My guide on the best luxury hotels for the Christmas break – this was written for Christmas 2018 but will certainly be useful if you’re already thinking of 2019!Luxury hotels could be made for Christmas. Think of the best luxury country house hotels for Christmas and instantly you can picture the festive scene: comfy sofas, roaring fires, beautiful decorations and acres of grounds for the Boxing Day walk (or a top spa for some baserious pampering). Many luxury hotels offer two- or three-night breaks which wraps up the whole of Christmas in a festive offering, often starting with welcome drinks, carol-singing and dinner on Christmas Eve, followed by a Champagne cocktail and Christmas Day breakfast, the all-important Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings, and then a Boxing Day buffet. Sprinkled among all this festivity will be Christmas films, time for presents and the Queen’s Speech (Christmas at a luxury hotel is nothing if not traditional).
Added to this might be a luxury spa, activities such as falconry, wine-tasting, treasure hunts, black tie dances, cocktail classes, Christmas games and quizzes (Father Christmas could even make an appearance) and probably the best thing of all: absolutely no washing up. You will be looked after, pampered, indulged and thoroughly cosseted and while all this comes at a price, well, it’s only once a year after all. However each hotel chooses to celebrate Christmas, you can be sure of three things: it will be memorable, it won’t be cheap, and there’ll be a massive Christmas tree. Feeling festive yet?
Below is a round-up of some of Britain’s top hotels and their Christmas packages. If any take your fancy then be quick as many are selling out (I’ve included some at the end who have already sold out but which are too good not to include – time to start planning for Christmas 2019!). Good tidings to all!
The hotel: A 350-year old country house set in 376 acres of magnificent formal gardens and woodland, Cliveden is one of Britain’s grandest country houses and fittingly promises an ‘iconic’ Christmas house party. The hotel where Meghan Markle spent the night before marrying Prince Harry is a Grade 1-listed stately home complete with antique furniture and a thoroughly modern spa and guests can expect a Christmas celebration worthy of Downton Abbey.
The Christmas package: Christmas Eve starts with mulled wine and mince pies and a champagne reception with carol singers followed by a three-course gourmet dinner with wines, while there’s a three-course Christmas lunch with wines on the big day itself. On Boxing Day there’s a brunch buffet followed by a ‘butler’s tour’ of the stunning building, then dinner with wines and dancing.
Cost: Prices start from £3,585 per room based on two sharing.
Read what it’s like to stay at Cliveden here
The hotel: A stunning but welcoming grand historic hotel in the heart of Dartmoor
The Christmas package: Arrive on Christmas Eve for lunch and a host of festive activities including cider and sloe gin making, plus afternoon tea with carol singing. The evening includes welcome drinks, a candlelit dinner and the opportunity to attend Midnight Mass at the local church. On Christmas Day take part in Bovey Castle’s scavenger hunt, then enjoy the beautiful scenery with a guided walk followed by a drinks reception and Christmas Day lunch. A buffet will be served in the Great Western that evening, then a nightcap while a storyteller weaves tales in front of the fire. After brunch on Boxing Day, sign up for the golf tournament or a guided walk, enjoy ferret racing or nearest the pin golf competition, with hot chocolate and mulled wine. The day finishes with a five-course black tie dinner and entertainment in the Great Western Restaurant.
Costs: From £2,730 per person for a three-night stay based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Bovey Castle here
The hotel: In the pretty village of Cuckfield, 28-room Ockenden Manor combines the history of an Elizabethan manor house with a first-class modern spa
The Christmas package: Start off with an indulgent afternoon tea, a Sussex sparkling wine reception with carols around the tree then dinner in the elegant restaurant on shared party tables, Midnight mass followed by mulled wine and home-made mince pies. For Christmas Day there’s a continental breakfast, sparkling wine reception with canapés followed by a six course lunch, tea and Christmas cake, light buffet supper with harpist accompaniment in the evening. Boxing Day: Full English breakfast with Sussex sparkling wine, full afternoon tea with Christmas Cake and cocktails before a gourmet dinner – plus full use of its award-winning spa and swimming pools
Costs: From £1,025 per person based on two sharing
Read my review of Ockenden Manor here
The hotel: A stunning, five star luxury hotel on the Bedfordshire border which has starred in several films including Four Weddings and a Funeral and Eyes Wide Shut. The vast 1,065 acre estate is perfect for a Christmas ramble and the hotel has its own championship golf course and fleet of London taxis to ferry guests around.
