heckfield place

Silent Night: The best luxury hotels for a magical Christmas break

27 Oct 2023 | Updated on: 03 Nov 2023 |By Annie Lewis

Offering festive feasting and Yuletide treats, let someone else do the hard work this Christmas with a stay at these spectacular hotels

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but with the pressure of accommodating the throngs of visiting family and friends, Christmas can also be one of the most stressful seasons. This year, let someone else do the hard work so you can spend some quality time with your nearest and dearest on a seasonal staycation. 

From five-star central London hideaways to sprawling country estates, Britain’s best luxury hotels have put together some truly indulgent packages to help you celebrate Christmas in style – with all the trimmings and none of the clean up. Whether you’re into carols and champagne or mince pies and mulled wine, these are the most magical hotels to which to head for a truly memorable Christmas stay…

Coworth Park, Ascot

Less than an hour from London, the Dorchester Collection’s country house hotel and spa is nestled next to Windsor Great Park and will be celebrating the holidays with festive stays, dining events and games to get the whole family into the spirit. The festive season will commence with the unveiling of Coworth Park’s Christmas decorations on 24 November, while various winter set menus and a festive afternoon tea will be available in Michelin-starred Woven by Adam Smith, The Drawing Room and The Barn. For the duration of the season, the latter will be transformed into a chic après-ski lodge where guests can enjoy piping-hot mulled wine or hot chocolate in the Windsor countryside. 

Arrive on Christmas Eve to join Coworth Park’s Christmas Party and be whisked through a magical entrance into a woodland home. Prepare to unwind with the champagne afternoon tea in The Drawing Room’s delightful Nordic winter wonderland, accompanied by festive carols. Children are welcomed with a story in the Oak Room and Christmas card-making or family board games in the Garden Room. After a three-course dinner at Woven by Adam Smith or The Barn, optional transfers to Holy Trinity Sunningdale for Midnight Mass are available, followed by hot drinks in the Drawing Room. On Christmas Day, Father Christmas will be making a visit before the traditional dinner, and post-lunch festivities will take place in the Mansion House with an open house buffet style dinner and live entertainment from 7pm. The festive fun continues on Boxing Day with a leisurely brunch and activities including assorted country pursuits, with cream tea served in the Drawing Room. 

Christmas at Coworth Park is available for a three night package from 24-27 December at £5,370, or the two night package from 24-26 December at £3,880, visit dorchestercollection.com

Pan Pacific London, Liverpool Street

Five-star hotel Pan Pacific, in the heart of the City, is pulling out all the stops this Christmas with its Family Festive Fun package, designed to keep children engaged, happy and entertained throughout. From the hotel’s spectacular seasonal immersive light installation through to unique wellbeing treatments designed for children, there’s so much to do and see. On arrival at the family hotel, families will be greeted by Mosaic, an installation designed by Arnaud Lapierre to resemble a traditional Christmas tree made from recycled emerald-green glass and up to 200 mirrored cubes. VIYPs (very important young persons) are then checked in to the Singa Cub Club, a programme encouraging them to explore the hotel with their goodie basket, featuring a Little Explorers Adventure Pack and Cub Club activity booklet. 

Parents and children can also take advantage of Pan Pacific London’s Sensory Wellbeing floor and enjoy the hotel’s unique collaboration with luxury French brand, Bonpoint. A first in the UK, little ones can experience an introduction to the world of wellness with bespoke treatments designed to illuminate the senses. Elsewhere, festive feasts await at Straits Kitchen where children under six can dine for free and will also have the chance to meet the big man on Christmas Day. What’s more, visitors can delight in the new Kaleidoscope Afternoon Tea Collection in The Orchid Lounge, featuring exquisite patisserie and Asian savouries, while children tuck into the Little Kopi Tiam Afternoon Tea complete with activity sheets, sweet treats, dainty sandwiches and stollen scones.

The Family Festive Fun package is available until 7 January 2024 from £690 per room, visit panpacificlondon.com

Fowey Hall, Cornwall

Overlooking the historic Cornish estuary, Fowey Hall is a Victorian mansion perfect for a festive break on the coast. Boasting both indoor and outdoor pools, and located just a 10-minute walk from Fowey’s Readymoney Cove, the five-star hotel is within walking distance of the town’s Michelin-starred restaurants and markets – so there’s no chance of anyone getting bored. 

