Make Your Holidays Merry and Bright with Unforgettable Moments
Explore Festive Celebrations Around the World with Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Vienna, where these events can be traced back to 1298, still hosts around 20 Christmas markets. Vienna’s oldest and most traditional, the Wiener Christkindlmarkt, or Rathausplatz, is held in front of City Hall and features a children’s ice skating rink, many stalls offering tasty Austrian treats, like sausages, gingerbread cookies, and a potent Christmas punch, and the famous Tree of Hearts, a giant maple decked with hundreds of glittering hearts.
One of the city’s newest and most unique markets, the Spittelberg Christmas market, officially an Öko-Event, recognized by the city for its environmentally friendly practices, sits directly opposite Hotel Sans Souci, in the heart of Vienna’s 7th district. The market has a local, cozy feel. Stalls filled with goods that are fairly traded, produced locally or regionally, resource-saving, and sustainable are tucked into the neighborhood’s narrow streets, alleys, and hidden courtyards among the galleries, craft shops, busy bars, and organic grocers of the city’s Bohemian district.
Prague is the very definition of a winter wonderland during the festive period and the most popular Christmas Markets are found in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square, just a few minutes walk apart and convenient to The Mozart Prague. Old Town Square provides endless entertainment with live shows and dance performances, while Wenceslas Square is best for locally made crafts and treats like klobasa (Czech sausage) and mulled wine.
Markets take over most towns in Switzerland in December and the festive atmosphere is magical. Basel hosts one of the prettiest and largest on Barfüsserplatz and Münsterplatz, and in the pretty mountain village of Vals, illuminated with hundreds of thousands of lights, 7132 Hotel welcomes visitors to a Winter Wonderland with festive fondue gondolas and a courtyard that is transformed into an ice rink.
Little wooden chalets filled with local crafts, traditional music, and all the twinkling lights create a merry atmosphere in Castelfalfi’s Il Borgo, a well-preserved medieval village in Italy’s Tuscan hills, surrounded by vineyards and centuries-old olive trees. Grand and historic, Castelfalfi becomes the stage of many festivities, including Inside Wine events at Tenuta di Castelfalfi's Wine Shop with live music performances, special dinners on the 24th and 31st of December, and a holiday surprise every weekend during December.
Across the United States, cities embrace regional traditions as a part of their holiday celebrations. In Saint Paul, Minnesota, Happy Saint “Paulidays” festivities include a tree-lighting ceremony in Rice Park, special theatre events and concerts, a holiday flower show at Majorie McNeely Conservatory, and a North Pole Express train that chugs into the city’s Union Depot the first two weekends of December. For nearly two decades, The Saint Paul Hotel has hosted a live performance of “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a live 1940s radio drama, complete with an onstage sound effects master, accompanied by lunch or a three-course dinner in the evening, throughout December.
Neighboring cities in Indiana, French Lick and West Baden begin their “50 Days of Lights” celebration in mid-November with two tree-lighting ceremonies, continuing with holiday events and children’s activities through early January. Ring in 2024 luxuriously at West Baden Springs Hotel, dancing in an awe-inspiring atrium decorated with half a million lights, beneath the 200-foot dome ceiling, an architectural marvel built more than 50 years before the arrival of the modern sports dome.
New York’s hustle and bustle is amplified during the holiday season, but festive music throughout the city creates a joyful soundtrack that makes everyone merrier. Join the crowds skating beneath the tree at Rockefeller Center. Stroll along Fifth Avenue where retailers compete for the most stunning window display. Stop by the Bryant Park Winter Village or the Union Square Holiday Market for unique handcrafts, locally produced baked goods, and thick creamy hot chocolate. The “city that never sleeps” stays up even later during the holiday season with special concerts and shows, and hotels and restaurants in the city offer many opportunities to celebrate the season memorably.
The Dominick invites SoHo shoppers and holiday revelers to stop by the hotel’s Café Mezz Holiday Corner for complimentary cocoa and candy, cocktails and snacks in the bar, holiday movies, and a DIY gift-wrapping station (available even if you made your purchase outside the hotel). For guests, the team can place a Christmas tree, adorned with warm lights and ornaments, in your room if you want a little touch of home for the holidays.
Fireworks, which have been an integral part of the culture, tradition, and religion throughout Asia for hundreds, even thousands of years are used to celebrate different occasions such as Chinese New Year, National Days, and of course, Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, includes spectacular fireworks. December 31st, or Western New Year, has become another occasion for these fabulous displays of light, color, and sound sometimes known as “fire flowers.” Discovery Shores Boracay, typically a serene and relaxing getaway, hosts the island's most exhilarating New Year’s celebration with a thrilling fireworks display.
Make your holidays unforgettable with great offers and exceptional hotel stays with Preferred Hotels & Resorts.