Indulgent escapes to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year
Dreaming of a fabulous, fuss-free Christmas this year? These luxury hotels are pulling out all the stops to make the holiday season all the more magical – from festive afternoon tea and champagne brunches, to in-room trees and stockings filled with personalised treats.
1. Nimb Hotel, Copenhagen – Denmark
A stay at the Nimb Hotel is magical at any time of year, but particularly when Christmas is just around the corner. Behind the striking white marble façade which comes alive with seasonal light displays at night, you’ll find a relaxing haven of hygge. Many of the cosily kitted out rooms and suites come with a working fireplace for guests to gather round with hot chocolates in hand, and giant freestanding bathtubs to luxuriate in with soothing Scandi-brand Meraki bath bombs – all set to your festive tunes of choice from the in-room Bang & Olufsen speakers.
If you’re staying over a weekend during December, you’ll find an advent gift and hand-written notes in your room each Sunday – from a Danish gingerbread heart decorated with your name, to advent candles and traditional Danish fairytale books which little ones will love (as well as visits from Father Christmas on request) – while grown-ups can enjoy their own fairytale feel in the Nimb Bar, where creatively-crafted cocktails. For the icing on the home-from-home cake, a Christmas tree can magically appear in your room with stockings to hang, which can either be decorated by the hotel florist or by guests, with all the tinsel and trimmings provided. You’ll also have direct access to the iconic Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen’s popular amusement park which transforms into a winter wonderland of snow-dusted stalls, Nordic cabins, and fun-fair rides.
The ‘Christmas Festive Offer’ includes mulled wine or hot chocolate on arrival, a luxurious breakfast, an in-room Christmas tree with decorations, gifts, and stockings, Christmas Eve dinner, and Christmas Day brunch.
2. Castello di Reschio, Umbria – Italy
Huddled amidst an undulating landscape of green hills lined with cypress trees, Castello di Reschio is a one-thousand-year-old castle turned heavenly hotel. Chestnuts roast on open fires, enormous trees stand throughout the castle decorated by the Bolza family, countless candles are lit, and the sweet fragrance of pine cones fills the crisp air. The choir rehearses Christmas carols in the Reschio chapel, while chefs prepare for lavish feasts that will leave you lingering at the table with friends and family, before long walks through the forests, crunching over dried leaves and keeping an eye out for the fallow deer, wild boar and hares which roam the estate.
Images courtesy of @reschio
As Christmas Day draws to a close, gather before blazing log fires to play chess, scrabble, charades or just sit back listening to the tinkling piano in the Palm Court as cocktail shakers signal the preparation of aperitivi. There will be a candle lit procession to Christmas Day mass, traditional festive meals aplenty, as well as a signature Reschio activity – such as a house massage or olive oil tasting.
Kindly note that the festive packages at Castello di Reschio must be booked by the 15th December 2022.
3. Homewood, Bath – England
The rolling hills of Somerset form a glorious backdrop to the eclectic, colourful, and luxurious Georgian country house that is Homewood. Hunker down within its honeyed stone walls this holiday season with a three-night escape to the country, as you’re greeted with mulled wine and festive treats on arrival, whisked into a cookie-making workshop with Executive Chef Jamie, and knock back champagne, canapés, and three-course meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The festive fun doesn’t stop there though…join a treasure hunt on Christmas Day through the charming village of Freshford, followed by falconry, axe-throwing, and archery after a lazy Boxing Day brunch.
There is a dizzying display of festive dining options at Homewood – including special seasonal pop-ups – from the festive cabin and chalet festooned with foliage and scattered with faux furs, to the outdoor dining domes and winter terrace. Stay on a little longer to see in the New Year in style with a five-course feast, cream tea by the fireplace, midnight bubbles, and live music.
Kindly note that a 50% deposit is required at the time of booking, and the non-refundable remaining balance is due on 1st December 2022.
4. Grove of Narberth, Pembrokeshire – Wales
Hidden in the rolling Narberth hills, surrounded by meadows, woodland and mature gardens, the Grove of Narberth sets the scene for a magical stay. The warmest of Welsh welcomes awaits you here, as you settle in to one of 25 heritage-inspired rooms and suites (six of which are dog-friendly) spread across the main house, or make yourself at home in one of the three charming cottages nestled within the hotel’s grounds, each individually designed with an artisan feel.
Time your visit for the Grove’s wreath-making workshop on Saturday 3rd December, where you’ll learn how to create an impressive centrepiece using natural foliage and woodland materials, then tuck into mince pies and mulled wine in the cosy lounge. Or go all out and book the New Year’s Eve dinner, for fireside champagne and canapés followed by five fabulous courses prepared by Executive Head Chef, Douglas Balish, ending with a fireworks display.
