20 Hotels in Warm-weather Destinations to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Escape the winter chill without missing out on holiday festivities at these warm Christmas destinations around the world.

The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel decorated for the holidays
Photo: Paul Broussard/Courtesy of The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Sure, snow is beautiful. But do you really need Jack Frost nipping at your nose to know it's the holiday season? We think not. This year, consider trading in your chunky-knit Christmas sweaters and fleece-lined slippers for swimsuits, sunglasses, and tank tops.

We've scoured the globe for hotels and resorts with good year-round weather and exceptional yuletide festivities. All of these properties practically include blue skies in the room rate and have holiday meals, décor, and activities, all set against a balmy, sunshine-filled backdrop.

Forgo the frostbite without missing out on the season's festive fun. From the Caribbean and the American Southwest to the islands of the South Pacific, these properties will fill your holidays with seasonal cheer and vitamin D.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Arizona

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona
If you're the parent of a wannabe little princess or prince, the Fairmont Princess will live up to their storybook dreams. Families can spend the holidays ice skating in the desert, taking a train ride around a lagoon lit by 2 million LED lights, and ride a Christmas carousel. Blink too quickly, and you may even mistake the simulated snowfalls for a New England blizzard. Your children are sure to love meeting Christmas characters like Princess Noel and Peppermint the Penguin, though grown-ups can always escape to one of two championship golf courses or the upscale spa. Courtesy of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

If you're the parent of a little princess or prince-in-training, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess makes good on their storybook dreams. Families can spend the holidays ice skating in the desert, taking a train ride around a lagoon lit by six million LED lights, and marveling at a life-sized snow globe. Blink too quickly, and you may even mistake the simulated snowfalls for a New England blizzard. Your children are sure to love meeting Christmas characters like Princess Noel and Peppermint the Penguin, though grown-ups can always escape to one of the championship golf courses or the upscale spa.

Yasawa Island Resort and Spa, Fiji

Yasawa Island Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Those seeking an antidote to the Black Friday mobs will cherish the remoteness of this all-inclusive Fijian resort. Guests stay in 18 thatched, beachfront bungalows complete with hammocks, daybeds, outdoor showers, and other amenities to coax you into a state of total relaxation. The resort even plans special holiday meals, so you don't have to worry about missing your favorite seasonal dishes. If you can't pry yourself out of your sun lounger long enough to participate in the festivities, you're in luck: On Christmas morning, a choir from nearby Bukama Village goes door-to-door serenading guests.

Raffles Singapore

Raffles Singapore
Courtesy of Raffles, Singapore

Walk in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham this holiday season at the Raffles Singapore. Opened in 1887, the property underwent a $116 million renovation after the Singapore government declared it a national monument. Today, guests can have a classic — and ritzy — holiday with festive afternoon teas complete with seasonal cakes. Meanwhile, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feature meticulously planned menus for a holiday meal the whole family will remember.

Hawks Cay Resort, Florida

Hawks Cay Resort, Florida
Courtesy of Hawks Cay Resort

Florida offers many promising holiday destinations, but this award-winning resort halfway down the Florida Keys goes above and beyond. You'll have plenty of opportunities to partake in seasonal activities without stepping off the property. Between over-the-top decorations, gingerbread houses galore, and — of course — some quality time with Santa Claus himself, the whole family can enjoy plenty of holiday cheer at Hawks Cay.

Angama Mara, Kenya

Angama Mara Kenya
Courtesy of Angama Mara

Glamp your way through the holidays at the dazzling Angama Mara. Guests who are hearing the "call of the wild" this winter can head to the remote Mara plains, known for outstanding year-round wildlife viewing. On Christmas, conclude your daytime safari with an elegant candlelit dinner, complete with Christmas crackers and champagne. After dinner, enjoy the festive lights and decorations while opening gifts around a fire.

