The holidays are here, which means every American is inundated with gift guides and shopping suggestions. Rather than wading through a mall or gifting your spouse/boyfriend/bestie with a Starbucks gift card, why not splurge on a sweet sojourn (you get to enjoy the gift, too)? You don't need to wait until the spring either; book a night or two at a glamorous hotel near you before January 2, especially since so many are offering holiday specials and look especially gorgeous this time of year. Here are our suggestions for hotels that do the season right:
San Francisco: Hyatt Regency A night here is a perfect gift for: urban aficionados; newbies to S.F.'s dynamic downtown; West Coasters longing for a big-city holiday experience Specials: A holiday skating package includes tickets to the rink and daily valet parking. Mid-week is only about $240 a night
Located on the edge of downtown, at the intersection of the Financial District, Embarcadero, and Chinatown lies the high-rise Hyatt Regency. A glorious monument to San Francisco's enduring 20th-century influence and power, the Hyatt is grand in every sense of the word. A lobby with 17-story atrium is fully decked out in holiday regalia, while glass elevators soar above all the majesty. The rooms are like mod apartments, with many offering views of the nearby Ferry Building. On the top level is a club room open to all guests (some will have to pay an extra fee) where snacks, drinks, games, and 360 degree views of San Francisco's high-rises abound and astound. There's even an ice-rink right outside.
New York: New York Palace A night here is a perfect gift for: someone who's never experienced the holidays in New York; theater lovers Specials: We spotted a room for $279, which is not too shabby for NYC
There may be no better city than Gotham to experience the holidays; the city is simply at its most beautiful and can even be serene (at times). The New York Palace in Midtown started out as a 19th-century mansion, but now includes a 55-story tower that's a stone's throw from Broadway, Rockefeller Center, Hell's Kitchen, and Fifth Avenue shopping. The Palace, which recently underwent a glorious renovation, is the ultimate NYC holiday hotel with over a dozen Christmas trees throughout the property, along with 68,000 lights and 32,000 ornaments. Don't forget to sip a holiday-themed cocktail in one of the Palace's numerous bars.
Los Angeles: Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles A night here is a perfect gift for: urban explorers; those who love the holidays but hate snow Specials: The warm weather doesn't encourage a boat-load of Xmas events, but there are DJs and musicians performing at the hotel right up until Christmas Eve
Ever since the Ace opened its latest hotel on L.A.'s Broadway, it's been packed with some of the most beautiful people in the world. The handsome patrons reflect the hotel's beautiful architecture; the Ace occupies a 1927 Spanish-style office tower built by Mary Pickford and other Hollywood luminaries. The rooftop and restaurants are almost always hopping and the building's theater is often occupied by glamorous award shows and film premieres. The area is burgeoning with construction and new shops, including Aesop, Acne, and Big Gay Ice Cream. New gay clubs and bars are also sprouting on the north end of Broadway.
Miami: The Gaythering A night here is a perfect gift for: those who want to celebrate the holidays half-naked; folks who desire kissing a hot man under the mistletoe instead of their nana Specials: The hotel is brimming with activities, including a "Gayme" night on Xmas eve and yoga on Christmas evening
Winner of an Out Traveler Award this year, The Gaythering is a little piece of heaven on Miami Beach's westside. Instead of caroling in sub-zero temperatures, rent a Deco Bike and cruise around Lincoln Boulevard and tan yourself in the warm waters of The Atlantic. At some point you're going to have try the hotel's famous (infamous?) spa, with a hamam and mud room and much more. Or keep it relaxed and retire to the The Gaythering's library with a latte from the coffee shop. Any way you slice it, this is not your parents' Christmas.
Chicago: ACME Hotel Company A night here is a perfect gift for: winter lovers; shopping enthusiasts; the hipster in your life Specials: The hotel is hosting the "One Love" package in honor of Illinois's recent marriage equality law, with a deal that includes a suite, breakfast and bed, and free cocktails
This trendy hotel in the River North neighborhood will give visitors easy access to the shopping smorgasbord of the Magnificent Mile. With its rock and roll vibe and chic, urban design this hotel will please your favorite lumbersexual, who will have a good excuse to don his warmest flannel. There's also a handy gym, great lounge serving handcrafted cocktails, and a bakery reknown for its espresso drinks and sweet treats.
Las Vegas: Delano Las Vegas A night here is a perfect gift for: party animals; atheists Specials: Get a $100 food/beverage credit on the the Delano's website
The former THEHotel, the Delano is a completely reimagined property on the south end of the Strip. It's chic, warm, and with a beautifully understated lobby that brings to mind its sister hotel in Miami. The Delano's comfortable lounge may be the perfect place to sip a cordial before you walk over to the Mandalay, the giant casino/resort the Delano is connected to via a walkway. Have a nice dinner at Alain Ducasse's miX restaurant before seeing a show, hitting the tables, or visiting Liaison, the gay club at Bally's, or the Fruit Loop, Sin City's cluster of gay bars.
Palm Springs: Palm Springs Hyatt A night here is a perfect gift for: those who need some R&R, a Christmas with some dry heat Specials: There are romance and B&B specials on the hotel's expansive site
This all-suite hotel is located in the middle of downtown Palm Springs, within walking distance to the city's casino, numerous restaurants, and Arenas Road, with its gay bars and clubs. The rooms are hip and modern, and while it may be a bit too chilly to use the pool, there are plenty of places to kick up your heels and stare at the beautiful San Jacinto mountains, including Hoodoo patio restaurant & bar. Nearby, there's plenty of hiking, golf, and tennis options.