Twinkling lights, glitter and gourmet menus galore — without a single dish to wash or tree to trim.
Spending Christmas at a hotel does hold a certain allure.
Whether you stay for a week or drop in for tea, these properties go to great lengths to offer something special for the holidays.
Hotel Sacher, Vienna, Austria
There are few holiday destinations more charming than Austria. Christmas markets, classical concerts and — with any luck — a blanket of snow; it just doesn’t get much more festive.
Vienna’s Hotel Sacher is offering a three-night holiday package for two from December 22-27, starting from about $2,270.
The package includes breakfast, a famous Sacher-Torte dessert service, a four-course Christmas Eve dinner, a chocolate spa treatment and a Sacher-Torte to take home.
On Christmas Day, three-, four- and five-course menus are available from midday. Three-course meals start at about $120 with wine, coffee and taxes included. Brunch will also be served December 25 and 26.
For a taste of Vienna at home, the hotel ships its signature chocolate tortes, layered with an apricot jam filling, globally. sacher.com
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, Arizona
A petting zoo, an ice-skating rink, a train, holiday characters, magical snowfalls and 2.8 million lights: It’s safe to say that the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess doesn’t believe in overdoing it.
The resort’s Christmas at the Princess festival runs through January 3 and is open to the public.
Free for hotel guests, the entrance/parking fee for non-guests is $30 for self-parking.
A “Magic Memories” holiday package, starting from $274 per night, includes accommodation, skating, a train ride and photos with Santa.
December room-only rates start at $199. scottsdaleprincess.com
The Ritz, London
The Ritz London is putting on exactly what you’d expect from the elegant property.
Gala dinners with dancing on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be hosted in The Ritz Restaurant under its elaborate garland chandelier (about $465 for adults, $225 for children).
Traditional Christmas afternoon tea, with champagne, is available in the Palm Court until December 30 (about $105 for adults, $75 for children).
A Nordic pine tree grown in Scotland towers in the lobby, dressed in traditional red and gold.
Accommodation rates for Christmas week start around $720 for a superior king room. theritzlondon.com
Willard InterContinental, Washington
In the United States’ capital, the elegant Willard InterContinental’s lobby Christmas tree is decked out with the entire line of White House Christmas ornaments.
Afternoon tea — with goat cheese on brioche and vanilla-cranberry scones — is served almost daily in December ($52 per person or $68 with champagne) in the hotel’s Peacock Alley. Reservations are recommended for tea and the hotel’s Christmas Day brunch (202-637-7350).
Local choral and vocal ensembles give free performances in the lobby from 5:30-7:30 p.m. nightly through December 23.
Right off the lobby, the historic Round Robin Bar will be serving up seasonal cocktails such as the Jingle Bell Julep and the Round Robin Hot Noggin Eggnog.
Room rates start at $199 per night from December 19 through December 30. washington.intercontinental.com
Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
In Paris, a colony of dazzling reflective penguins and polar bears has moved into the Four Seasons Hotel George V. The mirrored creatures have taken up residence in the lobby and courtyard, and a penguin ice carving is on view between the bar and the opulent galerie.
At Le Cinq, the hotel’s three Michelin-starred restaurant, an elegant Christmas dinner featuring Gillardeau oysters, scallops in a fine mousse, Bresse farm hen, browned meringues and Christmas pudding — among other dishes — is available for about $550, excluding beverages.
Christmas dinner will also be served at Le George or La Galerie (about $340, excluding beverages).
Room rates start around $1,115 for Christmas week. fourseasons.com/paris/
The Plaza, New York
Christmas at The Plaza is a splurge. Just how big of a splurge depends on your wallet.
For a cool $35,000, you can stay in the three-bedroom Royal Plaza Suite (with deluxe kitchen) and have pretty much every Christmassy experience New York has to offer.
You’ve got your horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park, your Rockefeller Center ice skating, your Radio City Christmas Spectacular, afternoon tea, champagne, stockings hung by the chimney with care, gifts, a four-course meal and so on.
Back from the realm of the 1%, there’s also a Radio City Christmas Spectacular package starting at $1,125 per night and room-only rates for Christmas week from $1,095.
For a little taste of the famed hotel, there are also several holiday afternoon tea offerings (PDF). fairmont.com/the-plaza-new-york
The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida
Founded by Standard Oil Co. magnate Henry Morrison Flagler, The Breakers Palm Beach carries its lavish traditions right through the holiday season.
The oceanfront Italian Renaissance-style resort dazzles with more than 160,000 sparkling lights. Holiday tea is available at HMF on select dates in December for $50 per person.
On Christmas Day, brunch will be served in The Circle, a stunning space featuring 30-foot frescoed ceilings and ocean views ($140 for adults and $50 for children). There’s also a Christmas dinner buffet in the Ponce de Leon ballroom ($140 for adults, $60 for children 11 and under).
Reservations are recommended for holiday dining (888-273-2537).
Available rooms this holiday season start at $1,100 per night. thebreakers.com
Waldorf Astoria, New York
Filet mignon, lamb, prime rib and roast pheasant are all on the four-course Christmas Eve menu at the Waldorf Astoria’s Bull & Bear restaurant ($165 for adults, $75 for children).
On Christmas Day, those lucky enough to score reservations will be tucking into caviar, crab, lobster, made-to-order eggs Benedict and more during brunch in Peacock Alley ($175 for adults, $95 for children 12 and under).
Finding a table for brunch at the Waldorf on Christmas Day might be a stretch this year. Fortunately, a bountiful spread is available at the hotel every Sunday.
Rooms start at $239 during Christmas week. waldorfnewyork.com
The Roosevelt, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Roosevelt New Orleans’ annual Teddy Bear Tea comes with a commemorative stuffed animal for kids.
The event, complete with holiday characters and pictures with Santa for purchase, is held on Saturdays and Sundays in December and December 21-23. The tea is $45 for ages 3 to 10 and $65 for ages 11 and up.
On Christmas Day, a brunch with an array of offerings including a raw bar and a carving station will be served in the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom ($95 for adults, $89 for children), and later there’s a four-course Christmas dinner in the Fountain Lounge ($79 for adults, $75 for children).
The holiday Papa Noel rate starts at $209 for Christmas week. therooseveltneworleans.com