The Christmas package: There’s a packed schedule of festive fun at Luton Hoo this year. On Christmas Eve guests can take part in gin-tasting or a history tour, Christmas card making, traditional afternoon tea, a family swim or watch a festive film before champagne and carols, dinner in the award-winning Wernher restaurant before transport to Midnight Mass and returning for hot toddies and mince pies. Christmas Day starts with gifts from Father Christmas, Christmas lunch, children’s story time before more films, a family quiz, the Queen’s Speech, tea and Christmas cake followed by a buffet dinner and snooker competition. There’s a food and wine quiz on Boxing Day, plus clay pigeon shooting, crossbow and archery on the lawn, a champagne reception and a race night dinner.
Cost: From £895 per person for three nights or £990 for four nights, based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Luton Hoo here
The hotel: A charming boutique hotel right on the coast at Babbacombe Bay and just a few miles from Torquay. From the welcome glass of sloe gin to the excellent locally-sourced food, cosy spa and luxury beach suites, Cary Arms is a memorable place to stay.
The Christmas package: Cary Arms is throwing a Christmas ‘house party’ for its guests – a three-night stay including cocktail parties, dinners and entertainment. Arrive on Christmas Eve and settle into your room with its wild and wintery sea views before a Christmas Eve cocktail party and supper. Christmas Day arrives with a Champagne English breakfast, then a five-course feast and an afternoon relaxing over billiards or a game of cards. Boxing Day can be spent in its spa or enjoying a blustery walk along the bay, ending up with dinner accompanied by the resident pianist.
Cost: Starting from £1650 for a double room, two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Cary Arms and spa here
The hotel: A five star, 250-year old hotel in Bath’s stunning Royal Crescent.
The Christmas package: The Royal Crescent says guests can ‘experience the magic of a traditional Christmas with a bespoke three-night stay in Bath complete with candlelit carolling, festive afternoon tea and a hearty Christmas lunch.’ The stay includes a candlelit Champagne and canape reception, a treasure hunt, a casino with ‘fun money’ and festive prizes plus a five-course Boxing Day dinner with wines. Transport for Bath Abbey for Midnight Mass is also on offer, with a winter cocktail and mince pies awaiting guests on their return.
Cost: From £1,491 per person based on two sharing
The hotel: Quintessential country house hotel with Michelin-starred restaurant, top spa and beautiful ornate gardens.
The Christmas package: Four days of indulgence and celebration await guests at Whatley Manor starting with a bottle of chilled Champagne in your room, afternoon tea and then a 12-course dining experience on 23rd December. There’s wine-tasting, a candlelit dinner on Christmas Eve, plus transport to Midnight Mass at Malmesbury Abbey. There’s a traditional lunch on Christmas Day plus board games and evening buffet, and then Boxing Day treats include a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum, a falconry demonstration on the Grand Lawn and a five-course black tie Gala dinner.
Cost: From £3,350 per room including full use of spa
Read what it’s like to stay at Whatley Manor here
The hotel: The view from the hotel’s terrace will take your breath away – rolling lawns surrounded by Ashdown Forest (which inspired Winnie-the-Pooh creator AA Milne). The 106-bedroom hotel in 186 acre-estate is full of beautiful historic rooms and even boasts its own spa and chapel.
