He’s made his list, checked it twice and now Santa Claus is coming to town, bringing cheer and joy to billions of families around the world. Take in these extraordinary winter landscapes that will leave you and your children starry-eyed as the day inside these magical Christmas Grotto’s comes to an end.


The Chelsea Grotto is an hour-long spectacular, where kids are transported to the North Pole to meet Santa and his elves. Or try the top-secret headquarters at the Royal Albert Hall, where kids are treated to puppetry, music and of course the man in red. As for the golden ticket? It’s the Swarovski-sponsored grotto at Harrods, which has been an annual affair since 1955.


Kids will be delights meeting Santa Claus inside this centuries-of famous Tudor-revival building every Sunday from 24 November. Parents can shop while children are enraptured by Santa Claus, leaving happy with a goody bag and photograph.


Storytelling with Father Christmas certainly sounds like the ideal way to wile away a festive day. Not only will young people leave filled with joy, they are also given a goody bag to remember the experience.


Father Christmas once again returns to his secret London headquarters at the Royal Albert Hall. An hour-long “theatrical walk-around event”, children will encounter a range of magical North Pole characters in various spaces of the Hall on their way to meet Father Christmas himself. The icing on the cake? Children will be given the chance to make and bring home their very own stuffed toy!


Based in the heart of Chelsea on Pavilion Road, the Chelsea Christmas Grotto in collaboration with famed children’s entertainers, Sharky & George, transports children to a West London-version of the North Pole. Children will enjoy 30 minutes of classic Sharky & George games before entering Father Christmas’ workshop. Action-packed, children will be given the opportunity to try their hand at gingerbread biscuit or bauble decorating and a host of festive crafts.


A family experience like no other, this year, Harrods has partnered with Swarovski to bring families The Secret Forest Grotto. Feast your senses on the magical snow-covered woodland filled with sparkling surprises that will leave little ones mesmerised by the magic of Christmas. And of course, it all wraps up with a very special meeting with Father Christmas.


Occupying four adjoining London townhouses, 11 Cadogan Gardens is a low key but opulent Chelsea favourite that recently underwent a top-to-tail refurbishment. With its glossy individually decorated bedrooms and an delightful lower-ground-floor Italian restaurant, it’s a spectacular place to spend the holiday period.


Look out at New York’s famous glittering Christmas tree while enjoying a holiday breakfast with Saint Nicholas at the Rock Center Cafe. Kids will be enamoured by the magic man, as well as the decadent chocolate foundation and candy bar. The Ritz in Westchester New York plays host to a holiday extravaganza, including a face painter, balloon artists, cookie decorating, holiday movie showing, and of course visits with Santa. Or to truly get into the Christmas mood, visit the 170 shopping and food vendors and glide across the 17,000-square-foot ice-skating rink at the Bryant Park Winter Village.


Explore Santa Claus’s Winter Wonderland at Brookfield place this holiday season, as kids play in a winter activity centre, ice skate, shop and gorge on festive treats. Moments from the spectacular and iconic Rockefeller Center tree, the action is non stop. And this is all of course before sitting down with a crimson velvet-clad Santa.


Families who wish to spend time with Santa in style can enjoy face painting, cookie decorating, balloon artists and watching some of their favourite holiday flicks as part of a new Breakfast with Santa at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester.


What started as a small holiday market now attracts more than three million people each year. From jewellery to greeting cards, even puppets – there are more than 170 merchants selling gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list. And beyond shopping, there is a 17,000 square-foot open-air skating rink and of course visits with Santa.


The reception area at The Baccarat Hotel  glistens like Cinderella’s slipper. Located across from the Museum of Modern Art, The Baccarat Hotel is in the heart of Midtown and moments from the thrum of New York high fashion and culture, including the Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall and Fifth Avenue. Inside is not unlike an art installation in its own right – beginning with the 17 crystal chandeliers spread out across the premises, including two 1909 crystal creations and one made from gilded bronze, as well as the mesmerising LED-light-patterned wall of 1,800 glittering Baccarat Harcourt wineglasses. The first hotel from the eponymous French crystal marque, Baccarat isn’t shy to put its brand to work, displaying 15,000 crystal pieces throughout the 114-room property.

Tverskoy Boulevard is the longest and oldest boulevard of its kind in central Moscow and at Christmas it comes alive with lights, trees and festive stalls selling souvenirs, mulled wine and other seasonal delights. Equally, Kuzminsky Park, the official Moscow residence of Father Christmas is alight with holiday events and offerings.


Journey into Christmas on Tverskoy Square. Be delighted by 38 venues offering unique art objects, riveting street shows, concerts, cooking masterclasses and purchase decorative items, traditional food and unusual souvenirs. For all ages, Christmas comes alive.


A magical destination with its twinkling canopy of lights and bushy evergreen trees, for the festive seasons visitors will find festival stalls and offerings along this desirable destination. Mulled wine, seasonal treats and a host of kid-friendly activities, it’s a Christmas miracle.


A former Soviet-era hotel reimagined for the 21st century, The Four Seasons Moscow might just offer the best views of any hotel in the world. Floor-to-ceiling windows reveal cinematic views of neighbouring St Basil’s, Red Square and the mighty Kremlin walls. With its East-meets-West design aesthetic, cool cocktail bar and perhaps the most enviable addresss in the city, the hotel is certainly a site to behold. Facilities also include a vast spa with 17 rooms and a range of decadent treatments, including an all-over body scrub with flakes of 24-carat gold.


Finnish Lapland is a fascinating place to visit. The largest, northernmost region of Finland, there are plenty of opportunities for skiing, dogsledding, snowmobiling and a whole range of winter sports and activities. But let’s not forget – Finnish Lapland is also the home of Santa Claus and his reindeers.


Wilderness Hotel Nangu is located in a remote spot on the southern shore of Lake Inari, offering breathtaking views and some of the best views of the Northern Lights. An intimate, boutique hotel, it features just 24 cosy log rooms with large windows enabling guest to gaze upon the snowy Lapland wilderness from the warmth of their room. An adults-only property, it is the perfect adult’s playground where guests can try out snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and truly let their inner child loose in the snowy wilderness.


At Paris Disneyland, unwrap everything that makes Christmas special, in the most enchanting of seasonal settings. Christmas at Disneyland Paris runs November 9 to January 6, 2020, and features holiday entertainment, elegant decorations, a Christmas parade and scrumptious seasonal food. And of course, young ones can meet Santa and his elves and hear all about how he travels the world spreading peace and joy.


Originally opened in 1928, the facade of Hotel Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris retains its authentic Art Deco charms. In its early years, the property hosted everyone from Winston Churchill to Michael Jackson. The hotel industry must be one of the most boisterous and ever-changing and in the mid-2000s the doors closed and there began an extensive overhaul under the creative direction of Phillipe Starck. The result was something unique within the Parisian market, better-known for its over-starched table cloths and excess of gold and patterned fabrics. A palace-grade hotel, what Starck created in the newly unveiled Royal Monceau was bold – an interplay light and angles, melding classic with contemporary. The idea behind the 85 rooms and 64 suites is for them to feel more like apartments than a hotel. Colour-wise, throughout is a mix of whites, greys and pastel pinks.

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