For those looking for all the festivities with none of the fuss, these hotels have everything wrapped up
Enjoy sleigh rides and igloos at The Gstaad Palace for the ultimate fairy-tale Christmas getaway. Recently renovated, the rooms at The Palace are plush, with the Penthouse Suite offering three luxurious bedrooms, a terrace with sauna and Jacuzzi and panoramic views of the Bernese Oberland. If you are keen to hit the slopes straight away, keep your eyes peeled for the Ski Butler who will be bearing sweet treats, savoury snacks and Swiss cheese on the slopes. Non-skiers will be just as busy with plenty of winter activities such as sledding, ice-climbing, winter hiking — and of course lounging around the spa is always a rather lovely option too! Book The Three night Igloo Experience package from £1,387, which includes two nights at Gstaad Palace, one night at the Iglu Village in a Romantic Suite, return tickets by cable car to the Iglu Village and use of the Palace Spa.
With Christmas carols, a visit from Father Christmas, segway racing and lots more, Coworth Park is offering the perfect festive family country getaway this Christmas. Enjoy a complimentary bottle of Champagne on arrival on Christmas Eve, followed by Festive Champagne Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room. In the evening, children can gather for Story Time by the fireplace and enjoy festive children’s movies and games in the Garden Room. Tuck into a three-course Christmas Eve dinner and take the complimentary transport to the local Sunningdale Parish for Midnight Mass, returning to hot chocolates, hot toddies and cheese in the drawing room with entertainment by Coworth Park’s pianist. Wake up on Christmas morning to a delicious Christmas breakfast and presents delivered by Father Christmas. Indulge in some pre-lunch drinks with entertainment in the drawing room followed by a festive four course lunch served in the Barn or five course lunch served in Restaurant Coworth Park (£45 supplement per person). Then watch a live screening of the Queen’s speech in the drawing room, followed by an open house buffet dinner with all the Christmas trimmings in the Mansion House in the evening. Following Christmas day’s revelry, Boxing Day brunch will set you straight so you can enjoy the array of family activities including chocolate masterclasses, wine tastings, a falconry display and segway racing across Coworth Park’s extensive grounds. Round it all off with a relaxing Champagne Afternoon Tea followed by a three-course dinner. ‘Christmas at Coworth Park’ includes accommodation from 24 – 27 December, selected dining throughout the stay, family and festive activities and special gifts, £475 per person per night. Guests booking before October 31 can take advantage of a complimentary night on December 23.
For a magical world of toyshops, walking bears and treasure hunts, look no further than Baur au Lac in Zurich. The hotel is offering an exclusive event with one of the world’s oldest toyshops Franz Carl Weber, where children are accompanied into the shop after closing house by walking bears. Once inside the toyshop, the evening is filled with exciting and fun activities for little ones, with treasure hunts, painting and dressing up. And just to make the experience a little more enchanting, you can watch Zurich’s largest Christmas tree being lit up, glimmering over the sparkling lake and city. Zurich is a beautiful and sophisticated city, which will offer much in way of entertainment for parents as well as children. Rooms from £2,052 per night for two adults and one child, including the Franz Carl Weber adventure, a welcome gift from the hotels own chocolatier.
Scandi-chic Christmas at Ett Hem in Stockholm is Scandinavian luxury at its finest. For a special Christmas event, the hotel offers an elegant evening starting with pre-dinner drinks, gingerbread cookies and cheese in front of a beautiful Christmas tree. Then the main event takes place; a festive gourmet Swedish supper, finished off with drinks outside in the candlelit garden draped with reindeer skin to ward off any chills. Rooms from £285 and the Swedish Christmas dinner £97 per person.
Enjoy the ultimate Christmas experience and jump on board the Polar Express for an unforgettable festive day out. Set to be extremely popular this Christmas, this magical festive family experience at The Slieve Donard Resort and Spa will provide a journey of discovery for children of all ages. Enjoy light refreshments in the Percy French Station before hopping on board the Polar Express train. Guests are led on a magical journey through the stunning Slieve Donard grounds to enjoy a world of festive treats and fun. Stop to enjoy story telling with Mrs Claus and Christmas films, see where the magic happens with festive treats including letter writing with Santa’s elves in their busy workshop and of course the chance to meet Santa and tell him your Christmas wishes! Bring Christmas to life this year with a one of kind interactive Christmas experience for the whole family to enjoy on the Polar Express. The Polar Express runs from 16 to 21 December, £14 for adults, £18 for children, includes refreshments and gifts.
With an enviable location for ski-in, ski-out access, incredible views across the valley, and luxurious rooms, the W hotel in Verbier is a keen skiers dream. Verbier boasts the most famous itinerary runs in Switzerland, perfect for adrenaline junkies looking to conquer the next challenge. For the more leisurely skiers, there are plenty of restaurants to enjoy a cheeky stop for a well deserved bailey hot chocolate. Christmas at the W hotel is a lavish six-course Christmas dinner at the Arola Restaurant, on either Christmas eve (the Swiss tradition) or on Christmas day for us brits. What could make a better Christmas day than hitting the slopes in one of the best ski resorts in the Alps? To tackle the mountain without worrying about the kids keeping up, drop them off for the day at Altitude’s Ski School. Rooms from CHF 850, includes the six-course Christmas dinner and welcome drink. Altitude Verbier’s children’s ski school from CHF 370.
Hit Swedish Lapland this Christmas at the Ice Hotel. Set above the Arctic Circle, the Ice Hotel can guarantee a white Christmas, with exciting winter activities and delicious Scandinavian cuisine. If igloo-style living isn’t exciting enough, try the husky sledding and snowmobiling. Brave the cold and sleep on a beautiful ice sculpted bed (the Ice Hotel has a host of artists and sculptors carve the most interesting suites out of ice), or snuggle up in a non-ice bed for those who would rather rather opt for something a little warmer. On Christmas day there is a torch light procession and traditional carol service, Christmas games on the frozen river Torne, and there is always time for a bit of stargazing for the aurora borealis for a truly memorable Christmas. Rooms from £1,138 for 4 nights 23 December – 27 December.
The Peninsula Chicago rooftop will be taken over during Christmas by the Sky Rink, a winter wonderland of fun with festive music, ice rink and snowflakes. Warm up with some mulled wine or a hot chocolate whilst watching the glittering city skyline or the ice skaters pirouetting in the distance. All profits towards Chicago children’s charities Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and Hephzibah Children’s Association. Rooms from £252 per night.
Forget slaving away over a hot stove this Christmas – for all the festivities with none of the fuss, check in to Northern Ireland’s most renowned five star hotel. Kick-start the festive season with the tree lighting ceremony and carol singing on Sunday 29 November, or indulge in a decadent afternoon tea whilst enjoying live music and (even more!) carol singing on 6 December. For a magical Christmas celebration, the Culloden Estate and Spa are offering ‘The Christmas Getaway‘ – including Christmas Eve dinner, fun activities for the whole family, Christmas breakfast and an elaborate Christmas lunch so you can have a stress-free Christmas. Two night package from £395 per person.
Last but not least, for those looking to escape the cold, head south for the winter to catch some winter sun in Abu Dhabi. From 3 December to 3 January Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi offer plenty of festive fun in the form of mince pies, gingerbread, and even camel rides! These Christmas events are all free for children, including a cooking booth where little ones can try their hand at making gingerbread cookies, whilst enjoying hot chocolate and other Christmas treats. The hotel itself is modern, sleek and stylish, perfect for this looking for a more modern take on Christmas. Rooms from £128.