The Christmas package: Ashdown Park is offering three and four-night packages starting with a Christmas Eve champagne and canape reception with carols, a candlelit dinner in its Anderida restaurant, hot toddies and mince pies to welcome people returning from Midnight Mass. Christmas Day begins with breakfast, mince pies and mulled wine – and a visit from Father Christmas – and continues with a buffet lunch, afternoon champagne quiz and then a five-course traditional Christmas Dinner in the evening. Boxing Day treats includes clay pigeon shooting, archery and a falconry display, a quiz and a treasure hunt and after a Black Tie gala dinner, a casino evening with roulette and live music. Spa access included throughout the stay
Cost: From £995 per person for three nights, £1,120 for the four-night package
Read what it’s like to stay at Ashdown Park hotel here
The hotel: Gorgeously cosy and charming boutique hotel with Rosemary Verey gardens, spa and private cinema
The Christmas package: The three-day break includes a Champagne afternoon tea and three-course dinner on Christmas Eve, Champagne reception with canapes and three-course Christmas Day lunch, buffet dinner Christmas Day evening and a Boxing Day pie and quiz night at The Village Pub just yards away
Cost: From £2,149 per room based on two people sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Barnsley House here
The hotel: One of London’s most established hotels – it’s a favourite with the Queen and Kate Middleton stayed here the night before her wedding to Prince William – this family-owned hotel is impeccably English, stylish and impressive while being warm and hospitable.
The Christmas package: The Goring’s three-night programme starts off with champagne and chocolates in your room on arrival, Christmas Eve dinner in the Dining Room, a Christmas gift from Jeremy Goring, and Christmas Day Dinner where options include poached quail, langoustine tartare, roast Caldecott Farm turkey and Goring’s own Christmas Pudding. Guests can walk off the calories through the nearby Royal Parks – St James’s and Green Park – and return via Buckingham Palace to warm up by a roaring fire.
Cost: From £990 per person based on two sharing. The hotel says only the Belgravia Suite is currently available which is £2,320 per person based on two sharing.
The hotel: A Grade 2-listed Georgian manor house with 28 acres and Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines
The Christmas package: Arrive on Christmas Eve to mince pies and mulled wine before joining other guests for wine-tasting. In the evening enjoy aperitifs and canapés with live music from the Swing Kings, followed by an eight-course tasting menu in the Georgian fine dining rooms. Afterwards there’s the option to have a chauffeured service to Midnight Mass at Exeter Cathedral. There’s a champagne breakfast on Christmas Day, followed by a five course Christmas lunch menu – plus chef Michael Caine’s mum’s famous Christmas pudding, then on Boxing Day take a stroll around the grounds of Lympstone Manor or join a guided walk for an exursion along the coastline and River Exe with a local guide.
Cost: Two nights from £868 per night based on two people sharing, three nights from £797 per night.
The hotel: Less than a few furlongs from the world-famous Cheltenham racecourse, Ellenborough Park is an impressive, 15th century luxury Cotswolds manor house with the racing theme running from the hotel bar to the rooms.
The Christmas package: Ellenborough Park is offering two and three-night packages. Arrive on Christmas Eve to a festive afternoon tea buffet, then a champagne and canape reception, dinner, mulled wine and mince pies. Christmas Day includes English breakfast, Christmas Day lunch and buffet dinner, and Boxing Day dinner. Guests can hike Ellenborourgh Park’s 90 acres, swim in the heated outdoor pool or opt for a range of country pursuits including archery, clay pigeon shooting, Land Rover off-roading, duck herding or even dog-sledding with a pack of Siberian huskies.
Cost: From £626 per night based on two people sharing
Read what’s it like to stay at Ellenborough Park here
The hotel: Just yards from Climping Beach, Bailiffscourt feels far older than its 90 years, with four-poster beds and its own 13th-century chapel in its 30 acres – but its large spa is bang up to date.
