10 Best Holiday Decor Resorts

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Happy Holidays and first day of December!  I have rounded up some of my favorite luxury hotels who are going above and beyond with their holiday decorating this year. From the world’s largest gingerbread pirate ship to hand-sculpted sand tree reaching over 20 feet tall, and snow in San Diego (yes snow), these 10 best holiday decor resorts are the perfect place to celebrate this festive season.

1. The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne

Experience the holidays the Miami way at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne with a hand-sculpted sand tree reaching over 20 feet tall. Inspired by the sea, the tree is decorated with sand dollars and seahorses and laced with lights. The details on this immaculate sand tree are truly astounding. Each tier is sculpted to perfection and a starfish tops off the incredible masterpiece.

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami is just minutes from the city’s cosmopolitan center, yet feels like a secluded island getaway with its lush tropical gardens, infinity ocean views and the only South Florida beach on Dr. Beach’s Top Ten Beaches in the U.S. list. Connected to Miami by a picturesque causeway, the luxury resort is a renowned spa destination, has four globally-inspired dining venues and marketplace café, which takes guests on culinary journeys to Tuscany, Coastal Mexico and St. Tropez, and has the largest tennis center of any Ritz-Carlton in the world.

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2. Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego

Located in North County San Diego, Rancho Bernardo Inn is full of Christmas cheer, and there’s never a dull moment between caroling, photos with Santa, cookie decorating for kids, storytelling, exploring Christmas Tree Row (approx. 8 full size christmas trees decorated to the hilt), outdoor christmas light show, plus special refreshments for grown-ups (in festive ‘red’ cups) and more! Every December, locals and guests alike are welcome to participate in the merriment! Each year the property has a life-size gingerbread house constructed in the lobby, housemate by Chef Margaret Carvallo. It’s made of only edible ingredients like a real gingerbread house would be. In addition to enjoying seasonal hot chocolate and cider, cookies and popcorn while soaking up some holiday cheer, dining options at the Inn include a special dinner buffet at Veranda Fireside Lounge and Restaurant ($33 adults/$12 kids | 4-9pm), Grab & Go concessions at Granada Room, or a la carte dining in AVANT Restaurant.

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3. The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans  New Orleans, Louisiana 

This year, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans will be transforming their annual gingerbread house into a beautiful winter castle.  Enter the ornate edible structure to find glass displays of scenes inspired by the popular movie Frozen, highlighting all of the lovable characters and favorite scenes. The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans’ ornate castle will bring a winter wonderland to the hotel this holiday season.

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4. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida

Guests will find the World’s Largest Gingerbread Pirate Ship returns to the Lobby at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.  This culinary masterpiece is made with over 600 pieces of gingerbread and adorned with sculpted pirates with colorful fondant clothing and a chocolate cannon and cannon balls. The ship sets sail on December 27th. Also enjoy beach time looking for sharks teeth on the shore and an amazing kid’s club.

5. The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami

The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami presents a chic twist on holiday décor. Curated mannequins dressed in traditional green foliage and flowers, inspired by the latest fashions seen from designers found at the nearby Bal Harbour Shops will be displayed throughout the hotel lobby this holiday season. A fashionable twist on the traditional Christmas tree!

6. Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, CA 

This holiday season the tallest waterfront hotel on the West Coast is bringing the snow to sunny San Diego. From December 22-31, the lobby of Grand Hyatt San Diego will be snowing (yes, you read that right, snow!). The property will be creating a winter wonderland complete with a gingerbread village, “snow” sandcastle and more, along with the fabulous snowfall that will occur four times a day, for thirty minutes each time.

7The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale

Throughout this holiday season The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale will have holiday decorations and various jolly events popping up all over the resort, making it the perfect destination for guests to get their fill of holiday cheer…and milk and cookies. The resort will be throwing a crazy milk and cookies party in the lobby the week of Christmas and Santa himself has already RSVP’d! Make sure to stop by, as guests will be delighted to find yummy holiday themed cookies and fun colored milk. Guests can also take part in an ornament-decorating workshop or catch some live music on Christmas Day with a live band playing holiday tunes at the Christmas Day Brunch Buffet. To really top off the resort’s holiday spirit, guests will find a changing array of holiday treats at all times in the lobby – think rum cake, yum!

