1. Tchaikovsky night
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg
Celebrate the magic of St. Petersburg’s frosted white days whilst wrapped up in the comfort of Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, the city’s finest residence. From Troika sleigh rides through the streets, to seats in the hotel’s private box at Mikhailovsky Theatre, to a spectacular Russian dinner at the Caviar Bar, the most special experience is dinner served at L’Europe restaurant in front of a live ballet performance for Tchaikovsky Night, featuring acclaimed opera and ballet artists, and a string ensemble. An unrivalled evening of elegance.
2. Walking with giants
Anantara, Golden Triangle
Combining Northern Thai culture with Christmas classics in the jungle, this Christmas Eve, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is hosting a very special Walking With Giants Experience, where guests can revel in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, as you stroll amongst the gentle giants. Your walk will allow you to accompany elephants on foot during their daily free roam, while you interact with the gentle giants, chat to their mahouts, and observe how they behave, think and play. Followed by a festive reception complete with eggnog, mulled wine and a roaring fire, this is an unique and joyful experience that promises to make your festive season one to truly remember.
3. Christian Louboutin’s Christmas Tree
For 10 years Claridge’s has been collaborating with designers to create its world-renowned Christmas tree. This year, legendary French-Egyptian shoe designer Christian Louboutin works his magic, and whose masterpiece will transform the lobby into a frosted forest. Decorated with fairy lights and gingerbread stilettos, and complemented by the Loubi Express train - where guests can sit and have a glass of bubbles served by a Cocktail Conductor - it’s a wonderfully immersive and essential Christmas experience.
4. A Sweet-Smelling Christmas
Hotel Café Royal, London
This festive season, Hotel Cafe Royal is partnering once more with iconic Parisian perfumer, Diptyque, offering hotel guests Ω and the public Ω a giant advent calendar, pop-up shop, Christmas tree adorned with bespoke Diptyque ornaments, as well as an afternoon tea with take-home candle. All set to a theme of ‘lucky charms’, you’ll also find table decoration and wreath-making workshops in Ziggy’s Bar, where you can personalise your wreath with your own scented Diptyque ovals.
5. Michelin-star festivities
Four Seasons Hotel, Florence
Making sure your New Year goes off with bang, Four Seasons Hotel Firenze is hosting quite the memorable New Year’s Eve celebration. Renowned for hosting legendary parties, the hotel will host this year’s event in the garden under a majestic marquee, with the décor specially created by acclaimed event designer, Vincenzo Dascanio. With the theme Florence Rouge, the night promises a cascade of gold, red velvet and decadence all in the spirit of the Moulin Rouge. With a cocktail, champagne and caviar reception, followed by a five-course menu by Michelin-starred chef Vito Mollica, and a midnight DJ-set that will keep partygoers revelling long into the early hours of 2020, you’ll also ring in the New Year under a blanket of Four Seasons fireworks. If you’re meant to start the year as you mean to go on, then we can safely say there are few better ways to do it in such style.
6. Christmas Cream Tea
There are few things that make us feel more festive than bubbles and scones in front of a log fire. Throughout the holidays, afternoon tea connoisseurs can enjoy the finest at Corinthia London, with quintessential finger sandwiches, sultana scones with Cornish clotted cream, and an afternoon tea trolley inspired by the season, featuring chestnut, vanilla and rum tartlets, orange and coffee truffles and, of course, Christmas cake.
7. A Sparkling Soirée
Mandarin Oriental, Milan
‘A Sparkling Season with Van Cleef & Arpels’ is
a beautiful festive offer at Mandarin Oriental Milan, offering complimentary access to the jewellery house’s Time, Nature, Love exhibition, with a private tour guide, as well as a limited-edition book. You can also indulge with dinner at two-Michelin-starred Sera restaurant for the ultimate foray for serious jewellery lovers.
8. Kids Celebrate at Kew
Kew Gardens, London
Loved by all, Christmas at Kew Gardens promises a plethora of ways to enjoy the festive season, with kids at the heart of its line-up.
The Tunnel of Light is a particular favourite (above), while the Palm House Pond finale of dancing lights set to Christmas music, is quite magical. Children will also find a Victorian carousel and helter skelter, as well as Father Christmas and his elves doing the rounds.
9. Magic in Munich
The Charles Hotel, Munich
The Charles Hotel, a Rocco Forte property in the heart of Munich, will sparkle like never before this season, with Baccarat’s crystal ball ornaments turning its five-metre tree into a work of art. Guests can also enjoy
a Baccarat Afternoon Tea in the Library Lounge, served in beautiful Baccarat tea glasses amid literary classics and photos of famous authors for the perfect cultured-meets-culinary experience.
10. A Royal Marché
Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris, France
Truly embracing the winter season, Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris is turning itself into a funfair for Christmas: think big wheel, bumper cars, festive market and carousel... The Royal Marché also features snowy chalets with Veuve Clicquot Champane tasting, mulled wine and crêpes, and the Royal Monceau épicerie, where you’ll find the famous Christmas pastries of renowned chef, Pierre Hermé.
11. Seven’s the magic number
Ritz Paris, France
If your New Year festivities revolve around culinary companionship, then make a dinner reservation at Le Table de L’Espadon at Ritz Paris. Here, Nicolas Sale will unveil a ‘gastronomic orchestration’ with a seven-course menu, including lobster, hand-dived sea scallops, turbot sautéed with leeks and black truffle foam, and venison fillets with pomegranate molasses. Served under the glass-roofed winter garden, accompanied by live music and dancing, it’s set to be a truly magical evening.