Tag: holiday hotels

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The World's Largest Chocolate Santa Now Has a New Friend

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1200 Epcot Resorts Blvd. [map], Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States, 32830
December 23, 2013 at 3:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Happy Holidays! We're leaving you with one last story to admire read before we head out for the next few days. We'll be off tomorrow and Christmas but we'll back with a full slate of stories on Thursday. Remember, if you're waking up in a hotel on Christmas, we wanna hear about it!

Heading to Disney World for the holidays is a dream for many folks--young and old. But if you're staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts, your vacation just got a whole lot sweeter.

Laurent Branlard, the hotel's executive pastry chef, constructed a 7-foot tall, 400-pound nutcracker made entirely from chocolate along with an entire Christmas scene made up of another 2,000 pounds of chocolate that includes a life-sized Santa Claus (something the resort is well-known for.)

The scene and nutcracker took 80 hours to complete and both will be on display through December. Best of all, it's entirely edible. However, if you were to consume it all you would be taking in about 4 million calories. On second thought….

The hotel is still open on for Christmas Eve and Day. In fact, they have an entire website up and running for the holidays: www.santasfavoriteresort.com . Rates at the hotel, which is part of Starwood Hotels start at $209 a night.

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Hôtel Plaza Athénée Has the Snuggliest Christmas Tree

Where: 37 East 64th Street [map], New York, NY, United States, 10021
December 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays or best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

This year we've seen Christmas trees decorated with wine bottles, macarons and umbrellas, but here comes a late contender for most over-the-top tree of 2013: it's a Babar the Elephant tree.

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Will You Wake Up Christmas Morning in a Hotel? Tell Us About It!

December 23, 2013 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (7)

Despite being in the travel industry and finding ourselves on the road much of the year, the holidays are the one period of time where we can guarantee a few nights at home in our own bed. In all honesty, this contributor has never woken up on Christmas morning in a hotel room, so the idea of it seems very foreign in some way. Hotels are our home away from home, but there's never been a substitute for waking up in our own bed on Christmas morning.

Sitting here, we wonder what it would be like to rise on the 25th in a hotel. What would we do? How would we spend our morning?

If we were in a suite at the Goring, things would be pretty merry given the pile of presents that looks like a Christmas tree. And lots of hotels do their best to create a festive atmosphere for those traveling during the holidays, including giant macaron Christmas trees and other holiday decorations.

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This is What a Grand America Christmas Looks Like

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 555 South Main Street [map], Salt Lake City, UTah, United States, 84111
December 20, 2013 at 4:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

With a name like The Grand America Hotel, you can be sure the hotel is going to go all out for the holidays. And indeed the five diamond hotel in Salt Lake City has done just that.

For starters, the hotel itself is lit up with red and green Christmas lights (Thankfully, it's on the exterior of the building and not something that they string up on every guest room window) Then outside in their 2 1/2 acre courtyard, there's a giant Christmas tree that's surrounded by lighted trees and bushes (pretty much everything has some lights strung on it.) Inside, there's a giant Victorian gingerbread house while the Shops at The Grand have created old-school retail window designs for guests to admire. (We especially love the Paint Department.)

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A Macaron Nutcracker Now Stands Guard at The Ritz-Carlton Boston

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 10 Avery Street [map], Boston, MA, United States, 02111
December 19, 2013 at 8:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

Earlier this week, we were stunned by the Laduree Macaron Christmas Tree at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand Hotel. Today, there's another macaron creation to drool over, The Nutcracker at the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common which stands 14-feet tall and consists entirely of gingerbread macarons. Below are some fun facts from Chef Andrew Yeo about the structure, which apparently needs daily touch-ups because hungry guests keep filching macarons from it!

