9 Southern States Boasting Decked Out Hotels for the Holidays

Accommodations, Magazine Features

These Southern states boast unique hotels for the holidays that are sure to bring joy to your group’s yuletide experience

Omni Grove Park Inn

Omni Grove Park Inn

Hotels for the holidays at Omni Grove Park Inn

Asheville, North Carolina

Experience nostalgic Christmastime celebrations with the annual National Gingerbread House Competition each November at a superb hotel for the holidays. The Omni Grove Park Inn’s celebration continues during The Twelve Days of Gingerbread from December 1-12. This must-see holiday event in Ashville, North Carolina, displays hundreds of impressive sugary masterpieces from talented contestants nationwide. Amid merrily-themed trees, twinkling lights and other festive decorations, a panel of esteemed judges from the food, art and media industries crown the winners. You can also taste the holidays with a wintery buffet and delicious seasonal menu items amidst a roaring fireplace backdrop. Reservations are highly recommended.

https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/gingerbread

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

Gaylord Opryland Resort. Photo by Nick Amoscato

Nashville, Tennessee

Gaylord Opryland Christmas decorations. Photo courtesy of daveoratox

The southern state of Tennessee is a top choice for celebrating the holidays. Immerse in a winter wonderland at ICE!, Gaylord Opryland’s Country Christmas spectacular. Their signature attraction brings beloved holiday stories to life through glorious hand-carved sculptures made from over 2 million pounds of ice. Take in the impressive decorations and relax with Winter Wellness at Relâche Spa. Groups can partake in gingerbread decorating, ice tubing, ice skating, spectating live skating shows and slipping down a one-of-a-kind ice slide. Gaylord Opryland also showcases a beautiful parade of trees and Christmas fountain shows.

Previous performances include Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, Oak Ridge Boys, and a Christmas Dinner Show featuring Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers among others.

https://christmasatgaylordopryland.marriott.com/

The Roosevelt Hotel

The Roosevelt Hotel festive lobby decorations

New Orleans, Louisiana

An impressive block-long lobby at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans is a Christmastime tradition and a must-see experience. Since the 1930s, the historic hotel has been dazzling patrons and spectators with more than 60,000 lights draped along birch and Christmas trees lining the lobby. It’s a captivating showy display that evokes the warm inviting hug of the Christmas spirit. You’ll have ample time to visit this hotel for the holidays as they leave the opulent décor twinkling well into January. The Teddy Bear Tea tradition continues for children of all ages to see the North Pole and visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Singing, dancing and storytelling are also part of the festivities.

https://therooseveltneworleans.com/

The Marshall House

Savannah, Georgia

For a truly Southern state Christmas experience, stay at The Marshall House on Broughton Street in Savannah, Georgia. Broughton Street is a main shopping avenue and is also the most festive during the holidays. Take a stroll to the City’s official Christmas tree located on Broughton. With a mix of traditional decorations and Southern whimsy, The Marshall Hotel is a spectacle of wonder at Christmastime with a Christmas tree decorated as a pineapple, the symbol of Southern hospitality.

The Driskill is a magnificent hotel for the holidays

https://www.marshallhouse.com/christmas-at-the-marshall-house.htm

The Driskill

Austin, Texas

A glorious tree lighting ceremony full of live festive music and cocktails kicks off the holidays at The Driskill. Their 16-foot tree lights up the lobby highlighting the history that dates back to 1886. Keeping the long-standing traditions alive, The Driskill invites guests and community members to the merriment and celebrations each season. Holiday Teas and Cookies for Caring are some of the customs shared.

https://www.driskillhotel.com/driskill-experiences/driskill-holidays/

The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier is a southern state gem of a hotel for the holidays

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

Thought to be the quintessential hotel for the holidays, The Greenbrier in West Virginia showcases breathtaking displays during the season. Exquisite decorations, mesmerizing lights, spirited music and festive events start December 22 lasting through Christmas.

Tree lighting ceremonies captivate audiences on the first two nights followed by hot cocoa and caroling. The Holiday Week is packed with events like a Christmas Cookie Decorating Workshop and Winter Wonderland Dinner Party. An epic close to the week-long festivities is only complete with a live performance of The Nutcracker Ballet. Reservations are required for these events.

https://www.greenbrier.com/Holidays-Events/Christmas.aspx

Arlington Hotel

Hot Springs, Arkansas 

The merriment at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas is a centuries-old tradition that begins at Thanksgiving and continues through the New Year celebrations. This grandiose historic hotel has carried on the season’s traditions for decades and continues with Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, the beloved Gingerbread House Celebration, live performances and other charming receptions. The stretch of activities culminates with the New Year’s Eve Gala. Music, entertainment and good old-fashioned holiday spirit make this a top hotel for the holidays.

Take a look at their 2022 holiday brochure for inspiration.

Wentworth Mansion

Wentworth Mansion at Christmastime

Charleston, South Carolina 

The Wentworth Mansion is a glorious Southern gem, especially during Christmastime. Located in historic Charleston, South Carolina, the mansion is reminiscent of the gilded age oozing sophistication and glamour.

Each year, the hotel’s eatery, Circa 1886, hosts holiday dinners full of delicious cuisine and merriment. The Annual Progressive Dinner is a beloved tradition where diners are transported by horse-drawn carriage from one local venue to another for various courses. Another long-standing custom is the Annual Dickens Dinner at Circa 1886 with the retelling of holiday classics followed by a four-course meal.

https://www.circa1886.com/special-events?_ga-ft=1akQHt.0.0.0.0.29tFyo-1N1-4QL-8Ny-uKj_Eyic.0.0

The Jefferson Hotel

The Jefferson Hotel

The Jefferson Hotel at Christmastime

Richmond, Virginia 

Get into the yuletide spirit in the southern state of Virginia with a Christmas at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. Splendid holiday decorations captivate visitors with thousands of twinkling lights, hundreds of live poinsettias, garlands, wreaths, festive trees, giant toy soldiers and more.

Make a reservation for Lemaire Holiday Dining, Holiday Brunch or Holiday Teas events. Enjoy their annual Jefferson Gingerbread display showcased throughout the season. The hotel invites the community and beyond to witness their spectacular holiday collection.

https://www.jeffersonhotel.com/holidays

These exceptional hotels offer rare opportunities to ramp up your holiday season. Special packages for families, groups and couples paired with merry meals and activities are a magical way to share the yuletide spirit with loved ones.

Be sure to subscribe to the current issue of Leisure Group Travel for more holiday trip ideas.

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