It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Christmas Dreams Come True at Leading Hotels Around the World

12 Apostles Hotel and Spa

T’was the night before Christmas... will you be in Tallinn, Nice, Cape Town, Chiang Mai, or New York City? Members of The Leading Hotels of the World from Asia to South Africa are preparing very special ways for travelers to celebrate, to help you and your loved ones create memories to last a lifetime. What follows is but a small sampling of places where you could be when Santa Claus comes to town.

It’s the perfect year to celebrate the holiday season in Estonia, the birthplace of the Christmas tree. According to old German chronicles, the first documented use of a tree in winter celebrations was in Estonia in 1441. At the Schloessle Hotel, Tallinn a unique and truly intimate atmosphere greets you as you step across the threshold of this very special hotel. Massive wooden beams, antique furnishings and elegant décor give a luxurious baronial experience. Located in the center of the city’s Old Town, the hotel is only a few steps away from tempting shopping and the Town Hall Square. Decorated to reflect Tallinn’s historic charm, all rooms feature furniture that includes numerous local antiques, providing their own distinctive character. Valid from November 27 to December 30, 2010, the Schloessle’s Christmas in Tallinn Package is priced at EUR 617 double occupancy, and includes roundtrip transfers from your point of arrival in town; two nights in a deluxe double room; a special Christmas present in your room; a private, guided walking tour in Old Town; a glass of hot mulled wine and gingerbread in the Christmas Market in Town Hall Square; and a four-course dinner one evening in the award-winning restaurant Stenhus.
Booking code is PY.

When you think of the French Riviera, you might not conjure up images of mistletoe and holly, but Hotel Negresco in Nice is recently refurbished and ready to greet the season. Inaugurated in 1913, and listed as a National Historic Monument, this privately owned Belle Époque palace is located on the seafront promenade overlooking the Bay of Angels. Furnished throughout with a unique personal collection of antiques and contemporary works of art, the hotel is a veritable voyage of discovery. The elegant rooms and suites are all individually decorated and bear such evocative names as Suite Louis XVI, Pompadour, and Traviata. With its Around My Christmas Tree offer, the Negresco gets its guests in a festive mood, too. Valid for the nights of December 24 and 25, the package is priced from EUR 980 per night, and includes accommodation in a sea-view suite or junior suite, decorated with a real Christmas tree; daily buffet breakfast in La Rotonde restaurant; a gastronomic Christmas dinner on December 24, in the intimacy of your room (beverages not included); and a Santa Claus surprise gift. Additional nights can be booked on the 23rd and/or 26th. Booking code is PY.

For those who may want to escape a traditional white Christmas, but also want to avoid the crowds at Caribbean resorts, 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, South Africa, has the answer. There may not be lights twinkling on sparkling white snow in December, but the southern summer brings glorious days of sunshine that carry an irresistible invitation to the beaches and the shaded mountain slopes. Enjoy the great outdoors at the majestic Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and picnic with traditional carols by candlelight. With breathtaking sea views over Africa’s southern coastline, exceptional style, generous hospitality, and an elegant sense of place which inspires the celebration of life, the hotel provides the perfect setting for creating everlasting holiday memories. Santa’s Sleigh Goes Everywhere package, with a six-night minimum stay, and valid from December 1, 2010, to January 5, 2011, is priced from ZAR 13,225 per night for two adults in a sea-facing suite. It includes roundtrip helicopter transfers from Cape Town International Airport direct to the hotel’s own heli-pad; daily in-room breakfasts served by an attentive butler; full-day peninsula private tour; one sunset gazebo spa treatment per couple; a full-day excursion by helicopter to the Stellenbosch Wine lands; tickets to Carols by Candlelight at Kirstenbosch Garden with a deluxe Fynbos picnic hamper; candlelit dinner for two one evening; helicopter transfer to Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Retreat and Wellness Reserve, with a nature drive and lunch in the Reserve before returning to Cape Town; and tax. Booking code is PZ.

