Whether you plan to do some last-minute shopping or simply need to decompress before your family floods your home, staying at an urban hotel just may be exactly what you need to make it through the holidays. Some are decked out with enormous Christmas trees in the lobby and others offer gift cards to ease the pain, but they’re all sure to get you in the yuletide spirit. We’ve made our list — and even checked it twice — of downtown hotels that are calling your name for a few days this season.
This Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel is really getting into the festivities this year. From December 11 to 22, catch It’s A Wonderful Life – A Live Radio Play in the Promenade Ballroom, and relive the classic Christmas tale. While enjoying the play (daily performances at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.), you’ll savor a three-course meal of delicious wintertime dishes. Lunch kicks off with butternut squash soup that’s sure to warm you up (even on a harsh December day in Minnesota), while dinner begins with a mixed greens salad with roasted beets, hazelnuts, feta and blood orange vinaigrette. Both meals share a main course of roasted pork loin stuffed with chicken mousse and served with apricot mostarda, soft polenta, roasted carrots and parsnips, and veal demiglace. Finish off lunch and dinner with a toffee blondie topped with warm bourbon vanilla sauce. Tickets are $65 per person for the lunch performance and $79 for the evening.
Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
Escape to the nation’s capital this season and you’ll be rewarded when you stay at this Four-Star gem. Book Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.’s “Your Home for the Holidays” package (available November 22 through December 29) for a relaxing retreat. The offer includes a holiday-themed amenity (cookies, festively wrapped chocolates and hot cider), two complimentary glasses of sommelier-selected champagne or wine at Empress Lounge, overnight valet parking (quite a treat in D.C.), a 110-minute holiday spa treatment that includes a hydrating Moroccan oil scalp massage and soothing back massage, and a pastry gift upon departure (imagine small tarts, macarons and bags of cookies). Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. also gets into the spirit of things with its massive Christmas tree in the lobby. Be sure to enjoy afternoon tea at Empress Lounge and soak up the view of the gardens, or, after December 2, grab a meal at the hotel’s newest eatery, Muze, and enjoy the panoramas of the Washington Marina.
Book the Retail Therapy package at this Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel and you’ll be well on your way finishing up that shopping for loved ones. The offer includes a stay in one of the 610 contemporary rooms, a $100 Macy’s gift card and a $70 breakfast credit for two that’s valid for in-room dining or at The Florentine, the hotel’s signature restaurant. Once you’ve checked in and received your gift card, head straight to Macy’s on State Street for a quintessential Chicago shopping spree. It’s one of the largest department stores in the world, so we have a feeling you’ll find something for just about everyone. If you’ve already done all your shopping, book the Broadway Bound package, which includes accommodations, prix-fixe “Teatro Trio” dinner at The Florentine before the show, two complimentary Gold Record cocktails in the Lobby Lounge and an Uber gift card to use to and from the show. Current shows include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at Broadway Playhouse (through December 29) and Elf at Cadillac Palace Theatre (November 26 through December 15).
The holidays are all about spending time with the whole gang, and what better way to do that than with the “Family Moments” package at this New York City hotel? Book this deal (valid through December 31) and you’ll snag breakfast for up to three guests per room (or four, if you’re staying in a suite), unlimited in-room movies and tickets to one of the city’s must-see attractions — Empire State Building, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park Zoo or American Museum of Natural History. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel sits on the posh Upper East Side, within a few blocks of Central Park and surrounded by fantastic shopping on Madison Avenue. And if that holiday movie marathon in the room isn’t quite doing the trick, just wander down Fifth Avenue and you’re sure to get in the holiday spirit. Or if you need a couple hours sans kids, make a reservation at The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges for a romantic, market-driven meal with a French twist.
It may not be a white Christmas, but the luxury Midtown hotel is definitely celebrating. Head to the Five-Star Atlanta property’s Park 75 Lounge between December 12 and 23 for a spirited treat. Back by popular demand, “The 12 Days of Cocktails” stars a new, festively flavored libation each day. The drinks are crafted to highlight the season’s best ingredients (think cinnamon, peppermint and apples) and boast holiday-themed names. On the first day, you’ll find A Partridge in An Apple Tree, which is a blend of Bacardi rum, spiced apple juice, lemon juice and housemade wormwood bitters, and topped with an apple chip. Come back on the third day and you’ll be sipping The North Pole, the lounge’s take on a Moscow Mule with Tito’s vodka, peppermint syrup and ginger beer. Keeping with the yuletide theme, Miracle on 14th Street (a nod to the hotel’s location) is day nine’s cocktail — it’s a mix of Grand Marnier, Chambord, champagne and fresh mint. Finally, ending on the only appropriate note is Feliz Navidad (traditional eggnog with bourbon, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg). All of the cocktails are $12 each.
Photos Courtesy of The Mark and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group LLC