Celebrating Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean sitting through another snooze-inducing dinner or eating grocery store pumpkin pie. This year, ditch the usual and order up a dish of the exceptional — we found the top happenings at upscale hotels all across the country that will make you want to break with tradition for good. Feast on these five properties that will have you longing to start a new Turkey Day ritual.
At first glance, you might not consider a Mediterranean-style resort in San Diego as a hot spot for Thanksgiving celebrations, but the holiday at this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel features outdoor games (think traditional sack races) and fun contests for families from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are also lavish dinners at two different restaurants on the big day. Those dining at the more casual Amaya (12:30 to 8 p.m.) can polish off a three-course fall tasting menu of items such as seared sea bass and beef tenderloin, while those at the Five-Star Addison (3 to 8 p.m.) will dine on a seven-course meal that includes ricotta gnocchi and salt-roasted turkey.
Astor Court is like a home away from home (albeit a super-luxurious one) where you can dig in to a bountiful Thanksgiving dinner buffet from 5 to 8 p.m. The elegant space on the mezzanine level of the Four-Star hotel is warm and inviting enough for you to feel at ease — cushy sofas, roaring fireplaces — while dining on traditional favorites like lobster bisque, chicken apple salad, roasted turkey and sweet potato cheesecake, as well as a few surprises (sushi!). Work off the extra calories at the hotel’s outdoor skating rink, which will be open through Jan. 5.
This gorgeous waterfront spot proves Nantucket isn’t just for summering — the historic hotel will host a Thanksgiving feast at its restaurant Brant Point Grill, unofficially known as BPG. Book a table with views of Nantucket Harbor between noon and 8 p.m. to gobble up eats such as tenderloin, leg of lamb, vegetables, desserts and, of course, savory turkey with dressing and gravy. Got children in tow? They’ll like the Kid’s Corner, which features perennial youth-approved items, such as an ice cream cart.
There’s nothing more quintessentially American than watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the morning of the holiday. Take advantage of the Five-Star hotel’s stellar location along the parade route by watching the 87th annual event from a special-access viewing spot right in front of the hotel. If you’re hungry for something a bit more private on Nov. 28, book one of the limited number of suites and guest rooms with spectacular sightlines of Snoopy and the rest of the balloons. A three-night minimum is required to book.
Besides giving thanks for the treatments at the majestic Five-Star Kohler Waters Spa, you can break bread at one of four restaurants at this Wisconsin resort. The Immigrant Restaurant, the hotel’s Four-Star gem, hosts a five-course Thanksgiving tasting menu — wild mushroom soup, duck breast and foie gras highlight the menu — from 4 to 8 p.m. Turkey Day spreads also will be laid out at three other spots with festive selections: The Wisconsin Room (Niman Ranch prime rib with au jus), Blackwolf Run (salmon in puff pastry) and Grand Hall on the Great Lakes (bacon-wrapped pork loin).
Photos Courtesy of The Grand Del Mar and The St. Regis Atlanta