8the ART Hotel, Denver, CO

Celebrate the holidays in the heart of Denver’s cultural district surrounded by the beauty of the ART Hotel’s captivating in-house art collection. Special for the holiday season the property is taking a twist on classic Christmas tree decorations, and adding to the hotel’s art esthetic with unique pop-art inspired trees throughout the lobby and halls. (Think: Andy Warhol inspired Christmas trees!) Artfully designed by local florist, The Perfect Petal the trees will inspire the playful Christmas spirit, as well as draw from the culture of Denver’s surrounding museums.

9The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples Florida

Escape to a Swiss winter wonderland at The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples (one of my favorite Ritz Carlton Hotels) with a giant Swiss chalet-inspired gingerbread house. The chalet, reaching almost 13 feet in height uses over 1,200 gingerbread bricks and over 60,000 pieces of candy. With European touches, guests will feel like they’ve transported to the Swiss Alps with this oversized gingerbread chalet built at The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples.

10The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota  Sarasota, Florida

The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota will debut a penguin-themed gingerbread display this holiday season designed as a penguin wonderland.  Filled with both adult and baby penguins, these gingerbread creations can be seen playing, sunbathing, and more.  A slide is also built into the extravagant gingerbread house making it an interactive experience for the youngest guests of the The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. 1,200 gingerbread bricks are used along with 400 roof tiles, 450 pounds of flour, 675 pounds of sugar, and 200 pounds of candy are used to build this penguin wonderland.

Where to go Now: Grand Hotel Tremezzo

 

Grand Hotel Tremezzo

I just back back from Lake Como, Italy, and my oldest son, Alec, asked said… “Mom, I know you have been to some amazing destinations and resorts. Is this one of the most incredible place you have ever been?” I replied, “Yes, without a doubt.” I have received so many text messages, emails, social media questions asking all about my trip to the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. Email me or message me, and I would love to tell you all about it. Here’s a quick look at the dramatic beauty of this amazing resort destination. See my video below where I have incorporated some of my pictures of my favorite moments.

A Great time to go to Casa De Campo is…

Casa De Campo

A Great time to go to Casa De Campo is….soon! On September 7-13, 2015, Casa de Campo, the 7,000 acre luxury resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic, is hosting a Holistic Living & Yoga Retreat. Boasting its holistic reputation and a plethora of treatments and sessions waiting to be indulged in, Casa de Campo’s Community Detox invites guests to experience a week of ultimate relaxation and tranquility in the heart of the Caribbean. My husband has been there before to play golf and relax, and he has told me it’s one of his favorite resorts and destinations.

Starting at $315.57 per night (based on double occupancy, not including $130 mud and juice cleanse or $450 full detox fee), the week-long Holistic Living & Yoga Retreat will feature a variety of options for guest rejuvenation, including hip baths, meditation and yoga, detox massages, a bonfire dinner, and juice, herbal colon and mud cleanses. Check out the schedule below. It sounds awesome!

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Check out the schedule below:

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The Beach Club by Le Cirque LR

Where to be on Earth Day

 

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What’s on your bucket list? Better yet, where would you want to be Earth Day today? Here’s my answer…. The Allison Inn & Spa, located in the heart of Oregon’s wine country and less than one hour drive from downtown Portland, is the only luxury destination resort in the Willamette Valley and one of the few hotels in the world with LEED Gold Certification. The Allison offers 15,000 square feet dedicated to health and wellness, featuring a swimming pool, fitness studio and spa that uses organic and local products in its treatments.

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To celebrate Earth Day 2015, the Allison Spa invites guests to join them April 20-23 for a rejuvenating spa experience to receive 15% off any service* of choice as well as a complimentary lavender (placed in a bio-degradable container) cultivated from jory soil. 

In addition to its Spa, key ‘green’ features at the hotel include solar hot water, photo voltaic cells (generating 7% electricity), no usage of plastic bottles on-site, and the installation of sedum ‘green eco-roofing’ on the west wing. The resort also recently enhanced its innovative garden-to-table cuisine by installing a new greenhouse and expanding the on-site garden to 1.5 acres for Executive Chef Sunny Jin’s Oregon wine country cuisine menu at the award-winning JORY restaurant. Chef Jin’s background includes stints at the globally celebrated restaurants The French Laundry, El Bulli, Spain and Tetsuya, Sydney. It doesn’t get any better than this!

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