Another mild-weather destination option for Christmas is Thailand’s The Chedi Chiang Mai. Nestled on the banks of the River Ping, the resort is the perfect base from which to explore the mountain trails, elephant sanctuaries and gold-dome temples for which the area is famous. The resort offers an alluring mix of modern architecture and British colonial style; the best example of which can be seen at The Restaurant. Housed in a former British consulate building that is one hundred years old, it serves northern Thai and Pacific Rim cuisine. Thanks to a plugged-in concierge, Chedi guests have access to a myriad of activities, but those coming from Bangkok appreciate the resort as a tranquil break. The resort’s Christmas Package, valid from December 24 to 27, 2010, has rates starting at THB 49071.73, single or double occupancy, which include three nights’ accommodation; daily breakfast; roundtrip airport transfer by hotel limousine; dinner on Christmas Eve with a set menu and free-flowing warm gluwe wine; lunch on Christmas Day with free-flowing sparkling wine or Mojitos; a sunset cruise one evening, complete with tapas and champagne ; a choice of a 180-minute spa treatment : either the Chedi package with aromatherapy foot polish, Chedi jade massage, an organic facial, Asian-style foot massage, Oriental body polish and Oriental bathing ceremony; or the Siam package with aromatherapy foot polish, Thai herbal steam, traditional Thai massage, warm herbal compress, and Thai-style reflexology. Booking code is PV. Guests booking Chedi Club suites enjoy additional perks and amenities, including complimentary drinks in-room from the mini-bar (one refill per day); complimentary laundry services, up to seven pieces per day; and evening cocktails at the Chedi Club Lounge.

Perhaps the world’s most iconic holiday destination is ‘Christmas in New York.’ Fifth Avenue all a-glow; department store windows with festive, animated scenes; the magnificent tree in Rockefeller Center. There is also the enormous crush of shoppers and the madness of holiday traffic. How to have the fun and lose the stress? Head downtown to Tribeca and stay at The Greenwich Hotel. Wood-burning fireplaces, carefully selected and well-loved antique furnishings, oak flooring and exposed brick walls combine to make the perfect counterpoint to the uptown glitter. Which is not to say the hotel’s Ultimate Christmas in New York is anything but glamorous! Valid from December 1, 2010, to January 9, 2011, it is priced from USD 8,500, single or double occupancy, and includes three nights’ accommodation in a suite with a fireplace; egg nog or hot chocolate on arrival; stockings hung by the fireplace filled with special goodies for the children; a Christmas tree in the suite with a basket of decorations – guests can decorate their own tree, or request a tree that has already been decorated for them; a five-hour chauffeured tour to see some of New York City’s classic Christmas destinations, including Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue shopping, and ice skating in Central Park; an afternoon spa getaway for the parents including one 80-minute massage per person, and four hours of babysitting provided by the hotel; dinner for four (excluding alcohol) in Locanda Verde one evening; and presents from Santa delivered to the suite – under the tree and in the stockings. Booking code is PX.

Please note: All programs and packages listed above are subject to availability. Discounts and special offers cannot be combined. Not applicable to previous bookings. Not applicable to group bookings. Local taxes and service charges are additional. Certain restrictions may apply.

About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.

The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. is the prestigious luxury hospitality organization representing nearly 450 of the world’s finest hotels, resorts and spas. Its mission is to curate and champion an exclusive collection of independent properties, including grand palaces and intimate city hideaways, luxury tent enclaves and expansive self-contained resorts. Established in 1928 by several influential and forward-thinking European hoteliers, it started with 38 initial members. Honoring this tradition, the company recognizes the strength and appeal of each hotel lies in its distinctiveness, innovation and relationship to its destination. Its loyal customers demand levels of quality they have come to expect of the brand, while seeking authentic and enriching travel experiences. To be considered for inclusion, a hotel must adhere to strict quality standards and master the art of extraordinary hospitality. Leading Hotels are bound together in excellence, yet unique in character.

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Jennifer Oberstein
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