Holidays on Ice: Eight Hotels Where You Can Skate and Stay
The holidays are in full swing and that means twinkling lights, halls that are decked, and gingerbread everything (lattes, cookies, houses). For a handful of hotels out there, it also means time to roll out one of their most special seasonal treats: a glistening ice rink.
If chilly temperatures and snow aren’t for you, take comfort: skate-and-stay opportunities aren't just a cold-weather thing. We’ve seen several improbable spots get into the action, including San Diego and Austin, Texas. Perhaps there's something about twirling on ice under a canopy of palm trees or in the middle of the desert that both defies logic and really gets you in the holiday spirit.
Regardless of location, these high-end hotel ice rinks go heavy on the amenities—just as they do for staying guests. With adjacent cafes for sipping warm drinks after a few laps, festive tunes on full blast often provided by professional DJs, and other wintry add-ons (curling, ornament decorating), they’re welcome additions to seasonal hallmarks and shouldn’t be missed.
Most of these rinks are limited-engagement opportunities (some close in January; others linger until March), so whether you book an overnight stay or just pop by for a visit, don't wait to lace up.
The Peninsula Chicago, Illinois
The cold, hard facts: The fourth-floor sky rink at the Peninsula Chicago allows you to lace up beneath the twinkling lights of the iconic John Hancock building and other Chicago skyscrapers, and because it’s open to hotel, restaurant, and spa guests only, chances are you won’t be scrambling for an open patch of ice. Afterwards, head to The Chalet to grab a glass of glühwein (German spiced wine), which you can sip in the heated lounge area.
Cost: Suggested donation of $15 per adult. (Proceeds go to two local charities.)
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Nevada
The cold, hard facts: Overlooking the heart of The Strip, leave the one-armed bandits for a while and spend some time gliding over 4,200 square feet of smooth ice at The Cosmopolitan, open until Jan 3. If you’re more of a watcher than a skater, enjoy roasting s’mores by the fire or marvel at the completely strange spectacle of snow falling in Las Vegas: a light dusting will occur every 30 minutes between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Cost: $15 per adult; $5 skate rentals.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York
The cold, hard facts: This 9,700-square-foot mountainside skating rink at the Mohonk Mountain House is perhaps the Grande Dame of skate and stay experiences. The rink is located within an enormous wooden pavilion that includes a 39-foot-tall fireplace created out of the same stone that makes up the cliffs that surround Lake Mohonk. Also available: skating lessons, and for overnight guests, you can get schooled in broomball and curling. Open until late March.
Cost: Complimentary for overnight guests; skating is also available to day guests starting at an additional fee of $17.
The St. Regis Atlanta, Georgia
The cold, hard facts: The hotel’s 40,000-square-foot Pool Piazza goes from warm oasis to winter wonderland when the Astor Holiday Rink takes over this month. A billowing sheer tent protects skaters from the elements, while twinkling white lights and holiday tunes add to the festive atmosphere. Fuel up afterwards with a mug of rich hot cocoa and gooey s’mores, while nestled by the Piazza’s cozy outdoor fireplace. Open until Jan 3.
Cost: Complimentary hour for overnight guests; $30 per hour for adults.
Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California
The cold, hard facts: Skating and the beach don’t often go together, but for a few weeks at the Hotel Del Coronado’s seaside rink, you can twirl on ice while under a canopy of palm trees and steps from the sandy beach. Open only until January 7, Skating by the Sea (now in its eleventh year) transforms the 10,000-square-foot Windsor Lawn into a frozen treat.
Cost: $25 per person; skate rentals are free. All proceeds go to Make-A-Wish San Diego.
Standard Hotel, High Line, New York City
The cold, hard facts: This popular street-side rink at the Standard, directly underneath the bustling High Line and embellished with a giant red snowflake, feels as close as you can get to an Alpine party in the meatpacking district of New York City. New this year: the rink has their own Zamboni (smoother ice) and an extended roof enclosure with tons of extra heaters (in case of another Polar Vortex). The Living Room café serves a range of cozy fare, including Swedish meatballs, alpine snacks, hot toddies and mulled wine, as well as hot cocoa and giant gingerbread cookies. Open until mid-March.
Cost: Complimentary for hotel guests after 8pm. At other times and for non-guests, it is $13 for adults; skate rental $4.
Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa; Montauk, New York
The cold, hard facts: Talk about fresh ice: this is the very first year Gurney’s has offered seaside skating. Situated on the roof of the Seawater Spa, you can practice your twirls and triple axels while taking in views of the Atlantic Ocean. Later, sip warm drinks like hot toddies and hot chocolate from the bar. The rink is open until April 2016, with the bar open on weekends and a DJ spinning fresh tunes the entire time.
Cost: Complimentary for hotel guests. For the public, it’s $15 per adult and $4 for skate rental.
Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Austin, Texas
The cold, hard facts: No cowboy boots? No problem. With a pair of skates you’ll be right at home on this 4,000-square-foot rink, open Dec. 18 through January 6. Local Austinites, guests at the Omni Barton Creek, and Barton Creek Country Club members are invited to skate on the resort’s indoor ice rink with panoramic views overlooking scenic hill country and a display of twinkling lights. Holiday-inspired treats and hot beverages are served along with ornament and gingerbread cookie decorating in Santa’s Workshop.
Cost: $25 per adult. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Make-a-Wish Central & South Texas.