Fairy lights, Christmas trees, festive meals, and even visits from Santa Claus himself… hotels across the world expressed their creativity to make the holiday season an unforgettable time for their customers. Let’s take a look at some of the most original initiatives, before we finally open the presents this Friday.
Decorations and initiatives beyond the Christmas tree
Christmas packages offered by hotels generally include holiday dinners or mulled wine brunches. But some properties launched original initiatives to celebrate the holiday season. After reopening its doors in 2014, the Royal Savoy Lausanne welcomed a Christmas market on its own esplanade, showcasing local wines and gastronomy. The Berkeley Hotel in London has transformed its spa into a forest cinema, allowing guests to take shelter in small wooden cabins.
In Paris, where hoteliers sought to revive the magic after November's tragic events, the Buddha-Bar Hotel chose to revisit the holiday season’s traditional flora, as a forest of birch and conifers rose from the ground in its courtyard. Thanks to a partnership with UGG Home, the property set up a comfortable forest hideaway by the ritzy Faubourg Saint-Honoré. In the nearby Four Seasons Hotel, a colony of penguins and a few polar bears look like they were carved out of ice, their mirror-like shapes reflecting the surrounding fairy lights. And customers of the Hotel Plaza Athénée may enjoy an ice rink set in the property's courtyard.
Recipes for a quirky Christmas
Some hotels found other ideas to make the headlines. The staff of the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel made a full-scale gingerbread house. It is 22 feet tall and includes almost 8,000 edible bricks, so it is even possible to get in and visit this fairytale house. According to the hotel staff, the structure required close to 900 hours of work. Similarly, the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island (Florida) chose to build a gingerbread pirate ship… the story doesn't tell if it was due to the proximity of the Bermuda Triangle.
Other quirky initiatives involved a key actor of the holiday season. Last Saturday, Santa Claus landed with a parachute in the courtyard of the luxury hotel Le Stelsia in Saint-Sylvestre-sur-Lot, where the owner Philippe Ginestet transformed the whole park of the “hotel-château” into a Christmas village. The most famous inhabitant of Lappland truly had a busy schedule: in Dubai, customers of the Atlantis, The Palm Hotel & Resort had the chance to see him scuba diving in the property’s aquariums.
Hotels feeling the Christmas spirit
In Virginia, the Roanoke Hotel is organizing an open seasonal competition. It aims to elect the best Christmas tree among 34 participants: guests can cast their vote until the end of the year with a few dollars from their wallet. The tree with the most money will be declared the winner. All the money collected will benefit a charity, United Way, supporting local projects in education, healthcare, and job training.
In Malaysia, the Grand Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur welcomed 55 underprivileged children aged between 6 and 12, and made sure they would have a memorable Christmas. They enjoyed a real holiday feast thanks to a partnership with the charities Agathian Shelter Homes, Precious Children’s Home and Rumah Charis. After practicing their Christmas carols and being entertained by a clown, the children were also given presents. The hotel general manager Ali Wahab pointed out that the season was, above anything else, an occasion to share the holiday cheer with the less fortunate.
If you appreciate this Christmas spirit just like we did at Hospitality ON, feel free to show your support to these hotels:
- Advent Calendar 2015
- Christmas markets: Christmas magic at work for the hotel sector
- December 2014: Europe's hotels in fine shape for New Year and Christmas' Eve
- December 2014: French hotels get their wishes filled at Christmas and New Year's
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