It’s something we talk about every year, checking into a hotel and letting someone else make our Christmas sparkle. We did it once, and let Disneyland Paris bring us Christmas joy. You really can’t beat the magic of Disney’s Main Street on Christmas Day with snow falling every hour!
Closer to home our local hotels go all out to create Christmas magic and to make your day really special. If you need some inspiration then read on and discover a new kind of Christmas magic away from home.
1. Galgorm Resort & Spa
From the moment you make your way down the winding driveway at Galgorm, you will be transported to a magical winter wonderland with opulent decorations, roaring log fires and festive inspired menus.
Enjoy a luxurious guest experience with extra touches like mince pies and hot chocolate beside your own Christmas tree in your guest room, or bring the kids to visit Santa in his magical grotto where they will receive a gift and hear a tale from Father Christmas. Take a stroll round the Christmas markets where you can join in on everyone’s favourite carols.
Spend Christmas in style at the serene Thermal Village and Spa, then indulge further with a choice of three onsite restaurants serving festive afternoon tea and Christmas lunches.
On Christmas Eve there will be seasonal sounds to enjoy with a lounge singer at afternoon tea, live music in Gillies Pub, mulled wine, hot chocolate and fireside games. Families can head to the Mulberry Garden to toast chestnuts and marshmallows on the open fire. Christmas Day at Galgorm features a sumptuous five-course Christmas lunch, selfies with Santa and receive Christmas gifts by the tree, popcorn and movies or an afternoon of Christmas crafts and games.
2. The Old Inn
One of Ireland’s oldest hotels, The Old Inn feels festive all year round with its thatched roof, roaring open log fires and comfortable chairs to sink into. This Christmas enjoy the ‘Christmas Eve package’, from £105 per person sharing. Relax and unwind with a glass of celebratory Prosecco and freshly roasted chestnuts on arrival, followed by a very special Christmas Eve dinner in Lewis restaurant.
Join the carol singers around The Old Inn Christmas tree for some traditional cheer, before you retire to bed in your bedroom full of character and await Christmas Day with a hearty cooked full Irish breakfast in the morning. Just a ten-minute walk away is Crawfordsburn Country Park, perfect for a tranquil Christmas Day walk through wooded glens and the long coastal path on the southern shores of Belfast Lough.
3. The Merchant Hotel
Experience this special time of year in Belfast’s most elegant dining room – the Merchant Hotel’s Great Room Restaurant. Dine under the magnificent 150-year-old dome and spectacular Tyrone Crystal chandelier, and admire the hotel’s iconic Christmas tree, standing at 25ft and adorned with over 300 baubles and 150 metres of fairy lights.
Festive feasts await, from afternoon tea and festive lunches to a lavish nine-course tasting menu and an award-winning cocktail list of encyclopaedic proportions.
Indulge in a little extra luxury with one of the AA 5 Red Star hotel’s Christmas accommodation packages. Envelop yourself in the splendour of a Victorian suite, or check in to one of the unique Art Deco bedrooms inspired by the glamour of the 1920s era. Guests have exclusive access to Belfast’s only rooftop hot tub, as well as an aroma steam room and rock sauna.
While you wait in anticipation for Santa to arrive on Christmas Eve, let the sound of The Merchant Hotel’s traditional silver band be the perfect afternoon tea accompaniment.
4. Culloden Estate and Spa
Experience the joy of Christmas in the luxury of the Culloden Estate and Spa on a two-night residential experience package from Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day, from £545 per person sharing.
Check in from noon on Christmas Eve and enjoy a fabulous traditional Afternoon Tea, with spiced festive pastries, delicious mince pies and snow-dusted scones, alongside a selection of sandwiches and savouries. Kick back and relax in the lounge and let Christmas begin.
Have you seen the cute Christmas advert from Hastings? Have a look here.
A cocktail reception awaits guests from 5pm, with carol singing from St. Anne’s Cathedral Choir. Guests are then invited to enjoy a divine four-course a la carte dinner in the beautiful yuletide surroundings of the Mitre Restaurant, with a Celtic harpist creating the perfect Christmas ambiance. Retire to the lounge after an indulgent dessert, and enjoy a selection of fine cheeses, port and Irish coffees with entertainment from the resident pianist.
Start Christmas morning with a leisurely breakfast in the Holywood Room with the Culloden’s spectacular Grand Buffet Breakfast. Enjoy a morning stroll around the estate or a visit to the spa before joining in the festive celebrations in the Stuart Suite with a sumptuous
Christmas gourmet buffet lunch. Have a luxuriously lazy afternoon within the hotel. Relax in front of our roaring open fires with a book, sit back and chat to with family and friends or take a walk within the delightfully manicured gardens overlooking Belfast Lough. Finish a glorious day with a relaxed and light Christmas supper, with live musical entertainment and a selection of board games, before retiring to your luxurious room for the night. A hearty grand buffet awaits you on Boxing Day morning before your departure.
More about other entertainment from the Hastings Hotel group here.
5. The Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel
If you have children, chances are they won’t want to leave home in case they confuse Santa. But the Killyhevlin pulls the stops out for families throughout December.
