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California Hotels Offering Festive Lights, Ice Rinks and Holiday Cheer

California Hotels Offering Festive Lights, Ice Rinks and Holiday Cheer

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas as resorts and hotels are decking the halls and offering guests one of the most magical holiday experiences ever. Enjoy a romantic night with a loved one or bring the family for some fun holiday cheer. Here’s four hotels in California that will uplift your spirits.

Photo courtesy of Pasea Hotel

The Pasea Hotel & Spa new oceanfront ice skating rink is open now through January 2, 2022. Locals and visitors can celebrate the holidays skating to special theme nights, sip hot cocoa, and roast s’mores. Tickets are available here for $25, including skate rentals. VIP fire-pit experiences to warm up post skate include blankets, bottles of champagne and DIY Gingerbread house kits. Packages for couples and families include:

  • Family Package – Hot Cocoa for four, s’mores brownies, Gingerbread house kit, and keepsake ornament ($50).
  • Romance Package –Holiday Brie with Crackers and Baguette and Chocolate Covered Strawberries ($70).
  • Group/Celebration Package – Additional bottle of champagne, cheeseboard for 6, and custom welcome sign ($120).
  • Stay + Skate Package includes a luxury guest room and two ice skating tickets.

Hotel del Coronado – Jill Weinlein

The Hotel Del Coronado collaborated with EPIC Entertainment this year for one of the most spectacular lights shows in the hotel’s history. “At First Light” lightshow takes place on the Founder’s Lawn every evening in a grove of towering Norfolk Island Pines. These trees set the stage for a dazzling light show orchestrated to cheerful music and snowflakes falling down from the sky. In 1904 the Hotel Del Coronado strung and lit one of the trees as the world’s first electrically lit outdoor Christmas tree. EPIC heightened this tradition to be an immersive experience for guests and locals. The show is 11-minutes and runs every thirty minutes starting at 5 through 9 p.m.

Photo by Jill Weinlein

Guests entering the newly restored will notice the cherished 23-foot Christmas tree featuring 10,000 lights, and over 2,000 ornaments in traditional red, gold and forest green. There are touches of plaid, velvet, vintage glass, jolly Santas and lanterns. Highlights include the 29th annual collector’s ornament, a beautiful handblown glass ornament that was inspired by the hotel’s 1888 stained glass “Coronation Window,” beautifully restored earlier this year. Many of the ornaments can be purchased in the gift shops on the property, including the custom 2021 Hotel del Coronado collectible ornament. EPIC has 20 different indoor and outdoor decorated tree throughout the property, including a towering red tree made with stunning poinsettia plants.

Photo by Jill Weinlein

The Del also offers ‘Skating By The Sea’ ice rink with daytime and nighttime beachfront ice skating. Next to the rink is ‘Frostbite’ Lounge on the Windsor Lawn offering cozy fire pits for up to six guests. There is a menu of holiday-themed cocktails and snacks to enjoy before and after skating.

Walk into the lobby of the Fairmont San Francisco to see the annual two-story tall Victorian Gingerbread House. It’s 22 feet high and 23 feet wide, built with thousands of molasses and brown sugar bricks offering a delicious aroma throughout the room. This year the house is adorn with thousands of See’s Candies. Guests looking for a unique dining experience can enjoy a private lunch, dinner or holiday tea inside the house. The exclusive experience is for to 8 people. Private dining is available with reservations at

This year enjoy Laurel Court’s sophisticated Holiday Tea with family and friends Fairmont San Francisco. Sip cups of steaming pots of fine loose-leaf tea with house-made scones, a variety of tea sandwiches, and pretty pastries and sweets.

This year enjoy the Fairmont San Francisco has festively decorated some of the suites for couples and for families. The Santa Suite Package includes a stay in a holiday inspired specialty suite that Santa and Mrs. Claus call “home” when they visit San Francisco. The overnight accommodations include breakfast for up to four registered guests, Santa’s “Candy and Hot Chocolate Bar” a Gingerbread House kit, and a holiday classic movie to watch during your stay. Also your overnight parking for one vehicle is included.

Photo courtesy of Terranea

Santa journeys from the North Pole for a coastal holiday breakfast at Terranea on Dec. 18. Visit Mrs. Claus’ egg kitchen and the “Red Nose Fueling Station” filled with favorite holiday drinks. The “Little Elf’s Decorating Bend” includes festive crafts and photo opportunities with Santa. Seatings start at 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., and 10:30 a.m.

Photo courtesy of Terranea

Bring home a unique ornament to hang on your tree. During select dates in December, guests can reflect and demonstrate their artistic expression with Mandala Ornament Decorating. Guided by a spiritual wellness coach, learn the art of mandala meditation as you create holiday keepsakes to take home.

Terranea invites guests to participate in a variety of giveback initiatives and experiences during their coastal escape. Make a donation upon booking a stay at Terranea in support of Toys for Tots throughout December. Guests may enjoy complimentary daily parking, resort fee and $100 resort credit. Available now through January 12, 2022. Promo code: TRADITIONS.

Tis the season to be jolly and these four destinations will brighten your holiday spirit into the new year.

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Holiday hotels

Photo by Jill Weinlein

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About The Author

Jill Weinlein

As a travel journalist for 17 years some of my favorite experiences have been climbing The Great Wall in China, swam with Stingrays in Bora-Bora, explored caves in Belize, followed a pod of Orcas in Alaska, swam in the warm waters of Krabi in Thailand, visited Marco Polo's house in Korcula, Croatia and sailing around Richard Branson's Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. Read my travel reviews to be inspired to see the world.

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