· The Nutcracker is made out of 20 pounds of almond flour, 100 pounds of granulated sugar, five pounds of water and 4,106 egg whites.
· In total, that's more than 3,000 macarons, flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, clove and almond.
· Using the hotel's entire pastry team, it took about a week to build from start to finish.
· Yeo was inspired by a gift he received earlier in the year from Laduree Paris and that set his mind on doing something for the holidays with macarons.
· Last year, the hotel built a life-sized gingerbread house that housed a gift shop for the Boston Ballet. This year, they wanted to go bigger yet still incorporate the ballet. Thus The Nutcracker, which comes to life next door at the Opera House.
· Lastly, the figure is 14-feet-tall to celebrate 2014. Clever!

The hotel still has rooms open for Christmas starting at $395 a night. The hotel also has a Nutcracker Suite package available that includes a stay in a luxury suite with holiday trimmings and elements inspired by Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker, a Teddy Bear tuck-in service, a saint pointe shoe autographed by a Boston Ballet company dancer, a CD recording of The Nutcracker and a Sugar Plum inspired bubble bath drawn by butler. Fancy! But it costs $995 a night.

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Andaz Opens Virtual Pop-Up Shop for a Good Cause

December 19, 2013 at 4:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

Since 2011, Andaz Hotels has worked with Women for Women International (WfWI) to provide women in war-torn countries with economic opportunities and be positive catalysts for change. Through these efforts, the Andaz Holiday Bazaar was born.

The Andaz Holiday Bazaar is a virtual pop-up shop offering locally inspired, unique gifts with proceeds donated to WfWI. The hotel brand collaborated with its Cultural Insiders from around the globe to curate the bespoke online Holiday Bazaar available through e-retailer, Joyus.

With everything from custom created home décor to one-of-a-kind artwork and artisanal food, here are a couple of our favorites:

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Even Christmas Trees Tote a Brolly at London’s Goring Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Beeston Place, London, United Kingdom, SW1W 0JW
December 18, 2013 at 4:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

The Goring (who, as of two weeks ago, became the only London member of Relais & Châteaux) recently unveiled what is, undoubtedly, London’s most unconventional and quintessentially British Christmas tree.

The tree, called “Christmas Rain,” is part of a collection of Christmas trees created for the hotel by British luxury brands. This one is the focal point, though, standing tall at 30 feet in The Goring’s garden, and designed by a fellow Royal Warrant Holder and Britain’s leading rainwear specialist, Fulton Umbrellas (they’re famous for their see-through umbrellas favored by the Royal Family including Wills and Kate and, we expect, little Prince George will follow in their rain-booted footsteps). Rather than regular glass baubles, the tree is decorated with bespoke Fulton umbrellas (ever-at-the-ready for the traditional Christmas rain shower) and a shimmering shower of mirrored raindrops arranged in a waterfall of crystals, beading and sequins.

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The Hotel Vintage Plaza Has Found a Spirited Use for Empty Wine Bottles

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 422 SW Broadway [map], Portland, OR, United States
December 17, 2013 at 5:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

As everybody must know, Kimpton Hotels' host a much-loved Wine Hour every evening from 5 - 6 p.m., and if the Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland's wine hour is as popular as those we've experienced, they must have a few (hundred) empty bottles knocking around. In the spirit of recycling and of Christmas, the hotel has put those empties to good use and decorated their tree with them -- and it looks so much classier than the wine bottle "decor" of our college days.

The hotel still has rooms open next week over Christmas from December 24-26 for about $128 a night. Plus, you know, free recycling services.

Photo: Facebook/Kimpton InTouch

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All We Want for Christmas is a Bite of the InterContinental's Macaron Christmas Tree

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2 Rue Scribe, Paris, France
December 16, 2013 at 5:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

One of the "must-dos" for visiting Paris is sampling some Ladurée macarons and bringing home a box or two (or three.) But if you're staying at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand, you won't have to go far to get some macarons.

The hotel has just unveiled the largest macaron Christmas tree in the world, made out of 8,000 brightly colored Ladurée macarons. The main tree stands nearly 14 feet high, while 27 other Ladurée macaron trees of various sizes can be found throughout the hotel (until January 6th.)