Stay on a Sunday night from £130 per family, and enjoy one this Fermanagh hotel’s famous ‘Santa Sundays’.
Indulge in a delicious carvery lunch with a festive twist, where all the family will be entertained with festive treats, including a children’s disco and face painting, and Santa Claus himself will be on hand to deliver gifts to children.
Available Sunday 3rd, 10th and 17th December.
6. La Mon Hotel
From the roaring open fire in reception to the twinkling candles lighting up their restaurants, a warm welcome awaits families at La Mon this Christmas. Mingle among the glowing seasonal cheer and allow yourself to be tempted by the scent of delicious festive dining.
Check-in with your family from 4pm and await the knock on your door from Santa’s Elf. You and your family will then be guided to the hotel’s Winter Wonderland singing Christmas songs along the journey. The magic will then begin when each boy and girl will write their final letter to Santa and enjoy the photo stops before the big moment. Each good boy and girl will get to visit Santa and receive a special treat to open before Christmas. Later in the evening before bedtime children are invited to enjoy a Christmas movie with milk and cookies.
Package costs from £140 per family, based on two adults and one child under 12 years old.
7. Lough Erne Resort
For couples or parents looking to truly put their feet up in style, enjoy a Christmas residency at the five-star Lough Erne Resort.
Arrive on Christmas Eve to the magic of roaring open fires and indulge in festive favourites such as mince pies, mulled wine, egg-nog and hot chocolate, before enjoying a good night’s rest. Awake the next morning to a Buck’s Fizz breakfast and the chance for the little ones to open their presents with Santa Claus.
A five-course Christmas lunch featuring the best local ingredients awaits in the award-winning Catalina Restaurant, followed by a relaxed day of board games and Christmas movies on the big screen.
This package is available for a two-night stay from £549 and a three-night stay £649 per person sharing. Children between the ages of 3-13 years can have their own room from £270 for two nights and £315 for three nights.
What else is happening at Lough Erne Resort… find out more here.
8. Beech Hill Country House Hotel
Beech Hill Country House Hotel, gloriously set in 32 acres of woodland, lakes and tranquil well-tended gardens, is famed for its warm welcomes and fine food, especially this Christmas time.
Despite its rural location, this imposing Georgian building stands just two miles from the walled centre of Londonderry. This convenient location makes it an ideal spot for Festive Afternoon Tea, which includes mince pies, freshly cut sandwiches, pastries and cakes. Served daily 12:30pm – 4:30pm.
This beautiful Country House has a range of festive offerings including a number of extensive Boxing Day menus, allowing the opportunity to relax in luxury after a busy Christmas Day.
Christmas party nights are also on offer, enjoy the Winter Wonderland Christmas Experience in the pavilion, which will be transformed into a Christmas Wonderland for an evening of great food and quality entertainment. Diners will enjoy a four-course meal followed by a live band playing floor-filling songs, nestled in landscaped gardens next to the main Beech Hill manor house.
With overnight accommodation starting from only £39.95 per person sharing.
9. Corick House Hotel
Let Corick House entertain you and your guests in this enchanting four-star hotel with the halls decked out with garlands and decorations and ten Christmas trees.
Their festive lunches and afternoon teas run until 23rd December. During your visit to the hotel, there are three acres of manicured lawns and well-stocked flowerbeds, for a leisurely stroll in the peace and quiet of rural Clogher Valley, along with full use of the relaxing spa facilities.
Corick House Hotel vouchers are available to purchase, making the perfect gift for the friend who has everything.
Enjoy Christmas for the kids at Corick House with Santa Sundays. A four-course festive lunch menu is available from 12.30pm – 3.00pm followed by lots of fun and entertainment for all the kids in Santa’s Grotto with the elves. Including Santa’s sleigh, face painting, a children’s disco, art station, balloon modelling, reindeer food and a Christmas Post Office, where letters are sent directly to the North Pole. Along with this, Santa will visit with presents for all the children.
Extend your visit with a Santa Sunday Sleepover, from only £199 per family, based on two adults and two children. Includes bed and breakfast and a Santa Sunday lunch.
10. Fitzwilliam Hotel
Enjoy a range of luxury offerings this Christmas at the five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel.
Ideally located in the heart of Belfast, The Fitzwilliam is the perfect place to rest weary feet from shopping with a festive afternoon tea. Situated beside the Grand Opera House, the Fitzwilliam is also the location of choice to have your pre-pantomime dinner, with a range of festive dinner options.
They are offering a spectacular ‘Christmas in the City’ package which includes, a Christmas Eve check-in with mulled wine and mince pies followed by a festive-five course gourmet dinner. Then on Christmas Day enjoy a Christmas breakfast, a magical visit from Santa, champagne reception, a five-course gourmet luncheon in the restaurant and an early evening Christmas supper served at in the bar. Enjoy a late Boxing Day breakfast before check out, two-night package from £280 per person sharing.
Alternatively, you can just part-take in the Christmas Day five-course festive lunch served from 12.30pm-3pm for £95 per adult, or £45 per child.
For more short break inspiration or Christmas events, visit www.DiscoverNorthernIreland.com.