From New York to Maui, hotels around the country are decking their halls to help travelers feel the spirit during this holiday travel season. This year, Orbitz has selected the best decked-out hotels in its ten most popular holiday destinations.
Hotels spend countless hours planning their holiday activities and decorations. Whether it’s a glass Christmas tree, 23-foot-tall gingerbread house or live carolers during afternoon tea, Orbitz’ picks for the best decked-out hotels for holiday travel offer seasonal excitement through decorations, celebratory activities or easy access to nearby holiday festivities.
Orbitz’ top 10 holiday destinations & best decked-out holiday hotels
1. Las Vegas — The Bellagio
The Bellagio raised the bar this year when it decked its lobby halls with some eye-popping holiday scenes. A tremendous sparkling tree flanked by oversized ornaments and stacked giant presents welcomes hotel guests to one of the most elegant and glamorous Las Vegas hotels. Even the famous Bellagio fountains dance to holiday tunes, offering a delightful and free source of entertainment for all hotel guests.
2. New York — The Peninsula New York
One of the most elegant hotels in the world, The Peninsula New York shines for the holiday travel season as the grand entrance comes to life with twinkling lights and beautiful garland throughout. An ornately decorated 25-foot-tall tree graces this New York hotel‘s Palm Court, evoking the holiday spirit. Staff offer a playful gingerbread-decorating class for kids and invite guests to purchase and hang ornaments on the tree, with proceeds benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
3. Orlando — Gaylord Palms
How often do you get to spend your day at the pool under the blazing sun and your evenings walking through a winter wonderland? At Orlando’s Gaylord Palms, guests are experiencing ICE! This walk-through holiday attraction was hand-carved from nearly 2 million pounds of ice and kept at a chilly nine degrees to ensure the ice remains solid. Adorned with cushy parkas, guests can wander about this magical mystery land alongside ice monuments and frosty scenes, swoosh down slick ice slides, hunt gnomes in a hidden holiday game and marvel at the majestic Christmas tree. With 4.5 acres of decorations, ICE village offers guests the best of both worlds: winter in paradise is truly a possibility.
4. Oahu — Sheraton Princess Ka’iulani
Once again, Christmas comes to paradise, where leis, pineapples and poi aren’t the only things keeping visitors happy. The Sheraton Princess Kai’ulani has hoisted its Santa’s German Gingerbread Village to reign over the lobby and greet guests as they make their way toward the beach or pool. This Oahu hotel‘s executive chef and his team spent more than 250 hours designing and constructing this gift to their guests during the holiday travel season. This gingerbread village stands 14.5 feet tall and comprises 60 pounds of dark chocolate, 20 pounds of white chocolate, 30 pounds of gingerbread and 120 gallons of icing.
5. Miami — Fontainebleau Suites Miami Beach
The holiday décor inside Miami’s Fontainbleau Hotel is unparalleled, dramatic and glistening. This Miami hotel‘s Chateau lobby features a gorgeous custom-made acrylic tree, which took six months to assemble. Rooms in the Chateau and Versailles towers feature mini white calla lilies, while rooms in Tresor and Sorrento towers are adorned with mini Christmas trees. Mini menorahs are available for guests celebrating Hanukah. A towering pine tree, replete with 30,000 glowing LED lights and a fragrant pine scent graces the Tresor lobby, giving guests an authentic, warm holiday feeling.
6. Chicago — The Drake
The elegant and majestic Drake Hotel, located at the top of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, welcomes guests into the warm lobby with a grand tree decked out with the most iconic Christmas imagery: Santa, a nutcracker, tiny soldiers and a train circling Santa’s village. Banisters and staircases are adorned with garland, while the Palm Court glows with tiny white lights during high tea, which features a harpist and carolers through Dec. 25.
7. Los Angeles — The Biltmore
The stately elegance and Old World-charm of the Millennium Biltmore creates an atmosphere of sophistication and class in downtown Los Angeles. Its lavish Victorian holiday décor is a refreshing departure from modern holiday design and a move toward traditional, classic Christmas cheer. The Los Angeles landmark features lively afternoon tea and live carolers, in addition to a grand New Year’s Eve gala. Guests can even put on a pair of skates and hit the city’s ice rink, located right across from the Biltmore, which sponsors the icy fun.
8. Maui — Four Seasons Resort Lana’i
The Four Seasons Resort Lana’i stands out with something extra special, in a destination known more for sand, surf and shells. This Maui hotel‘s Lodge at Koele is hugged by grand Cook Island pine trees as well as old Norfolk pines. These towering beauties add an element of New England, while giving it that touch needed to truly feel like Christmas. Add in a couple of roaring fireplaces in the hotel’s Great Hall, and you have a cozy nook to sip cocktails or hot chocolate as you count down the hours to the arrival of St. Nick.
9. San Francisco — The Fairmont
High atop Nob Hill, one of San Francisco’s most storied neighborhoods, sits the majestic and honorable Fairmont. This San Francisco hotel welcomes visitors throughout the holiday travel season with a noble tree guarding the lobby entrance. But what is truly outstanding is the two-story gingerbread house framing the entrance to the Fairmont’s Laurel Court Restaurant. It stands 23 feet tall and was built with 1,000 pounds of gingerbread, 350 pounds of chocolate and 150 pounds of candy — all constructed over the course of 300 hours! If this doesn’t re-energize the kids following a few hours of Union Square shopping, nothing will.
10. Washington, D.C. — Gaylord National
The Gaylord National is ensuring a white Christmas for its guests this year. This Washington, D.C. hotel has built ICE!, a dramatic icy village created from millions of pounds of ice, where guests can play and frolic through ice sculpture, zoom down ice slides and twirl on an actual ice skating rink. Each night, guests can enjoy indoor snowfall and even attempt to make a snowman. Spectacular holiday decorations abound, showcasing a gorgeous lighted tree.
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