Decorating for the holiday season can be quite enjoyable, and luxury hotels love to get in on the fun. From show-stopping Christmas trees to fresh garlands to family-fun activities, here are five properties displaying noteworthy holiday spirit:
This Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel oozes classic New York City charm, and every holiday season its outdoor Christmas tree in the Madison Avenue Courtyard is a real treat. The property is currently undergoing a $120-million renovation, so extra care was taken to decorate the outdoor scaffolding with trellises, layers of green ivy and hundreds of twinkling white lights. Walk inside to be greeted by two more trees at the top of the lobby’s grand staircase, and find smaller trees throughout the rest of the hotel. The Palace used more than 1,700 ornaments, 350 feet of custom hand-spun garland, 61 miles of copper wire and 200,000 LED lights.
Head to the sprawling grounds of Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, to be wowed by the gorgeous decorations within its walls. The Four-Star Inn on Biltmore Estate welcomes guests with glowing trees, inside and out, and wreaths all around. Next door in Biltmore House, there’s a massive 35-foot-tall Fraser fir in the property’s banquet hall, a scene so grand you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to a castle to dine with royalty. If the main fir doesn’t satisfy your Christmas-tree cravings, take a tour of the estate to ogle 68 other trees filled with twinkling lights and festive ornaments, as well as miles of garland. Below the estate’s Conservatory, participate in daily craft sessions at A Gardener’s Place with wreath and tabletop decorating or head to Antler Hill Village on the weekends, when Santa Claus pays visits to hear kids’ Christmas wishes.
The team behind the hotel’s massive holiday display — most notably Andy Garcia, the hotel’s Director of Horticulture — met back in June to discuss plans for this year’s decorations in the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s conservatory and botanical gardens. Moveable elements were key this year — walk around the gardens to discover toy soldiers, snowflakes, polar bears and even a train with an attached webcam that’s hooked up to four TVs in the conservatory. If you stop by between 5 and 6 p.m. daily, you can listen to the cheery sounds of live holiday music. Fun fact from Garcia: Forty thousand carnations were used to create the polar bear family.
The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Colorado hotel is currently in the midst of its “12 Days of Christmas” festivities, from storytelling to gingerbread cookie decorating to ornament making. Walk around the property to discover a slew of holiday decorations, including a 27-foot-tall Christmas tree in the courtyard that’s adorned with 5,000 white lights, large white snowflakes and white globes. You’ll spot more trees throughout the property, including one in the Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE restaurant that’s decked out with apples, pears and grapes. Special fun for kids can be found in the hotel’s library, which has been converted into a “Santa Claus room” filled with more than 30 different Santas in various shapes and sizes. Little ones can nosh on milk and cookies in the room, too.
In honor of Tiffany & Co.’s 175th anniversary, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s annual Christmas tree was decorated by the iconic brand with the classic blue box. You’ll find various Tiffany boxes wrapped in red ribbon around the base of the tree in the hotel’s lobby, as well as smaller boxes serving as ornaments on the tree itself. Set beneath the massive glittering chandelier, the tree is truly a sight to be seen. For a bit of holiday cheer in the form of festive food, head to The Blvd, the hotel’s signature restaurant, for a special “Holiday Treasures” menu. Executive pastry chef Adam Thomas creates made-to-order desserts, such as four different kinds of Bûche de Noëls and chocolate treats like ginger truffles and holiday bark.
Photos Courtesy of The Biltmore Company, MGM Resorts International, The New York Palace and Four Seasons