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Ocean House celebrates in style with 12 days of merriment leading up to Christmas.


Haute for the Holidays

By Stephanie Davis Smith

Sleigh photo courtesy of Ocean House | dining room photo courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels | horse-drawn sleigh photo courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up


Sometimes the Yuletide spirit moves you to... well, get away. Here are three ways to embrace the chill in pure luxury.

Coastal Christmas
A New England snowscape sounds practically Rockwellian for a December family gathering. Ocean House in Watch Hill, R.I., is a grande dame by the sea that has made capturing all the sentimental moments of the season an art form. Beginning Dec. 9, the property rolls out special events to bring cheer to its guests, including a Children’s Christmas Tea (Dec. 16), Cocktails & Canapes class (Dec. 17), Feast of Fishes Workshop (Dec. 19), Yule Log Workshop (Dec. 22) and a ’70s-themed New Year’s Eve party (Dec. 31). The Relais & Châteaux hotel (General Manager Daniel Hostettler is actually the president of North America R&C) flips on the twinkle lights and magic in late November. Fine-dining concept Coast keeps things simple with two prix fixe four-course options, which change daily according to what ingredients are speaking to the chef: a savory or a vegetarian degustation menu. At $105 per person, and an additional $95 for the wine pairings, it’s a fancy present to share with a special someone. Suite rates from $1,215 per night

A holiday scene at the Marco Polo Suite at The Peninsula Hong Kong

City Celebrations
All 10 of The Peninsula Hotels have conjured a range of holiday activities to experience before 2019 arrives. While Chicago, Beverly Hills and New York (the latter celebrating its 30th anniversary this year) are the brand’s stateside offerings, if you’re flitting off to Paris, Hong Kong, Bangkok or Tokyo, you’ll find the same celebratory Stories From the Tree theme across its portfolio. The uberluxury hotels take six colorful characters—think the Nutcracker, Gingerbread Man and red-breasted robin—and create a special version to adorn each lobby’s giant Christmas trees. The figures are available for purchase, with part of the proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Foundation and a charity local to each of the hotels’ destinations. Plus, the properties will have a range of holiday activities to entice you and yours, such as Festive Afternoon Tea and carols in Tokyo, or storytelling sessions with Mrs. Clause from the hotel’s annual digital storybook, The Nutcracker’s Adventure, in Chicago. Suite rates vary per property

A horse-drawn sleigh is one of the seasonal specialties at The Resort at Paws Up.

Montana Merriment
The star on the top of the holiday trees will have to compete with all the stars in Big Sky Country at The Resort at Paws Up. Nature is the magic of this luxury mountain retreat, where discreet celebrities and the well-heeled escape to enjoy sleigh rides, dog-sledding, snowmobiling, bonfires and a Christmas Eve kids party. Aside from the five-star amenities, each private home gets its own fully decorated tree and a visit from Santa Claus. About a 40-minute drive from Missoula International Airport—and with free transfers to and from the resort—The Resort at Paws Up is an active family’s dreamland with ice skating, indoor equestrian lessons, cross-country skiing, snow tubing and more. This is the idyllic escape for those broods trying to unplug from laptops, smartphones and video games, and reconnect for the holidays. Rates from $815 per person per night