The C&TH Christmas Travel Guide

Fancy a Christmas escape? Here are our top picks

Whether you’re an excitable yulephile or a self-declared grinch, it’s time to face facts: Christmas is rapidly winging its way towards us. If you’re looking to celebrate the festive period a little differently this year, why not make like Home Alone and book a Christmas travel adventure? (Although, try not to lose the kids…) From cosy staycations to city escapes, snowy winter wonderlands to the mythical Christmas on the beach, here’s our pick of Christmas holidays to book now.

Read the C&TH Responsible Tourism Guide

The C&TH Christmas Travel Guide

Christmas at Chewton Glen, Hampshire

Chewton Glen, Hampshire

Christmas Staycation

Love Christmas but hate the associated stress? Hotels across the nation – from city destinations to country bolt holes – are unveiling their long-anticipated Christmas packages, which promise festive joy with delicious feasts and delightful itineraries.

HOW? Check out our pick of the UK’s loveliest Christmas staycations here.

cowdray house with a frosty lawn

Cowdray House

Or, if you would prefer a secluded Christmas staycation, hunker down in the South Downs on the Cowdray Estate. With 22 double ensuite bedrooms, Cowdray House is available to hire for exclusive use, featuring in-house chefs and a fully decorated Christmas tree.

HOW? Exclusive use from £75,000, for a five-night stay, price dependent on the chosen itinerary. cowdray.co.uk

Mountain ski resort Obergurgl Austria - nature and sport background

Obergurgl, Austria

Skiing in Austria

Craving a white Christmas? Embark on the epitome of Christmas travel by combining the festive season with the ski season and head to Austria’s most snow-sure region, Obergurgl, where Hotel Alpina, just steps from the slopes, has games, cosy fireplaces, breathtaking views, delicious cocktails, a swimming pool and a spa.

HOW? Check out our guide to Austria’s ski resorts here, or discover more about Hotel Alpina at skisolutions.com.

Aerial shot of Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru in the Maldives

Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives

Christmas On The Beach

Dreaming of a white (sand) Christmas? Head to the Maldives, where Mövenpick Resort Kuredhivaru – with its Christmas tree lighting, themed dinners, pool parties and live music – will propel you through the festive season and into the New Year.

HOW? movenpick.com

a dinner table with a tropical background of beach and palm trees

JW Marriott Mauritius Resort

Or, with island views, tropical vibes and a turquoise lagoon, end the year with a sun-soaked bucketlist trip to Mauritius. And, at JW Marriot Mauritius Resort, youngsters will be fully occupied with gingerbread house making, a scavenger gift hunt, karaoke, snowman bowling, diving lessons and stargazing sessions.

HOW? From £1,699 per night based on two adults sharing a Beachfront Access Grand Suite for a seven-night stay during the festive period, breakfast included. marriott.com

bol y maer, a modern apartment in cornwall at dusk

Bol Y Maer

Or, if you’re feeling brave, stay closer to home with your Christmas travel plans by heading to Cornwall. The Bol Y Maer penthouse in Bude overlooks the rocky Crooklets beach – home to the legendary Christmas Day Swim. Join the locals for an icy dip before racing back to the apartment for Christmas dinner with sea views.

HOW? £995 for a 7-night stay arriving 21 December, sleeping up to four guests. beachretreats.co.uk

Villa d'Este on Lake Como at dusk with a lit up swimming pool and purple sky reflected in the surface of the lake

Villa d’Este

Dreamy Lakeside Christmas

Villa d’Este has welcomed guests to Lake Como’s shores for 150 years; to celebrate their anniversary, a sparkling glass house has been commissioned, extending their opening into the festive season. Absorb panoramic Lake Como views as you would in summer in cosy comfort, with delicious Italian cuisine.

HOW? villadeste.com

two people in bed with christmas gifts and magazines

Four Seasons Hotel London Park Lane

Christmas City Break

Whether you’re travelling from afar or looking to romanticise your hometown, Mayfair is a magical destination. Stay at the Four Seasons at Park Lane for festive afternoon tea, a delicious dinner on the big day, and festive spa treatments.

HOW? fourseasons.com

A bedroom at the Rosewood Vienna with large windows, a bed and a sitting area

Rosewood Vienna

Europe comes alive in the festive season; if you’re looking to take the plunge and spend the special day on the continent, consider Vienna. Head to the Rosewood Vienna for spacious rooms, delicious cuisine, and spectacular views across the pretty city.

HOW? Check out our full guide to Christmas city breaks here, or discover more about the Rosewood Vienna at rosewoodhotels.com.

a nutcracker style christmas facade

Or hop across the Atlantic for festivities as-seen-on-screen. New York is a Christmassy dream, made even more fabulous with incredible shop windows on Fifth Avenue and enormous trees across the city – like the Rockefeller Center’s famous Midtown tree. This year, don’t miss iconic hotel The Mark’s playful, glittering façade created in collaboration with Austrian crystal house Swarovski, complete with carts offering hot chocolate, festive treats, and edible oversized Swarovski Crystal lollipops, and uniformed nutcrackers standing guard.

The Mark, home to the US‘ largest hotel penthouse suite, also has a special ‘Holiday Penthouse Spectacular’ package: enjoy a private rendition of The Nutcracker performed by The New York Theatre Ballet in The Penthouse’s Great Room, a private ice skating rink, a four-course in-suite fine dining experience by Jean-Georges, in-suite massages, after-hours access to Bergdorf Goodman, topped off with your own crystal embellished Christmas tree designed by Swarovski.

HOW? The Mark Holiday Penthouse Spectacular is available throughout December, from $75,000 per night (with a 2 night minimum stay). themarkhotel.com

Featured Image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel London Park Lane.