Thanksgiving is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, cooking holiday in North America. Extended families converge on one hapless home, where the stress of preparing Thanksgiving dinner is almost palpable. This year, instead of laboring in the kitchen for that great (or not so great) meal that will soon be just a pile of dirty dishes, Luxury Travel recommends letting someone else do the cooking. Take a break from the kitchen, and spend Thanksgiving at a luxury hotel. And yes, extended family can come too.
Bacara Resort & Spa – Just 15 minutes from the luxury travel destination town of Santa Barbara, this California resort really spoils its Thanksgiving guests. The Miro has a nontraditional Thanksgiving dinner, but the Bistro has the turkey, stuffing, and all the trimmings expected for a good old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner. Both of Bacara’s main restaurants are first class. Expect to see a lot of families with young kids here at Thanksgiving; apparently, not cooking Thanksgiving dinner is becoming a mini-trend — at least in California.
Enchantment Resort – In Sedona, Arizona, this loveliness of the red rock vistas is a far cry from what the Pilgrims first saw in the Northeast. Nonetheless, the magic of Sedona and the 5-star quality of this resort make for a different sort of authenticity. The AAA Four-Diamond Yavapai Restaurant has Southwest Native American flavors integrated in its Thanksgiving dinner entrees. Tip: Even guests of the resort need to book dining reservations here in advance. It’s a very popular restaurant for upscale Sedona residents as well as those on a Southwest vacation.
Ritz-Carlton in Chicago – It’s already pretty cold in Chicago by late November, of course, but this luxury hotel still manages to pull out all the stops for a warm, comforting Thanksgiving away from home. Right on Chicago’s Michigan Ave and the Magnificent Mile, the Ritz (a Four Seasons hotel) is close to all the high-end shopping a luxury T-day vacation could want. It’s the Thanksgiving brunch here that is really a knock-out, with differential pricing for adults and kids; useful, especially if Junior only want the mashed potatoes and corn. This Ritz is owned by the Four Seasons, and is sometimes called the Four Seasons Ritz-Carlton.
Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club – South Florida is nice in November; the sticky humidity of summer is just a bad memory. Luxury Travel is a fan of the Fairmont luxury chain, and the Turnberry Isle Resort & Club hits all the right notes. For Thanksgiving, guests and visitors alike can avail themselves of a buffet at the veranda, or a sit-down feast at the Bourbon Steak or the Cascata Grille hotel restaurants.
Mandarin Oriental New York – New York City is, of course, home to the nation’s most famous Thanksgiving Day Parade. Any number of luxury hotels in NYC offer first-class treatment for Thanksgiving vacation guests, but the Mandarin Oriental also has views of the parade as well. Only guests of the 5-star hotel are allowed access to the viewing area (the Mandarin Ballroom). Reservations for a deluxe Thanksgiving dinner at Mandarin’s restaurant, the Asiate, are mandatory – the hotel starts taking reservations on October 27, and the spots are typically full before November 1.
These are five recommended luxury hotels for Thanksgiving getaways, complete with enormously satisfying (and satiating) dinners. It’s not only about the 5-star accommodations, though. The luxury of not having to clean up after the turkey feast cannot be underestimated!