10 Best Holiday Decor Resorts

key biscayne ritz

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.

6 Mothers Day Spa Getaways

RanchoValencia

With Mother’s Day around the corner, we’ve compiled a list of the most relaxing Mother’s Day spa getaways to indulge and treat herself to the ultimate spa treatments to celebrate her special day. From Mexico to Vermont, please find suggestions below.

1. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa  San Diego, CA

This Mother’s Day, moms can get pampered at The Spa at Rancho Valencia with a unique spa treatment, The Sixth Sense Ritual, the resort’s signature body ritual beginning with a soothing bath soak to relax the body and mind, muscles and joints. A massage of mom’s choice follows including a Harmonizing Scalp Massage with organic Mediterranean Myrtle, Juniper, and organic Jojoba, Avocado and Olive Oils. The experience culminates with a hand and foot paraffin treatment, providing softer, more youthful skin.

In addition, Moms can also get pampered at Rancho Valencia with a special spa treatment offered throughout the month of May. The Spa at Rancho Valencia is offering a Essential Summer Prefix

Detoxifying back treatment facial (60 min), a Ladies bikini wax (30 min), and complete with Rancho Valencia’s signature Pedicure (60 min). As moms are getting ready for summer, this back treatment gives instant radiant-looking skin tone and finished with a soft hydrated foot treatment ready for sandal season.

2. Rancho La Puerta Tecate, MX

Rancho La Puerta is the original “fitness resort” and spa welcomes some 140 guests each week to its 3,000 private acres of gardens, mountains and meadows in Baja California, Mexico. All facilities and land are for the exclusive use of guests who come for an entire week, Saturday to Saturday, or partial-week stays of three or four nights. It’s a unique romantic escape for women and men offering over 80 fitness classes including TRX, yoga, pilates and advanced hiking trails as well as spa treatments and therapeutic sessions. In addition to fitness and spa experiences, the Ranch offers daily lectures and workshops to inspire guests. Each week the Ranch has visiting guest speakers, talented performers and workshop leaders—authors, politicians, musicians, artists, MDs and other leaders in their fields — to present afternoon learning experiences and evening lectures. This Mother’s Day, moms can relax and rejuvenate with Rancho La Puerta’s special Head-to-Toe Candle Oil Massage, which uses the warm, scented oil from a just extinguished massage-oil candle, then employs a gentle form of massage that involves long strokes from scalp to toes, administered with a deep, caring awareness of comfort. Soon, moms will unwind, de-stress, and feel warm and revitalized by improved blood circulation.  

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3. The MODERN Honolulu is a lifestyle hotel conveniently located at the edge of Waikiki where polished sophistication and laid-back luxury combine to create an ideal resort getaway for Mother’s Day. The 353-room urban resort is noted for its chic not overdone design, friendly service and unparalleled guest experiences near Hawaii’s most popular destination, Waikiki. The Modern Honolulu provides a relaxing island getaway for mom with a special spring spa treatment that will provide ultimate relaxation. The Spa at The Modern Honolulu is offering a unique Spring Retreat Package, which features a special 80 minute Enzymatic Facial and 50 minute rejuvenating massage package. This dynamic duo offers the best of both worlds and puts the mind and body in a renewed state for a new season ahead.

4. Topnotch Resort  Stowe, Vermont

Located in the charming village of Stowe, VT, Topnotch Resort, which boasts an award-winning 35,000 square foot spa with over 100 treatments is the perfect retreat for mothers who do it all! Mothers can fully relax and unwind at this peaceful and iconic New England resort. In celebration of Mother’s Day, Topnotch will be offering complimentary decleor hydrating eye treatments with all facials reserved on that Sunday and offering a complimentary keratase deep conditioning hair treatments at the end of all massage services scheduled.

5. Rancho Bernardo Inn  San Diego, CA

The award-winning Spa at Rancho Bernardo features an outdoor spa garden and patio area with treatment casitas in which guests can receive treatments outdoors. A saline Spa Pool is adjacent to the garden area and features seven cabanas for relaxation. In 2008, readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted it the best resort spa in North America. This Mother’s Day, guests can indulge in the bounty of spring with the seasonal “Citrus Cherry Bliss” Made Fresh Daily Treatment, which incorporates specially selected scents and ingredients that complement the seasons of the year. Each Made Fresh Daily experience includes a body wrap, scrub and massage as well as a food and beverage offering and a take home recipe to recreate the spa experience at home.

6. Laniwai, the Spa at Aulani  Ko Olina on Oahu, Hawaii 

Laniwai is a place where moms can experience wellness along with their family. One of the only true luxury, family wellness retreats, Laniwai offers spa, relaxation and spectacular Hawaiian experiences for ages newborn and up. The Hawaiian word laniwai (lah-nee-vai) means “freshwater heaven,” and the spa lives up to its name with more than 150 treatments, including the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on the island of Oahu. With 18,000 square feet indoors and 5,000 square feet outdoors, the area includes a 2,000-square-foot Lift Fitness Cardiovascular Center, 15 treatment rooms and a full-service salon for hair, makeup and nail services.

Laniwai offers 15 treatment rooms including a couples room and a flex room for treatments for two-plus guests, including families. Treatments include body polish, vitality baths, massage, body treatments, facials, outdoor treatments. Signature therapies include Lomilomi massage incorporating lomilomi “pressure point” sticks and warm river stones; and Kilikili, including exfoliation and massage with coconut oil under streaming jets of warm waters.

Experiences that children can delight in include the ‘Ohana: Designed for 3 to 6 family members, this experience utilizes the healing touches of lomilomi (ages 5 and up) and The Makana: During this soothing therapy for parents and their infants (one-year-olds and under), one parent enjoys a treatment while the other learns the art of baby massage from a certified practitioner.

Moms and their and children will also enjoy the The Pulu Bar, which allows guests to create their own signature body polishes and scrubs by blending authentic Hawaiian fragrances, sugar cane sugar, sea salt and oils, like macadamia, kukui, and jojoba.Parents can relax in O’ahu’s only outdoor hydrotherapy garden – Kula Wai at Laniwai. Kula Wai features herbal pools, reflexology path, six rain showers, cold and hot whirlpools, as well as “Nature’s Soaks,” 25-minute vitality baths infused with flowers, fruits, herbs and oils. Let’s go!