By Ruth Doherty
If you've hosted the big festive dinner for the last 10 years running, it's definitely time to treat yourself to a five-star Christmas holiday.
Not just any old hotel will do... We're thinking of fabulous fine-dining feasts in 16th century manors, romantic country retreats with crackling fires as a backdrop, contemporary coastal adult-only escapes that are pet-friendly too, and family fun like gingerbread decorating and Santa's Grottos in luxurious surroundings.
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And for the ultra-exclusive Christmas breaks, there's pampering in high-end spa hotels and culinary delights with festive cooking classes.
See below for our roundup of the best luxury Christmas breaks across the UK. It's the most wonderful time of the year...
Boringdon Hall, a magnificent 16th century country manor in Devon
Best for: Foodies
Boringdon Hall will be brimming with magical festive experiences and enticing treats from the kitchen this Christmas. Festive experiences include Festive Afternoon Tea, Santa’s Grotto, Christmas Party Night, Festive Murder Mystery Night and a wreathmaking workshop. On Christmas Eve, festivities start with a cocktail showcase with a cocktail mixologist, followed by a drinks reception in the Great Hall. On Christmas Day, Head Chef Scott Paton and his team will serve a splendid five-course feast complete with wine and all the trimmings. A delicious brunch will be served in the Gallery Restaurant complete with Mimosas and Bloody Marys on Boxing Day. Drink and be merry.
Lympstone Manor, a charming contemporary Georgian manor in Devon
Best for: Couples
Lympstone Manor is giving visitors the opportunity to experience two exclusive three-night packages – ‘Christmas at the Manor’ and ‘New Year at the Manor’, for the ultimate getaway. On Christmas Day, celebrations start with a lavish Champagne breakfast, where you can indulge in a five-course Christmas menu for lunch or dinner. On Boxing Day, you can take a stroll around the manor’s spectacular 28-acre grounds or participate in a guided excursion under the direction of a local guide along the Jurassic Coast and River Exe.
Pale Hall, a luxury country townhouse in North Wales
Best for: A cosy, romantic getaway
With gracious rooms and crackling open fires, Palé Hall creates a magical festive atmosphere that definitely feels like a five-star Christmas holiday. The air is heavy with pine and spices, roaring fires, beautiful trees, swags and garlands abounding. At midnight, enjoy light, love and fires, an old-fashioned hearth-and-home Christmas, beautiful surroundings, wonderful food, board games, presents and music. Sounds divine.
Fistral Beach & Spa, a contemporary hotel with jaw-dropping views in Newquay
Best for: Adults and dog-lovers
Toast to Christmas Day on the Cornish Coast at this heavenly adult-only hotel. At any festive celebration, food takes centre stage, and that’s no different at the Fistral Beach Hotel. Tuck into the mouthwatering dishes in Dune Restaurant, from salmon en croute, wilted spinach, herb new potatoes for mains to Christmas pudding, clotted cream, and brandy sauce for dessert. For the perfect mix of live music and DJing, the DJ and Sax duo graces the stage in the evenings in December. Well-behaved hounds are welcome too, with the hotel offering a selection of dog-friendly rooms, each with outside access, blankets and a food bowl.
The Esplanade, the picturesque hotel overlooking Fistral Beach in Cornwall
Best for: Families
This year The Esplanade will turn into a coastal wonderland for the whole family - with cosy accommodation, festive food and drink, live entertainment, free family activities and ocean views all included. Festive fun and games include gingerbread decorating and design-your-own hot chocolates at the hot chocolate bar for the little nippers. Live music will play in the evenings, alongside delicious seasonal dining.
Fairmont St Andrews, breathtaking surroundings in the 'Home of Golf' in Scotland
Best for: Children
At the Fairmont St Andrews, festive experiences include Santa’s Grotto, featuring Father Christmas and his helpers within a special Gingerbread Grotto, welcoming children of all ages. Complimentary family movies will be shown throughout the day in the auditorium. The Festive Savoy Afternoon Tea brings a magical menu of treats from the executive pastry chef and his team, to be enjoyed in the Atrium Lounge whilst watching the Zephyr lighting sculpture dancing above.
Forest Side, a fine dining experience overlooking the alluring Lake District surroundings
Best for: Views
On Christmas Eve, arrive at The Forest Side from 3pm to a glass of sparkling local mead and a warm minced pie. Later that evening, join everyone for a glass of fizz prior to dinner, with entertainment in the lounge, before you adjourn to the restaurant to enjoy a four-course tasting menu. On Christmas Day, enjoy a hearty breakfast, where you can view the stunning grounds and see the kitchen garden and woodland, working up an appetite for an eight-course Christmas lunch. Warm homemade gingerbread and tea will also be served throughout the afternoon. Enjoy the Christmas quiz and board games in the lounge, before an evening with the chefs, who will present a wonderful Hog Roast buffet supper, with trimmings and sides, a selection of cheeses and a selection of cakes and pastries. Can we come too?
Exclusive Hotels, luxury venues for spa-lovers, golf fans and culinary connoisseurs
Best for: Ultra-chic luxury
Christmastime at South Lodge Hotel and Spa in Sussex will feature mulled wine and minced pies upon arrival; full access to The Spa throughout the afternoon; sparkling drinks reception and a three-course welcome dinner in The Camellia Restaurant with wine or upgrade to a six-course tasting menu in Tom Kemble. Lainston House (pictured above), a charming 17th century country house situated in Winchester, will present the opportunity to take part in Season cookery school class; festive cakes and introduction to resident falconer; Champagne reception and Christmas carols, as well as a three-course feast with matched wines. Guests at The Manor House can indulge in a festive afternoon tea; a four-course dinner at The Bybrook with matched wines, a lovely stroll to local church for service and a round of golf or clay pigeon shooting. Pennyhill Park will welcome carol singers in The Ascot Bar with a drinks and canape reception; a four-course candlelit dinner and ‘Splash Time’ in The Spa for children.
See our out & about section for more stylish hotel and stays
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