The holidays are always a wonderful time of the year, but this year, you may wish to skip the extensive cooking and cleaning involved with gathering the whole family at home and instead opt for a relaxing getaway to a beautifully-decorated Virginia resort or boutique hotel. Book a stay at one of these stunning properties and make this holiday season one to remember, filled with over-the-top festive decorations, seasonal dishes and drinks, and endless holiday cheer.
Salamander Resort & Spa—Middleburg
Salamander Resort & Spa puts up holiday decorations throughout their property, including the Equestrian Center, Living Room, Spa, four meeting rooms, two ballrooms, the Presidential Suite, and four additional suites. Each room has a distinct theme, with the Living Room inspired by the idea of “Timeless Treasure”, utilizing clocks, Parisian elements like hand-crafted ornaments and tassels, antique picture frames, and cream bottle brush trees. The 12-foot tree has over 2,200 lights strung throughout the branches, and wrapped gifts are piled around the tree skirt for a warm, inviting finish. Another example of the unique décor is the Equestrian Center, which features horseshoe-shaped ornaments. The Presidential Suite keeps things classic and elegant, and the four additional suites are each decorated to reflect the themes of the four individual seasons.
The Hotel Roanoke—Roanoke
The decorations at Hotel Roanoke aren’t purely for looks; the more than 35 professionally decorated Christmas trees on the main floor are entered in the hotel’s Fashions for Evergreens contest, which benefits the United Way of the Roanoke Valley. This unique tree competition raises money for a great cause when visitors come to view the trees on self-guided tours. They choose the trees that they think are best decorated, then vote by donating money towards that tree. The Christmas tree that raises the most money is declared the People’s Choice Award winner. The contest has raised more than $36,000 over the years, with trees created using themes like 70’s disco and “Santa’s Hot Rod Sleigh”.
The Omni Homestead Resort—Hot Springs
The Omni Homestead’s sweeping estate is filled to the brim with holiday touches, from the five live Christmas trees inside the Homestead to the festively donned grounds, complete with over 1,575 feet of evergreen garland and over 100,000 lights strung on the trees and shrubs. Looking for holiday activities during your visit? Head to the Homestead’s ice-skating rink, heated outdoor pool, and Jacuzzi to get the most out of your holiday visit. The twinkling lights surrounding these areas add a magical backdrop to the winter wonderland, and each region of the grounds has a different festive theme. A walk down “Candy Cane Lane” surrounds you with oversized gingerbread figures, ten-foot candy canes, and six foot lollipops, while the “Victorian Village” features 19th-century skaters and carolers, and “Toyland” holds 10-foot animated model soldiers, an eight-foot jack-in-the-box, and full-size rocking horses. Practically every inch of the Homestead Resort is decorated to showcase their impressive holiday spirit.
Primland Resort—Meadows of Dan
This year’s décor at Primland Resort embraces the surrounding outdoors, with nature-inspired wreaths, trees, and arrangements made from foliage found on the property. You’ll find pinecones, berries, and pheasant feathers woven into the artful arrangements, as well as white pines and spruce trees harvested from the grounds. Primland invites you to sit by the fireplace, sip a glass of moonshine (or locally made wine!), and ring in the holiday season at one of the finest luxury resorts in Virginia.
Richmond’s Quirk Hotel decorates for the holidays with a modern twist, with a giant white Christmas tree in the lobby completely covered in pink lights and ornaments, many of which were brought in by visitors. Miniature pink trees line the windowsills, and pink couches flank the tree, adding more vibrant color to the seasonal decor. After checking in, head to the bar and try one of their delectable signature cocktails.
Boar’s Head Inn—Charlottesville
The entire estate at Boar’s Head Inn is aglow during the holiday months with strands of clear twinkling lights, but the themed Christmas trees are the main attraction at the inn. There are over 23 individually decorated trees on the property, which can be seen during a walking tour of the grounds. Holiday tea is served daily, with Pumpkin Spice Scones, French Madeleines, Chocolate Hazelnut Tarts, an assortment of tea sandwiches, and several other elegant finger foods served with a variety of herbal teas.
The inn has several holiday events throughout the month of December, like the Breakfasts with Santa, followed by carriage rides around the property and Gingerbread House Workshops where the whole family can come together to learn how to build a deliciously festive dwelling. For a relaxing holiday experience, book an appointment at the spa for the “Peace on Earth” Scrub and Massage.
Photo Courtesy of the Jefferson Hotel
One of the most extravagant hotels in Virginia year round, it comes as no surprise that the Jefferson Hotel goes all out for the holidays. Hundreds of poinsettias, yards of garland and ribbon, thousands of twinkling lights and dozens of toy soldiers adorn the lobbies and dining areas of the hotel. The centerpiece of the holiday decorations is the beautifully decorated 31-foot Christmas tree located in the Rotunda lobby. Each year in the main lobby, the hotel displays a handcrafted gingerbread creation made from over 200 pounds of gingerbread, 250 pounds of royal icing, and more than 100 pounds of candy decorations.
