21st November, Dubai, UAE: For anyone seeking their ideal Christmas getaway – whether that involves embracing winter wonderland at a quintessentially festive destination, nestled bedside with a hearty mug of hot chocolate, or basking in the sun on a distant beach, one’s bound to discover a touch of unique holiday magic at these festive destinations.
From the sunny shores of Maldives to the hallmark festive havens like London and New York, to a romantic Italian getaway to Florence, these are the 7 most enchanting destinations to visit this festive season.
TOAST TO SUN-KISSED HOLIDAYS AT WALDORF ASTORIA MALDIVES ITHAAFUSHI
A tropical Christmas in the Maldives is ideal for those looking for a taste of tradition with a side of sunshine.
The alluring Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort beckons, set against the pristine white sands, shimmering crystal blue waters and lush palm trees. This magical season, guests are invited to enter a realm of sensational festive merriment, where a tapestry of world-class dining options and unforgettable entertainment activities unfolds amidst its enchanted forest.
Christmas celebrations: December 15th – December 26th
Festivities commence early with family-friendly activities like the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, inviting guests to participate in the tradition of decorating the tree, family date night painting, gingerbread making and more. Kick off the Christmas Eve celebrations with a Gala dinner on the 24th of December, featuring a dinner buffet with the finest cuisines for all to enjoy. Mark the enchanting arrival of Christmas with Santa by the sea and delight in gift-giving, meeting Santarina and the cheerful elves. For the grand finale, guests can indulge in a unique monochromatic tasting menu experience at Terra, a romantic treetop venue overlooking the stunning Indian Ocean.
New Year: December 27th – January 5th
Countdown to the New Year Eve in style with loved ones on the paradise sands, relishing seasonal feasts and an ultimate full moon party under a starlit sky. Experience New Year’s Eve joy with a glittering Gala dinner at Nava Beach, which will feature a night of glitz along with fun games for the little ones, live music as well as a buffet of delicious treats. Celebrations continue to the New Year, where guests can unlock their creativity with a nail art workshop or partake in an island treasure hunt.
Elevate your festivities:
Guests can kickstart their immersive wellness journey with the resorts pioneering Wellness Concierge, the first of its kind in the Maldives. The resort presents a range of festive workshops, including Cosmic Calm – a transcendental meditation journey, a natural coffee-based scrub creation workshop wherein guests will be able to relish the Aqua Wellness Centre’s steam sauna with their custom scrub creation.
STEP INTO A RENAISSANCE FAIRYTALE, WHERE LOVE IS IN THE BEAR AT HOTEL SAVOY FLORENCE
Embrace the allure of Christmas in Florence, where the charming renaissance backdrop embellished with festive lights and decor transforms the city into a captivating fairy tale. Amid these prominent landmarks, stands Hotel Savoy, where ‘Love is in the bear’ this festive season. The holiday spirit is beautifully embodied in a uniquely designed Christmas tree, in collaboration with the renowned graphic designer Gianpiero D’Alessandro. Adorned with teddy bears and his contemporary illustrations, curated by Luca Cantore D’Amore, this festive centrepiece will not only be a delight for guests but also be charitable.
Christmas celebrations: December 24th & 25th
Guests, along with their loved ones can immerse themselves in a classic Italian feast with traditional holiday delicacies at the Irene Restaurant. The celebratory dinner promises an unforgettable Christmas Eve experience with its spectacular festive ambiance. Guests can further enrich their celebrations with a special Christmas lunch curated by Chef Fulvio Pierangelini, who has handpicked local ingredients to craft an exceptional seasonal menu.
Mark the most awaited night of the year at Irene Restaurant with a glamorous Gala dinner. A welcome flute of chilled bubbly, followed by a New Year’s Eve dinner showcasing regional delicacies will set the scene for a magical midnight count down and a fabulous toast to 2024. Commence the year with a New Year’s Day brunch featuring live music, children’s entertainment, and a delectable menu highlighting traditional Tuscan flavours with a particular emphasis on promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Elevate your festivities:
As the Piazza della Repubblica transforms into a winter wonderland outside, within Hotel Savoy a dreamy cascade of twinkling lights creates an extra sense of intimacy for special romantic evenings. Rekindling the hotel’s popular candle-lit dinners this year, the Irene Restaurant will be illuminated by candlelight every Monday until the 5th, of February 2024; offering guests the perfect opportunity to dine in this radiant twilight setting in one of Europe’s most romantic cities.
Click here to find out more on the festive celebrations at Hotel Savoy.