The Christmas package: Arrive on Christmas Eve for a Sussex Sparkling afternoon tea, a mulled wine drinks reception accompanied by carol singers, buffet dinner and Midnight Mass followed by mulled wine and home-made mince pies. Christmas Day starts with full English breakfast and Bucks Fizz, a sparkling wine reception with canapés followed by a traditional Christmas lunch, tea and Christmas cake and a light buffet supper. For Boxing Day there is mulled wine with marshmallows by the open fires, tea and home-made cake followed by a gala dinner on shared party tables. Full use of the spa and swimming pools included.
Cost: From £1,065 per person based on two people sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Bailiffscourt here
The hotel: A 17th century country house in the heart of Beaulieu in the New Forest.
The Christmas package: Festivities begin on Christmas Eve with hymns from local carol singers in the cosy Magnolia lounge and a Yuletide afternoon tea, followed by a Champagne reception and three-course dinner accompanied by a string quartet. Enjoy Champagne and canapes before a traditional four-course Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, accompanied by a harpist. Spend the afternoon walking in the ancient New Forest before an evening buffet dinner. Boxing Day can be spend in the award-winning SenSpa at sister hotel Careys Manor before a lavish Boxing Day ball with dancing to a live band.
Cost: From £915 per person based on two people sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at the Montagu Arms here
The hotel: In the heart of the New Forest, four star Careys Manor has 77 bedrooms and suites, three restaurant and an award-winning SenSpa.
The Christmas package: The hotel’s traditional Christmas package is now sold out but there’s still availability for the hotel’s Christmas spa break which includes three night’s accommodation, breakfast each morning in the Zen Garden restaurant, two fitness classes, two SenSpa treatments, all festive meals and a Boxing Day gala dinner.
Cost: From £765 per person for a three-night break
The hotel: Cosy and charming award-winning boutique hotel in Cotswold stone.
The Christmas package: Head to the Cotswolds and join us for a three night Christmas break. Curl up by the warmth of our firesides, indulge yourself in the most delicious of Yuletide feasts, challenge your gang to a game or two in The Snug and if you really fancy it, catch your breath on the Cotswolds way – right on the doorstep. Rooms start from £1,399 for three nights based on two people sharing and includes Christmas lunch, dinner each evening and a hearty breakfast each morning.
Cost: From £1,399 for three nights based on two people sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at The Painswick here
The hotel: One of Scotland’s top gourmet destinations on the West Coast.
The Christmas package: Arrive to home-made seasonal cakes and tea. Christmas Eve gets underway with a Champagne reception for guests followed by a candlelit five-course gourmet dinner. Wake on Christmas Day to Airds’ Scottish breakfast and Buck’s Fizz. With traditional Christmas Lunch not served until 4pm, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the day: enter the annual Port Appin treasure hunt, burn some calories on a long walk or bike ride in the beautiful surrounding countryside, or simply relax by the fire. Mince pies, Christmas cake and mulled wine will be offered at lunchtime and light snacks in the evening. On Boxing Day, breakfast and dinner are taken at leisure and once the winner of the treasure hunt is announced, the day is free to explore further afield.
Cost: The half-board package costs from £665 per person for the three-day package.
The hotel: A five star historic former church in the centre of Scotland’s capital
The Christmas package: The two or three-day package includes accommodation in a luxury bedroom, full Scottish breakfast each morning, a warming mug of mulled wine/hot chocolate/cider to welcome guests to the hotel, a three-course dinner in The Snug on Christmas Eve with live music, a gift from Santa on Christmas Day, pre-dinner champagne reception before Christmas lunch, traditional four-course Christmas lunch with a wine pairing for each course and screening of festive favourites on Boxing Day.
Cost: From £810 for two nights and £1,000 for three nights, based on two guests sharing
The hotel: A Grade 1-listed historic house set in 100 acres of woodland, follies and grottos and owned by hotelier Olga Polizzi.