The most delicious part of Mimslyn Inn’s holiday decorations is the homemade gingerbread house that is a small replica of the inn’s Manor House, a historic 6-bedroom home behind the inn that was recently restored. The tasty miniature is complete with interior lighting, trees, and even a frosting layer of snow. The Nutcrackers sitting on the mantle are more than just decoration; these antique holiday pieces are a nod to the owner’s German roots, and were brought back from the Bavarian region of Germany. You’ll spot some more personal touches on the 20-foot Christmas tree, which is decked out in ornaments from the owner’s personal collection as well. The inn serves a Christmas Eve Dinner and a Christmas Day Brunch to share in the spirit of the holidays with their guests.
The Bolling Wilson Hotel—Wytheville
Travel to the Southwestern corner of Virginia this holiday season and stay at the Bolling Wilson Hotel in Wytheville for an eye-catching display of lights, garland, and ornaments. The front of the hotel is brightly lit by Christmas trees on either side of the porch, as well as a large wreath which hangs over the doorway. Warm up during your visit with their signature holiday cocktail, the “First Lady Egg Nog”, which will be featured at the bar the entire month of December.
The Founders Inn & Spa—Virginia Beach
The English gardens at Founders Inn & Spa are illuminated with over 100,000 classic white lights, setting a minimal yet charming sight for the holidays. Inside, the evergreens are decorated in white and gold, with angels and stars the predominant theme. If you’re traveling for the holidays, there are several seasonal packages to make your stay more enjoyable, especially if you have kids. The inn hosts Breakfast with Santa several weekends in December, as well as a Santa Slumber Party, with milk and cookies delivered to your room with a personal note from Santa. On Christmas Eve, there is a Christmas buffet dinner, followed by a Christmas Day Brunch the next morning.
Lansdowne Resort & Spa—Leesburg
When visiting Lansdowne Resort & Spa in Leesburg, don’t forget to look up! Train tracks hang ten feet overhead, suspended from the lobby ceiling. The resort holds a variety of seasonal events during the month of December, including Winter Holiday Serenades performed by local students in teachers from Fairfax and Loudoun County. Treat yourself to a little pampering during your stay at Lansdowne Resort with holiday-inspired spa services, like the Santa’s Little Spa Sampler Package and the Candy Cane Manicure and Pedicure.
The Craddock Terry Hotel—Lynchburg
The Craddock Terry Shoe Company was once the fifth largest shoe business in the world, but after its closure, the building was converted into the stunning Craddock Terry Hotel. Although they may no longer produce footwear, the hotel still pays homage to the business with shoe-themed decorations incorporated throughout. Each room on the ground floor has a Christmas tree decorated with hand-crafted shoe ornaments, and a massive 40-foot tall Fraser Fir Tree is displayed on the property’s plaza, also decorated with twinkling lights and miniature footwear ornaments. The bar serves holiday-themed cocktails to celebrate the season, such as the Baxter and the Grinch, Miracle on Commerce Street, or the refreshing Mistletoe Mojito. And don’t miss out on taking a picture in front of their brand-new Virginia LOVEwork, a giant shoe that you can actually sit inside!
Goodstone Inn hand-selects their Christmas trees from nearby Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm in Unison, then decorates extensively with lights, ornaments, and a whole lot of holiday cheer. Many of the ornaments are more ornate hand-blown glass, but you’ll see many that are plain wooden circles. Take a closer look at these, as they are cut from tree branches on the property, then decorated with messages from the previous guests of the inn.
The Cavalier Hotel- Virginia Beach
The historic Cavalier Hotel goes all out at the holidays. Not only will you find beautiful decor inside and out of this stunning luxury hotel, but Santa visits every Saturday and Sunday during the holiday season making it fun for the whole family. The hotel holds a Grand Illumination at the start of the season to reveal the year’s decor (typically on December 1st) where you will find all kinds of holiday treats, hot chocolate and performances from around the Commonwealth.
Looking to visit a few more hotels in Virginia that go all out for the holidays? The following luxury lodging options all get into the spirit of the season with extensive lights, impressive Christmas trees, and all sorts of unique decorations. Safe travels and happy holidays to all!
- Ritz Carlton Pentagon City—Arlington
- The Tides Inn—Irvington
- Kingsmill Resort—Williamsburg
- General Francis Marion Hotel—Marion
- Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront—Virginia Beach
- The Inn at Wise—Wise
- Ritz Carlton—Tysons Corner
- Hotel Cape Charles—Cape Charles
- The Inn at Little Washington—Washington
- The Martha Washington Inn & Spa—Abingdon
- The Williamsburg Inn—Williamsburg
Find these decorated hotels on the map below to plan your trip!