The 8 Best Christmas Resorts for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

from Greenough, Montana, to Laguna Beach, California

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christmas resorts: mohonk mountain house
Mohonk Mountain House

Whether you’re dreaming of a white Christmas or a warm-weather one (hey, string lights don’t have to be limited to evergreens), there’s one thing you absolutely need: a vacation. Instead of hosting the whole extended family or sleeping on a trundle at your mom’s, why not get out of town to one of the eight best Christmas resorts that know how to do holiday cheer.

The 31 Coziest Winter Weekend Getaways from NYC

christmas resort arizona
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

1. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (Scottsdale, AZ)

  • Why We Love It: pleasantly warm weather, traditional outdoor winter activities
  • All-Inclusive: no

With daytime temps well into the 70s during the holidays, you can spend your mornings lounging by the pool and your evenings (which dip into the 50s) practicing your triple axel at the ice-skating rink. Yep, you read that correctly. While we thought “desert ice skating” was an oxymoron, this Southwestern resort somehow pulls it off (magic?) along with other classic Christmas festivities—Santa visits, an enchanting train ride and so much more—which you can partake in without the parka.

christmas resort mohonk
Mohonk Mountain House

2. Mohonk Mountain House (New Paltz, NY)

  • Why We Love It: abundance of winter activities, farm-to-table menu, mountaintop spa
  • All-Inclusive: yes

Deck the halls at this Victorian castle-all-inclusive resort, which dials the Christmas spirit up to an 11. The cheery decor of wreaths, garlands and amazing gingerbread constructions is just the tree topper to all the outdoor fun at this winter wonderland—skating, cross-country skiing, snow tubing, the works. And because you’ll have to head inside at some point, the farm-to-table cuisine (that’s locally sourced) and luxurious spa will be waiting for you.

christmas resort pawsup
Resort at Paws Up

3. Resort at Paws Up (Greenough, MT)

  • Why We Love It: custom Christmas trees, outdoor spa, diverse dining experiences
  • All-Inclusive: yes

Luxury log cabins, cozy leather couches and plenty of time cuddled up next to your personal fireplace—this place was built for Christmas. In fact, it’ll even give you a custom-decorated tree to keep in the comfort of your own lodge. What could make this more idyllic? A horse-drawn sleigh ride, of course. Keep an eye out for Rudolph; he might prancing through the Montana wilderness.

christmas resort laguna
Montage Hotels Laguna Beach

4. Montage Hotels Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, CA)

  • Why We Love It: holiday activities, seasonal dining, warm weather, oceanfront pool
  • All-Inclusive: no

Don’t worry, Santa and his reindeer can still reach you even if you’re high up on a coastal bluff. When you’re in lush SoCal, you’ll get used to the lighted palm trees faster than you can say “Champagne Holiday Brunch.” That’s right, if you love your bubbly, whisky or wine, partake in one of the festive “Sip and Savor” meals taking place through December. Bringing the family? Take a gingerbread decorating class. And if you’re staying here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, prepare to feast your heart out.

christmas resort greenbrier

5. The Greenbrier Resort (White Sulphur Springs, WV)

  • Why We Love It: seasonal events and activities, white sulphur springs, variety of seasonal packages
  • All-Inclusive: no

Since 1778 (whoa), this resort has been an elegant haven for guests (including 26 presidents) visiting the picturesque Allegheny Mountains. But during the holidays, the place feels extra special, thanks to its annual “Gingerbread Ball,” grand tree lightings and activities (we’re looking you, Holiday Mixology Class). Psst, the hotel is famous for its white sulphur spring waters and spa. Sounds like a Christmas present you deserve…

christmas resort charleston
Wentworth Mansion

6. Wentworth Mansion (Charleston, SC)

  • Why We Love It: in Charleston's historic district, Dickens Dinner, exclusive curated experience
  • All-Inclusive: no

Hotel, schmotel—we’re staying in a 19th-century, 24,000-square-foot mansion. Smack-dab in the middle of Charleston’s historic district, the common areas alone, brimming with gorgeous Christmas decor, will provide all the cozy holiday comfort you could ask for. But if you want more, you best make a reservation for the “Dickens Dinner,” at which a local historian orates A Christmas Carol while you dine on a four-course meal inspired by the novel.

christmas resort sagamore
The Sagamore

7. The Sagamore (Bolton Landing, NY)

  • Why We Love It: plethora of winter activities, special holiday events, sprawling indoor entertainment center
  • All-Inclusive: no

Deck the halls, trim the trees and prepare thyself for a feast of feasts at this historic resort on Lake George. Along with all the winter Adirondack activities—ice-skating, skiing and building a snowman or two—the holiday schedule is packed with special events: campfire and s’mores, Christmas story readings, a ghost tour, holiday crafts and more.

christmas resort keystone
The Keystone Resort

8. The Keystone Resort (Summit County, CO)

  • Why We Love It: night skiing, world’s largest snow fort, sleigh rides, lakeside village
  • All-Inclusive: no

Snow-capped mountains surround this resort in the middle of the White River National Forest, which boasts three peaks, five above-tree-line bowls, night skiing, the world’s largest Snow Fort and so much more (yep, this place is über family friendly). The perfect bookend to your stay? Well, that’d be a sleigh ride dinner, of course.

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