The holidays are that one time of year when we actively seek enchanting experiences – such as over – sized trees festooned with Christmas lights, over the – top holiday markets, life size nutcrackers, and lavish New Year’s Eve experiences. If you’ve been seeking places to go and things to do with your family this season, here’s a list to get you started, or dreaming of next year.
France’s Loire Valley delivers on some of the world’s most regal holiday decor – as the land of Chateaux the regions certainly had the ‘neighborhood’ for this year style of splendid extravagance. ‘Christmas in the Land of Chateaux’ takes place from early December until January, and each chateau is decorated with a different theme. Chateau de Chenonceau’s theme, Royal Paradise, features golden and white floral arrangements, snowy Christmas trees and lavish floral diplays.
Chateau Royal d’Amboise will have a white Christmas this year, with snow and snowmen adorning the chateau and on display in the rooms and at the Chateau de Chambord, guests can take photos in front of the massive decorated Christmas three that stands tall through the famous double helix staircase.
Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland: The signature decor at this resort in their spectacular 55 – foot Starlight Christmas tree which is suspended from the ceiling in the property’s 19 – story Atrium. They also managed to create an indoor snowfall and developed over 13 different Christmas attractions all within the hotel – everything from ice skating and ice tubing to ice bumper cars and gingerbread cookie decorating.
Copenhagen’s Kongens Nytorv (King’s Square) becomes a magical winter Christmas market scene every year and at the square’s center is the historic Hotel d’Angleterre (where Hans Christian Andersen himself celebrated Christmas in 1865). The hotel is known for its decadent holiday experiences including Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations at the hotel’s Michelin – starred Marchal. The annual black – tie and gown New Year’s Gala comes complete with a five – course dinner, dancing and fireworks.
Zurich’s Christmas markets feature cozy fondue chalets and traditional offerings such as candle dipping at Burkliplatz, and the ‘Marlitram’ fairy tale tram. The Christkindlimarkt at Zurich Main Station features 140 stalls, and is one of the largest indoor Christmas markets in Europe. Look for the signature 32 – ft – tall Christmas tree decorated with thousands of sparkling Swarovski crystals. Outdoor markets you’ll find fondue and raclette, artisanal crafts, a variety of ice skating rinks (including at the Dolder Grand hotel), fondue pop – ups and sledding runs. Consider booking a stay at the Hotel Noel, a new pop – up experience running between November 26 – December 26. It features 10 rooms in 10 hotels individually designed by different artists, reflecting creative contemporary interpretations of the Christmas season.
Hotel Adlon Kempinski, located opposite the Brandenburg Gate, has a 12 – foot Danish Nordmann fir tree in the main hall. Guests will also enjoy the candles arches, Christmas pyramids, electric Christmas train, and 3 – foot nutcrackers. Guests can also enjoy a goose buffet on Christmas Eve complete with gentle harp music overlooking the legendary Elephant Fountain in the lobby.