The Christmas package: Three days of festive treats starting with Christmas Carols, mulled wine and mince pies around the Christmas tree in the main hall. Dinner in the restaurant followed by the option of Midnight Mass at St Eustachius’ parish church. Christmas Day after presents from Father Christmas there’s a traditional Christmas lunch while Boxing Day guests can take part in a group falconry session or a Boxing Day walk along the river to the local pub.
Cost: From £1,110 for the three-day Christmas break
Dormy House, Worcestershire
The hotel: Above Broadway in the Cotswolds, Dormy House is the perfect boutique hotel, with an ulta-modern spa, cosy bedrooms, two restaurants and a great eye for what makes a lovely break.
The Christmas package: Snuggle up by the fire this Christmas for three nights of festivity at the award-winning boutique hotel Dormy House. For Christmas Eve, curl up by the roaring fire with a warming mug of hot chocolate and slice of home-made cake, and feast on a three-course dinner at The Potting Shed, the Garden Room or in the comfort of your own bedroom suite; on Christmas Day, celebrate with champagne and canape reception, followed by a five-course Christmas banquet. On Boxing Day, enjoy an all-day brunch offering at The Potting Shed, and then work off the Christmas treats with outdoor activities enjoying the Cotswold countryside and crisp winter air. In the evening, take your seat for another five-course tasting menu and matching wines.
Cost: Prices for three night start from £400 per person per night based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Dormy House here
The hotel: Bought by Olga Polizzi in 1997 and completely redesigned, Tresanton’s 30 rooms all have views across the sea to St Anthony’s lighthouse.
The Christmas package: Christmas Eve carols in the sitting room with a glass of Prosecco, followed by dinner and Midnight Mass at St Just in Roseland church followed by hot cocoa. At 3am Christmas elves will leave stocking at every door. Christmas lunch is at 12 noon or 3pm with mince pies and a visit from Santa followed by a light buffet supper. On Boxing Day there is a Christmas Quiz with prizes awarded after lunch. A Christmas film is shown in the afternoon, followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Cost: Prices from £1,110 per stay, bed and breakfast only, lunch and dinner a la carte prices.
The hotel: A 4-star luxury coaching inn in Broadway, the heart of the Cotswolds. Sister hotel to Cliveden and Chewton Glen.
The Christmas package: Champagne afternoon tea on arrival followed by a Champagne reception with carols, three-course dinner with wines and a magician. Christmas Day breakfast at leisure, then a pre-lunch Champagne reception and three-course Christmas lunch with wines and light buffet supper. On Boxing Day wave-off the North Cotswold Hunt from the front door of the Lygon Arms and look forward to a five-course gala dinner with wines and dancing.
Cost: Prices start from £2,565 per room based on two sharing
The hotels: The original health spas in beautiful country settings
The Christmas package: Christmas might be about indulgence but Champneys offers the chance to be a little healthy too. Breakfast, lunch and dinner over two or three nights included as well as mulled wine and mince pies. Christmas Day includes a champagne and canape reception and a traditional festive three-course lunch, with Champneys treatments, a Thalassotherapy pool session and a Champneys gift set included in your stay. Champneys countryside locations offering the perfect winter hideaway, and you can explore the beautiful grounds with Champneys popular guided walks.
Cost: From £439 for two nights and £599 for three nights per person, based on two sharing
The hotel: The White Lion Hotel, Aldeburgh is right on the Suffolk coast and overlooks the fishermen’s huts along the beach.
The Christmas package: Celebrations start on arrival at the hotel with a festive afternoon tea and glass of mulled wine served in the lounge, surrounded by sparkling Christmas trees. Take a stroll along the beach, before enjoying a glass of fizz and sitting down to a three-course dinner in the hotel’s brasserie. After a Buck’s Fizz breakfast on Christmas morning, there’s time for a refreshing walk along the coast to build up an appetite for the traditional lunch with all the trimmings. A buffet supper and quiz follow in the evening. On Boxing Day, watch brave swimmers enter the freezing North Sea for the town’s annual charity swim at 11am; then it’s back to the hotel for lunch. There’s time to explore the local area during the afternoon before a buffet dinner with prizes up for grabs in the house bingo and even a magician.
