city center hotel is a fine choice for a Dublin winter escape. Well-perched in the heart of Ireland’s capital, the Conrad is just a short walk from leafy St Stephen’s Green, the lively Temple Bar, Grafton Street shopping, pretty Ha’penny Bridge over the River Liffey and a multitude of traditional pubs. Though with a restaurant, bar and pub onsite, you’d be forgiven for holing up at the cozy property for the duration of your stay.
There are festive offers available throughout the month, but the Unforgettable Christmas package definitely makes our wish list. This two-night stay begins on Christmas Eve and ensures you’ll be well-entertained and fed through December 26. Expect mulled wine and mince pies on arrival, inventive cocktails at the Gulliver’s Travels-themed Lemuel’s (named for the famous fictional explorer); a Christmas Day breakfast; and an elaborate dinner at The Coburg brasserie, where Santa will be handing out gifts to the little ones.
El Palace Barcelona
Even the biggest Scrooge couldn’t fail to be cheered by a Christmas carol concert, especially one performed by the storied Escolanía de Montserrat Boys’ Choir. The celebrated chorus is made up of 50 young men, raising funds for a noble cause (Casa Guadalupe Association, a charity that supports pregnant women living in poverty) with a spirited performance that culminates in late-night cocktails and dinner.
The one-night event (December 20) will be held at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Barcelona hotel. The centrally located, marble-decked abode oozes Old World glamour with 120 regally decorated guest rooms, a rooftop garden and a pool with panoramic views (including a telescope pointed toward Gaudí’s architectural spectacle, Sagrada Familia).
If you can’t make the concert, there are other special dinners on December 24, 25 and 31, as well as a New Year’s Day brunch on January 1.
This family friendly Four-Star stay has first impressions down to a fine art, with a grand Edwardian entrance that leads into a vast courtyard that’s a world away from the traffic- and pedestrian-heavy High Holborn it sits off of. Decked out in festive decorations, this London hotel is a magical place to visit over the holidays, with a suite special for those looking to take their visit to another level.
But the merriment and bright mood aren’t limited to the hotel’s interior. Daily between 5 and 9 p.m. through December 31, the property’s striking façade will illuminate with the story of a child’s Christmas wish, created by Samsung, as part of Rosewood’s Mini Wishes campaign to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Inside, the festivities unfold through the Monkey 47 Winter Lodge, where hot and cold gin cocktails are served by Belstaff-clad staff in an elegant re-imagining of Germany’s Black Forest.
Christmas Day is marked with a multi-course feast, while a New Year’s Eve fireworks display sets the sky alight as the clock strikes midnight.
The Peninsula Paris
What better place for a seasonal sojourn than the city of light, love and fine cheese? Book a stay in this Five-Star stunner and you’ll be moments from the Arc de Triomphe and other iconic sights, while enjoying the splendor of some of Paris’ largest guest rooms.
Through the holidays, the hotel will serve a Christmas afternoon tea (with a portion of proceeds donated to the Make-A-Wish charity), deliver festive brunches at Le Lobby and offer a pop-up Christmas market at La Terrasse Kléber. The latter takes place on a rooftop garden with views of the Eiffel Tower and comes completes with gift shopping, a giant advent calendar for the children to open and a sweet chalet for some French crêpes.
For an extra special indulgence, The Peninsula’s Four-Star spa has a seasonal selection of treatments to try. We particularly like the sound of the Winter Sun Massage, which combines cinnamon, warm oil and hot stones — perfect to combat the frigid temperatures the city traditionally experiences this time of the year.