COURTESY HOTEL CORONADO
Ready to have someone else take on the turkey and tree-trimming duties for a change? These full-service hotels have enough holiday spirit to spare.
Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Va.
Thanksgiving guests will need a spreadsheet to keep track of the activities at the historic Omni Homestead Resort. After admiring the decked-out tree in the Great Hall (starting Nov. 20), jump on an express hayride through the glittering holiday-light display. Burn off some calories by joining the three-mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, or — for those who prefer a slower pace — try the scenic Turkey Waddle Friday morning. Kids can get crafty in painting and fairy-garden classes while adults learn the art of mixology, with a focus on seasonal drinks.
JW Marriott Essex House, New York
If your idea of Thanksgiving fun is flower-adorned floats, giant helium balloons and marching bands, then the Big Apple is the place to be. The Essex House, located on Central Park, offers a warm window seat to all of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade activities. On Wednesday evening, head to American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side for the inflation spectacle, and watch the Charlie Brown and Olaf balloons come to life. After the parade, choose from either one of the hundreds of restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinner or stay close to home base and head to the Southgate Bar & Restaurant for the buffet.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, S.C.
Arrive at Kiawah Resort early on Nov. 21 so you can catch the annual pumpkin hockey game at Night Heron Park. Kick off Thanksgiving with a fun run or walk followed by vinyasa yoga on the beach. Hunt for hidden turkeys in Heron Park, then enjoy the family-friendly fall festival complete with face painting, pumpkin bowling and lawn games. Dinner options are aplenty, ranging from a children’s buffet with live animals and arts and crafts to Chef Torno’s signature buffet in the Atlantic Room overlooking the ocean.
Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C.
Explore all that the nation's capital has to offer at holiday time and stay at the festive Ritz-Carlton. Check out the White House Christmas tree, then indulge in flights of hot chocolate from around the world in both in-house restaurants, Quadrant and Westend Bistro. Share good tidings by donating a gift at the lobby’s festive Wishing Tree, with presents benefiting local charity Martha’s Table. On Dec. 10 children can get firsthand lessons in creating gingerbread houses with executive pastry chef, John Quinn. Start Christmas morning off right with a buffet that includes bottomless champagne and a Bloody Mary bar.
Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado, Calif.
Just across the bay from San Diego, the Hotel del Coronado is a stunner throughout the year. But during December the historic landmark — where Some Like it Hot was filmed during 1958 — transforms into a twinkling winter wonderland. Beginning Dec. 15, the Windsor Lawn becomes a beachside ice-skating rink and offers cozy fireside s’mores at sunset on the sand. Grab brunch with Santa every Sunday or enjoy the Polar Bear tea for activities and book readings with Mrs. Claus on Dec. 21.
Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colo.
Get into the spirit at Aspen’s landmark hotel, the Hotel Jerome. You can ski the powder-filled slopes and then luxuriate at the Auberge Spa with a stone massage. Local carolers — the Holiday Belltones — add some holly jolly to the Jerome lobby early evenings at 4 p.m. On Dec. 22 try your hand at cookie decorating and snag a visit with the white-bearded guy in the main lobby. In-house restaurant Prospect offers a sumptuous Christmas Eve and Christmas Day buffet.