It's the most wonderful time of the year... for taking a short break and shopping til you drop! We've picked ten of the best mini-breaks and fabulous city hotels for Christmas to help you spend in style and treat yourself while you're at it.
City breaks for Christmas shoppers
Ten of the best: Christmas shopping city breaks
Irish Ferries is offering a pre-Christmas shopping package at Dublin's three-star Regency hotel. Handily placed between the Dublin city centre and the ferry port with free car parking and easy access by public transport straight into the city, you can shop all day and then relax in the hotel's pool, spa and gym - all without airline hand-baggage restrictions to worry about when you're shopping. From £177 per person based on two sharing, including a full Irish breakfast and return ferry crossings.
Guests staying at luxurious sea-front boutique hotel Drakes of Brighton can book the services of a stylist for helping hand with the Christmas shopping or finding that perfect Christmas party outfit. You'll get an in-depth consultation and three hours' accompanied shopping for a special rate of £99, exclusive to the hotel's guests.
Two minutes' walk from Oxford Street, The five star Churchill Hyatt Regency London is nestled in the heart of the West End - perfect for Christmas shoppers in search of extreme comfort and elegant surroundings. Enjoy the festive views over Portman Square (lit with Christmas lights from 1st December) and indulge in the hotel's Festive Afternoon Tea. Rooms from £230 for two including breakfast between 16 Dec and 15 January.
Christmas time in Vienna is a magical feast for the senses, so where better to head for some festive spirit and Christmas shopping? Check out Holiday Lettings for details of this chic, fully equipped self-catering apartment with DVD player and wifi, right in the heart of Vienna city centre. Sleeps up to 4 from £535 per week. For boutique shopping, head straight to Mariahilfer Strasse but leave time for gluhwein at Naschmarkt, Vienna's most popular outdoor market.
Il Salviatino is an award winning 15th century villa located in the hills of Fiesole just outside Florence. From 8 December - 8 January, expect a sophisticated and authentically Italian festive affair from €350 per room per night, with complimentary chocolate tastings and surprise gifts outside your door each morning. The villa’s on-site spa is offering festive treats with 15 per cent off, and a free shuttle service into Florence. Stay in a Signature Suite and you'll also receive a complimentary gift wrapping and shipping service.
Fancy Christmas shopping in New York City? Three nights in New York with Virgin Holidays costs from £635 per person (based on two sharing) including flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow direct to New York, plus accommodation at the 3V Aloft Brooklyn on a room only basis (transfers included). Price includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Check out the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, and be sure to visit Macy's, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale's.
The famous five-star Berkeley Hotel in London’s Knightsbridge is perfectly placed for seasoned Christmas shoppers. Shop till you drop, then head to the eighth floor where you'll find the Berkeley’s roof-top terrace transformed into a pine-filled festive forest cinema. Watch traditional winter classics on the big screen while nestled beneath cosy blankets, fluffy cushions and hot water bottles. Home-made hot chocolate complete the festive atmosphere. Screenings at the Berkeley’s winter cinema from 18 November 2011 until 31 January 2012. Winter Welcome rates from £265.
From November until 8 January 2012, Beverly Hills is running a holiday season promotion called And To All A Free Night, entitling guests to an additional night free when they stay two or three nights at the city's participating hotels. There are discounts on spa treatments, a personal shopper experience and free in and around Beverly Hills. Guests will also receive an exclusive holiday shopping card from restaurants and retailers at Two Rodeo Drive, offering discounts and complimentary gifts. Room rates start from $219 per night.
At the Park Plaza Cardiff you’re just a short stroll away from some serious retail therapy at St David's, Wales' newest shopping destination as well as Wales' largest ever department store, John Lewis. From £88 per person per night you can indulge in an overnight stay with full Welsh breakfast plus a £20 John Lewis gift voucher. You’ll also get to try the Fashion Advice Service at John Lewis to help you find the perfect Christmas outfit, followed by a foot treatment in the tranquil surroundings of the spa. Complimentary use of the hotel pool, steam room, spa bath and gym is included.
Fancy a new outfit and a bit of rejuvenation before the Christmas party season? Edinburgh’s Hotel du Vin Hotel du Vin Edinburgh has teamed up with Harvey Nichols to create an ‘Ab Fab Bolly & Botox’ beauty break. For £170 per person you’ll get one night’s dinner, bed and breakfast (including a glass of Bolly when you arrive) plus a personal shopping appointment at Harvey Nics followed by a spa treatment. Botox or Fillers are available at a supplement with a 25 per cent discount when booked with this package.