The four-night Christmas Break from 23-27 December starts with a chilled glass of bubbly before you and your family can decorate your very own Christmas tree in your room. Festive activity highlights on the lead up to the big day include bauble-making sessions in the Ofsted-registered Four Bears Den, winter walks and cold water swimming at Readymoney Cove and the annual Gingerbread House competition. Christmas Day will see sacks of presents delivered outside your door, family board games competitions, Crufts at Christmas for your furry friends and festive family movies in the Cinema Room. 

The Christmas Break is available from 23-27 December from £1,825, visit luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk

Heckfield Place, Hampshire

Heckfield Place is a beautiful Georgian family home at the heart of a 438-acre Hampshire estate that’s less than an hour from London. In the run up to Christmas, guests can enjoy warming hot chocolate or mulled wine while strolling around the on-site festive markets; book wreath-making workshops and tablescaping sessions. Those looking for Christmas breaks, can book from Christmas Eve where guests can enjoy a sleigh ride with Father Christmas and his reindeer, with a warm hot chocolate in hand. Warm up in the Drawing Room and enjoy a harpist and choir before a decadent dinner at Heckfield Place’s Marle. On Christmas Day, guests are invited to feast at Marle, followed by a long walk in the property’s expansive grounds. In the evening, cosy up and watch festive favourites from the Screening Room or listen to live music in the drawing room before a Christmas supper at Hearth. 

Festive at Heckfield starts from £550 per night, visit heckfieldplace.com

Moonfleet Manor, Dorset

Another family-friendly festive break can be found on Dorset's Fleet, overlooking Chesil Beach and moments from the unique flora and fauna of the Jurassic Coast. This winter, the manor's veranda has been transformed into an indoor activity hub suited to inclement British weather, featuring a traversing wall, skittle alley, retro arcade games, crazy golf and a play area for under-fives to keep children of all ages entertained.

The Christmas Break from 23-27 December ensures every detail will be taken care of. Itinerary highlights include Den sessions for last-minute present wrapping, the hotel’s Treasure Island Pantomime, Santa's Grotto and guided winter walks along the Jurassic Coast searching for fossils with the in-house palaeontology team. From breakfast to supper, you can trust Moonfleet Manor will be pulling out all the stops with indulgent dining complete with fizz and entertainment. Just make sure you don’t miss mulled wine, mince pies and chocolate around the firepit, and the traditional carolling, too. 

The Christmas Break is available from 23-27 December from £1,815, visit luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk

Great Northern Hotel, King’s Cross

The Grade-II listed Great Northern Hotel (GNH), the capital’s oldest railway property situated in King’s Cross, will be celebrating the festive season in style. The hotel’s winter terrace, a collaboration with whisky brand Rabbit Hole, is the perfect spot to watch the world go by before enjoying a festive menu at Rails, including plates of Chapel and Swan smoked salmon with sourdough toast, or a duck and pistachio terrine with a Bloody Mary relish, before roast turkey with all the trimmings or braised ox cheek with pomme purée and a red wine jus. 

Elsewhere, immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit with festive activities for all ages including a gingerbread decorating and mulled-wine workshop from 7 November to 16 December. The hotel has also created a luxury wreath-making class in collaboration with expert florist, Roseur, who are hosting the two-hour workshop at their Coal Drop Yard shop where sparkling drinks will be served as you’re taught how to create the most beautiful festive wreath. 

From £264 per night, visit gnhlondon.com

Mondrian Shoreditch

Celebrate the festive season in style at Mondrian Shoreditch, which will be counting down to the big day with its 12 Days of Christmas package, which includes the chance to dine on delicious tapas at Bibo Shoreditch, escape the cold with a warming cocktail or two at Christina’s, or relax and unwind with Mondrian’s carefully crafted luxury gift set. The festive package is bookable from 13 December, where, every day until Christmas Eve, one lucky guest who booked directly with the hotel will discover one of these delightful surprises tucked inside their Christmas cracker found inside their room, where a bottle of champagne will be waiting…

From £255 per night, visit book.ennismore.com

Sopwell House, Hertfordshire

Celebrate the magic of Christmas at luxury hotel and spa Sopwell House with its two- and three-night festive stay packages, within 30 minutes from London. Get into the festive spirit with the family on Christmas Eve with a glass of mulled wine on arrival before a festive afternoon tea, including a special sweet treat selection for little ones. Unwind in the award-winning Cottonmill Spa, or settle down for movies and games with the kids in the games room. Come the evening, join Sopwell House’s carol singing before enjoying a sparkling fizz and canapé reception followed by a three-course dinner in the glamorous St Alban Suite. Dance into the wee hours with the hotel’s resident DJ spinning a roster of Christmas tunes.