Cost: From £552 per person based on two sharing
The hotel: Luxury country house hotel and spa with 90 acres of land and impeccable customer service.
The Christmas package: A three-night break at Hartwell promises to be a luxurious and traditional affair, with cream tea, Champagne reception and four-course dinner on Christmas Eve, Christmas lunch and Queen’s Speech with tea and Christmas cake, and a farewell black tie casino evening with Prosecco reception, three-course dinner and wine pairings.
Cost: From £1,050 based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Hartwell House here
The hotel: Traditional 114-year old country house hotel in five acres on the Scottish border
The Christmas package: Arrive on 23rd December for afternoon tea, followed by a three-course candlelit dinner and evening of live entertainment. On Christmas Day time for some last minute shopping in Biggar and then back to collect your jumbo quiz forms before dinner. Christmas Day starts with a hearty Scottish breakfast and a countryside stroll before traditional Christmas Day lunch, a glass of wine and a visit from Santa. The Queen’s speech is followed by Tea and Christmas cake. In the evening there will be a cold buffet, then live entertainment, and chance to hit the Boxing Day sales in Lanark.
Cost: Four-night package £265 per person, three-nights £225 per person
The hotel: Set in one of Britain’s best seaside locations, the stylish 44-bedroom, four-star hotel is just a step away from the shingle beach with magnificent panoramic sea views to the front, while at the back it overlooks the river Alde and surrounding countryside. The Brudenell features coastal themed decor and fresh, locally sourced food.
The Christmas package: Arrive on Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December, and you will be welcomed with tea, scones and a warming glass of mulled wine to put you in the festive spirit. Then join fellow guests for a special celebratory dinner in the AA two rosette Seafood & Grill restaurant. Start Christmas day with a full Suffolk breakfast, or perhaps something lighter and save your appetite for the seven-course banquet, which will be served from 12 noon starting with a glass of champagne followed by roast Suffolk turkey and all the trimmings. A quiz follows at 6.30pm with the answers and winning team revealed after a buffet supper. On Boxing Day enjoy a late breakfast then explore the local area or take a bracing walk along the seafront and watch brave souls descend into the North Sea for the traditional Boxing Day swim. Lunch and a buffet dinner will be served at the hotel with light entertainment.
Cost: Prices start from £630 per person for the three-night package based on two sharing an inland-facing Aldeburgh room.
The hotel: Palé Hall is an 18-bedroom AA Five Red Star, Relais & Chateaux destination luxury country house hotel in the tranquil Dee valley.
The Christmas package: Glass of fizz on arrival, carols around the piano followed by five-course Christmas Eve Set Menu and transport to midnight mass for those who wish with mulled wine and mince pies on return. There’s a six-course Christmas lunch with Champagne aperitif with matching wines and relaxed evening buffet and three-course Boxing Day a la carte dinner.
Cost: Two nights from £1,385 based on two people sharing, three nights from £1,950
The hotel: A smart yet relaxed spa hotel in beautiful grounds just outside Cheltenham.
The Christmas package: Arrive Christmas Eve for afternoon tea. The evening includes a Champagne welcome reception with live music, followed by a four course dinner in our Garden Restaurant. Transport to midnight mass provided you will be welcomed back to roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. On Christmas Day there’s cocktails and canapes before a seven-course Christmas Day lunch. An informal buffet supper will be served in the evening, then pens at the ready for the Christmas quiz. On Boxing Day after enjoying your day at leisure, return in the afternoon for tea and cakes in the front of the fire, before enjoying a four course candlelit dinner.
Cost: From £635 per person, based on a three night stay.
Read what it’s like to stay at Greenway hotel here
The hotel: A mile-long tree-lined drive leads to gorgeous Lucknam Park, with a top spa, fine-dining restaurant, beautiful grounds and a grand but welcoming country house feel.
