Top Hotels for the Holidays

Deck the hotel halls as ’tis the season to plan for your next holiday getaway.  And why wouldn’t you? Many resorts go all festive for the holidays, decking the halls with lights, gingerbread villages, fantastical and magical holiday displays that we can only imagine in our own homes.  Take a look at our Hotel-Scoop picks for top hotels for the holidays.


The best part of booking a hotel for the holidays? No need to spend all week preparing and then cooking an elaborate family meal. No dishes. No making the bed (neither yours or your visiting family!).  We could get used to staying at hotels for the holidays, so ready, set go: book your holiday vacation and dig into the festive atmosphere and experience how another destination celebrates. Read on for our Hotel-Scoop picks for top hotels for the holidays.

Holidays are Bigger at Gaylord Resorts

Gaylord Texan

What better destination to plan a holiday getaway than at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, the “Christmas Capital of Texas?”  And the Gaylord Texan goes all out for the Christmas season!

Dazzle your kids with more than two million twinkling lights and larger-than-life decorations during Lone Star Christmas. Enjoy ICE! featuring Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town, Cookies & Milk with Mrs. Claus, The Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt , and (my favorite) the 2-story tall ice slides!

Despite this Texas resort’s massive size, once you get the lay of the land, you’ll love exploring the hotel and Grapevine during the holidays (annually mid-November to January).

Photo Credit: Gaylord Opryland Nashville Resort

Nashville Country Christmas

Make it a “Country Christmas” with a stay at the Gaylord Opryland Nashville Hotel.  Equally as festive as its Texas sister resort, Nashville brings home the country flavor with carriage rides underneath trees twinkling with Christmas lights. This Tennessee resort includes many of the themed events as the Texan, but with their only southern twist.

Your holiday entertainment includes Arctic Plunge Snow Tubing & Glacier Glide Ice Skating, ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Dr. Suess How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Musical, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Christmas Dinner Show, and more. So go ahead and book your vacation now, Y’all!

A Colorado Christmas

I may be partial (living in Colorado and all), but The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs does the winter holidays like no other hotel. The historic traditions of The Broadmoor are simply over-the-top holiday extravaganza.   Breakfast with Santa, a ride on Cog Railway, shopping, soaring above Seven Falls, or visiting this year’s Gingerbread creation.

More than 250,000 strands of lights, illuminate The Broadmoor's grounds.

More than 250,000 strands of lights illuminate The Broadmoor’s grounds.

The historic halls and grounds of The Broadmoor come alive during the holidays. Every year, the hotel’s culinary students construct a Gingerbread Village, located on the mezzanine level of Broadmoor Main.

The hotel also presents “A Classic Broadmoor Christmas,” a traditional holiday show for the entire family. The grounds are sparkling with more than 250,000 strands of lights, illuminating the holiday wonderland.  Located just 90 minutes south of Denver in Colorado Springs, The Broadmoor is a holiday memory waiting to happen.

It’s Up to You, New York, New York

Frank Sinatra got it right! Holiday lights, musicals, parades! New York City is the place to be for the holidays.

The Lights of Times Square

Stretching to 68 floors into the New York City skyline, the Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn New York, the tallest single-use hotel, debuted two years ago. What better location for your New York holiday than in the heart of the Big Apple?

On the northwest corner of 54th Street and Broadway, the hotels are steps from both Central Park and Times Square and offer guests access to Carnegie Hall, Broadway Theater District, Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, and Radio City Music Hall. And did I mention the view from your hotel room?

view of Times Square from Room 3206 Courtyard Marriott New York City Manhattan Central Park

View of Times Square: Room 3206 Courtyard Marriott New York City Manhattan Central Park

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Best View: New York Hilton Midtown

And on my NYC bucket list: a stay at New York Hilton Midtown with THE best hotel views for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at the corner of 54th Street and 6th Avenue. Located directly on the parade’s route, the Hilton Midtown is offering guests spectacular parade views for as low as $599. (Select from high or low floors and a variety of views.)

TIP: Better than street-side is the Ultimate Corner View. Get on eye-level with the balloons as you watch the parade approach from your window facing 54th Street on floors 7-18. Enjoy another close-up view as the parade passes in front from your second set of windows overlooking 6th Avenue.

Photo Credit New York Hilton Midtown

Dreamin’ of a California Holiday?

Last year Hotel-Scoop writer Nancy Brown attended the tree lighting ceremony at Westin South Coast Plaza. This year, the tree lighting ceremony will take place on November 17, 2016. The 96-foot tall white fir Christmas tree arrived from Mount Shasta, California on October 11, 2016.

westin south coast plaza, south coast plaza hotel, costa mesa hotel

Located in Costa Mesa, Nancy says, “This Southern California hotel knows how to welcome the holidays like no other. With its famous tree lighting ceremony, open to locals and hotel guests, you can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit.”

Festive Cheer: Hotels in Canada

Dreaming of a white Christmas in Canada? Check that off your list. Whistler, British Columbia is especially festive with twinkling lights, snow-covered Village and holiday events and activities to entertain all the family. Ski and snowboard every day with both mountains open over Christmas and New Year and extended hours in the Village. Bring the family to enjoy fun activities like tubing, ice skating, and snowmobiling.

Dream of a white Canadian Christmas at Whistler village at dusk. Photo Credit: Tourism Whistler

And our resident Canadiana hotel expert Carolyn B. Heller  offers up several Whistler hotels for your holiday festivities.

Carolyn says, “If you love to ski or snowboard but hate hauling around all your gear, a ski-in, ski-out lodging is the ultimate luxury. At Whistler, North America’s largest snowsports resort, you can’t get much closer to the lifts than the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside Hotel.”

And to round out your options, Carolyn says, “Get ready for ski season with these 3 Top Whistler Hotels.

And Hotel-Scoop writer Dana Rebmann suggests booking Whistler’s Nita Lake Lodge in the Creekside neighborhood. For close to the mountain convenience without close to the mountain chaos, Nita Lake Lodge should be your home away from home.

Nita Lake Lodge Arrival Area

Welcome to Nita Lake Lodge

Getting away for the holidays can be the best gift of all. What is your favorite hotel getaway for the holidays?

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