Concierge tips for the festive season
The festive season is upon us, which means you’ll find plenty of fun family events happening in each of our iconic destinations. Here our expert concierge teams share their favourite ways to celebrate the holidays, from Christmas shopping in Milan to celebrity-spotting in LA. There’s also a festive guide to each location for all the inspiration you’ll need.
Andy Davies, concierge at The Dorchester
Royal Albert Hall Christmas Carols, London
Andy recommends the Royal Albert Hall Christmas Carols, where world-renowned artists lead carol singalongs and carols by candlelight in a magnificent setting – describing it as the perfect way to celebrate a much-loved tradition with the whole family.
December 13 – 24
Emily Freeman, director of operations at 45 Park Lane
Ice skating at Somerset House, London
When we asked Emily for her favourite activity in the capital, she said she loves ice skating in the courtyard of Somerset House. Of the many skating rinks which pop up over the festive season, Somerset House is among the most memorable, with beautiful decorations and a backdrop of the grand state house. The West Wing also hosts Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas shop – a must for gifts.
November 15 ‒ January 14
Maggie Xu, guest relations manager at Coworth Park
Windsor on Ice, Windsor
Maggie suggests a visit to Windsor for the festive season, as the picturesque Alexandra Gardens unveils two ice rinks. The rinks are both undercover and open-air and suitable for all ages and abilities. Visitors will also find plenty of festive food and drink stalls for warming up after a glide on the ice.
November 18 – January 7
Jerome and Laurent, concierge team at Hôtel Plaza Athénée
Vaux-le-Vicomte, near Paris
Sharing their insider tips, Jerome and Laurent recommend the Vaux-le-Vicomte, a grand chateau which hosts its 12th annual Christmas event this year. Located in Maincy, an hour’s journey south east of Paris, visitors can explore the Sugar Palace, a magical world of confectionery, and enjoy family activities throughout the grounds.
November 25 – January 7 (blackout dates apply)
Léonard Crépiat, chief concierge at Le Meurice
Champs de Mars Christmas Market, Paris
Léonard recommends the Christmas market near the Eiffel Tower on the Champs de Mars, where you’ll discover an ice rink and cabins specializing in handmade gifts, festive decorations and a variety of delicious local produce. A wonderful place to enjoy the festive spirit and any last-minute Christmas shopping.
December 21 – January 8
Romano Conte, head concierge at Hotel Principe di Savoia
Mercatini di Natale, Milan
Romano says there are a whole host of markets throughout the festive period in Milan, but his favourite is Mercatini di Natale in the Duomo area, which has over 100 stalls offering traditional Italian delicacies, as well as decorations and handmade gifts.
December 9 – January 6
Alessandro Arciola, head concierge at Hotel Eden
Caffeina Christmas Village, Rome
Alessandro recommends a day trip to Viterbo, north of Rome, where for over a month the historic city centre is turned into the Caffeina Christmas Village. Visitors are invited to visit Santa Claus in his house, explore the toy factory and elf workshop, and enjoy fun family activities throughout the city.
November 24 – January 7
Abbas Golestani, chief concierge at The Beverly Hills Hotel
Visit Santa Claus, Beverly Hills
Abba says his favourite time of year is when Santa Claus and carollers arrive to entertain the guests, and a beautiful tree is set up to mark the beginning of the holiday season. The hotel also hosts special dining experiences throughout December, from cocktails in the Polo Lounge to 12 days of exquisite soufflés.
Dawn Laulette, concierge at Hotel Bel-Air
Christmas lights at The Grove, Los Angeles
The glorious 34m/110ft Christmas tree at The Grove is an annual tradition not to be missed. It’s a particular favourite of Dawn’s and the lights attract a lively crowd. It’s also the ideal place for all your festive shopping.
November 12 January 6