If you’re looking for a little more holiday vibes, these hotels across the country offer plenty of family entertainment. Some hotels offer both guests and visitors experiences that are worth a stopover on vacation trips. Whether you’ve snagged a good Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal, or are looking to treat yourself for the season, these hotels could make a great experiential gift for the whole family.
The holiday offer of Gaylord Hotels
An annual Gaylord tradition is the impressive array of holiday activities called “Sun. A lot of. Christmas.” Visitors will find the fun at Tennessee’s Gaylord Opryland, Florida’s Gaylord Palms, Colorado’s Gaylord Rockies, Texas’ Gaylord Texan, and Maryland’s Gaylord National. Guests can book special lodging packages or pre-order tickets to the visit online. See the decorations in Each property includes millions of twinkling lights, over 100,000 feet of garlands, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and a long list of interactive activities, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating, fountain and light shows, character experiences, live shows, and seasonal spa experiences Pause triumphantly, each with a different theme crafted by 40 specialized ice artists.The experiences are available until the end of the year.
Hilton partners with Hallmark Channel for holiday suites
For a limited time, the Hallmark Channel “Countdown to Christmas” puts Holiday Suites by Hilton guests in one of their vacation movies. Special snacks and cozy blankets await you in these decorated suites. The Cozy Christmas suite at the Hilton Chicago, the SoCal Christmas suite at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, or the Glam Christmas suite at the Hilton Las Vegas at Resorts World all have a variety of amenities. The Chicago suite features a hot cocoa bar, gingerbread decorating materials, and a private Christmas tree for guests to host their own personal tree lighting ceremony. San Diego features custom ornaments and accessories for decorating cookies, as well as a jukebox that plays holiday hits. Holiday wreaths and a photo wall of sequined Christmas trees await travelers in Las Vegas.
Family Activities at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya and Punta Cana
In December, travelers will find a variety of vacation activities at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya and Punta Cana. These include Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations as well as a tree lighting ceremony, ornament making workshops, pineapple and cookie decorating, holiday snaps and slumber party breakfasts. Water park activities, swimming pools, spa services, and character meet and greets from Nickelodeon characters are all part of the family-friendly experience. Many of the themed experiences will continue through January 31, 2023.
Holiday spirit at the Arizona Biltmore
The Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria resort, is getting ready for the holidays with a bevy of Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired decorations. The lobby will be decked out with festive trees, while vintage decorations and furniture recreate a 1930s living room for the holidays. Sparkling outdoor lights will fill the ground. Guests and visitors can take part in numerous courses from wreath making to gingerbread house building and cookie decorating. The resort is one of many in the area participating in the Hilton Honors program, which offers a double-points holiday promotion.
Christmas at the Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona
For the 13th time, the Princess Christmas celebration is a major event in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. It features more than 6.5 million lights illuminating the grounds, as well as two Princess Express trains that take you around the resort. There are also two 6,000 square foot outdoor ice rinks, Santa meetings, Christmas music light shows, visits from local holiday characters and s’mores. Not only hotel guests can enjoy the event. The resort hosts 150 Make-A-Wish families at its tree lighting event and grants wishes to families throughout the season. New this year is Chateau Champagne, which is designed like an alpine chalet and features a VIP area with fire pits, sparkling wine, truffle gouda fondue, seafood towers and other gourmet surprises.
Wintry Fairmont Lodge in Chicago
The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park is bringing back its Fairmont Lodge vacation experience for guests and visitors to enjoy this season. It will last until February but will start with a festive decor. The menu includes celebratory cocktails, sweet or savory fondues, and homemade s’mores, which can be enjoyed by fire pits. A portion of sales will benefit the hotel’s charity partner, Make-A-Wish Illinois. There’s also a weekly happy hour, cooking and cocktail classes, breakfast with Santa, and overnight packages that combine special rates with deals on winter activities in the area.
Festive fun at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk
Four room packages bring the guests a bit of vacation. These include an Elf Life Suite with decorations, a hot cocoa bar, candy canes, an Elf to go, breakfast for two adults and two children, and late check-out. Two other packages include a New Year’s Eve room with a view of fireworks, and one includes a viewing party from the hotel’s Club Lounge. Other hotel activities include gingerbread house making workshops and an elf scavenger hunt.
Christmas time at the Four Seasons Orlando
The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is offering all kinds of vacation activities this year. For starters, the kids’ club offers Santa helper workshop craft time, “polar jump” swim times, and holiday-themed scavenger hunts. Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday dinners are additional highlights for resort guests. Spa-goers can take advantage of the Winter’s Wonder Facial treatment, which uses refined hyperbaric oxygen and cryospheres to hydrate the skin.
16 days of wonder at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
From December 18th through January 2nd, The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe is hosting “16 Days of Wonder” with special events and activities around the holiday. These include meet and greets with Santa and a new “S’more & Hot Coco Extravaganza” where guests can choose from a wall of chocolates, candies and sweet spices to create their perfect snack. There is also a hot herbalism session, complimentary for guests, which allows them to create their own toddy-style hot drink with recommendations from a local herbalist and the property’s mixologist using fresh herbs and spices.
“Santa Claus Suite” at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
To get the holiday spirit going, the Santa Suite at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica is just the ticket. Throughout the month of December, guests can unpack in the hotel’s Owner’s Suite with Santa decor, holiday movies, an in-room candy bar and a s’mores station. As part of the package, guests enjoy breakfast for four, a gingerbread house baking set, free parking, free skate rentals at a nearby ice park, and free access to the rides and attractions at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier. Even if you don’t book this suite, you can still enjoy the resort’s decorations, including a 20-foot tall Christmas tree in the Miramar Gardens and an 80-foot tall landmark fig tree, both of which are lit during the holidays.
Holiday vibes at Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach
Throughout the season, guests and visitors to the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, California can enjoy an array of fun activities. It begins with a Christmas tree lighting, weekly visits from Dickens’ Christmas Carolers to stroll the resort’s halls and restaurants singing holiday carols, and special brunches and dinners for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. The resort is part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio and its loyalty program, I Prefer Hotel Rewards.
Visit the “Golf Pole” at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
What the hotel calls the “Golf Pole,” travelers who visit this luxury resort during their vacation have much to explore. There are in-suite tree decoration sets, family holiday movies and even bike rides in the sun with Santa and his reindeer. Guests can also take a Polar Express ride with visits from movie characters while enjoying hot chocolate and s’mores. Other vacation programs include a “Jingle Jog” with peppermint-scented cold towels and “Snoga,” yoga classes for all skill levels with views of the bay.