Kakslauttanen Arctic Resor
It’s a well-kept secret: this is where Santa Claus lives, here in the far north of Finland, beyond the Arctic Circle. In his big traditional chalet, he prepares hearty meals and cozy rooms for guests, in a magical atmosphere mingling fantasy and reality. For those who’d rather not spoil the mystery or who want a bit more intimacy, there are log cabins and snow or glass igloos, where you can gaze at the Northern Lights from your bed.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Tél. +358 16 667101.www.kakslauttanen.fi
For the holidays, seventh heaven has taken up abode in the Japanese capital. Brunch, lunch box, gala dinner: there’s no end to the flexible inventiveness of the little dishes up here on the upper floors of the Toranomon Hills tower where this boutique hotel is based. The Andaz caters to every festive gourmet whimin the Tavern, the Bar and the BeBu, or even in your room, for complete privacy. Local products are elegantly showcased in traditional European dishes. Even the spa is getting into the swing of things, with chocolate, orange or apple baths. Treat someone back home to an assortment of éclairs from the Pastry Shop tearoom, a boxed set of beauty products or some organic Kotoshina tea.
1-23-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku. Tél. +81 (0)3 6830 1234.www.andaztokyo.co
A crackling open fire, stockings hung from the mantelpiece, a great big tree and a turkey on the table: Christmas is celebrated in traditional British style here, a few miles outside London, in peaceful countryside that’s even quieter when it’s blanketed by snow. Guests feel right at home, whether they’re enjoying a swim in the indoor pool, a festive meal prepared with local products or a board game, and will be tempted to stay on at least until Boxing Day, December 26, to take part in the chocolate tasting.
Blacknest Road, Ascot, Berkshire. Tél. +44 (0)1344 876 600.www.dorchestercollection.com
In Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011), Owen Wilson stayed in the panoramic suite of this luxury hotel, traveling back in time at night. Back in the present, in late 2016, Éric Frechon has put the final touches to a festive menu worthy of the three-starred Épicure; the Café Antonia is serving up afternoon treats (gingerbread, cinnamon hot chocolate, mont-blanc); and the tree in the lobby is resplendent with 250 Baccarat pendants. Take home an equally brilliant Yule log by head pastry chef Laurent Jeannin, with white chocolate, coconut mousse, almonds and fresh and candied grapefruit under sugar crystals.
112, rue du Faubourg- Saint-Honoré. Tél. +33 (0)1 53 43 43 00.wwww.lebristolparis.com
Parkroyal on pickering
A hanging jungle of futuristic curves, terraced like rice paddies and suspended from the lights of Singapore. This hotel, with its glazed galleries housing waterfalls, plant walls and lush gardens, sprouted three years ago amid the dynamic vibe and tropical climate of the city state. Christmas lasts an entire month in the three open kitchens of the Lime restaurantfrom December 2 to January 2, the smorgasbord features holiday classics (including seafood platters and salmon with orange butter) steeped in southeast Asian cuisine (with a sparkling chocolate yuzu log for brunch on Christmas Day itself). On Christmas Eve, indulge in an otherworldy gift: barefoot and cocktail in hand, head to one of the cabanas by the pool, illuminated only by the flickering lights of the boulevards.
ParkRoyal on pickering
3 Upper Pickering Street. Tél. +65 6809 8888.www.parkroyalhotels.com
Copperhill mountain lodge
With its 18-meter-high ceiling and long stone fireplace ideal for piling gifts (discreetly entrusted to the reception desk the night before), this is the perfect setting for those with grand Christmas dreams, designed by US architect Peter Bohlin. As the lodge is located just a stone’s throw from the slopes of the pioneering Swedish ski resort Åre, it’s a white, white winterland everywhere you look, from the windowsills to the top of Mount Förberget, a picture perfect scene.
copperhill mouNtain lodge
Åre-Björnen. Tél. +46 (0)647 14300.www.copperhill.sem
A fun experience is in store for children (and everyone who’s still a kid at heart) at The Mark: a teepee in the room for hiding in; a sled for the snow in Central Park (a short walk away); a hot dog stand where you’d least expect it; little boats to sail on the ponds in the park, and moreall in The Mark’s signature black and white. Amusements galore to ensure smiling faces and pink cheeks, thanks not just to the wintry air but also to simple pleasures such as these.
Madison Avenue et 77th Street. Tél. +1 212 744 4300.www.themarkhotel.com
Prince de Galles
The undulating stone facade conceals lavish features from Art Deco’s heyday in Paris: Macassar ebony decor, black marble floors, gold mosaics and more. Echoing the classicism tinged with a graphic touch of the Prince de Galles, chefs Stéphanie Le Quellec and Nicolas Paciello have sculpted a geometrical Yule log, vertical like an artistic compression. It has eight layers, with pride of place going to chocolate (70% cacao mousse and filling, Gianduja praline), spread around a sliver of buckwheat biscuit.
prince de galles
33, avenue George-V. Tél. +33 (0)1 53 23 77 77.www.hotelprincedegalles.fr
Cheval Blanc Courchevel
Some birthdays fall at Christmas. Cheval Blanc Courchevel is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, but they’ll be the ones handing out the treats! Chef Yannick Alléno is serving up foie gras, truffles, capon and a Yule log at Le Triptyque, of course. But shhhha host of other surprises are in store: fur pom-poms, scented candles, Cheval Blanc stickers, kids’ bracelets and a winter-clad Lili doll, as well as some new Guerlain products. Delightful omens.