Christmas 2017: 10 wonderfully festive experiences at London hotels

Sherelle Jacobs
Tickets are likely to sell out quickly for London's most sought-after festive hotel movie pop-up, at The Berkeley

London's finest hotels are magical at Christmas – from the ceiling-scraping pine trees in the lobby to hot chocolate cocktails in the bar. Here is a selection of the most memorable experiences on offer this year: think learning how to wrap your presents (properly), indulging in a festive perfume-themed afternoon tea, or getting party-ready in the capital's top spa. 

Get your gift wrapping on at The Landmark London

Do your attempts at wrapping presents resemble a three-year-old's paper mache project or amateur attempt at sellotape sculpture? Then the gift wrapping workshop at The Landmark may be just the ticket. Learn how to colour coordinate your pressies and jazz them up with beads, bows, crystals and sparkly ribbons. Champagne and canapés are included – though participants may want to consider booking a table in the Winter Garden for a slap-up meal rounded off with Christmas pud drenched in poached cranberries and cognac sauce. 

Read the full review: The Landmark London, Marylebone

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A gift wrapping workshop at The Landmark is just the ticket for creatives

Hang out in the winter cabin pop-up at Rosewood London

The Black Forest comes to the Big Smoke this Christmas, courtesy of the Rosewood's cosy winter cabin. Hot German gin cocktails, homemade mince pies and Christmas pâtés en croûte are on the menu at this tribute to globetrotter, RAF pilot and Black Forest gin connoisseur Montgomery 'Monty' Collins. Father Christmas fans should arrive between December 1 to 12 (before 6.30pm, daily) for a glimpse of Santa Claus visiting afternoon tea guests in the Mirror Room. The cabin is also available for private hire, starting at £6,000. Open from November 21 through to February. 

Read the full review: Rosewood London, Holborn

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The Black Forest comes to the Big Smoke this Christmas, courtesy of the Rosewood hotel

Book tickets for The Berkeley's Rooftop Winter Cinema

London's most sought-after festive film pop-up returns this year. Classics like Miracle on 34th Street and Elf will be among the daily screenings taking place in the cosy, exclusive, lantern-lit space. The capital's poshest makeshift cinema will have Moncler fur wraps, mulled wine in self-heating mugs, and mince pies served on cushioned trays. Complimentary hot chocolate and marshmallows will delight adults and children alike. Guests can pre-order champagne and hot food from an online Christmas-market-style menu in advance. Tickets sell out very quickly so nab them while you can! 

Read the full review: The Berkeley, Knightsbridge

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The Berkeley's Rooftop Cinema will include mince pies served on cushioned trays

Indulge in a Festive Tipsy Afternoon Tea at Sanderson London

An unapologetically boozy, belly-filling mashup of Christmas cocktails and yuletide afternoon tea at Ian Schrager's super-slick Sanderson – one of London's original design hotels. Showstopping sweet treats include marshmallow snowmen with chocolate sticks for arms and mini fudge logs. Pear martinis with chocolate bitters and a 'hot bouquet' cocktail are among the alcoholic offerings. It's served in the wonderland-inspired courtyard garden, with its modernist fountains and creeping jasmin; or the restaurant, all concrete pillars and potted herbs. £68 per person. Available November 27 to January 7.

Read the full review: Sanderson London, Soho

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Cocktail lovers should book up the Festive Tipsy tea at Sanderson London

Admire the Dennis Severs installation takeover at Town Hall Hotel

Dennis Severs' House in Spitalfields is one of those offbeat London tourist attractions – a  time capsule for a historic house that once belonged to a family of 18th-century Huguenot silk-weavers. Every November, its curators create a Christmas installation, and for the first time ever this year, this is being extended to Town Hall Hotel. Although full details are to be confirmed, if the annual installation is anything to go by, guests can expect atmospheric candle-lit rooms, the wafting smells of Georgian Christmas foods (perhaps sweet jellies or the buttery scent of baking pies) and the sounds of crackling fires and ticking clocks. From December 1. 

