There’s no denying that Christmas can be exhausting – even if it is the most wonderful time of the year. There’s the awkward office party, the stressful supermarket shop, plus the pressure of not ruining everybody’s dinner… But if you fancy a stress-free Christmas away from home? Then now’s the time to start booking your indulgent festive escape. Think roaring fires, carols by candlelight, traditional festive feasts with all the trimmings (and none of the washing up).

Take the strain off and allow yourself to be spoiled at one of these fabulous locations. From festive spa breaks to in-house ice rinks, these hotels will make sure you have a very merry Christmas indeed. Ahead of your break, get into the seasonal spirit with a trip to the theatre – these are the Christmas theatre shows to book in 2022.

 

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Pennyhill Park, Surrey

Escape the city and hole up in a luxury hotel with one of the finest hotel spas in the country for the ultimate relaxing Christmas. This multi-award winning hotel and spa boasts eight indoor and outdoor pools (one even comes with underwater music), saunas, steam rooms, bubbling hot tubs, and a salt scrub ice cave. It’s perfectly kitted out for winter with more than 15 indoor thermal and sensory experiences. There’s also 120 acres of parkland with paths and cycling trails for festive meandering.

Start your Christmas Eve celebrations with afternoon tea and carol singers, or relax in spa before a champagne and canapé reception and a Christmas Eve dinner. Transport is then available for midnight mass, followed by mulled wine and mince pies. Christmas Day starts with a HIIT fitness class at 9.30am (if you’re into that kind of thing on Christmas morning), followed by more pampering in the spa, a Christmas lunch with entertainment, buffet dinner and karaoke. On Boxing Day there’s a choice of archery for some fresh winter air, or a film in the cinema room before a drinks reception, dinner and musical entertainment.

Start your celebrations with afternoon tea and carol singers.

Where: London Rd, Bagshot GU19 5EU

Website: www.exclusive.co.uk

Beaverbrook, Surrey

It doesn’t get more Christmassy than Beaverbrook, where warm mulled cider, an ice-rink and Christmas décor galore awaits. Throughout the festive season, classic decorations, toasty fires and thoughtful touches will bring Christmas to life, on top of its classic country house parquet floors and restored antiques – all of which makes a perfect canvas for its annual festive wonderland transformation.

The ice rink is perfect for working up an appetite before a traditional Christmas lunch, washed down with a warm mulled cider. Recover on Boxing Day in their excellent spa.

The ice rink is perfect for working up an appetite before a traditional Christmas lunch, washed down with a warm mulled cider.

Where: Reigate Rd, Leatherhead KT22 8QX

Website: www.beaverbrook.co.uk

Babington House, Somerset

Get out of the city for Christmas with a cosy countryside retreat to Babington House. The first rural outpost from Soho House group opened over 20 years ago in this listed Georgian building outside Frome. Christmas here is both social and relaxed, with members popping in for a hot mulled Somerset cider at the bar, a swim in the heated indoor or outdoor pool, and a treatment at the Cowshed Spa overlooking the garden.

For the kids, the hotel arranges a visit from Father Christmas with presents for the children, and for the adults there’s drinks and canapés in the bar and candlelit carols in the adjacent chapel. Once Boxing Day arrives, there’s a sit-down lunch and a choice of archery, clay pigeon shooting or pony rides to keep everyone entertained.

Where: Charity Ln, Frome BA11 3RW

Website: www.sohohouse.com

Middleton Lodge, Yorkshire

Let this spectacular spot be the setting for your seasonal staycation. Arrive on Christmas Eve and head straight for afternoon tea with mulled wine in the Coach House restaurant. Then kick things off on Christmas day, with a Champagne breakfast. There are also 200 acres of park and woodland to explore, as well as a walled garden that supplies the vegetables for Christmas lunch.

There’s a choice of self-catered stays including a huge Georgian mansion or hotel rooms scattered between potting sheds and an old dairy – characterful options for a family get-together, with everything planned with family in mind.

Characterful options for a family get-together.

Where: Kneeton Ln, Middleton Tyas, Richmond DL10 6NJ

Website: www.middletonlodge.co.uk

Great Fosters, Surrey

Great Fosters is aglow during the holidays, dressed top to toe in seasonal splendour and festive detail. Their Christmas Holiday package from the 24th to the 27th of December is positively packed with all the essential ingredients for a sensational seasonal stay. And let us not forget the balls and parties they host throughout December. From the cosiness of the exquisite Anne Boleyn drawing room, to the magnificence of the ancient Tithe Barn, there are umpteen historic, charming and luxurious spaces to choose from for your festive celebrations.

Christmas Eve begins with a merry mince pie and mulled wine welcome, followed by festive activities like Christmas stocking-making (for the little ones), cocktail making classes (for the grown ups), and a four-course supper in the Estate Grill. Wake up on Christmas Day to a leisurely champagne breakfast and decadent five-course lunch. And on Boxing Day, head outside for a falconry display, hot chocolate in hand, before retreating indoors for a festive afternoon tea.

Where: Stroude Rd, Egham TW20 9UR

Website: www.alexanderhotels.co.uk

The Mitre, London

Keep your fingers crossed for a white Christmas, because Hampton Court’s snow-covered grounds could be taken right out of a Christmas card. The Mitre is a Grade II-listed hotel sits right on the Thames, overlooking the icy winter river banks and just footsteps from Hampton Court Palace – the famous favourite residence of King Henry VIII and one of London’s best festive destinations.