On the big day itself, wake up to a hearty breakfast buffet followed by a visit from the big man in red and a five-course Christmas lunch. Surrounded by woodland, guests can blow the cobwebs out with their feast around Sopwell’s 12-acre grounds or head for a dip in the heated pool, before heading to the Brasserie where a supper buffet awaits. Those extending their stay on Boxing Day can take advantage of all that Sopwell House has to offer, including lunch in the St Alban Suite accompanied by live jazz and a final celebratory Asian-inspired dinner at Omboo with wine and sake. 

Christmas Residential Packages are available from 24-25 December from £889; 25-26 December from £934; and 24-26 from £1,286, visit sopwellhouse.co.uk

Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath

The five-star Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa in Bath is hosting a three-night Christmas at the Crescent package. From Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day, celebrations will begin with mulled wine and a festive afternoon tea, before guests can spend an afternoon at their leisure where the spa will be open for indulgent treatments. The evening’s itinerary features the champagne and canapé reception, accompanied with carol singers by candlelight, followed by a three-course dinner. 

Christmas Day celebrations will start with a leisurely breakfast and champagne, before the traditional lunch with all the festive trimmings and wines from the house cellar. Guests can then retreat to the Garden Cinema to enjoy a festive film with Baileys hot chocolate and popcorn. In the evening, head chef Martin Blake will conjure up a light buffet supper, served with wines selected by the hotel’s award-winning sommelier. Guests will dine on a delicious breakfast on Boxing Day morning and take time to wander around Bath before a five-course Farewell Festive Dinner and the opportunity to join the Royal Crescent Casino.

Christmas at the Crescent is available from 24-26 December from £1,839, visit royalcrescent.co.uk

The Savoy, The Strand

the savoy london christmas

This Christmas, London Grand Dame The Savoy has partnered with champagne house Laurent-Perrier to celebrate all that is special about Christmas. Launching on 19 November, Coming Home for Christmas will offer quintessentially London experiences and charming adventures for all to enjoy. Upon arrival at Savoy Court, guests will be greeted by the large Christmas tree, while The Savoy’s ornate steam train will take centre stage and invite guests into one of its sumptuous carriages for a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé.

For those looking to indulge in all festivities, The Savoy’s Laurent-Perrier Christmas Sparkle is the perfect seasonal treat. Featuring a two-night stay with a bottle of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée on arrival, breakfast for two on each morning, and a Laurent-Perrier cocktail and canapés in the train, this is the perfect experience for both Londoners and out-of-towners to enjoy the best of the capital at Christmas. 

Christmas Sparkle package is available from 1-30 December from £1,965, visit savoychristmas.com

Foresters Hall, Isle of Wight

Make the most of the UK’s most beautiful isles at Foresters Hall in Cowes with its A Very Wight Christmas package. Offering a three-night stay starting on 24 December, guests are invited to tuck into an afternoon tea featuring boozy mince pies and spiced mulled wine while listening to the hotel’s favourite jazz trio. As the afternoon drifts into twilight, venture out to explore Cowes and return to the sound of champagne corks popping as the hotel kicks off celebrations with Christmas cocktails. After a seasonal dinner by Smoking Lobster chef Jake Storey, there will be live music, night caps and stocking hanging. 

On Christmas Day, enjoy the traditional four-course lunch and Christmas puddings. Guests can then sink into sofas in front of an open fire, take advantage of the hotel library, or opt for a crisp walk in the hotel’s complimentary wellies. Boxing Day will start with a Bloody Mary and hot breakfast, before guests can head out for a traditional Boxing Day swim at Gurnard Beach or explore the island on the hotel’s complimentary bicycles, while stopping off for a late lunch at Smoking Lobster Cowes to sample its Asian-inspired menu.

A Very Wight Christmas is available from 24-27 December from £917, visit forestershall.com

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