If all you want for Christmas this year is to not have to slave over a hot turkey/mountain of washing-up, or if you just want to do your present buying somewhere a bit less manic than Blighty, we know just the place. Maybe you’re dreaming of Christmas in the Big Apple? If so, the old-school service at classy New York joint The Beekman is a revelation – and don’t get us started on the shopping opportunities. Need to stock up on bonbons for Granny or a wow frock for your New Year’s Eve bash? Blissful Hôtel Providence is within easy reach of all things yummy and trendy in Paris. For a Chrimbo staycation with bells on, toasty The Pig in Devon is jolly good, while Penzance’s comfy-luxe Artist Residence is ho ho ho… homely heaven. Pick anyof these gems and that’ll be your gift to self sorted.
THE PIG AT COMBE
The lowdown An Elizabethan pile set in a lush, secluded landscape.
Best for Couples and their kids who enjoy romps through the snow.
The latest arrival in the group’s litter of beautiful boutique hotels, The Pig at Combe offers a spectacular bolt hole in the heart of the West Country. The Elizabethan manor house is surrounded by a 3,500-acre estate, but if that sounds a little too grand for your taste, don’t worry – it’s all about laid-back elegance here. The entrance sets just the right tone, as instead of a lobby, you walk straight into a glittering, Santa-goes-glam cocktail bar, complete with cosy sofas.
The 27 rooms follow the same rustic-luxe aesthetic ladled up with a dash of festive style – super-comfy beds, roll-top baths and a ‘larder’ stocked with Christmas goodies. The food and drink is locally sourced – porcine recipes are a speciality, but veggies are well catered for, with fresh salads always on the menu. One piece of advice, though. Try to get back from your walks in good time to grab a spot by the fireplace. With a hot toddy in hand, it’s the only place to be.
Book itDouble rooms from £145
10TH ARRONDISSEMENT, PARIS
The lowdown A beyond-cool boutique hotel brimming with style.
Best for Yummy mummies and daddies in need of some serious ‘we’ time.
Where better to tackle your Christmas shopping list while enjoying a whirlwind romantic break than Paris? So if there’s the teensiest chance you can leave the little ones with the grandparents so you can scoot off to wickedly good Hôtel Providence, grab it! Billing itself as a ‘grown-up fairy tale’, staying in this 18-room confection, housed in an epic 19th-century Haussmannian building, is like entering another, wildly inventive, world.
The brainchild of Paris bar magnate Pierre Moussié, the extravagantly decked out space is a bold mishmash of styles and eras – from the printed-velvet House of Hackney wallpaper to the vintage objets and Seventies-style show stoppers. Our fave bit, though, was the bespoke in-room bar, complete with everything you need to shake up a rocking cocktail party à deux. Be warned – you may be so busy enjoying the delights of this seriously cool crash pad (complete with delicious regional cuisine), you might need to remind yourself you’re actually here to shop…
Book itDouble rooms from £140
The lowdown A quirky-cool seaside hangout.
Best for Families and friends wanting a seriously chilled Chrimbo.
Looking for Christmas dinner and all the yummy trimmings in a warm and unpretentious atmosphere – and by the sea to boot? Then this place is for you. Hidden in the historic part of town, the 19-room Artist Residence is a Cornish jewel. Decorated in a relaxed, ‘comfy luxe’ style – think upcycled armchairs, roll-top baths, reclaimed wood cladding, epic local art and wood burners – you’ll have no trouble hunkering down in this homely haven.
Food-wise, pop down to in-house smokehouse joint The Cornish Barn for hearty rustic fare, knock back a cocktail in the Bar and Lounge or pull your bespoke crackers in the wood-clad private dining room. And if you’re planning a slap-up Xmas with a large family or bunch of friends and want all the pluses of a hotel while not actually being in one, hurry up and bag yourself a stay in Artist Residence’s dreamy, newly refurbed three-bed Cottage.
NEW YORK, USA
The lowdown Downtown’s architectural icon gets a five-star revamp.
Best for Anyone in need of some old-fashioned festive pampering.
If you adore being welcomed by an eager-to-please bellhop after a spot of ice skating in Central Park or from gawping at the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree, The Beekman is the place for you. Once known as ‘that abandoned building’, the Gothic-style former business premise has seen its fortune revived in spectacular fashion with the renovation restoring many of its original 1883 features, including the grand skylight and the amazing atrium.
Now, the 287 rooms include 45 suites and two ‘Turret’ duplexes that open out on to the roof. Inside, the décor ranges from leather-clad walls in the public areas to marble-topped bureaux in the guest rooms. The Christmas feast will be suitably awesome, courtesy of two heavenly restaurants headed by chefs Tom Colicchio (Gramercy Tavern) and Keith McNally (Balthazar). And if you fancy checking out the newest shops in this up-and-coming ’hood, the concierge is, of course, an encyclopaedic local guide. It’s all part of the sterling service…