Christmas decorations are up around town, the Starbucks red cups are out and holidays are being planned, all of which can only mean one thing: the festive season is near. For those who haven’t yet figured out where to go, we’ve selected packages from some of the most elegant hotels in the world for your consideration.
There’s nothing quite like Christmas in London because though the weather may be grey, the atmosphere is warm and cheery. Add a touch of class to your holiday plan by staying at the luxurious Claridges, in Mayfair, which is offering an indulgent package for two.
Timeless Christmas: From December 24 to 26, the hotel is offering a two-night stay in a superior king room inclusive of a bottle of Champagne on arrival, a full English breakfast on Christmas Day followed by a horse-drawn carriage ride through Mayfair and a five-course lunch in the French Salon and Drawing Room, exclusive of beverages. Guests can also enjoy a festive Boxing Day breakfast and overnight delivery of stockings stuffed with treats for young guests. Rates start at £700 (US$1,123) per night.
IL SALVIATINO FLORENCE
Il Salviatino is housed within a 15th century villa and tucked away on a hill in Fiesole, on the outskirts of Florence, offering guests not only an escape but also a unique aristocratic Christmas experience.
Italian Christmas: The package, valid from December 8 until January 8, 2012, starts from 350 Euros (US$482) and consists of a variety of perks. In addition to breakfast, the package includes complimentary snacks and chocolate tasting sessions every evening in the Library, small gifts delivered daily to every guest’s door, 15 percent discounts on spa treatments as well as 20 Euros (US$27) worth of phone credit on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to call home internationally or locally. Guests staying at one of the hotel’s signature suites will receive complimentary wrapping and shipping services for gifts, up to 100 Euros (US$137), and will be given a Polaroid camera alongside a complimentary photo album to capture their stay.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL TOKYO
The Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, located in the posh Nihonbashi neighbourhood, promises to pamper couples over Christmas.
Christmas À La Carte: The package, which is valid between December 22 and 25 and starts at JPY52,999 (US$679) per night, consists of chargeable add-on experiences that guests can choose to customise their stay. The accommodation package alone is inclusive of breakfast for two and a Christmas stocking stuffed with gifts for the guests. Guests who are lucky enough to receive a special firecracker in their Christmas hamper will receive either an additional night’s stay, dinner or a spa treatment at the hotel.
The à la carte menu of add-on experiences includes a choice of welcome amenities from chocolates to Champagne, which starts from JPY2300 (US$29), dinner at one of the Michelin-starred restaurants, starting from JPY16,250 (US$208) per person, or spa treatments, from JPY41,810 (US$535) per person and up. Guests will be asked to choose from one of the options upon making the reservation.
RITZ-CARLTON HONG KONG
The glitzy Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong, crowned the highest hotel in the world, is funky and cosmopolitan, suitable for those seeking a more edgy Christmas experience.
Festive Celebrations: The hotel is offering a two-night stay in a Deluxe Harbour Room, with a bird’s eye view of Hong Kong, that includes breakfast for two, HK$500 (US$64) credit for the Ritz-Carlton spa by ESPA and two complimentary signature cocktails at the highest bar in the world, Ozone. The offer is valid between December 1 and 28, 2011, and rates start from HK$10,888 (US$1401) per night.
What could be more romantic than Christmas in Paris? The Shangri-La Paris, housed within the former home of Prince Roland Bonaparte – Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew – and located on the 16th arrondissement, is offering a package ideal for couples between now and January 16, 2012.
Imperial Christmas: From €675 (US$928) per night, guests can stay two nights with breakfast for two, which can be served in the room, and – for those visiting between December 23 to 27 – a horse carriage tour on any one of those days. Guests with children will receive a 50 percent discount on an additional room.