13 Hotels in Warm-weather Destinations That Will Still Get You in the Holiday Spirit

·7 min read

Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.

Sure, snow is beautiful. But do you really need Jack Frost nipping at your nose to know it's the holiday season? We think not. This year, consider trading in your chunky-knit Christmas sweaters and fleece-lined slippers for swimsuits, sunglasses, and tank tops.

We've scoured the globe for hotels and resorts with good year-round weather and exceptional yuletide festivities. All of these properties practically include blue skies in the room rate and have holiday meals, décor, and activities, complete with a balmy, sunshine-filled backdrop.

Exterior of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center decorated for Christmas
Exterior of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center decorated for Christmas

Michael Spain Smith/Courtesy of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Forgo the frostbite without missing out on the season's festive fun. From the Caribbean and the American Southwest to the islands of the South Pacific, these properties will fill your holidays with seasonal cheer and vitamin D.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Arizona

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona

Courtesy of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess If you're the parent of a wannabe little princess or prince, the Fairmont Princess will live up to their storybook dreams. Families can spend the holidays ice skating in the desert, taking a train ride around a lagoon lit by 2 million LED lights, and ride a Christmas carousel. Blink too quickly, and you may even mistake the simulated snowfalls for a New England blizzard. Your children are sure to love meeting Christmas characters like Princess Noel and Peppermint the Penguin, though grown-ups can always escape to one of two championship golf courses or the upscale spa.

If you're the parent of a little princess or prince-in-training, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess will live up to their storybook dreams. Families can spend the holidays ice skating in the desert, taking a train ride around a lagoon lit by five million LED lights, and riding a Christmas carousel. Blink too quickly, and you may even mistake the simulated snowfalls for a New England blizzard. Your children are sure to love meeting Christmas characters like Princess Noel and Peppermint the Penguin, though grown-ups can always escape to one of two championship golf courses or the upscale spa.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa, Fiji

Yasawa Island Resort and Spa
Yasawa Island Resort and Spa

Courtesy of Yasawa Island Resort & Spa

Those seeking an antidote to the Black Friday mobs will cherish the remoteness of this all-inclusive Fijian resort. Guests stay in 18 thatched, beachfront bungalows complete with hammocks, daybeds, outdoor showers, and other amenities to coax you into a state of total relaxation. The resort even plans special holiday meals, so you don't have to worry about missing your favorite holiday dishes. If you can't pry yourself out of your sun lounger to participate in the festivities, you're in luck: On Christmas morning, a choir from nearby Bukama Village will go door to door serenading guests.

Raffles Singapore

Raffles Singapore
Raffles Singapore

Courtesy of Raffles, Singapore

Walk in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham this holiday season at the colonial-style Raffles Singapore. Opened in 1887, the property underwent a $160 million renovation after the Singapore government declared it a national monument. Today, guests can have a classic — and quite ritzy — holiday with festive afternoon teas complete with seasonal cakes. Meanwhile, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feature meticulously planned menus for a holiday meal the whole family will remember.

Hawks Cay Resort, Florida

Hawks Cay Resort, Florida
Hawks Cay Resort, Florida

Courtesy of Hawks Cay Resort

Florida offers many promising holiday destinations, but this award-winning resort halfway down the Florida Keys goes above and beyond. You'll have plenty of opportunities to partake in seasonal activities without stepping off the property. Between over-the-top decorations, cookies galore, and — of course — some quality time with Santa Claus himself, the whole family will enjoy plenty of holiday cheer at Hawks Cay.

Angama Mara, Kenya

Angama Mara Kenya
Angama Mara Kenya

Courtesy of Angama Mara

Glamp your way through the holidays at the dazzling Angama Mara. Guests who are hearing the "call of the wild" this winter can head to the remote Mara plains, known for outstanding year-round wildlife viewing. On Christmas Eve, conclude your daytime safari with an elegant candlelit dinner. For those who want to partake, Christmas Day brings a safari, holiday picnic, teatime with Christmas cake, and a special performance by local Maasai children.

