Hope y’all had a happy Christmas! The “most wonderful time of the year” can be extended by taking a quick trip to some spectacular places that do an excellent job of celebrating the season. A post- Christmas vacation can offer cheerful decorations and special events that continue the holiday spirit, all set against the backdrop of a beautiful destination. To keep the festive spirit going, why not take a quick trip to these Southern cities with these gorgeous hotels as your base?
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans | New Orleans, LA
The spirit of the holiday season fills The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans for another year of dazzling decor and festive traditions in the heart of the French Quarter. Upon entering the Beaux Arts retreat, guests will be greeted with wonder and merriment as a new multi-color light and ornament display illuminates the lobby and sets the stage for holiday memories to be made, along with a gingerbread river boat as a nod to the importance of marine/river commerce to The Crescent City. The confection-covered vessel is named the SS Bingle, after Mister Bingle, the holiday mascot of Maison Blanche department store, the previous occupant of our building who can be spotted perched on the top deck. The decor offers a season of beloved traditions at the hotel including holiday Papa Noel Tea and gingerbread house building, along with culinary experiences that allow for extra time to enjoy the celebration with loved ones through the new year.
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island | Amelia Island, FL
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island welcomes guests of all ages to reconnect and commemorate time-honored traditions and festive decor this holiday season. The World’s Largest Gingerbread Pirate Ship will be docked in the lobby, crafted with handmade gingerbread planking and adorned with sugar-sculpted pirates wearing bright fondant clothing. Rekindling a favorite holiday tradition, the resort will also host the annual Build-A-Gingerbread House experience with a pastry chef where they unveil the secrets of building and decorating a gingerbread house, sharing techniques that use an array of sweet and savory treats. Guests can also enjoy a selection of culinary experiences like Santa’s Storybook Tea, Breakfast with Santa and a New Year’s Eve Black & White Gala.
Old Edwards Inn & Spa | Highlands, North Carolina
Old Edwards Inn & Spa creates comfort and joy during the entire year, but in December, that takes on an even more magical meaning. Festivities and celebrations center around cozy fires with live music, delicious foods and beverages, holiday decorations around every corner and just enough sparkle to make your spirits soar. This year, enjoy the annual tree lighting celebration, holiday movies, game nights and season dining offerings like the Warm Toffee Cocktail.
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee | Greensboro, GA
Celebrate the festive season lakeside at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. From delicious treats and train rides to family dinners to celebrate the season, the resort provides guests with a variety of experiences such as a playful Hansel and Gretel-themed gingerbread house curated by Pastry Chef Michael Gaddy displayed in the lobby; The Winter Forest, an ice skating rink with festive cocktails and activities for the whole family; caroling on the Linger Longer Express and reindeer games to create memories that last a lifetime. The festive season kicks off with the Lighting of the Lake, where Santa arrives at the resort (in a fun surprising way each year!) and flips the switch on over 500,000 lights and a grand Christmas Tree. With chef-curated dining specials and themed spa treatments, there is truly something to cross off everyone in the family’s list this year. Surprises are in store for both children and adults as the resort decks the halls, ensuring each moment is merry and bright.
Editor’s Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.