The Christmas package: Afternoon tea on Christmas Eve followed by a champagne reception with carols from the local Parish Choir and Christmas Eve dinner prepared by Michelin-star chef Hywel Jones. Midnight Mass at Colerne Parish Church followed by hot chocolate, mince pies and mulled wine in the library. Christmas Day and Father Christmas arrives in a Victorian horse-drawn carriage to deliver presents. Guests can expect a traditional Christmas Lunch, visit to the Theatre Royal, Bath for the pantomime Peter Pan, Boxing Day treasure hunt and afternoon tea and Boxing Day black-tie dinner and dancing.
Cost: From £1,055 per night based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Lucknam Park here
The hotel: Luxury hotel in the beautiful Borrowdale valley which has just undergone a £10 million redevelopment.
The Christmas package: Guests are greeted on Christmas Eve by a Christmas choir and a gin afternoon tea. In the evening there’s a cocktail and canapé reception, before a black-tie dinner, complete with magician and balloonist. On Christmas Day , guests start with a traditional Cumbrian breakfast with a Mimosa Cocktail for adults and a visit from a very special guest for little ones, plus a Christmas treasure hunt around the beautiful spa garden before a six-course Christmas Day lunch. Finish off the day with a ‘Cumbrian Lakes and Fells’ buffet, before a quiz, with the chance to win a spa day for two at the new Falls Spa. Begin Boxing Day with a Bellini breakfast before heading down to the river bank for a charity duck race. In the evening, join the team for pre-dinner drinks in the bar before a four-course steak and lobster dinner, followed by live entertainment from a Michael Bublé tribute act in the Derwent Suite.
Cost: Three-day Christmas package starts at £765 per person
The hotel: Splendid historic manor house with beautiful grounds in the heart of picture-perfect Cotswolds village Castle Combe.
The Christmas package: Start with a festive cream tea and Champagne and canape reception before a four-dinner Christmas Eve dinner with singers. Stroll to the local church for Midnight Mass. Traditional Christmas Dinner in its Bybrook restaurant followed by a film and buffet, and then on Boxing Day try your hand at laser clay-pigeon shooting, golf or festive games before a four-course gourmet dinner.
Cost: Three night stay from £1,100 per person
Read what it’s like to stay at Manor House here
The hotel: Dating back to the 1760s the hotel blends heritage with modern interiors and is set in a 2,000 acres estates with gardens designed by Capability Brown
The Christmas package: Christmas Eve Champagne and canapés served in the Grand Hall against a backdrop of carols lead by the local choir. Dinner is served in the Cedar Restaurant from 6.30pm and afterwards, guests are invited to join midnight mass or the Christmas Day services at the nearby village church. Guests awaken on Christmas Day to a Champagne breakfast in time for Santa’s arrival. Guests can then guess the weight of the house Christmas cake or play board games in the lounge, take a crisp winter stroll or warm up in the spa. A traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings is served from midday and the Queen’s Speech will be on in the hotel’s cinema before showing a host of classic Christmas films. A sumptuous buffet will be served from 7.30pm for those who still have room for more while on Boxing Day, guests will be served a hearty cooked breakfast in the restaurant or in the comfort of their bedroom.
Cost: Two nights from £1,018 for two sharing, three nights from £1,283
The hotel: Back to nature bolt-hole with a touch of Danish-style luxury
The Christmas package: This year, The Fish is offering guests three-days of festive celebrations, including an afternoon tea buffet on arrival, a Christmas Eve party, a special guest chef who will prepare Christmas lunch, followed by a laid-back evening buffet. On Boxing-Day, a hangover-friendly brunch will ease those headaches, followed by afternoon tea and a send-off dinner in Hook. Throw in a couple of bracing country strolls, the odd mulled cider by the fire, a sofa snooze during your stay to fully embrace the festive cheer.
