Holiday Magic

Holiday Magic

Posted on November 26, 2018

It’s the season of wonder and merriment, and area hotels are ready to dazzle travelers and residents alike with an array of holiday celebrations and traditions. From teddy bear teas and cookie making to multi-course meals and New Year’s Eve parties, there are festivities perfectly suited for all revelers young and young at heart.

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is debuting its first ever Winter Wonderland at The Grand. Activities include sledding down a giant snow hill, taking a whimsical ride on a Ferris wheel and carousel, storytelling by Santa and friends around a 25-foot tree, and enjoying fireside s’mores and holiday refreshments in the Moët & Chandon Champagne Garden. Open daily December 17-30 from 3-8pm, select nights also include “Drive-In” Holiday Movie Nights and a Polar Express Pajama Party. For dressier celebrations, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day offerings feature exquisite seasonal cuisine at the resort’s Five-Star/Five Diamond Addison, its refined Amaya, or The Clubhouse Grill. Or, consider The Grand New Year’s Eve Party or its New Year’s Eve Party at Club M, which both feature dancing, a welcome cocktail, and table and bottle service options. fairmont.com/san-diego

Holiday Magic

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Enjoy a festive kickoff to the season when Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa presents its Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 3 from 6-8pm. Take pictures with Santa, savor tray-passed treats, and warm up with a hot chocolate bar. A three-course dinner with the sounds of live jazz takes place on Christmas Eve, while a holiday-inspired Christmas Day buffet will also include horse-drawn carriage rides, cookie and ornament decorating, a bounce house, and performances by traditional Christmas carolers. On New Year’s Eve, celebrate with a welcome glass of sparkling wine, enjoy a delectable four-course prix-fixe dinner, and dance the night away with live music at Veladora and The Pony Room. ranchovalencia.com

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe presents a Holiday Pop Up Shoppe on December 7 from 4-7pm. Stroll through specialty boutique shops featuring handcrafted gift items. Food and beverages will be available for purchase with $1 from every cocktail benefiting the CAL Fire Foundation, which provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, as well as firefighters and the communities they protect. The Inn’s Morada restaurant will offer a three-course dinner from 5-9pm on Christmas Eve, followed by a Christmas Day buffet from 1-7pm. theinnatrsf.com

L’Auberge Del Mar has prepared a trio of celebrations for the season. Executive Chef Nathan Lingle will serve an inventive three-course Christmas dinner at the resort’s signature restaurant, Kitchen 1540. Then, his Five-Course “Countdown” New Year’s Eve Dinner will be a celebratory feast that counts down from course five (oysters) to one (dessert), with exciting palate pleasers throughout. To ring in the New Year, the hotel’s “A Vintage New Year’s Eve” invites guests to don their finest to celebrate the glitz and glamour of the Jazz Age. The Living Room will transport partygoers to an exciting era when new styles of music and dance emerged. There will be dancing, a live jazz band, craft cocktails, and small bites. VIP ticket holders will have access to a dedicated bar, wait staff, and party extras. laubergedelmar.com 

Kitchen 1540’s Christmas Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Spend one or more evenings during Hanukkah at A.R. Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Executive Chef Jeff Jackson will serve an unforgettable locally-inspired menu in the Hanukkah tradition each evening December 2-10. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve also promise to be scrumptious — enjoy prix fixe four- and five-course meals in the timbered indoor-outdoor dining room overlooking the 18th hole of Torrey Pines Golf Course. lodgetorreypines.com

On weekends during December, The Med at La Valencia hosts its first Holiday Afternoon Tea. Chef Alex Emery and his team will prepare a variety of tea sandwiches and petite sweets to pair with a selection of tea. Gather at The Med for dinner on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to indulge in three delightful courses garnished with ocean vistas, seasonal music, and sweet treats. Then, on New Year’ Eve, enjoy a special four-course menu. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted with Champagne and Citrus Halibut Crudo. Once seated, the show-stopping meal will feature Surf & Turf as the star, and a Dark Chocolate Mousse for the finale. lavalencia.com

Holiday Magic

La Valencia

On Christmas Eve, Nine-Ten at the Grande Colonial hotel is offering a three-course prix-fixe dinner menu from 5:30-9pm with optional wine pairings, a special four-course prix-fixe dinner menu on New Year’s Eve, and an a la carte brunch menu with bottomless mimosas and drink specials on both Christmas Eve morning and Christmas morning. nine-ten.com

Park Hyatt Aviara’s holiday happenings include everything from Teddy Bear Tea in Vivace and High Tea at the Park to gingerbread classes and amazing seasonal displays. On view in the hotel lobby through January 6 is a life-size chocolate sculpture of Santa Claus sitting on a wooden chocolate chair surrounded by snowmen, elves, and Christmas trees. The resort’s lobby has also come alive with its Festival of Wreaths, with themes including “Coastal Holiday” and “Holiday Gardens.” Net proceeds from an ongoing silent auction will benefit the Semper Fi Fund. parkaviara.hyatt.com

Holiday Magic

Park Hyatt Aviara

This year, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is sharing its take on six traditional “childhood favorite” holiday cookies, and spicing them up by turning them into cookie cocktails, available at Diversions from December 1-31. During the week leading up to Christmas, activities include cookie decorating, face painting, s’mores, and a Family Movie Night Pajama Party. On Christmas Eve, families can dine at Bob’s Steak & Chop House, the resort’s traditional American prime steakhouse, offering simple elegance amid a lively atmosphere. omnilacosta.com

Holiday Magic

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Indulge in festive fare on Christmas Day at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa’s holiday buffet. Take in breathtaking views of Mission Bay from the second-floor ballroom while enjoying delectable carving stations, main courses, sides, salads, and desserts. A children’s buffet ensures little ones have plenty to feast on, while all guests will enjoy live entertainment from Dicken’s Christmas Carolers. catamaranresort.com

Those who love being out on the water will want to ring in 2019 while cruising Mission Bay aboard the legendary Bahia Belle. The Bahia Resort Hotel’s New Year’s Eve package includes overnight accommodations for two and a cruise featuring an appetizer buffet, live DJ, party favors, midnight Champagne toast, and a cash bar. bahiahotel.com