Top 10

Winter Festivals Around the World

See some of the world's most popular festivals and celebrations in authentic style with a stay at one of these Leading Hotels of the World.

EXPERIENCE a taste of traditional London at Christmastime, with a stay at one of the city's oldest and most iconic hotels.
SEE New York's beautifully decorated Fifth Avenue during the holidays while based at this chic hotel.
DELIGHT in Hong Kong's spectacular Chinese New Year firework display with a stay in this unique hotel in a beautifully restored, 19th-century building.
FIND a high-design reprieve from the samba-dancing crowds of the Rio Carnival at this boutique retreat, overlooking Ipanema Beach.

Festive Season

Round Up: Exploring Europe's Christmas Markets

Holiday markets may now be staples across the globe, but there's something special about Europe's old-world versions. Some markets feature artisanal products; others are medieval-themed; others share opening hours on Twitter. Here are four destinations that help you experience the best of the holidays.

Germany: Cologne & Dortmund

Guests of the Schlosshotel Hugenpoet, in Essen-Kettwig, are equidistant from two cities with long Christmas-market histories. Cologne has several, including one on a boat moored along the Rhine. Dortmund's market is known for a centerpiece comprised of some 1,700 illuminated fir trees. The 17th-century castle that houses the luxurious Schlosshotel Hugenpoet serves as a stunning backdrop, and guests can ease post-shopping hunger in its two-Michelin-starred restaurant.

Austria: Vienna & Salzburg

The markets of Austria win for their story-book settings. In Vienna, guests can check into the Belle Époque Grand Hotel Wien, which is in walking distance to the city's many lovely markets, as well as the Albertina museum, the State Opera and the Hofburg. In Salzburg, the Hotel Sacher Salzburg captures the city's festive spirit with elaborate holiday decorations.

Belgium: Brussels

Belgium's capital has evolved the concept of market stands, turning them into chalets that line the area around the stock exchange. Nearby, the Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo offers a perfect balance between old-world elegance and contemporary style.

Czech Republic: Prague

One of Europe's most striking capitals, Prague is magical during the holidays. The main markets are near two of the city's leading properties: Hotel Le Palais Prague, close to Wenceslas Square, includes a library with a crackling fireplace. Rocco Forte Augustine Hotel, across the river at the foot of Prague Castle, is equally cozy, with exquisite original details and interiors. Both hotels beautifully capture the holiday cheer.

Grand Hotel Wien
Centrally located one block from the State Opera on buzzing Ringstrasse, the Grand Hotel Wien exudes traditional Viennese elegance. The Belle Époque hotel opened in 1870 to much fanfare, drawing the glitterati of Viennese society. Its grand reputation was cemented in 1894 when Johann Strauss took the stage during his golden jubilee celebration. Today, the hotel remains as vibrant as it was during the height of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The classically decorated guest rooms have silk-covered walls and antique furnishings. Dining options include Austrian, Japanese and French. Award-winning Le Ciel has panoramic views from its 7th-floor terrace. During the warmer months, the terraces of the Schanigarten are an ideal venue for Viennese coffee, Gugelhupf and people-watching.
Hotel Sacher Salzburg
Salzburg sits like a baroque jewel on the banks of the river Salzach, at the northern boundary of the Alps. Shaped as much by its natural setting as by industrious human creativity, the city inspired Mozart, Strauss and Toscanini, amongst others. Intertwined with this heritage is the Hotel Sacher, built in 1866, the same year Salzburg joined the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The unchallenged social hub of the famous summer music festival, the hotel has welcomed leaders and luminaries from the Sir Karl Popper to Placido Domingo. Set on the riverbank overlooking the Baroque Old Town and the Fortress Hohensalzburg, the hotel has classically decorated rooms, featuring antiques, silk covered walls, oil paintings and crystal chandeliers. A destination in itself is the elegantly rustic Zirbelzimmer for classical Austrian cuisine.
The Augustine
Located in the heart of Prague, The Augustine may be the city’s newest ancient hotel. Opened in 2009 following an extensive restoration and refurbishment, it occupies seven buildings including a 13thcentury monastery and brewery that was once home to the friars of Saint Augustine. Striking in their elegant simplicity, the guestrooms reflect the hotel’s monastic history. Czech interior design is celebrated in the contemporary European furnishings and modern art throughout, and all rooms have views of the courtyards, chapel or Prague Castle. Elegantes Restaurant offers the best of elegant European cuisine with the most sophisticated atmosphere, in historical, culturally important and beautiful setting.
Rocco Forte Hotel Amigo
Sir Rocco Forte spared no expense in order to breathe new life into Hotel Amigo. Under the direction of designer Olga Polizzi, the clean-lined interiors are a confluence of elegant Flemish tradition, with refined Belgian linens, embroidered silk curtains, and contemporary Italian sensibility. Belgian touches include Pierre Marcolini chocolates, and Marcel Broodthaers and René Magritte prints. As for the curious name, it dates back to the early 16th century when the then-ruling Spanish mistook the Flemish word for "prison," which the building served as for centuries, to mean "friend." Located on a charming cobblestone street adjacent to the Grand Place, Brussels’ historic central square, the Amigo also has an award-winning restaurant and martini bar, fitness and business centers and a ballroom.
Schlosshotel Hugenpoet
Surrounded by a beautiful park, the moated castle known today as the Schlosshotel Hugenpoet, with its highly dedicated staff, is ideally located between the city centers and fairgrounds of Düsseldorf and Essen. It dates back to the 17th century, and many of the amenities and details make guests feel like visiting royalty. Interiors feature carved limestone fireplaces, a black-marble staircase and carefully selected antiques; guests are also pampered with hand written welcome cards and daily homemade truffles from the chef patissière. During summer, guests can sit on an open-air terrace, taking in the magnificent views, feeling part of the historic setting and dining on some of the region's most innovative dishes.

