The Most Festive Hotels for Christmas

World renowned institutions and small-town humble hotels are all decking their halls
christmas tree sits in a hotel lobby


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Deck the halls with boughs of holly…or let someone else do it.

If, like me, you indulge in a little Christmas spirit but lack the creativity or motivation to transform your own home into something akin to Santa’s grotto, read on.

We’ve found some of the most festive hotels for Christmas. From spectacular classic destinations to more intimate seasonal affairs, there’s a yuletide getaway for everyone on the list.

Grab a glass of eggnog (or something that actually tastes good), and get planning. You don’t have long!

Budget

Little America Hotel

Little America Hotel's grotto for guests to make toys with santa
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
Price: $100+
Vibe: Family friendly and fantastic
The rundown: A big holiday celebration doesn’t need to break the bank. Just check out Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona. Outside of the Christmas season, it’s a homey escape set amongst 500 acres of sprawling land. At Christmas, it transforms into the North Pole.

The hotel is an attraction in itself over the holiday season, with guests and visitors hopping on a trolley ride through a magic portal in the forest before arriving at Santa’s grotto. The forest is adorned with over a million Christmas lights, and families get the chance to work alongside the big guy himself—and his elves, of course.

The Red Lion Inn

The Red Lion Inn's christmas decorations
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Price: $180+
Vibe: Old-school Christmas
The rundown: Sometimes simple is best, and no one knows simple like The Red Lion Inn. The establishment has been around since the 1700s and owns its position at the heart of the local Stockbridge community. There are typically more than 30 Christmas trees and hundreds of yards of garland adorning the hotel for the month of December—giving you an idea of how seriously they take the holiday.

From there, it’s all about carol concerts, Christmas jazz shows, gingerbread competitions, all the boozy Christmas sippers you can imagine, and a whole lot of good times. Their Christmas Eve dinner is a local favorite, too. For a quieter, more traditional Christmas, you can’t do better than The Red Lion Inn.

Mid-tier

French Quarter Inn

the christmas suite at the French Quarter Inn
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Charleston, South Carolina 
Price: $297+
Vibe: Southern comfort
The rundown: Charleston may not be a traditional Christmas destination, but its Southern hospitality takes things up a notch during the holidays. Just don’t count on any snow. The stunning French Quarter Inn embodies that sentiment, adorning its already wonderful interior with all things Christmassy.

Gingerbread houses line the corridors, while the Sleigh Bell Suite’s in-room tree is a crowd-pleaser for Christmas crazies. Don’t forget the bourbon eggnog waiting for you when you arrive back after a long day exploring the wonders of Charleston. You’re in the middle of the historic district, too—a perfect hopping-off point.

Sonnenalp Hotel

a lit up staircase at christmas in the Sonnenalp Hotel
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Vail, Colorado
Price: $380+
Vibe: European Christmas; American mountains
The rundown: Let’s face it, we love Christmas in the US, but the Europeans have the tradition down in a way we just can’t nail (may or may not have been written by a European). Grab the next best thing this Christmas—a German-styled alpine hotel in Colorado.

As if the snow-covered Rocky Mountains weren’t enough of a mood setter, the Sonnenalp Hotel

 decks the halls in spectacular fashion, running events throughout the holiday season to get everyone in the mood. Ice skating exhibitions will wow the whole family, and silent discos can satisfy the party-goers among us, while the tree lighting and Kris Kringle Christmas Market will warm everyone’s hearts.

Bougie

The Resort at Paws Up

one of the lodges at The Resort at Paws Up
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: Greenough, Montana
Price: $1,500+
Vibe: Storybook Christmas
The rundown: Picture a snow-covered cabin in the middle of a mountainous wonderland. You’re sledding down a hill through pine forest, before warming up with a cup of cocoa by a roaring fire. At The Resort at Paws Up, that’s a standard Tuesday—just with a ton of luxurious amenities on top of it.

Widely hailed as one of the finest luxury ranches in the country, the Resort at Paws Up barely needs to decorate to deliver on Christmas spirit. They do decorate, though…throwing up gingerbread houses, Christmas trees, and a ton of seasonal activities to add to its typical roster. It’s an unforgettable experience.

The Plaza

santa sits on the stairs at the plaza hotel new york
Photo: Tripadvisor

Location: New York City, New York 
Price: $700+
Vibe: The Christmas classic
The rundown: If making the Plaza a quintessential piece of modern Christmas lore was a strategic decision, the marketing team deserves a medal. The Plaza is the Christmas hotel. Thanks to its spectacular Central Park-facing location, its beaux-arts architecture, and meticulous attention to detail where decor is involved, it’s an immovable presence in New York over the holidays (and the rest of the year, too).

Tourists wander through its immaculately decorated lobby, while its Christmas Day Buffet and Holiday Afternoon Tea are sought-after reservations for everyone. And of course, you can’t forget the Home Alone Package—a nod to the hotel’s use as the setting for “Home Alone 2.” Think sundaes in bed, and pizza in the back of limos.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This post contains references to products from one or more of our partners and we may receive compensation when you click on links to those products.

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