We are just a few weeks away from the holiday season, and if like us, you love travelling in November and December, there’s no place like a hotel in a giving mood to enjoy snow days and cuddling up with loved ones by a fireplace.
Think guaranteed rooms upgrades, spa credit and complimentary holiday-inspired afternoon teas that you can tuck into after a day spent gift shopping. From European classics like London and Milan to Asian cities and winter wonderlands like St Petersburg, here are some hotels worth the price of a plane ticket to get in the Christmas spirit this year.
Our Dorchester Collection Hotels
Let’s start the list with a bang…or in this case, a collection of hotels, rather one. This holiday season, check into any of the Dorchester Collection’s 9 iconic hotels, and get a room upgrade, a benefit reserved to our club members. In London, you have The Dorchester, and the hotel’s younger sister across the road, the 45 Park Lane. In Milan, the Hotel Principe di Savoia is the most glorious grande dame of the city, while Rome has the Hotel Eden, a lesson in classic Italian luxury and flawless service.
Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice
If Venice is gloriously romantic in summer, come November and December, the city of canals and bridges gets downright seductive. Think Venetians in fur coats and hats reclaiming their piazzas, fog rolling over the islands and shoppers carrying bags of chestnut. And the Baglioni Hotel Luna, just a short walk from the Piazza San Marco gets that, offering our travelers a guaranteed room upgrade for stays from October 22 to February 13.
Conservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam
Amsterdam makes for a great visit any time of year, sure, but there is no denying the city gets exceptionally magical during the holiday season. For a start, from the last week of November to the end of January, there is a citywide light festival that happens. Then, of course, there is ice skating on the canals, and if the temperature does not drop low enough for the city’s canals to freeze over, you can always count on its numerous ice rinks to pick up the slack.
Booking your flight yet? If so, the place you want to set up shop is the Conservatorium Hotel, offering our club members guaranteed room upgrades from October 1 to March 31.
Shangri-La Hotel, Paris
In the spirit of festive goodwill, the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris is offering our club members guaranteed room upgrades for stays up to the Duplex Suite, and we are not saying the hotel is the best in Paris (there are quite a few grand dame hotels here,) but the former home of Prince Roland Bonaparte is a grand setting to get in the Christmas spirit, and the dining spots are attractions in their own right, including the two-Michelin-starred L’Abeille, the Shang Palace, which holds the title of the first Chinese restaurant in France to receive a Michelin star and La Bauhinia where afternoon tea is served with East-meets-West flair.
Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg
St Petersburg in winter is like a Russian novel brought to life. Frozen lakes, white sculptural landscapes, startling blue skies and cold so sharp it crackles and snaps. It’s a magical setting that gets even more so as the afternoon draws in, and the street lamps along the Nevsky Prospect blossom.
And a hotel right in the historical heart of all this splendor is Rocco Forte’s Hotel Astoria, offering guaranteed room upgrade for stays from October 14 to March 31. Bon voyage!
Palais Hansen Kempinski, Vienna
Yes, the city of Freud and Mozart, with its magnificently preserved palaces and elegant cafés, is a gorgeous place to visit any time of year, but in winter, it gets just a little more beautiful. Clear skies, a fresh carpet of snow and more mulled wine and goulash than you’ll have time to try in one stay, it’s the sort of winter wonderland travel dreams are made of, and the Palais Hansen Kempinski, sitting right in the 1st District, is a place where the golden age of Vienna springs to life.
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
The top-hatted men holding the door for you is the first hint that this is no ordinary hotel. It’s a place that’s managed to bridge the gap between old New York and the 21st century and there is nothing quite like it. Think original marble floors, rich dark woods and chandeliers that look like they’ve been picked from the ballroom of an ancient palace, but the rooms have a new layout, new furniture on the floor and new art everywhere. And for the holiday season, you can book a room and get upgraded to a better one, subject to availability. Stay tuned to our newsletters to know more.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego
A palatial Mediterranean-style resort that has something for everyone. Welcome to the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, a majestic 400-acre property, managed by the same team behind hotels like The Plaza in New York and The Savoy in London. There are 249 rooms here, but you’ll never know it with how exclusive the resort feels. Think Old World decor, manicured grounds and an equestrian center for trail rides through the nearby Los Peñasquitos Canyon. And for the holiday season, the hotel is offering guaranteed room upgrades for stays in the Fairmont and Deluxe rooms, alongside daily breakfast and spa credit you can use to wash down the Michelin-starred dining at Addison.
Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo
Tokyo is one of those cities that has an overwhelming array of hotels for travelers to sort through, but we narrow it down for you to one…the one offering guaranteed room upgrades for stays up to the Horizon Deluxe Imperial Garden View room. Not that this is the only reason to go. The opulence of it, and bend-over-backward service, are also second to none, while the rooms are some of Tokyo’s most spacious.
And we saved the best for the last… Or in this case, a Moroccan oasis on the edge of the Sahara, and built like a Moorish palace with reflecting pools and key-hole arches to conjure up an atmosphere of zen-like calm. Rooms here, or Pavilions if you will, start at 1,800 square feet, and they are as fantastic as you’d expect with up-lit domes, king-sized beds and cedar doors that slide open to reveal oversized bathrooms with enormous rainfall shower heads and pink pillared baths. Anyone else having Cleopatra vibes?
For more exclusive perks, and insights from the inside track of places, stay tuned to this space.