THE PENINSULA NEW YORK – YOUR ‘HOLIDAY HOME’ FOR THE FESTIVE CELEBRATIONS
Located on Fifth Avenue and 55th Street in Midtown Manhattan, The Peninsula New York is in the heart of the city’s Christmas festivities. Between the decked-out department stores, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, and all the twinkling lights, Christmas in New York is a hallmark for families looking to create wonderful holiday memories. With a splendid line-up of festivities, the luxury hotel announced its exclusive collaboration with the iconic toy store, FAO Schwarz, as it rolls out the holiday red carpet for its guests around the world.
Christmas celebrations: November 24th – December 30th
Kick off the holiday season in style, with a special tree lighting ceremony on November 30th, at Salon de Ning. An array of spectacular stay packages features seasonal-themed amenities and experiences curated for guests. The ‘Nights before Christmas Package’ package offers an enchanted journey for the entire family. Children on the “nice” list will be rewarded with an in-room candy cane scavenger hunt, gingerbread cookie decorating kit, FAO Schwarz holiday gifts, exclusive access to The Peninsula Sweet Shoppe, and more.
Soar into the New Year, above the lights of Fifth Avenue, at Peninsula New York’s rooftop party. The glamorous event will see Salon de Ning transformed with a Winter Wonderland inspired West Terrace, a heated and tented East Terrace, all combined with lighted dance floors, live music from Rock & Pop cover band The Chip Shop Boys. Guests can indulge in a selection of delights including a raw bar, passed hors d’oeuvres and a specialty cocktail bar whilst dancing the night away 23 stories above the city.
Elevate your festivities:
In honour of the season, the award-winning Peninsula Spa & Wellness Centre offers an ideal retreat for guests to treat themselves to blissful bespoke festive packages. The ‘Holiday Glow’ package will enable guests to reinvigorate their winter skin with a series of pampering treatments, leaving it refreshed just in time for the holiday parties.
Click here to find out more on the festive celebrations in The Peninsula New Yor
HOTEL CAFÉ ROYAL – A GLIMMERING RETREAT IN THE HEART OF LONDON
Amidst the shimmering lights of Regent Street, discover Hotel Café Royal – where the enchantment of ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ meets the heart-warming embrace of the season and whose iconic address is synonymous with unrivaled celebrations and dazzling gatherings. Whether guests are looking for the perfect place for afternoon tea, a steak to tuck into after a day spent gift shopping, or a celebratory sip, Hotel Café Royal ensures a timeless festive experience in the vibrant centre of London.
Christmas celebrations: November 22nd – December 29th
The warm comforting hues of the festive season will envelop guests with the opulent ‘Glimmering Retreat’ stay package, wherein they can relish sweet delights with an exclusive Cakes & Bubbles hamper, complemented by a bottle of bubbles on arrival and a royal English breakfast for two each morning. Let the joy of Christmas continue with a Christmas Day Lunch at The Gallery. Relish a four-course menu crafted by Executive Chef Eliano Crespi, celebrating the season’s finest flavours overlooking a cascading Murano glass chandelier.
New Year: December 30th – January 2nd
Revel in a New Year’s Eve filled with sparkling moments, with a lavish four-course dinner, a bottle of bubbly, and evening filled with music and celebrations that last late into the night. On New Year’s Day, guests can savour a leisurely breakfast, take advantage of a relaxed check-out as well as the full access to Akasha spa, ensuring a refreshing start to the year.
Elevate your festivities:
Guests can pamper themselves with a decadent Festive Afternoon Tea at The Grill Room, in the city that does it best. Gilded features adorning the mirrored room, where delightful delicacies, scrumptious sweets, and overflowing bubbly and teas immersed in the backdrop of melodious piano tunes, will take guests on a timeless journey.
Click here to find out more on the festive celebrations at Hotel Café Royal.
LET THE STARS GUIDE YOU TO CONSERVATORIUM THIS FESTIVE SEASON
Adjacent to the cultural epicentre of Amsterdam, the regal Conservatorium hotel glows splendidly with dazzling lights and is enveloped in soul-lifting music during this festive season. Guests are invited to savour the joys unwinding in their luxurious suites designed to resemble a classic townhouse while embracing the warmth of menus brimming with the timeless flavours of the season, including festive feasts infused with delightful Asian influences. Guests can also sprinkle festive cheer amongst their loved ones with their delightful range of festive gift vouchers.
Christmas and New Year celebrations: December 1st – December 31st
The ultimate festive package by the Conservatorium hotel offers guests an unparalleled experience to fully embrace these special days. Beginning the celebrations with a bottle of bubbles in one of their luxurious guest rooms or suites, guests can then revel in a hearty festive breakfast at the Brasserie. With full access to the spa and fitness area of Akasha Spa, guests can pamper and rejuvenate themselves before retreating to their guestroom or suite for a heavenly night’s sleep. In a heart-warming endeavour that brings golden wishes to life, The Conservatorium and Make-A-Wish invites guests to extend season’s greetings by contributing to the fulfilment of wishes for children facing critical illnesses. A portion of the earnings from this package will be donated to charity.
