For those looking to make “the most wonderful time of the year” even more special, the Caribbean and Mexico hotels and resorts of The Ritz-Carlton offer an array of invitingly festive experiences. With brand-new offerings such as a frankincense and myrrh manicure/pedicure, story time and s’mores by a beachside fire pit, and a romantic holiday hike for two – as well as tried-and-true traditions – travellers have many enticing options for enjoying the season with The Ritz-Carlton luxury hotels and resorts in Aruba, Cancun, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas.
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
There may not be snow in Aruba, but there is plenty of sand along the stunning, divi-divi-tree-dotted beach at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba. The beach resort has alluring, holiday-themed treatments at The Ritz-Carlton spa, including a Cranberry Pomegranate Body Treatment or Pumpkin Spice Hydrating Facial, as well as an Organic Cinnamon Manicure or Organic Peppermint Pedicure. For guests looking for the ultimate mashup of relaxation, poolside spa treatments include foot massages, cold-stone back massages and foot scrubs with Moroccan oil. Families that escape to the resort for the holidays can experience an island-style winter with a “sandman” competition on the beach for kids on 24 December, or can explore their creativity with a cookie-decorating competition. On 25 December, holiday art studio or gingerbread house decorating experiences offer guests a way to express their seasonal spirit.
In the truest spirit of the Christmas holiday, The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, welcome and witness Santa arriving in the hotel’s atrium – including snow falling gently from the ninth floor to the fourth floor. Festive music and holiday treats will be on hand as Santa mixes and mingles with all the girls and boys who come to see him. Younger guests can also tap into their inner pastry-chef-to-be with gingerbread baking and decorating, and enjoy the fruits of their labours with iced cookies when the event is finished.
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Area residents and hotel guests are warmly invited to celebrate Festive Season at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, enjoying treasured events which include Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, the delightful traditions of Gingerbread Man Tea and Yule Log Making, and a fabulous New Year’s Eve Ball capped by fireworks. As an added highlight of the season — and especially for local residents and their seasonal visitors — the luxury resort will offer Turkey to Go, with full Thanksgiving Dinners able to be delivered to addresses within the Seven Mile Beach vicinity.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan
In Puerto Rico, where the holiday spirit sizzles like the island’s famed enchanted rhythms and flavors, The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan features a beautiful and large Christmas tree decorated with handpainted masterpieces from the youngest guests. On 28 December, a family barbecue on the beach offer ladies and gentlemen an evening that pairs al fresco island culinary delights with ultra-relaxing, warm ocean breezes and a starry sky. Culminating the festive spirit of the season is the “Cirque del Caribe” experience on 31 December, where guests can ring in the New Year in Caribbean style, with live entertainment, high-energy carnival performances, a sumptuous buffet and fine cocktails – while younger guests can explore a playful corner with fun activities and a magician.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Christmas day adventuring is available for the guests who like to celebrate with immersive and engaging activities while staying with The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas. Named for Christopher Columbus, who spent Christmas there 500 years ago, Christmas Cove offers spectacular snorkelling amid crystal-clear waters and can be reached by the hotel’s private 16-metre yacht Lady Lynsee. With Santa on the boat, plus festive treats and music, being on the water for Christmas day will prove to be the most memorable holiday to date. For those seeking a more intimate outdoor experience this holiday season, the resort’s newly introduced picnic experience for two makes for a deliciously luxurious trip to Virgin Islands National Park, which covers 60 percent of St. John and is famous for its diving, snorkelling and hiking trails.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve’s line-up of intimate, thoughtful holiday experiences is a natural extension of the way its ambience invites travellers to embark on a voyage of discovery with each visit. This year, guests can choose to personalise their haven with a variety of holiday decorations to incorporate meaningful traditions into their stay. Each evening throughout Hannukah, a local rabbi will conduct the lighting of a menorah at Livingston Library. The entire family can enjoy “Storytime with S’mores” at Encanto Beach, with gooey treats melted over the fire pit. Santa is available to call the smallest guests to discuss their holiday experience, and whether they’ve been naughty or nice. Ladies and gentlemen of all ages can gather to watch for the resort’s ever-popular water arrival of Santa – wearing swim trunks but in full Santa style from the waist up – as he arrives via kayak, paddleboard, or kiteboard, before paddling to the beach to chat with his welcoming committee. The relaxing “Painting Party & Wine” event with resident artist Sofia Arsuaga at Mi Casa Bar helps guests give way to their creativity, or to simply let the holiday spirit inform their artistic expression as they sip on fine wines with like-minded travellers. On New Year’s Eve, relaxed, elegant and exciting experience features fireworks, champagne and music. La Cocina Culinary Center will offer a gingerbread house decorating experience for guests of all ages.