Read the full review: Town Hall Hotel, East London

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Dennis Severs' House is taking over Town Hall Hotel in the East End Credit: c 2015 Roelof Bakker. All rights reserved. Roelof Bakker

Christmas shop like a millionaire at The Lanesborough

Take the "Christ!" out of Christmas shopping with a luxurious Shop & Stay weekend at this five-star Hyde Park address. Guests get a chauffeur to Harvey Nichols; private shopping with a personal stylist and a 20 percent discount on fashion and accessories are also thrown in. Lanesborough butlers will even pick up your shopping for you. Combine with the Festive Afternoon Tea in Michelin-starred Céleste, which features live carols, cute pine-shaped biscuits and mini doughnuts shaped like Christmas puds (available December 9 to 16), to complete the experience.

Read the full review: The Lanesborough, Hyde Park

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The Christmas shopping package of the Lanesborough is one for fans of good old Harvey Nicks Credit: Dominic James/Dominic James

Get Xmas spa-rty ready at The Corinthia

Ideal for those looking to shift a few pounds in advance of the main event, or indulge in a spot of of serious pre-party pampering. London's most prestigious spa hotel is offering day experiences that include a 60-minute personal training session, an hour-long treatment (perhaps a hydrating ESPA facial to get your party glow on) and a blowdry (or gentleman's hair cut) for the road. Lunch and a glass of champagne in the spa lounge round the event of nicely. Or, subject to a supplement, spa-seekers could pass this up for a Noel-themed afternoon tea under the hotel's 1,001-crystal Baccarat chandelier.

Read the full review: The Corinthia, Green Park

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The Corinthia's Train and Treat package will get you party ready

Check in at The Bloomsbury's Instagram-tastic winter terrace

Dalloway, the much-Instagrammed terrace at The Bloomsbury design hotel, is putting its whimsical winter glad rags from November.  One of the country's most celebrated florists – Wild at Heart – is transforming it into a a winter wonderland dripping with pine cones, cuddled by fir trees and strewn with sheepskin blankets. With its central location just off Oxford Street, this is the perfect place to duck into for a spoiling chocolate cocktail after a day's hard shopping. It's definitely worth having a nosey around the other public areas; this trendy hangout has recently had a multi-million-pound refurbishment. 

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The Bloomsbury's Dalloway Terrace is a lifesaver for those braving a Christmas shop on Oxford Street

Experience a Festive Fragrance Afternoon Tea at The Savoy

London's most iconic Art Deco hotel has partnered with Britain's best-known perfume house, Penhaligon's, to create a scent-themed afternoon tea that seeks to evoke the nostalgic smells of the Christmases of yesteryear. Think brandy mousse, mulled pears, clementines and gingerbread chestnut treats. The Savoy spares no expense with its decorations, and the tea room will also be sprayed with Penhaligon's new Christmas in the Air mist, all notes of fir basalm needles and cedarwood. PS: guests should also make a beeline for the American Bar, recently voted the best in the world. Eggnog cocktails available on request.

Read the full review: The Savoy, Covent Garden

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The Savoy has partnered with Penhaligon's to come up with an intriguing take on festive afternoon tea Credit: Red Photographic Ltd/Simon John Owen

Make your own Christmas table centrepiece at COMO The Halkin

For one day only, the team from top Belgravia florists – Neill Strain Floral Couture – are hosting a masterclass on how to make a star festive table centrepiece, at COMO The Halkin, one of London's sexiest luxury hotels. Crafters will get creative with ritzy baubles, artistic ornaments, decorative candles and seasonal foliage. £175 may seem a little steep at first glance, but guests do come away with a high-end decorative item of their own making and some newfound skills – not to mention the fact there will be champagne and canapés by the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant. December 7. 

Read the full review: Como The Halkin, Knightsbridge

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This year, guests can make a sumptuous Christmas table centrepiece at COMO The Halkin hotel