Elevate your festivities:
In December, the city of Amsterdam’s famed canals takes on an extra shimmer, making for an unforgettable experience for visitors. One of the loveliest things to do is a canal boat tour while taking in some of the world’s most unique and magnificent light displays at the Amsterdam Light Festival. Guests can also explore the museums like the glorious Rijksmuseum, go ice skating on the Museum Square underneath a replica of the Magere Bru or buy gifts from the in-house Van Baerle Shopping Gallery, where a selection of specially curated treats and hand-selected beauty products from Akasha await.
Click here to find out more on the festive celebrations at the Conservatorium.
GRANDEUR MEETS GLAMOUR AT LUTETIA PARIS
The City of Light’s sparkles extra bright during the holiday season, from the lights lining the Saint-Germain-des-Prés to the store window displays that rival museum art installations. An icon of the neighbourhood, the festive celebrations at the Lutetia – one of the prestigious Parisian grand hotels, will be synonymous of joy and wonder. From gourmet seasonal menus to exquisite shopping experiences, guests are invited to celebrate the year-end in their own unique way.
Christmas celebrations: December 1st- January 3rd
Throughout the month of December, Le Saint-Germain will be offering a festive afternoon tea that guests can enjoy under its spectacularly coloured glass ceiling, for a warm and gourmet interlude in the heart of winter. For a more Christmas-inspired affair, guests can devour a selection of seasonal delicacies amid festive musical atmosphere on Christmas Eve and Day at Brasserie Lutetia and Le Saint-Germain. To further celebrate the season of giving, the Lutetia and Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche have created an exclusive shopping experience befitting their grandeur. Available until January 3rd, the classic Parisian luxury shopping experience will allow guests to pamper themselves with several privileges that include: a personalised welcome with a bottle of bubbly, a 200€ gift card to spend in store, consult one of their expert fashion consultants and more.
At nightfall on New Year’s Eve, the Bar Joséphine, at the pulsating heart of the Left Bank, beckons guests to soak in its vibrant and sophisticated atmosphere. While enjoying crafted cocktails by Chef Barman Angelo Forte, guests can enjoy a festive DJ set and gracefully dance into the New Year.
Elevate your festivities:
A true artwork with astonishing realism, this year, Chef Nicolas Guercio presents an adorable “LuLu” yule log, representing the Shar-Pei mascot of Lutetia Paris. The delightful puppy, made with Valrhona Manjari 64% dark chocolate will delight all chocolate lovers, while the real log, in the shape of a cushion, will add an extra layer of sweetness to festive family gatherings.
Click here to find out more on the festive celebrations at the Lutetia.
ARABIAN NIGHTS PAIRED WITH FESTIVE DELIGHTS AT BAB AL SHAMS DESERT RESORT
Surrounded by the limitless wonder of Dubai’s breath-taking desert landscape, the charming Bab Al Shams offers an ideal sanctuary for those seeking a burst of winter sunshine infused with a touch of festive spirit, all without the jet lag. This one-of-a-kind resort undergoes an elegant transformation, embracing festive joy with a distinct variety of curated experiences, inviting guests along with their loved ones to embark on an adventure brimming with enthralling culinary journeys, entertainment, and holiday cheer.
Christmas celebrations: December 12th – December 26th
Guests can indulge in variety of festive-themed dining experiences that include an afternoon tea at the Lobby Lounge showcasing seasonal delights, including mince pies, gingerbread bites, and scones. The Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day Lunch at Zala will offer guests a feast of holiday specials like a whole roast turkey, Beef Wellington, accompanied by all the quintessential trimmings. Featuring live music and a range of recreational activities for kids, including pony and camel rides, the festivities at Zala guarantee an unforgettable Christmas experience for families. For a more intimate setting, guests can savour a starlit Private Christmas Roast, with the serene desert as their backdrop.
Countdown to 2024 under the desert stars with a 1001-nights themed Gala dinner at Al Hadheerah or dance through the night at Anwā with a glamorous Studio 54 inspired New Year’s Eve After Party, complete with an extravagant fireworks display. Regardless of the choice, guests are sure to uncover an enchanting evening filled with exquisite cuisine boasting Arabian flair, vibrant festivities, and live entertainment.
Elevate your festivities:
Witness an oasis of natural wonder at Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve with an exhilarating luxury private 4×4 adventure. Discover the graceful gazelles, the majestic Arabian oryx and birds amidst captivating celestial views before ending the evening with a scenic sunset picnic – an ideal finale to a truly memorable stay at Bab Al Shams.
Click here to find out more on the festive celebrations at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort.
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