High-end hotels know a thing or two about how to celebrate the holidays. And while we’d be happy to merely fawn over their elaborate décor, we’re even more interested in their festive culinary offerings.
Sweet, savory and everything in between, the delectable, holiday-themed eats at the following seven hotels are reason enough to love this time of year.
The St. Regis Atlanta
Treat your kids to some up-close-and-personal time with Kris Kringle at Atlanta’s Four-Star jewel during its annual Tea with Santa, just one of the many popular yuletide traditions at the hotel.
Sip ballet-inspired blends from Canadian teamaker Tealeaves (Nutcracker and Organic Sugar Plum Fairy are both magical options) and savor scrumptious snacks for young guests (a s’mores station) and adults — more sophisticated eats include a pistachio and raspberry financier, and double chocolate and peppermint gateaux.
The highlight of this holiday classic is a meet and greet with Santa as he travels through Astor Court, sitting at each table along the way.
The dark cocoa sculpture will consist of Old Saint Nick sitting on a stool surrounded by snowmen, Christmas trees and, of course, elves. Snap a few family photos with the impressive treat in the hotel lobby through December 27.
If you’re tempted to take a bite, make a reservation for the Holiday High Tea to indulge in mini pastries, tea cakes and custards while overlooking the lovely Palm Courtyard.
Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel)
When you work up an appetite shopping along Rodeo Drive, pop into the lobby of this Four-Star hotel just off the famed retail boulevard.
Seasonal sights and smells permeate the lobby, where you’ll find a 12-foot-tall gingerbread man created by the hotel’s executive pastry chef, Chris Ford, alongside a charming holiday pop-up desk selling whimsical treats like crackable golden chocolate gingerbread with a surprise inside (a mallet is included to help you get to the gingerbread man’s treasure).
For something that feels a little more L.A., head to the hotel’s famed outdoor patio for Dom Pèrignon (by the glass or bottle), spiked hot cocoa and gingerbread doughnuts.
Once you’ve had your fill of jolly bites, take the perfect holiday photo during the nightly snowfall in the property’s porte cochère that takes place every 15 minutes between 5 and 7 p.m. through January 2.
The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
You can snack on holiday goodies all season long, but have you ever dined inside one? At this Four-Star Fort Lauderdale resort, not only can you snap adorable selfies with the life-sized gingerbread house in the lobby, but you can also book a table for breakfast, brunch or dinner inside the 200-square-foot confection.
Reserve the hotel’s Holly Jolly: A Gingerbread Dining Experience before December 23 to bask in a 2.5-hour family-style meal from Burlock Coast seafood restaurant and a visit from Santa with photo opportunities and gifts for kiddos, too.
The Langham, Chicago
If you’re looking for an exceptionally luxurious holiday treat this year, reserve a table for Wonderland Tea With Wedgewood at Chicago’s Five-Star riverside stunner, running through January 6.
The jovial décor is as elegant (and decadent) as the service itself. Nibble on seasonally inspired dishes, such as smoked duck breast, Greek yogurt and cherry chutney sandwich; a milk-chocolate-spice scone; and desserts like gingerbread cookies with white chocolate ganache.
For those who prefer a little extra punch, champagne is available by the glass and in a Nutcracker-themed tipple. Order the Sugar Plum Fairy to sip on a magical concoction of elderflower, pomegranate and prosecco.
You’ll have to decide between two limited-edition creations from the city-center hotel’s executive chef Jérôme Banctel and head pastry chef Adrien Salavert: Opt for a festive gold-icing-coated yule log stuffed with a champagne-and-exotic-fruit-infused filling or go for the traditional French holiday tart, galette des rois, shaped like a four-leaf clover.
These goodies, which need to be ordered in advance, are packaged to go, but what’s the harm in dining at the property’s celebrated restaurant Le Gabriel while you’re there?
For little ones, the resort has elf cookie delivery, in-room gingerbread house kits and a festive morning feast with Santa himself on December 15. Children will get the chance to talk to the big man about their Christmas lists and even meet some of his reindeer over a buffet breakfast.
Grown-ups will appreciate the epic seven-course meal (available December 19 to 23) at Olivella, the resort’s Four-Star Italian restaurant. The dinner will emulate the traditional Feast of Seven Fishes that focuses on — you guessed it — seafood galore.