If you’re traveling over a holiday like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah, don’t forget to celebrate it with style, says Rebecca Gardner, an event designer in Savannah, Ga., who is creating a holiday boutique, Sugarplum Pop-Up, in November and December at the St. Regis New York. “Holidays are a time to connect with those closest to you, and when you’re on a trip, there can be a tendency to lose sight of the specialness of the occasion,” she said.
Ms. Gardner is often on the road with family over Christmas and tries to make sure that the day is a fun-filled one for everyone.
Here, her advice on how to make celebrations away from home memorable for you and your loved ones:
INCORPORATE PERSONAL TOUCHES Holidays are about feeling at home, and while you may be staying in a hotel, Ms. Gardner said that you can make that stay more personal. On her Christmas getaways, for example, she often brings a few small gifts for each person and leaves them on their pillows. Individually addressed notes also work. And ahead of your stay, you can even order pillow cases with funny nicknames or monograms, and have them shipped to your hotel so they’re already on your bed when you arrive. (Ms. Gardner uses the company Number Four Eleven for this.)
If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, some hotels, such as the Lowell, will put decorated trees and Menorahs for guests who ask — the hotel doesn’t charge extra for this service.
BOOK A PRIVATE ROOM FOR THE HOLIDAY MEAL Reserving a private room for Thanksgiving or Christmas Day or the first night of Hanukkah at your hotel’s restaurant or another restaurant in town evokes a cozy and familial feeling, Ms. Gardner said. “In a private dining room, you can make toasts and carry on without worrying about your voice,” she said.
Rather than sticking strictly with the restaurant’s décor, Ms. Gardner advised adding your own festive touches to the table, such as handwritten place cards or personalized chocolate boxes.
SERVE FAMILY RECIPES Did you know that, with advance notice, some hotels are more than happy to prepare and serve you your favorite family recipes, be it your grandmother’s coconut cake or your mother’s challah? You can call the hotel and ask to speak with the pastry chef to make the arrangements. “Surprise your family with a nostalgic dessert. No one will be devastated that the pumpkin pie has a graham cracker crust,” Ms. Gardner said.