1. Deck the halls with Diane von Furstenberg
Expect another stylish Christmas with Claridge’s as the Mayfair hotel vaunts another iconic Christmas tree. A long-time guest and friend of the hotel, Diane von Furstenberg unveiled ‘The Tree of Love’ late last month, marking the ninth time the hotel has invited a distinguished guest to reinterpret the tree in their own distinctive style – dating back to the same period when Diane first designed a series of rooms and suites in her signature style in 2010.
2. Christmas with Rome Cavalieri
Carve out a perfect Christmas getaway in Italy with the Rome Cavalieri experience. Beginning with a bustling Christmas Market inside the hotel, guests can discover an array of unique specialties crafted by local roman artisans so guests can take away a piece of Rome to savour beyond the season. Other experiences include Christmas dining at first and only three-star Michelin restaurant in Rome, La Pergola, helmed by Heinz Beck himself.
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
3. Feeling festive with FIVE in Dubai
Christmas jumpers at the ready… FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai is the place to be this Christmas and New Year’s Eve, with lavish, traditional turkey dinners and the glitziest celebrations to ring in 2019. Order your sumptuous banquet with all of the trimmings and enjoy a festive themed Afternoon Tea throughout the month of December. For an Italian twist, feast on fine Mediterranean fare at Quattro Passi or simply take the kids to see Santa Claus and enjoy a traditional buffet at BLVD on One.
Swap the sweaters for your dancing shoes on New Year’s Eve and make sure you have one of the hottest tickets in town. Candypants at Maiden Shanghai will have a roster of top DJs and entertainment all night long; The Penthouse promises an international star on the decks as well as views of some of the city’s world-famous firework displays; and Secret Room Dubai is your chance to party like a VIP with the best Hip Hop and R&B experience in the emirate – and a chance to drive your supercar directly onto the dance floor.
FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai
4. Connaught’s sparkling spruce
It took 12,000 light bulbs to illuminate the lofty nine-metre Norway spruce at The Connaught. Designed by acclaimed artist and Royal Academician Sir Michael Craig-Martin, the magnificent tree constantly changes colours, glowing, fading and sparkling throughout the winter evenings. “I wanted to focus on what I think of as the two essential elements of a Christmas tree – the tree itself and the lights. It struck me that however beautiful, most Christmas trees are static, unchanging,” said Craig-Martin. “I wanted to make a tree that was dynamic. I decided to engulf the tree in lights and find a way to introduce a full palette of ever changing colours.”
The Connaught Hotel
5. A very Courchevel Christmas
As Cheval Blanc Courchevel cosies up for Christmas, the maison has unveiled something very special and sweet. Yannick Alléno, the acclaimed head chef of the resort, designed this year’s Christmas cake, “la bûche des Neiges.” A twist on the French holiday classic takes the form of an alpine garden shaped by the wind, evoking the mountain slopes near the resort. Balance out the calories with a Russian banya – the latest amenity added to the hotel. This traditional, rustic structure contains a dry-heat sauna that reaches temperatures of 90 degrees Celsius – so you can get sweaty before you tone yourself with the shock of the cold outside.
Cheval Blanc Courchevel
6. Christmas at the palace in Dubai
Enjoy an enchanting winter wonderland in the centre of Dubai. Habtoor Palace’s immaculate Versailles Gardens play host to a Festive Garden Market, complete with dazzling decorations, holiday carols and daily visits from Santa. Make sure you don’t miss out as the festival wraps up by December 21 – but there’s plenty still to come. Foodies will love the Christmas Eve Feast, decadent Christmas Day Brunch and the New York New York New Year’s Eve Dinner at World Cut Steakhouse.
Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts
Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai
7. Christmas with Coco in the Maldives
A pair of homegrown Maldivian resorts are offering a packed festive schedule this month with themed activities for loved up couples, families and friends. Whether it’s the gingerbread village at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu or beach bowling with coconuts at Coco Bodu Hithi, you’ll be sure of Christmas Tree lighting ceremonies at both resorts, with visits from Santa, a New Year’s Eve Gala and a New Year’s Day Brunch. One of the festive highlights at Coco Bodu Hithi is the return of Tom Kitchin, preparing an exclusive dinner menu at Aqua restaurant and conducting a special cooking masterclass for guests.
Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu
8. Brown’s invites Boodles
Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel and British jeweller Boodles have come together this holiday season to celebrate in style. The two Albemarle Street institutions share a passion for design, which is why the hotel will host a special festive display throughout the winter – a snow-laden forest scene sits beneath bespoke Boodles hot air balloons guiding guests to a main Christmas tree adorned with hand-crafted miniature hot air balloons, carrying gift boxes and festive stars. Beneath the tree an assortment of Boodles gift boxes will be piled, which guests of the hotel will receive in exchange for a charity donation.
Brown’s Hotel London
9. The gift of
Wrap up warm this December for a delicious experience at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe. The generous Christmas boxes contain irresistible delicacies, from homemade orangette dipped in dark chocolate and some signature almond and caramel Christmas cookies to Belmond Grand Hotel Europe’s exquisite chocolates, made on site using an original blend of extremely rare cocoa beans and Champagne. You can also join fellow connoisseurs for a series of festive L’Europe brunches leading up to the New Year and beyond. Treats includes caviar and oysters, vodka and free-flowing sparkling wines.
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
St Petersburg, Russia
10. Magical family moments in New York
This Christmas season unofficially began in New York City when The Peninsula held its tree lighting ceremony at its Salon de Ning rooftop bar and terrace. The 90-year-old hotel brand is celebrating the true spirit of the season this year with the launch of a digital storybook that will support children’s literacy. “The Nutcracker’s Adventure” is written with the whole family in mind and is available to download for free. Festive-themed Afternoon Tea packages will also be available to book, with a further US $5 being donated to children’s charities.
The Peninsula New York
5th Ave, New York
11. A sweet celebration in Dubai
Your little ones can experience the joy of the season with an interactive children’s masterclass led by The Ritz-Carlton DIFC’s executive pastry chef. Creative toddlers will be provided with everything needed to build and decorate their own gingerbread house. After the hour-long workshops, each unique masterpiece is packed and prepared for guests to take away. The whole family can also enjoy sumptuous Christmas feasts at Café Belge and Le Cirque and can play a part in spreading cheer and cuddles – if you bring a plush toy throughout December it will be carefully wrapped and donated to a reputable children’s charity. Now that’s the spirit of Christmas.
The Ritz-Carlton DIFC
Gate Village, Dubai
12. Merry Christmas from the Maldives
The enticing Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives is known for its quirky Christmas celebrations, including the Underwater Coral Tree, and the Floating and Glowing recycled Bicycle Tree. On Christmas Eve guests can join the Silent Night gala dinner, decorated in sparkling gold. Guests can enjoy the best creations the resort’s innovative chefs have worked on throughout the year. The next day, Santa Claus will stop by the island either by jet ski, catamaran or maybe via para-sailing flight onto the sandy white shores.
Jumeirah Vittaveli Maldives
South Male Atoll, Maldives