Hotel Del Coronado, California

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, California

Courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado

Beach meets winter wonderland at the famous Victorian hotel on Coronado Island. The Hotel Del Coronado is known for its beachfront ice skating rink — and you can expect palm trees dusted with fake snow, beach bonfires, gingerbread house decorating, and a daily light show projecting onto a giant Christmas tree. The hotel will serve traditional holiday buffet dinners on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and your classic holiday teas.

Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis

Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis

Courtesy of Nisbet Plantation Beach Club

Originally a sugar plantation and later a coconut plantation, this property became the island of Nevis' first hotel in the 1950s — and travelers have sought sun and tranquility under the palms ever since. In Nevis, the December holidays are called "the festive season." The Nisbet varies their celebration each year, but highlights often include a school choir visiting to perform Christmas carols, gift giving with Santa and his elves, outdoor sports, and a rum punch party (this is the Caribbean, after all).

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, Thailand

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort, Thailand
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort, Thailand

Courtesy of Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort

Instead of spending the holidays dealing with family drama, hang out with elephants. Anantara, at the junction of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos, rescues elephants from unfortunate living situations. Listen to pachyderms trumpet as you relax poolside, visit the spa, or try one of the ethical elephant experiences. Dress in white and gold to visit the Akha hill tribe for a dance performance, and join the poolside buffet dinner with both Thai and traditional Christmas specialties like roast turkey, eggnog, and mulled wine.

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman

Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

From chocolate elves in the lobby to the gingerbread house workshop, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman does Christmas big. Guests can sip Champagne at brunch on Christmas Day while enjoying the opulent decorations and open presents in their beachfront suites.

COMO Cocoa Island, Maldives

Aerial view of overwater bungalow at COMO Cocoa Island
Aerial view of overwater bungalow at COMO Cocoa Island

Courtesy of COMO Cocoa Island

The hotels in the Maldives can really get into the holiday spirit, with travelers from all over the world coming to their sandy beaches in December. At COMO Cocoa Island, they roll out a full "Festive Programme" in December. While the celebratory agenda changes each year, you can be sure it'll include Christmas Eve dinner, a lovely Christmas celebration, and a New Year's Eve brunch.

Condado Vanderbilt, Puerto Rico

View of the pool and beach at Condado Vanderbilt Puerto Rico
View of the pool and beach at Condado Vanderbilt Puerto Rico

Courtesy of Condado Vanderbilt

A very merry holiday season awaits in Puerto Rico, where you can enjoy soft, white-sand beaches and a dose of Christmas cheer. Condado Vanderbilt incorporates local traditions into their celebratory offerings, especially when planning the holiday menus. You'll sip on coquito (a take on eggnog) and indulge in roast pork and pasteles in the days leading up to Christmas. You can also join other travelers and locals in parrandas, a Christmas caroling gathering, and if your family wants to attend religious services of any kind, the hotel can help make those arrangements.

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Florida

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center decorated for Christmas
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center decorated for Christmas

Courtesy of Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida, is known for going all out during the holiday season. The decorations are next-level, and families can snow tube (yes, there's fake snow!) and make gingerbread houses, among other holiday activities. There are even Christmas shows, like "Cirque: The Spirit of Christmas" — plus, you can have breakfast with the Grinch.

The Roosevelt New Orleans, Louisiana

The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel decorated for the holidays
The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel decorated for the holidays

Paul Broussard/Courtesy of The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

The Big Easy offers endless charm around the holidays, and that charm is on full display at The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The property comes alive with gorgeous lights, wreaths, poinsettias, and ribbon galore. And the hotel often hosts seasonal meals for guests and locals to enjoy, from holiday teas where Mr. and Mrs. Claus might just make an appearance to a sumptuous menu served on Christmas Eve.