We all know someone that takes Christmas spirit to the next level (we're looking at you, Hudson's Bay window displays). Many Canadians step up their holiday game at home, some really knocking it out of the park (now we're looking at you, multiple houses across the GTA). Then there are those of us who would rather travel to the festivity and let the professionals take care of the legwork.
For those who want to be surrounded by grade-A holiday cheer, Booking.com has gathered six of the most Christmas-enthusiastic hotels across Canada. Don't worry about putting up or taking down any trees at these properties — just sit back and take in the festivity with an eggnog in hand and crackling fire at your feet. And according to a Booking.com survey, for those Canadians (26 per cent) who only get into holiday mode once they arrive at their accommodation — these spots will have you relaxed and jolly in no time.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Toronto
Do you remember when the pastry team at the Ritz unveiled Toronto's largest gingerbread house last year? Curious to know what they have baking in the oven this year? You'll just have to wait and see like the rest of us when they unveil their latest creation on Dec 1. In the meantime you can enjoy some of Ritz Carlton's other decadent holiday offerings. Amongst the lavish seasonal décor, hotel guests and visitors have an array of Christmas activities available to them including a "The Nutcracker"-themed Afternoon Tea, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners in TOCA Restaurant, a family friendly lavish brunch in the grand foyer overlooking David Pecaut Square where kids are treated to a "Little VIPs" lounge offering games, activities, Christmas movies and a visit from Santa himself.
Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler
Whistler comes alive during the holiday season, with the snow-covered village gleaming in a sea of twinkle lights everywhere you go. Central to the Whistler holiday hub, Fairmont Chateau goes all in throughout the Christmas season, with a seemingly endless line-up of activities including crafts, seasonal dining offerings, daily Christmas-themed games and activities for kids in the Little Elves Playroom, a festive bonfire (Dec. 21 to 29), workshops on holiday home décor tips, holiday entertaining at home, and more!
Wedgewood Hotel & Spa, Vancouver
Though it may not see much snow, Vancouver sees no shortage of Christmas spirit. One hotel that is well-versed in celebrating the season right is the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa. Christmas carolers, in full holiday regalia, fill the lobby with relaxing sounds of the season, while decadent Christmas-themed brunch, lunch and dinner are offered in the hotel's Bacchus Restaurant and Lounge. With elegant décor and seasonal displays throughout the restaurant and lobby, you're bound to revel in the holiday spirit and begin enjoying your Christmas getaway. For an extra dose of class, don't miss the Nutcracker Afternoon Tea served fireside in the lounge from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. daily, excluding Christmas Day.
Millcroft Inn & Spa, Caledon
Christmas revelers looking to trade in the Ritz Carlton's busy downtown Toronto locale for a getaway at a slower pace will find exactly what they're looking for at the Millcroft Inn & Spa. Every December Sunday before Christmas, the seasonally decorated lounge hosts a brunch with special guest Santa himself, welcoming children to tell him their Christmas wishes. Live grand piano performances and cozy, holiday ambiance make the historic vintage hotel the perfect festive escape from the city. Snowshoeing, country markets and antique shops are nearby if you want to pop out for some fresh air or a last-minute gift.
Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff
What did we tell you about the Fairmont's Christmas game? It is top notch. The striking "Castle in the Rockies" comes alive in December. Traditional Christmas festivity abounds throughout the hotel, with activities such as guided wilderness walks, hotel heritage tours, crafting workshops, delectable dinners, cozy bedtime stories for children, a Christmas-themed scavenger hunt, skating and more available. The hotel offers gift wrapping for guests on Christmas Eve so parents can relax a little longer and enjoy their kids' excitement for the big day ahead. To really up the ante on your stay's holiday spirit, in-room decorated Christmas trees are available with select packages.
Auberge Saint-Antoine Hotel, Quebec City
Old Quebec is renowned for its picturesque scenery and historic architecture, making it no surprise that one of Canada's most captivating hotels at Christmas time is located in the heart of it all. A partner of the Quebec Christmas Market, Auberge Saint-Antoine offers a multitude of festive activities like a visit from Santa who distributes gifts to little guests, Christmas movie screenings, hot chocolate, mulled wine and Christmas cookie servings. The hotel's classically decorated lobby and welcoming fireplace invite guests to embrace their holiday away from home. Renowned hotel restaurant Chez Muffy features first-class Christmas dishes including lobster, maple and seaweed, fricassée of guinea fowl with black truffles, root vegetables, carrot caramel with Labrador tea and fried egg, and more.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this blog indicated that the name of Auberge Saint-Antoine's restaurant was Le Panache. Its name was recently changed to Chez Muffy.
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