Traveling during the holiday season is as old as the holidays themselves – literally, if you ask anyone who owns a manger in Bethlehem. But just because people hit the road doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to feel the spirit of the season wherever they go.
Hotels are doing more than decorating for the holiday season. How about a spin around a private ice skating rink with your hotel stay, or have your pet snap a picture with Santa.
To help get you feeling festive, here are some killer seasonal perks that hotels have provided to their guests.
The holidays are for everyone: not just adults and children, but for pets as well. This past weekend, the second annual Santa Paws event at the Eventi Hotel in Manhattan treated four-legged guests to a visit from St. Nick. There was no shortage of festive dog biscuits or fresh water bowls as pets took their turns explaining to Santa why they can’t seem to stop digging up the front yard.
Kimpton properties such as the Eventi are already well-known for being super pet-friendly, so arranging a pet photo opp with Santa and his helper is simply par for the course. Of course, everyone was on their best behavior – including owners, who were treated to candy canes and delicious hot chocolate. If this was any indication of who made the “nice” list, Santa is going to be delivering a ton of bones this year.
While many tourists come to New York during the holiday season for a chance to ice skate at Rockefeller Center, guests at the Standard New York won’t even have to venture out of their hotel. The property recently opened its famed seasonal ice rink for the second year in a row, right below the High Line. For $12 (and a $3 skate rental fee if you came all the way to New York without skating gear) guests and locals can strap on their blades and hit the ice. The hotel has planned skating lessons, hockey tournaments and other events throughout the winter to get guests involved. Get ready to finally perfect your triple axel!
The reopening of the rink also signals the return of the Kaffeehaus, serving up crepes and waffles that so delicious they may make you forget about skating entirely. There’s hot chocolate, egg nog and spiced apple cider for the kids, and adults can warm up any beverage with a shot of bourbon, brandy or rum to. Just don’t try to combine skating with drinking hot liquids.
It’s fairly common to crave the smell of a Christmas tree…but to want to eat one? The Jumeirah Essex House has taken the popular holiday tradition of making non-edible objects (houses, canes, etc.) into a giant dessert with a fully edible Christmas tree made of white chocolate, complete with jawbreaker ornaments. If resisting the urge to publicly devour a chocolate tree becomes too much, you can beat your sweet tooth with the hotel’s holiday Chocolate Bar for $35, or with a children’s gingerbread house decorating class for $65.
Wherever you end up staying, we’d like to wish you and your family a very happy and safe holiday season!