Hotel Del Coronado, California

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California
Courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado

Beach meets winter wonderland at the famous Victorian hotel on Coronado Island. The Hotel Del Coronado is known for its beachfront ice skating rink and you can expect palm trees dusted with fake snow, holiday movies on the beach, gingerbread house decorating, and a daily light show projected onto a grove of towering Norfolk Island Pines. The hotel serves traditional holiday buffet dinners on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in addition to classic holiday teas.

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort, Thailand

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort, Thailand
Courtesy of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort

Instead of spending the holidays dealing with human drama, embrace the quiet nature of an elephant preserve. Anantara, at the junction of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos, rescues elephants from unfortunate living situations. Watch pachyderms move about their habitat from your own personal transparent Jungle Bubble, decked with Christmas trappings. Start the holiday at the Christmas Eve feast with both Thai and traditional Christmas specialties like local artisan cheeses, cold cuts, and decadent desserts, then enjoy carolers in the garden.

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

From chocolate elves in the lobby to a gingerbread house workshop, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman does Christmas big. Guests can sip Champagne at brunch on Christmas Day while enjoying the opulent decorations and open presents in their beachfront suites in the ever-pleasant 80 degree temperatures.

COMO Cocoa Island, Maldives

Aerial view of overwater bungalow at COMO Cocoa Island
Courtesy of COMO Cocoa Island

The hotels in the Maldives can really get into the holiday spirit, with travelers from all over the world arriving on their sandy shores in December. At COMO Cocoa Island, they roll out a full "Festive Programme" in December. You're guaranteed a Christmas Eve dinner, a lovely Christmas celebration, and a New Year's Eve countdown dinner.

Condado Vanderbilt, Puerto Rico

View of the pool and beach at Condado Vanderbilt Puerto Rico
Courtesy of Condado Vanderbilt

A very merry holiday season awaits in Puerto Rico, where you can enjoy soft, white-sand beaches and a dose of Christmas cheer. Condado Vanderbilt incorporates local traditions into their celebratory offerings, especially when planning the holiday menus. You'll sip on coquito (a take on eggnog) and indulge in roast pork and pasteles in the days leading up to Christmas. You can also join other travelers and locals in parrandas, a Christmas caroling gathering. And, if your family wants to attend religious services of any kind, the hotel can help make those arrangements.

Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Florida

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center decorated for Christmas
Courtesy of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida, is known for going all out during the holiday season. The decorations are next-level, and families can snow tube (yes, there's fake snow!) and make gingerbread houses, among other holiday activities. There are even Christmas shows, like "Cirque: The Spirit of Christmas," and the hotel's ice sculpture exhibit crafted from two million pounds of colorful ice — you'll have to walk through in one of the hotel's signature blue parkas, of course.

The Roosevelt New Orleans, Louisiana

The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel decorated for the holidays
Paul Broussard/Courtesy of The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

The Big Easy offers endless charm around the holidays, and that charm is on full display at The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The property comes alive with gorgeous lights, wreaths, poinsettias, and ribbon galore. The hotel often hosts seasonal meals for guests and locals to enjoy, from holiday teas with decadent pastries and hot chocolate (where Mr. and Mrs. Claus might just make an appearance) to a sumptuous menu served on Christmas Eve.

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

swimming pools and ocean at Ritz Carlton St. Thomas

Courtesy of Ritz Carlton St. Thomas

Have a blue Christmas at this resort nestled in the turquoise waters of the Virgin Islands where you’re promised balmy, 80-degree-Fahrenheit weather. Your Caribbean Christmas includes special holiday meals of local flavors, seafood bars, and BBQ; a Christmas Eve seven fish dinner; hunts for the Ritz-Carlton Elf; and tree decorating. Of course, there’s also Christmas Day brunch and a special New Year’s Eve Countdown Carnival, as well.