The Christmas Package includes a Welsh country breakfast each morning, festive tea and cakes every afternoon, a pre-dinner drink before every evening meal, festive dinner on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, Christmas Day lunch and a buffet dinner on Christmas Day evening. The New Year’s Eve package includes a Welsh country breakfast each morning, dinner on the 30th December and 1st January, gala dinner and a glass of champagne at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
5. La Sultana Marrakech, Marrakech – Morocco
Home to the largest rooftop terrace within the UNESCO-protected medina of Marrakech, La Sultana Marrakech is the perfect place for festivities with an exotic backdrop aglow with colourful lanterns. When you’re not unwinding by the candlelit pool or in the Argan-infused spa, there is an action-packed programme of seasonal activities to make the most of – from hot air ballooning over the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, to stargazing, saffron picking, and bread making using ‘straight from the souk’ ingredients.
Sit down to a spectacular spread on Christmas Eve with a Moroccan storyteller, or enjoy live music and opera singing on New Year’s Eve which accompanies the riad’s ‘100% Terroir’ celebratory menu with homemade, plant-based dishes.
The Christmas & New Year Gift Package (three-night minimum stay in December 2022) includes breakfast, a complimentary room upgrade, a signature cocktail, a rooftop lunch, and a 50-minute massage.
6. Cromlix, Stirling – Scotland
In a lovely setting surrounded by 34 acres of woodland and gardens in the rolling hills of the Perthshire countryside, rooms at Cromlix are named after great Scots from the past and present and come with spellbinding country views. Celebrate a traditional Scottish Christmas with a three-day break in Perthshire, arriving on Christmas Eve to tea and scones, before enjoying a hearty three-course dinner in the famed Chez Roux restaurant – save room for warm mince pies and mulled wine in the drawing room afterwards. Christmas lunch is served throughout the afternoon on the 25th December, plus an evening buffet of festive treats, and you can walk off the indulgence around the picturesque estate or try your hand at archery and clay pigeon shooting on Boxing Day.
7. DUKES LONDON, London – England
Get into the holiday spirit in the twinkling English capital at DUKES LONDON, a red brick Victorian townhouse in stylish St. James. If you’re planning to stay in December, the ‘Festive Escape’ package includes a festive afternoon tea with a glass of champagne and mulled wine, while the ‘Ultimate Christmas Break’ offer is a two-day extravaganza over the 24th – 25th December – expect hot chocolate, mince pies, warm milk and cookies for children at bedtime, a decadent dining menu featuring Norfolk Bronze Turkey Ballotine with all the trimmings, and midnight mass in St. James’s Church. Welcome in the New Year with the hotel’s resident bagpiper, before joining the countdown celebrations in the cheerfully decorated courtyard.
8. Hôtel Crillon le Brave, Provence – France
Though the lavender might have faded from the fields, Provence takes on a cosy sort of charm around Christmas where time seems to slow down and you can really savour the festive season. Overlooking vineyards and sprawling farmland from its hilltop position, Hôtel Crillon le Brave commands some of the best views of Mont Ventoux – beaten only by those you’ll enjoy from the seat of a bicycle (Christmas Day bike ride anyone?)
Individually decorated rooms and suites are a carefully curated mix of natural materials, antique furniture, and muted colours, while a smattering of locally made ceramics here, a sprinkling of dried lavender bouquets there creates an unmistakably Provençal ambience. Open for a small yet special window from the 23rd December 2022 – 2nd January 2023, Hôtel Crillon le Brave is giving guests a true taste of Provence with a festive menu at La Table du Ventoux, where Chef Adrien Brunet elevates local produce with handpicked herbs from the poolside garden, including Christmas fowl with truffle and glazed salsify.
9. Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire – England
Nestled in rural Wiltshire, Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa is a 19th century manor filled with luxurious creature comforts. Every detail in this honey-stone haven is inviting – think rolltop baths, sink-into-sofas and wraparound views. The three-night Christmas break package kicks off with cocktails on arrival, before a series of festive feasts begin – eat your way through the three-course dinner on Christmas Eve, a mimosa breakfast on Christmas morning followed by a four-course lunch, a late-night banquet and tipples, ending with afternoon tea and a five-course gala dinner on Boxing Day accompanied by live jazz music.
Stay for the New Year’s Eve house party to raid the impressively-stocked drinks trolley, and join the champagne toast at midnight for an unforgettable end to the year. Groups of up to eight guests can tuck into seasonal treats like Christmas rocky road and poached pear trifle in the outdoor dining domes for a cosy meal beneath the stars.
10. Severin’s – The Alpine Retreat, Lech – Austria
From the design to the whatever-your-whim service, Severin’s The Alpine Retreat offers picture-perfect privacy while being just a short ski-lift ride from the world-class pistes of Lech and St Anton. This winter, the luxury lodge is inviting guests into the kitchen for Christmas baking workshops with renowned author and dessert queen Véronique Witzigmann, including a signed copy of her popular book Véronique‘s Little Classics to take home with you as a souvenir of your stay. To get a more savoury taste of Austria, Severin’s also hosts fondue nights in the charming hut Älpele which you’ll reach by private snowmobile.