Christmas and New Year breaks with a difference...

by L. Fintoni

Photo by Ben Sonkua.

Please note that all advertised rates and offers are available exclusively via the Great Hotels website. Use the links provided below to make any bookings or inquiries.

Break the monotony of end-of-year holidays with a different kind of Christmas and New Years’ Eve break. Leave behind the stress, hassle and work normally associated with the holidays and instead treat yourself to some much deserved fun and festivities, or some rest if you’re so inclined.

We asked our member hotels to send us their most unusual, unique and interesting packages, offers and entertainment options for Christmas and the New Year and we’ve selected the best ones for your perusal.

You can be assured that in addition to providing you with something unique for the end of the year festivities, all the hotels and offers also give you world-class comfort, luxury and extras.

Party like it’s 1999 in the Swiss Alps

Montreux, in Switzerland, is renowned among music fans as the home of one of the world's best annual Jazz festivals. Over the Christmas season it’s also home to one of the biggest parties in the country.

Every year the Montreux Music and Convention Center is host to a huge Christmas party with the best DJs in the world congregating there to play music throughout the night. If you fancy dancing Christmas away then you won’t find a better or more original venue.

The Convention Center is conveniently located within walking distance of the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic – and with rooms starting at 150CHF this December, don’t delay and enjoy a party to remember this Christmas.

Browse information, availability and prices for the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic.

Morning snow, afternoon swim in Cyprus

Enjoy a truly memorable Christmas day at the Londa hotel: start with a hot drink and breakfast up in the Troodos Moutains (an hour’s drive from the hotel) surrounded by snow before heading back down to the hotel in the afternoon for a swim in the sea or just a spot of sunbathing.

This unique Christmas break relies on the weather permitting the combination of snow and sun, however should that fail the hotel, and its surroundings, offers plenty to do and see year-round.

Rooms at the Londa hotel start at 124GBP and the hotel has two Christmas and NYE offers available until the end of December 2009: a NYE in Cyprus package and a Luxury Christmas Package package.

Browse the hotel's information, availability and prices now for a sunny, luxurious end of year break in Cyprus.

Relax in Florence

Best known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, Florence is also a great destination for end of year holidays with a difference.

Monsignor Della Casa, located just outside Florence in a quiet, beautiful countryside resort, is offering couples a special massage during the holiday season complete with Champagne lotions.

The hotel is also offering an exclusive luxury package until early January with a free night and breakfast package. Rates at the hotel start from 114GBP.

Browse through for more information, availability and prices at Monsignor Della Casa.

Take part in one of the oldest London traditions

London's Serpentine Lake is a destination for the hardy in the annual Christmas Day swim. Established in 1864, the 'Serps', as they are affectionately known, is one of the oldest swimming clubs in the U.K. and each year the event attracts a raft of brave competitors who race the traditional 91m (100 yard) swim.

If you wish to compete in one of London’s craziest, and most challenging, Christmas traditions we recommend booking a room at The Capital Hotel, right next to Hyde Park. It will be the closest shelter to warm up again once you come out of the water!

The Capital is also offering an exclusive Christmas package with breakfast, Champagne afternoon tea and parking included. Rates from 262GBP.

Or try their Indulgence package which includes 2 nights’ accommodation, breakfast and access to the hotel’s spa. Rates from 452GBP.

Click for more information, availability and prices at The Capital, London.

Watch the first sunrise of the year atop a volcano

Head to Tenerife this year for a truly unique way to celebrate the coming New Year. Stay at the luxury Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque where, following a special New Year’s Eve dinner and show at the hotel, you can book a limousine to take you to the top of the Teide Volcano and watch the first sunrise of the new year above the Canary Islands while toasting with snow-chilled champagne.

A New Year memory you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Browse more information, rates and availability at the Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque.

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