Pulse: Finding Your Perfect Thanksgiving

Read about six Leading Hotels of the World with something for every type of traveler at Thanksgiving.

For Families:

In downtown New Orleans, Le Pavilion Hotel is a city icon and favorite escape for families. Its award-winning restaurant, the Crystal Room, is a refined setting for Thanksgiving and youngsters will love the nighttime feasts in the lobby. In New England's Cape Cod, Chatham Bars Inn celebrates with a grand dinner in the oceanfront dining room. During the daytime, active guests can choose from myriad local activities, including deep-sea fishing, tennis, biking and golf.

For Fun-Loving Friends:

On Miami's party-central South Beach, The Setai is a beacon of high-design and modern glamour. The Restaurant, celebrates with an eclectic East-meets-West feast, while the Pool & Beach Bar offers a hip spot for Champagne at sunset. Or escape to the city that finds any excuse for a party: Las Vegas. The SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand start at 1,400 square feet and have dining areas for private celebrations.

For Two:

Thanksgiving is an ideal time to find your quiet slice of the Big Apple. The Greenwich Hotel in New York's hip Tribeca neighborhood is beloved by couples for its spacious guestrooms, low-key neighborhood vibe and pampering subterranean spa. On the opposite coast, Shutters on the Beach makes the most of its Pacific Ocean location, with surf lessons by day and romantic meals in atmospheric One Pico restaurant at night.

Chatham Bars Inn
Cape Cod is one of the U.S.'s most magical getaways, encompassing 17th-century towns and the stunning National Seashore. First settled in 1665, Chatham occupies has an enviable location between the Upper and Lower Cape, with some of the region's best shoreline. The town's most venerable resort, the Chatham Bars Inn, open year-round, was originally built in 1914 and makes the most of this brilliant setting; the property overlooks a private quarter-mile beach. Everything, from the elegant interiors and 25-acre gardens to the gracious staff and acclaimed restaurant and spa, is topnotch. But the main reason this resort has been a favorite of generations is the relaxed ambience that facilitates a blissful return to summer's simple pleasures: beach walks, clam bakes, sailing and quality time with family and friends.
Le Pavillon Hotel
Located in the heart of New Orleans adjacent to the French Quarter, Le Pavillon opened in 1907. With a history dating back to the Gilded Age, and impeccable French décor throughout, the hotel piques the imagination and delights the senses. Le Pavillon is affectionately known as “The Belle of New Orleans” by discerning travelers who appreciate both the exceptional service and the elegant ambiance of this historic hotel. This intimate hotel reflects the gracious spirit of long ago New Orleans, but features amenities of today like Wi-Fi, a fitness center, rooftop pool and state-of-the-art meeting facilities. Le Pavillon invites guests to socialize nightly in the lobby for a little taste of home, serving complimentary peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with ice cold milk and piping hot chocolate.
Shutters on the Beach
Shutters is ideal for those looking for laid-back California elegance. With art that includes works by Hockney, Lichtenstein and Motherwell, and a master sommelier on staff, the property takes the craft of living well seriously. Michael S. Smith, the Obama White House interior designer, has made it an oasis of beach chic: guest rooms have hardwood floors, cashmere throws, built-in entertainment centers and shelves stocked with thoughtfully chosen books. The airy beachside restaurant One Pico, and the café-bar Coast encourage lingering. Besides the fitness center, Shutters offers yoga on the beach, bicycle rentals and surfing lessons, as well as preferred appointments at ONE the spa, which has a range of treatments using Ole Henriksen products.
SKYLOFTS is an exclusive, boutique “hotel within a hotel” on top of MGM Grand on the Strip. Often referred to as an experience rather than a hotel, SKYLOFTS draws guests who seek the ultimate exclusive retreat amidst Las Vegas’ entertainment and fine dining. Guests are whisked from the airport in a chauffeured Rolls Royce Ghost and brought to the 29th floor of MGM Grand hotel tower via private elevators. LOFTS are generous two-storey suites with sweeping city and mountain views with dedicated 24-hour butler and concierge service. Service is customized and guests are contacted prior to arrival to ensure a seamless stay to include everything from tickets to KÀ by Cirque du Soleil to a choice table at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.
The Greenwich Hotel
Tribeca is one of New York City's most under-the-radar neighborhoods, beloved by locals and plugged-in visitors who appreciate its proximity to SoHo, Greenwich Village and Wall Street, but love being away from the tourist troves. One of the area's biggest spokespersons is Robert De Niro, who spearheaded the Greenwich Hotel, a bold statement of handcrafted design. The work of numerous artisans from around the world is woven into the interiors, which feature such design details as leaded glass windows, exposed oak beams and antique wood floors. A mix of styles, from Tibet to Morocco, is featured in guest rooms, and some have working fireplaces. The hotel's gorgeous library, leafy courtyard, spa and pool are open only to guests, making even first-time visitors feel like they are bona fide Tribeca residents.
The Setai, Miami Beach
The ocean-front The Setai, Miami Beach is an integral part of Miami Beach’s social, cultural and architectural heritage that combines the destination’s sleek Art Deco style with a serene Far Eastern aesthetic. The façade of the 1938 Dempsey-Vanderbilt hotel was meticulously restored, its interiors enhanced with Burmese teak, Indonesian bronze and dark gray bricks salvaged from historic Shanghai buildings. Counterpoint to the original building is the new adjacent 40-story glass residential tower, which houses some of the hotel’s suites. With three pools, three acclaimed restaurants and a dedicated concierge team, The Setai leaves no request unfulfilled.
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