Washington, D.C. has many luxury hotels offering comfortable accommodations, great restaurants and upscale amenities. But there are a few that stand out during the holiday season for their festive decorations, musical entertainment, visits with Santa and all around holiday cheer. Whether you are visiting from out of town or are a local looking to get in the spirit of the season, these 5 hotels are ones to check out.
For a complete lineup of events in the region, see December Festivals and Events in the Washington, D.C. Area
Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a few blocks from the White House, the historic InterContinental Willard Hotel is a must-visit destination for the holidays. The Willard presents nightly chorus concerts by local performers throughout December from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the gorgeously decorated lobby. On December 8, a The Nutcracker Tea Party at the hotel is one of the most popular seasonal offerings. Tickets even include a seat at the matinee of the performance in the afternoon at the Warner Theatre, which is just a short walk from the hotel. There are a variety of seasonal packages are available when booking your stay.
Ritz Carlton Washington, D.C.
The Ritz Carlton has two locations in the nation's capital. Throughout the holiday season, visit the stunning Wishing Tree in the Ritz Carlton Washington, D.C. lobby. Inspired by the season of giving, the Wishing Tree is decorated with holiday wishes from the children of Martha's Table, as well as festive ornaments created specially for the tree. Holiday events include gingerbread house decorating classes, Chocolate Decadence, a buffet of sumptuous chocolate and candy desserts and Champagne cocktails, and holiday dining specials.
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown will offer its nightly signature complimentary French Toast s'mores in front of the wood-burning fireplace. Guests can shell out for the Deck the Halls package, with a milk and cookies turn down service, in-suite Christmas Tree and more. Other events include an appearance from Fashion Santa and a rotating cocktail menu dubbed "25 Days of Holiday Cocktails."
The Gaylord National Resort at the National Harbor is a fabulous place to stay or visit during the holiday season. Gaylord National's ICE is the resort's signature event, with a new theme each year, featuring an ice sculpted wonderland created by Chinese artists. In 2019, the Grinch will be stealing the show with a Dr. Seuss-inspired them. The 2,000 room hotel and conference center offers a season of entertainment and activities for the whole family including gingerbread decorating, ice skating, nightly tree lightings, pictures with Santa, and more.
In addition to the on-resort activities, the National Harbor hosts a variety of events including a holiday market, holiday music, carousel rides, photos with Santa on the Capital Wheel and more.
During holiday season, the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C., usually builds a giant gingerbread house for display in the Great Room lobby. In years past, the house was up to 10 feet tall! Using gigantic measures of holiday baking favorites –700 pounds of flour, 200 pounds of sugar, 15 pounds of cinnamon and 250 pounds of candy–the hotel’s 70-member culinary team constructed the 10-foot high A-frame that weighed in at over 1,300 pounds! The hotel is one of the largest in the nation's capital, adjacent to the Washington Convention Center, and convenient to many of the city's top attractions.
Fairmont Washington, D.C.
On December 3, 2019, The Fairmont Washington D.C. will host a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony with holiday refreshments, holiday card decorating, entertainment by the Georgetown Visitation Madrigals, presentation of colors by U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard and photos with Santa. The annual event is free and open to the public. The ceremony will benefit the non-profit, Horton's Kids. The hotel is located in the West End neighborhood adjacent to historic Georgetown. Santa will also be available to visit at the Santa Suite on weekends in December up until Christmas. You can also dine at the Fairmont for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Dinner–or, a Christmas Day brunch if you prefer to eat earlier in the day.
Looking for the best places to ring in the New Year? See a guide to Washington, D.C. New Year's Eve Parties and Hotel Specials