One thing about New York City: it doesn’t take Christmas lightly. From the towering Christmas trees at Rockefeller Plaza and Bryant Park to the spectacular storefronts of Saks Fifth Avenue, a stroll through the city during the holiday season promises truly dazzling displays of festivity at every turn.
Those who have visited the city around Christmas time, though, know that too much is never enough. December’s New York is one of those things that quite lives up to its reputation, so why not keep with the Christmas spirit when it comes to your accommodations? From high-rolling classic stays to unique joints complete with rooftop ice skating rinks and wintry art installations, these decked-out halls are the best places to eat, drink, and be merry.
The Standard, East Village
For those seeking a more trendy and eclectic Christmas experience, The Standard East Village is the place to be. Located in the vibrant East Village neighborhood, this hotel embraces the holiday season with its off-beat décor and lively atmosphere. Look around, and you’ll find everything from cascades of tinsel to holiday yurts.
The Standard boasts a pop-up restaurant called Partridge during the holiday season, known for its decadent and nostalgic take on a holiday-themed hub. Head for the Standard to be transported to a midcentury New York Christmas, complete with ‘70s pickle platters and festive cocktails. Guests will also be able to easily stroll the charming, light-adorned streets of the East Village, making The Standard a perfect base for an activity-filled Christmas stay.
The Plaza Hotel
Yes, it’s the one from Home Alone 2. The Plaza Hotel is a famously luxurious hotel in Midtown Manhattan, and its Christmas celebrations are equally notorious for their scale and splendor. The hotel’s lobby transforms into an extravagant winter wonderland, adorned with elaborate decorations, glittering lights, and of course, a magnificent Christmas tree.
Guests can revel in the spirit of the season with special events, from festive afternoon teas to a superb Christmas buffet to live musical performances. A premiere dance troupe performs live every Thursday in the lobby, and you can even book The Plaza’s Home Alone 2: Escape From New York experience if you have a particular affinity for Kevin McCallister. The Plaza’s prime location also means you’re just steps away from the dazzling displays on Fifth Avenue and the enchanting atmosphere of Central Park.
Lotte New York Palace
Situated in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Lotte New York Palace is a blend of historic charm and modern luxury. During Christmastime, the hotel transforms into a glittering tribute to the holiday: the courtyard boasts a Christmas tree to rival Rockefeller’s, and the frost-covered trees twinkle with lights and crystalline icicles. The Palace’s elegantly decorated interiors exude home-y warmth during the winter, an impressive feat for a hotel that lives up to its name.
Guests can enjoy special holiday-themed amenities, from festive welcome treats to in-room decorations. The Lotte New York Palace’s biggest Christmas draw, though, has to be its official partnership with the world-famous Radio City Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular. Plus, the prime-o location allows easy access to nearby holiday markets, iconic New York landmarks, and the lights of Rockefeller Center.
The Peninsula New York
Billed as a holiday home-away-from-home, the festive season brings out the best in this already-exquisite hotel. You’ll find the Peninsula’s grand lobby dressed in holiday splendor: massive nutcrackers, decadent garlands, and the requisitely large and elaborate Christmas tree. On any given day in December, you might hear the strains of Victorian carolers or be irresistibly drawn towards The Peninsula Sweet Shop – it smells just as good as it sounds.
Guests can immerse themselves in the Christmas magic with the hotel’s special seasonal offerings, including a partnership with FAO Schwartz, festive tea times, a holiday experience package to include VIP tickets to major New York City attractions and exclusive holiday menus at their award-winning on-site restaurant. The Peninsula’s renowned spa also features indulgent holiday-themed treatments, ensuring a relaxing and rejuvenating Christmas stay.
Christmas special, or art show? You be the judge. Dream Downtown in Chelsea is known for its avant-garde design, but come Christmas, knockout light displays combine with Christmas décor that can only be described as architectural to create an Instagram-worthy ambiance.
Guests can experience the magic of Christmas with the hotel’s special events, from holiday-themed parties to rooftop celebrations with panoramic views of the city lights. The trendy neighborhood adds to the atmosphere, with Chelsea Market and the nearby High Line showcasing their own holiday charm.
The William Vale
Escape to Brooklyn for a Christmas stay at The William Vale, a contemporary haven with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. Guests can enjoy the modern comforts of The William Vale while experiencing all Brooklyn has to offer during Christmas time.
Atop the hotel is the Winter Village, a seasonal pop-up sitting 23 stories above Williamsburg. Here, you’ll find a rooftop ice skating rink surrounded by a number of cozy chalet-style booths, where you can nosh on alpine-style fondue and sip seasonal cocktails. Williamsburg’s array of nearby holiday markets and events provide a local touch to the holiday experience, making this spot a memorable stay for those looking to explore beyond Manhattan.
The Arlo Soho
In the heart of Soho, The Arlo provides a stylish and cozy retreat during the winter months. The hotel’s intimate atmosphere is complimented by holiday-themed décor, creating a warm and inviting space. Their yearly installation, Après Arlo, creates an atmosphere reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, complete with fake snow. Guests can also explore the trendy neighborhood, knowing they have a charming abode to return to.
Their on-site dining is the true seasonal stunner, particularly the special menu of hearty holiday eats on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, which can be had inside wintry heated cabins. The Arlo Soho’s central location means you’ll have ultimate access to off-the-beaten-path holiday shopping as well as all the festive attractions of lower Manhattan.