Whisk yourself off to a luxury hotel for Christmas, if only via Instagram.

Nobody does Christmas quite like these out-and-out luxury stalwarts. And though we may not have relinquished turkey duty to instead be enveloped in their cashmere-soft Christmassy embrace (one day, one day), we can still take inspiration from the just-so way they do festivities.

How? Well, thanks to the wonders of Instagram of course. Here are our top ten feeds to lose yourself in extreme luxury, via the lovely little squares.

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons




Rayond Blanc’s fantastia of Michelin-starred food and sumptuous luxury has been winning awards and acclaim for more than 30 years. It’s a dream all year round, but at Christmas it outdoes even itself. The little pathways are lit by twinkling lights, the grounds are dotted with Christmas trees, and the hotel hosts a series of Christmas carol services. Is there anywhere more inviting than this over Yule? Instagram says a resounding no. Follow Le Manoir here.


Claridge’s




Claridge’s is a by-word for sublime, unadulterated luxury. Known sometimes as an ‘annexe to Buckingham Palace’, on so intimate terms with royalty is it, the hotel began life as Mivart’s in 1812, only changing its name in 1854 when it was sold to one Mr and Mrs Claridge. Each year its Christmas tree is decorated by a fashion luminary as towering as the spruce itself; this year, it is the turn of Dior’s Kim Jones, who has created a tree named 'The Celestial Snow Globe'. Magic. Follow Claridge’s here.


The Zetter Townhouse




The Zetter Group specialises in boutique hotels that both throw back to the best bits of historic tradition and architecture (both are housed within Georgian buildings) yet manage to hit the nail on the contemporary head. Both of its hotels – in Clerkenwell and Marylebine – are wholly sumptuous, slightly eccentric and serve up peerless cocktails: in other words, everything anyone could ever want at Christmas. If you love Dennis Severs’ House, then you will love these boutique beauties. Even if you’re not staying, do follow them on Instagram for a hit of inspiration.


The Langham




When The Langham opened it 1865, it laid claim to being the most modern hotel in the land, with its hundred water closets, thirty-six bathrooms and boasting the first hydraulic lifts in England. The great and good flocked to this new beacon of modernity; Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde stayed (separately, we should add), and Arthur Conan Doyle even partly set A Scandal in Bohemia and The Sign of Four within its grand walls. Whilst today it can no longer lay claim to being the most state-of-the-art place to stay in the capital, it certainly remains – with its luxurious spa and its Michel Roux restaurant – one of the most luxe. At no time is that lavishness and magnificence more in evidence than at Christmas. Follow The Langham here.


Gleneagles




Gleneagles in Perthshire feels like the ultimate winter retreat for most of the year, even before the Christmas decorations arrive. Originally a railway hotel, its building was commenced in 1924 by the Caledonian Railway Company and even has its own branch line railway. It is, then, already suitably Harry Potter-reminiscent, before you even take in its vast and extraordinary grounds outside, and the proliferation of open fireplaces inside. It is, in short, a hotel made for Christmas (and golf too, for which it’s famous, if you’re into that kind of thing). But if you can’t get there yourself, do while away some wistful moments scrolling through its inspiring Insta feed. Lucky folk who have booked in may even get snow. Here’s hoping. Follow Gleanagles here.


The Pig Hotels




The Pig Hotels, owned by the former proprietor of the Hotel Du Vin boutique chain, Robin Hutson along with David Elton, have been busy redefining luxury in the 21st-century since opening. Instead of tinkling pianos and hushed wood-panelled dining rooms, you get entrance halls flanked by an array of wellies, people dressed like they’ve just returned from a country ramble (they probably have), and wonderfully lived-in décor. The joy of each The Pig hotel lies in their recreation of relaxed country houses; you’re encouraged to lounge in a selection of comfy mismatched armchairs by log fires, while munching on ‘piggy’ bites, safe in the knowledge that everything on the menu hails from within a 25-mile radius. It’s the kind of place where it’s totally acceptable to accompany a bacon sandwich with a truly fine wine; in short, in the same vein as Champagne in our PJs, it’s what Christmas is all about (yeah, it’s about some other stuff too – good will to all mankind etc – but still, booze in pyjamas). We don’t mind admitting we’re nursing an unbecoming envy of anyone who had the foresight to book ahead here. Meanwhile we’ll console ourselves with the pretty tiles and resolve to book early next time. Follow The Pig here.


The Connaught




This uber-luxe Mayfair stalwart knows how to do Christmas. It stands to reason that when, in 1935, it was bought by Swiss hotelier Rudolph Richard, he ran it as an extremely comfortable private house which just happened to offer the highest level of service. Today, post a £70m refurbishment in 2007, it continues to set the gold standard for service, but the personal touch remains. And it is that which makes this such a special place at Christmas. Follow The Connaught here.


The Milestone




The Milestone, which opened in Kensington in 1920, is a relic of the old school in the best possible way. Interiors are traditional, as is the food (do try the afternoon tea). It is also our festive barometer; as soon as its signature silvery twigs are clamped to its railings, we are officially allowed to feel Christmassy. Inside, it’s just as sumptuous – there are no cool Scandi touches here; just traditional reds and golds and sublime comfort, as evidenced by its Instagram feed. Follow The Milestone here.


Lucknam Park




Warning: if you harbour any Scrooge-like sympathies at all, stay well away from Lucknam Park over Christmas. If, on the other hand, you adore everything about the whole festive affair, you’ll love this Insta feed (not as much being there, but y’know, it’s a start). Father Christmas drives a horse-drawn carriage through the sensationally beautiful estate; plus, there are treasure hunts and black tie dinners, as well as mince pies and mulled wine in the library after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Unadulterated yuletide joy. Follow Lucknam Park here.


Brown’s Hotel




This historic and sublime hotel in Mayfair is lovely all year round. At Christmas it is one of the most inviting places in all the world, as it transforms into a winter wonderland. This year it has teamed up with fellow iconic Mayfair British brand Asprey on its lavish decorations. Come, revel in the sparkle and be merry. Follow Browns Hotel here.

By Nancy Alsop
Updated 2021

Nancy Alsop

Editor

Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.

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