Rooms are candy-coloured and cosy, with four poster beds perfect for waking up in on Christmas day before a spin on the Hampton Court Palace ice rink.  It’s these breathtaking wintery surroundings that takes the hotel to new heights. Festive escapism at its best, just a stone’s throw from Central London. 

Where: Hampton Ct Rd, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9BN

Website: www.mitrehamptoncourt.com

Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham

Take to the Cotswold countryside this Christmas and enjoy a stay at Ellenborough Park. Christmas here is quintessentially English, and you’ll have a very merry one indeed. There’s roaring log fires, long country walks (with dog-friendly rooms) and a spa. Giant Christmas trees appear in the Great Hall, festive afternoon teas and indulgent dinners await, and there’s plenty of room to relax, catch up with family and a play a few board games.

Where: Southam Ln, Cheltenham GL52 3NJ

Website: www.ellenboroughpark.com

Rockliffe Hall, County Durham

With its cosy corners and roaring fires, Rockliffe Hall offers all the perfect nostalgia of Christmas. The Christmas break here includes three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast with a Christmas Eve arrival. There’s festive afternoon tea with mulled wine and carol singers, two hours use of the hotel spa each day, a five-course Christmas Day lunch with welcome glass of sparkling wine, and a visit from Father Christmas on Christmas Day. One of the cosiest Christmas hotels in the UK.

Bordered by the dramatic North York Moors and scenic Yorkshire Dales, the hotel makes for the ideal Christmas staycation – especially one with kids. They’ll love Sunday lunch with Santa, a 2-course festive lunch with a visit from Father Christmas.

 

There's festive afternoon tea with mulled wine and carol singers on arrival.

Where: Hurworth-on-Tees, Darlington DL2 2DU

Website: www.rockliffehall.com

Barnett Hill, Surrey

What could be more indulgent and special than the Surrey Hills becoming your home for Christmas? The Hill is is a festive mecca during the holidays, dressed top to toe in seasonal sparkles and with every detail thought of. Their Christmas package is the crowning glory of the season, with guests arriving for two or three nights from Christmas Eve, ready for more festive treats than you could shake a candy cane at. On Christmas Eve, you’ll get a warm mulled wine and mince pie welcome, ahead of being shown to your room where a Christmas tree and stockings for the children (and pups) await. Come evening time, you’ll be treated to a four-course supper, and given carrots for Rudolph and lots of sherry for Santa before bed time.

The main event starts with a Bucks Fizz breakfast and Champagne and canapé reception ahead of a five-course Christmas lunch. Brimming with fabulous food and seasonal sparkle, if you’ve got enough room later, there’s a grazing buffet supper to end the day and a Champagne afternoon tea on Boxing Day.

 

Where: Blackheath Ln, Wonersh, Guildford GU5 0RF

Website: www.alexanderhotels.co.uk

Grantley Hall, North Yorkshire

A Christmas stay at Grantley Hall is the ultimate festive treat. From its picturesque countryside location to its elegantly styled suites and luxurious spa, it makes for an ideal Christmas celebration.

Guests can choose from their fun and festive Christmas or New Year House Party packages, with all the trimmings included. Featuring log fires, hearty feasts, and the twinkly décor galore, there’s much to enjoy throughout the festive season.

Choose from their fun and festive Christmas or New Year House Party packages, with all the trimmings included.

Where: Grantley Hall, Ripon HG4 3ET

Website: www.grantleyhall.co.uk

Barnsley House, Gloucestershire

We can’t think of many better ways to spend Christmas than at Barnsley House, a gorgeously cosy and charming boutique hotel in a beautiful Cotswolds village with grounds that dazzle at Christmas time. Their three-day Christmas break includes a festive afternoon tea with a glass of fizz or mulled cider, plus a three-course dinner on Christmas Eve showcasing their garden-to-plate cuisine.

Book a Christmas Day dip in the hydrotherapy pool before a champagne reception with canapes and indulgent three-course Christmas Day lunch. On Boxing Day, there’s pie and a quiz night. The Village Pub is also just a stroll away.

Where: Barnsley, Cirencester GL7 5EE

Website: www.barnsleyhouse.com

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire

Escape to the Oxfordshire countryside this winter at Raymond Blanc’s celebrated hotel. You can never go wrong with anything Belmond, but it really becomes something magical at Christmas. This little patch of rural France in England celebrates the most wonderful time of year with fireside champagne, chic decorations created by the resident florist, a tree in every guestroom, and gifts delivered on Christmas Eve.

There’s also a stunning winter dome set up in the middle of the wildflower meadow.

Where: Church Rd, Great Milton, Oxford OX44 7PD

Website: www.belmond.com

Claridge’s, London

Claridge’s is the ultimate London festive destination. It’s an icon and a must-visit, especially during the Christmas season, if only for the Claridge’s tree, which is designed every year by a different artist. To experience the full Christmas at Claridge’s, you’ll want to book an afternoon tea with your stay or sip on a cocktail in Claridge’s Bar or The Painter’s Room.

Even if you don’t stay the night, the sheer amount of holiday décor found in the Mayfair hotel will ensure you feel that seasonal cheer at every turn. You can even take a bit of Claridge’s Christmas home with you. The hotel has Christmas crackers, hampers, tea sets, and more available for purchase on their online shop.

Where: Brook Street, London W1K 4HR

Website: www.claridges.co.uk


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