Montage Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina 

Entrance to the Montage Palmetto Bluff resort in South Carolina
Courtesy of Montage Palmetto Bluff

Trade evergreen conifers for trees dripping in Spanish moss and white lights at this resort in South Carolina’s charming Lowcountry. The halls are decked for holiday brunch with Santa and a Christmas Eve bounce house for the kids. There’s also a special oyster roast and Lowcountry Boil on the May River if you want to celebrate like a local. It’s even warm enough to go looking for owls or winter fruits and berries on the property

The Cloister at Sea Island, Georgia

World's Top 50 Hotels: Cloister at Sea Island, Sea Island, Georgia
Courtesy of The Cloister at Sea Island

If you’re worried about being able to get into the holiday spirit without the customary chill in the air, the life-size Gingerbread House that greets you at this Georgia destination will quell any lingering fears. The Cloister at Sea Island really knows how to bring the family fun. There’s Storytime with Santa’s Elves and the Reindeer Dash Fun Run on top of ornament decorating and caroling. At the end of a stay full of parties and festivities, toast the season with a glass of champagne at Christmas Day brunch.

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, Hawaii 

Santa arrives on the beach in Hawaiian canoe
Courtesy of Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Mele Kalikimaka! Head to the Hawaiian island of Maui to watch Santa arrive on Wailea Beach by outrigger canoe — no sleighs or reindeer here. Embrace the 70-degree weather at the holiday luau or with a special treatment from the holiday menu at the resort’s spa. The Grand Wailea Maui also serves a prix fixe, locally-sourced Christmas gourmet meal at its restaurant, Humuhumunukunukuapuaʻa.

The Breakers Palm Beach, Florida 

Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida
Getty Images / Travel_Bug

If you’re dreaming of a white-sand Christmas, this tiny South Florida town promises 70-degree temps and plenty of beachy fun. Check into The Breakers Palm Beach to celebrate the end of 2022 with holiday tea (complete with buttermilk scones heaped in Devonshire cream and rose petal jam), special multicourse prix fixe menus, Christmas Day brunch, and a New Year’s Eve celebration. 

Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco

Royal Mansour Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco
Courtesy of Royal Mansour

This desert destination is perfect for anyone who’s ever wanted to fete the holidays with a dip in their own private pool. Christmas like a king in your own private riad at this crown jewel in the heart of Marrakech. The celebrated hotel becomes a Winter Wonderland with ornately decked halls and a Christmas tree dripping in crystal. If you’re one of those people who puts off gift shopping until the last minute, no worries! There’s a charity Christmas market in the lobby offering handmade crafts, Christmas sweets, and Royal Mansour gift items. Special Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus are made all the more special by a bûche de Noël (or Christmas Yule log), a soft biscuit filled with a variety of flavors from coconut and lime to buttercream and coffee.

Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Texas 

Exterior aerial view of Four Seasons Hotel Austin
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels

Austin spares no expense when it comes to the festive season, evidenced at the Four Seasons where guests spend the holidays roasting gourmet s’mores and sipping Champagne alongside a sommelier. Peppermint spa treatments and holiday buffets in the ballroom are just a few of the ways you can celebrate the season at the hotel before heading out to explore all Austin has to offer. Don’t leave before spending time at the hotel’s Gingerbread Village in the lobby — featuring a candy-coated Town Square, Santa’s Workshop, and a Christmas countdown. 

Marbella Club Hotel, Spain

Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Marbella Club Hotel

There’s never a bad time to go to Spain, but escaping the winter chill of snowier climates for Málaga’s sunbaked streets makes the trip just a little more special. But just because you’re giving up snow doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice Christmas cheer, because Marbella Club Hotel invites you into its halls — decked with boughs of olive trees and dried oranges, as well as two massive Christmas trees on the beach. Get a look at a gingerbread replica of the hotel created by the in-house pastry chef, before dining on festive menus of authentic Andalusian cuisine like scallop carpaccio or crayfish quenelle and sweets like the honey nougat turron. And start 2023 right with Imperial Osetra Caviar and red prawn tartare with sea urchin emulsion. 

Updated by
Maya Kachroo-Levine
Maya Kachroo-Levine

Maya Kachroo-Levine is the luxury and experiences editor at Travel + Leisure digital. She has previously edited at Departures, Expedia, Good, Medium, and The Balance, and written for LA Weekly, Time, The Atlantic, Marie Claire, and Refinery29, among others.

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