Cost: Three nights from £1,110 for two people sharing
The hotel: A smart golf and spa hotel on the beautiful Bowood Estate
The Christmas package: Two and three night breaks promising a ‘fabulously Christmassy atmosphere’ including Chistmas Eve Champagne afternoon tea and 3-course dinner, Christmas Day stockings, traditional Christmas lunch followed by a visit from Father Christmas, entertainment on Christmas afternoon and a buffet dinner in the evening with entertainment – access to spa facilities included.
Cost: From £430 per person for a two-night break
Read what it’s like to stay at Bowood hotel here
The hotel: Five-star all-suite boutique hotel and spa on Durham’s heritage coast.
The Christmas package: Festive luxury including champagne afternoon tea, an indulgent breakfast in your suite each morning, a five-course Christmas Day lunch and tranquil relaxation sessions in the 44,000 sq ft spa.
What it costs: From £699 pp based on two sharing
The hotel: Charming traditional hotel with stunning garden views overlooking Lyme Regis and the Jurassic Coast.
The Christmas package: Arrived to a warming fire and settle into a relaxing festive stay on the Jurassic Coast. Step into the candlelit Georgian chapel for Christmas Eve carols, poems and prose, and wake to a Christmas Day morning of breakfasting on smoked salmon and Buck’s Fizz in bed, before fireside board games or a coastal stroll and a traditional five-course Christmas lunch. On Boxing Day, explore Lyme Regis ahead of a five-course black-tie dinner.
Cost: From £698 pp based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at The Alexandra here
The hotel: Lutyens-style grand manor hotel and grounds with designer room and art deco brasserie.
The Christmas package: Arrive on Christmas Eve to afternoon tea, then mulled wine and carols from St Mary’s Choir of Boys and Men, followed by a set dinner menu served in the Knights Suite. Midnight Mass is available at the local church with mince pies and hot chocolate on your return. On Christmas Day four-course Christmas Day lunch with a glass of champagne on arrival. Christmas Cake and tea will be served in the lounge in the afternoon and a light buffet supper will be served in the evening. On Boxing Day there’s a three course gala dinner with Champagne and canapes on arrival and dancing and live music throughout the evening.
Cost: From £599 per person, based on a three night stay.
And here’s some you missed – but they are some of ALadyofLeisure.com’s favourite hotels so bear them in mind for Christmas 2019!
The hotel: Practically perfect country house hotel, small but perfectly formed, with a Michelin-star restaurant, cosy bar, traditional rooms and beautiful grounds leading down to Rutland Water.
The Christmas package: Arrive and enjoy a festive glass of Mulled Wine whilst you check into your room. That evening indulge in a gourmet four-course dinner for two. Christmas Day enjoy a full English breakfast and a six-course traditional Christmas lunch with all the trimmings. The next day after a hearty full English breakfast guests depart for the annual Boxing Day picnic at Fort Henry (with Lord Gainsborough’s permission) – the hotel takes along a fine hot meat pie, cheeses and dessert and guests wrap up warm inside the Fort with a log fire blazing.
Cost: Three nights from £2,140, based on two guests sharing. (The hotel still has some availability for festive breaks leading up to Christmas if you don’t want to miss out entirely)
Read what it’s like to stay at Hambleton Hall here
The hotel: Classic British luxury from one of the most established country house hotels, with a world-class spa and luxury treehouses on stilts in the forest.
The Christmas package: Afternoon tea with mince pies and mulled wine Taittinger reception and welcome with carols, then a four-course cabaret dinner with wines. Five-course Christmas lunch with wines followed by a festive cream tea with Christmas cocktails and canapés and buffet dinner. Boxing Day there’s a black tie four-course dinner with wines followed by dancing to a live band.
Cost: From £4,080 per room based on two sharing
Read what it’s like to stay at Chewton Glen here
Have you stayed in a luxury hotel over Christmas? What was it like? Do let me know in the comments – and if I’ve missed any of your favourites out!
A Lady of Leisure