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Nine festive hotels for holiday stays

11:02 AM, Dec 18, 2013   |    comments
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USA TODAY - Many people will spend the holidays at home or visiting family, but for some, it has become tradition to spend the time on vacation. 

Just because you're staying in a hotel doesn't mean you'll miss out on holiday cheer; in fact, these amazing holiday hotels around the globe go above and beyond to spread the holiday spirit. 

Think: welcome mugs of hot chocolate, elaborate Christmas decorations, visits from Santa, carol singing and more. Feeling Christmas-y yet?

New York Palace
New York City
The New York Palace is one of the best hotels for enjoying Christmas in New York City. It offers a prime location right next to St. Patrick's Cathedral (which has Christmas masses) and about a block away from the giant tree and famous skating rink at Rockefeller Center. It also has guards in toy-soldier-style uniforms next to the stunning outdoor Christmas tree (they are happy to pose for photos!) and a Nutcracker brunch at Villard Michel Richard


Ashford Castle
Ireland
We can't imagine a better place to wake up on Christmas morning than an Irish castle. The hotel offers a special Christmas and New Year package, and will be offering mulled wine and mince pies to guests who arrive on Christmas Eve. As if that weren't enough, Santa Claus himself will show up at 10 p.m. with gifts for guests, which will be followed by carol singing. If that won't get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will!

The Bellagio
Las Vegas
Las Vegas may be known as Sin City, but its world-class shopping and elaborate decorations actually make it an amazing Christmas destination. The Bellagio decks out its conservatory and botanical garden with jaw-dropping décor every year; expect a giant tree, polar bears and reindeer. After you're done oohing and aahing, you can stock up on Christmas presents at 42,000-square-foot Via Bellagio luxury shopping area, home to Chanel, Fendi, Dior and more.


Burnham, A Kimpton Hotel
Chicago
At Christmas, Chicago visitors flock to Daley Plaza, home to a gorgeous tree and Christkindlmarket, a traditional German-American Christmas market. The Burnham, a historic boutique hotel with details such as wrought iron, mosaic tiles and marble stairs, is only a block away. The hotel also offers a "Come in from the Cold" package that includes spiked hot chocolate or coffee and s'mores delivery to your room.


Hotel Le Bristol
Paris
If you enjoy Christmas lights, it's hard to pick a better destination for Christmas than, well, the City of Light. During the Christmas season, there will be a giant Christmas tree in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the plane trees along the Champs Elysees will be decked out with rings of LED bulbs. Hotel Le Bristol, just a short walk from the Champs Elysees and department store Christmas displays, will offer a special Christmas Eve menu at Michelin-starred Epicure, special Christmas tea mixes at teatime and of course, Christmas trees and decorations.

Halekulani
Waikiki, Hawaii
Bing Crosby's famous Christmas song Mele Kalikimaka taught us how to say Merry Christmas in Hawaiian, and these islands are an ever-popular place to escape the cold during the holiday season. The Halekulani in Waikiki is a particularly appropriate choice, as it is offering special holiday events leading up to Christmas Eve with its "12 Days of Christmas" program. Expect holiday cookie decorating, and on the 24th, Santa himself arriving by outrigger canoe on Waikiki Beach.

Omni Parker House
Boston
If you love Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, then where better to stay than the hotel that held the first-ever reading of the work on American soil? To celebrate this history, the Omni Parker House hosts a reading of the story every December. This year, there is also a special "Elves and Eggnog" package that includes discounted holiday rates and free specialty eggnog cocktails.

The Willard Intercontinental
Washington, D.C.
The Willard Intercontinental is one of D.C.'s grand dames, and it celebrates the holidays in style, with nightly choral concerts, a gingerbread U.S. Capitol building, gorgeous decorations and a special holiday afternoon tea. It's also just a short walk from The National Christmas Tree, located on the Ellipse near the White House.

The Milestone Hotel
London
The Milestone is perhaps the most famous boutique hotel in London, and certainly lives up to its expectations, with exquisitely designed rooms and exceptional service. There is an elaborate "Christmas Extravaganza" package on offer that includes a turndown gift of a gold and diamond necklace, myrrh and frankincense; those staying on Christmas Eve get a Christmas tree in the room and a stocking full of presents!

USATODAY(Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY)

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