Making the list is The Thompson, a new hotel on the once-again-fashionable northern end of Miami Beach. The retro beach chic look of the pet-friendly hotel is meant to remind us of the ’50’s, when the neighborhood was the the hang-out of the Rat Pack. There’s even a Carmen Miranda suite. Michelle Bernstein, the former chef at the Omphoy (now Eau Palm Beach) helms the kitchen at the hotel’s Seagrape restaurant.
Another hotel on the list has a Palm Beach connection, although it’s located a thousand or so miles south. The Playa Grande Beach Club on the Dominican Republic’s north shore was designed by Celerie Kemble, who grew up in Palm Beach and whose mother, Mimi McMakin, is the founder of Kemble Interiors. Designed in a colonial style with gingerbread fretwork, copper soaking tubs and a soft pastel palette, the nine bungalows were created to look like they’d been around for decades, Kemble has said.
The list includes other new hotels in the Carolinas, Virginia and Savannah.
Honored for its ‘powdery sand and calm, shallow water’ Clearwater Beach was named the best beach in the country by TripAdvisor. This is the second year in a row the beach on Florida’s West Coast was chosen.
Clearwater Beach’s combination of beach scenes, water sports, restaurants and pedestrian-friendly areas made it a stand-out according to TripAdvisor.
Other Florida beaches to make the list include Siesta Beach in Siesta Key, St. Pete Beach and St. Augustine Beach.
According to the site, The Breakers “carries its lavish traditions right through the holiday season” with more than 160,000 lights all across the resort. The Breakers also contains a Christmas Day brunch, which is served in The Circle, for $140 for adults and $50 for children. The Christmas dinner takes place in the Ponce de Leon ballroom and is a buffet for $140 for adults and $60 for children 11 and under.
The other top hotels that made CNN’s list for Christmas included: Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria; Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz.; The Ritz in London; Willard InterContinental in Washington, D.C.; the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris; The Plaza in New York City; the Waldorf Astoria in New York City; and The Roosevelt in New Orleans.