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Meet the Bag Buggies of Hotel de Russie's FENDI Christmas Tree

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Via del Babuino, 9, Rome, Italy, 00187
December 13, 2013 at 5:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

Not to be outdone by the Lulu Guinness tree in London, the Hotel de Russie in Rome has its very own designer Christmas tree to show off. In a match made in fashion heaven, the hotel has enlisted utterly Roman brand FENDI to create chic Christmas decorations throughout the hotel and garden.

Inspired by FENDI’s latest kooky, and some might say creepy, 'Bag Bug' handbag accessory line, the brand has also decorated the hotel's impressive 16-foot Christmas tree on the Piazzetta Valadier with plexiglass versions of the fuzzy critters.

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Holiday Hotel Spa-aahhh Treatments

December 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

Omni Bedford Springs

While hotel holiday decorations are pretty to look at, they don't do much to relax you during the holiday season, which let's be honest--can be crazy stressful with all the parties, the shopping, the relatives. So if you need a breather, we’ve put together a list (and we’re checking it twice) of hotel spas across the US who have put together some holiday-themed treatments that you can give to yourself because, contrary to popular belief, sometimes it is better to receive than to give.

California
The Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego normally uses seasonal ingredients and this winter is no exception. From December through January you can indulge in the Chocolate Candied Orange Treatment, and indulge you will! This treatment starts with a hazelnut and orange scrub; then comes a chocolate comfrey wrap and cinnamon scalp treatment; an Acai butter massage follows, as does a mulled cider drink. The spa then sends you on your way with a take home recipe for hazelnut and sea salt shortbread cookies. The cost for this extravagance is $175.

At Lake Arrowhead Resort’s Spa of the Pines (an Autograph Collection hotel) there is a new holiday-themed menu of treatments. The resort is offering a hot stone Holiday Pedicure, a Holiday Swedish Massage using their own special holiday-scented oil (cloves and cinnamon), and a Holiday-Scented Body Scrub using an organic vanilla and brown sugar scrub followed by a rich body cream. For the most bang for your buck go for the Holiday Duo: the body scrub followed by the massage for $165.

Arizona

L'Auberge de Sedona is offering guests a Warming Gingerbread Sugar Body Scrub and Gingerbread Wrap that are good enough to eat. Using organic sugar and warming ginger oil there are also notes of cinnamon and orange. To tempt you further, we’ll just tell you that after the scrub, the body butter is applied to your skin, you’re wrapped in warm blankets and receive either a scalp and neck massage or a foot massage. You can just lie back and hear the heavenly choir. The scrub and wrap are $145 for both treatments.

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The Brown's Hotel Christmas Tree is Sealed With a Kiss (or Two) From Lulu Guinness

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 33 Albemarle Street, London, United Kingdom, W1S 4BP
December 12, 2013 at 5:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

The world is officially in "Countdown to Christmas" mode and now, so are we. Every day until Christmas we'll be featuring a hotel that's in a holiday mood--whether it be with gigantic gingerbread houses, over-the-top Christmas decorations, thrilling lighting displays and best of all, Santa appearances. But of course, any hotel can assemble a fake tree, put on some lights and declare themselves "festive." Which is why we're looking at hotels that are really going ALL OUT. Know of a hotel that's super excited for Christmas? Let us know!

Last week, Brown’s Hotel in London unveiled this Christmas tree, created in partnership with legendary British accessories fashion designer, Lulu Guinness. As you'd expect it's a very stylish festive ensemble. Atop the tree you'll find no run-of-mill angel but Guinness' trademark ruby-red pouting lips. The hotel is certainly in the Christmas spirit, offering guests who stay during December the chance to win a two-night stay at the hotel and £250 to spend on a Lulu Guinness handbag.

Throughout the holiday period, The Spa at Brown’s Hotel will also be offering a MERRY BERRY manicure and pedicure using Claté products and festive ingredients such as orange, clove, juniper berry and cinnamon. The treatments are available now through February 1, 2014.

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