Six of the Best Luxury Hotels for Families During the Holidays
Amid the frantic rush of the holiday season, the idea of a place where everything is taken care of for you is particularly appealing. These six luxury hotels, with their expertly trained staffs, take the stress out of the season—and each offers amenities tailored to children.
Enjoy a traditional Christmas in the heart of London.
The Mayfair-based Brown’s Hotel welcomes families with the Christmas Family Break and Christmas Family Suite Break packages, both of which include a bottle of Ruinart NV Champagne for parents, full English breakfast for the family and festive gifts for children. Book a Christmas Eve stay and the children in your party receive personalized stockings and gifts from Father Christmas. Find teatime treats from iconic London department store Fortnum & Mason in the lobby, along with a Christmas tree decorated in partnership with the store. It’s bedecked with teatime essentials such as teacups, tea caddies and silver spoons.
Escape to an English estate this holiday season.
Located 45 minutes outside of London, the Dorchester Collection-owned Coworth Park is an ideal retreat for an English Christmas celebration. The stately white manor is set on 240 acres of Berkshire countryside, and families can celebrate the holidays with the hotel’s Christmas at Coworth Park package. On Christmas Eve, children enjoy movies, games and story time by the fireplace. Transportation to the nearby town of Sunningdale for the midnight Christmas mass at its parish church is included. On Christmas morning, Father Christmas delivers presents to the hotel entrance hall for children, followed by a traditional festive Christmas lunch. On Boxing Day, parents can take a chocolate or wine master class while their children participate in Santa Segway racing.
The Four Seasons
Celebrate a laid-back Caribbean Christmas.
This resort, located on the western coast of the island, is the only Four Seasons in the Caribbean. In the days leading up to Christmas, kids’ activities include a pool movie night, s’mores on the beach and a beach bonfire on Christmas Eve. At 10 a.m. on Christmas morning, Santa Claus arrives with presents and stays for games and activities at the Santa Fiesta. Join a local children’s choir for Nevisian carols before Christmas dinner. For New Year’s Eve, there’s a White Party (for all ages) and a children’s themed New Year’s Carnival on New Year’s Day.
Park Hyatt Aviara
Take in elaborate decorations at the annual Festival of Trees.
On the weekends leading up to Christmas, this California resort offers a Teddy Bear Tea, which includes story time with the Peppermint Princess. Children are encouraged to bring a teddy bear, which is then donated to a local Ronald McDonald House. In the lobby, there’s a Festival of Trees, a collection of seven themed trees modeled after Park Hyatt hotels worldwide, including the Park Hyatt Vienna and Park Hyatt Milan. From November 26 to December 26, guests and visitors can bid on the trees, (proceeds benefit the Semper Fi Fund). While you’re in the lobby, stop by the Gingerbread Mountain Village, then sign up for a gingerbread decorating class with the hotel’s executive pastry chef. In the evenings, stroll along the front drive eating freshly roasted chestnuts and taking in the decorations; on Christmas Eve, you’ll be joined by roaming carolers. On both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the hotel plans family movie and dinner nights with themed foods and classic holiday films.
Visit Chicago’s only elevated ice skating rink.
Take in the Peninsula Chicago’s lobby Christmas tree, then ice skate and sip hot chocolate amidst the city’s skyscrapers on the Peninsula Sky Rink, a fourth-floor, open-air ice skating rink overlooking Michigan Avenue and the John Hancock Center. The rink is exclusive to hotel, restaurant and spa guests, and proceeds from tickets are donated to local children’s causes. This year, Peninsula also debuted limited-edition toys from toy-art collective Papinee modeled after its SnowPage, the Peninsula holiday mascot. Each of the 10 versions of the toy is specific to a Peninsula destination, and only 300 were made per location. At the Peninsula Chicago the toy sells for $75; profits go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and local children’s charities. Pay close attention when you open the box the toy comes in. If you’re lucky, you’ll have picked one with a golden ticket that’s valid for an afternoon tea for the family, a dinner for four or the grand prize—a two-night stay for four in one of the Peninsula’s suites.
Plan a trip to a local favorite, the Teddy Bear Tea.
The highlight of the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco’s festive season offerings is the Teddy Bear Tea, a holiday institution popular with guests and local residents. Children enjoy hot chocolate and treats while watching a live holiday-themed show. Each child receives a teddy bear and photo to take home, while a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The hotel hosts two such teas daily in the week leading up to Christmas. Following the Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which features costumed carolers, on Dec. 3, guests enjoy the 40-foot outdoor Christmas tree for the rest of the holiday season. On Christmas day, the hotel restaurant, Parallel 37, offers a four-course meal and a special Christmas menu for children.