Santa’s Secret Spots: Bucket-List Festive Destinations From Anantara Hotels & Resorts

With the festive season swinging into gear, it’s time to join Santa on his sleigh as he takes a whirlwind tour of Anantara hotels and resorts high on everyone’s wish list this year. From meeting an amphibious Santa in the Maldives to feasting on Christmas classics in a medieval convent in Italy to counting down to 2024 among the dunes, the final weeks of the year promise to be filled with unforgettable adventure, meaningful discovery and lots of cheer.

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas

Pristine nature and high glamour come together in a dazzling display of seasonal cheer at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, where the festive programme includes a gold-themed New Year’s Eve gala and a private spa cruise that takes wellness enthusiasts out into the bay for massages and restorative drinks. Aspiring bartenders can shake up some delicious cocktails in the stunning orchid garden as part of a mixology workshop, while youngsters can pour their energies into a fun coconut hunt. At SEA, the signature underwater restaurant, Santa will emerge from a school of reef fish to delight the patrons with his aquatic skills, and of course gifts. For more information on Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas’ festive offering T: +960 664 4111 or E:

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Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, United Arab Emirates

Nestled in the legendary dunes of the Empty Quarter in Abu Dhabi, the majestic Arabian palace of Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort is setting the stage for its New Year’s Eve gala. The property will see a spectacular celebration complete with live music and decorations fit for royalty. Between the festivities, guests can relax at the new adults-only infinity pool designed for maximum privacy, while children will jump for joy at the sight of Santa leading a camel caravan, the endless dunes silhouetted in the background against an evening sky. The spectacular landscape will also star during the countdown, with fireworks over the dunes and dancing under the stars. For more information on Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort’s festive programme T: +971 (0) 2895 8700 or E:

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Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, Oman

In Oman, Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara is offering a unique double feature, combining a contemporary approach to wellness with Khun Sky, who gives guests the opportunity to experience the benefits of centuries-old Thai wisdom applied in modern therapies, and masterclasses with German freestyle football champion Marcel Gurk. Every morning at breakfast, guests can marvel at Marcel’s incredible moves and tricks that won him ten Guinness World Records, as well as having a unique opportunity to book a private lesson with the freestyle football legend and learn how to juggle like a pro. For more information on Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara’s festive activities T: +968 (0) 2322 8222 or E:

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Anantara Convento di Amalfi Grand Hotel, Italy

For an introduction to Europe’s centuries-old Christmas traditions, families can book a stay at Anantara Convento di Amalfi Grand Hotel – a gem set within the walls of a 13th-century Capuchin convent. In addition to joining locals for a Christmas mass, guests can learn the secrets of the famous Amaro liqueur during a masterclass, or warm up with toasted marshmallows, panettone and hot chocolate in the cosily-lit cloister. The Christmas Market hosted by congenial Friar Marcus will offer traditional games for children and excellent Christmas shopping for their parents with handcrafted gifts, typical Amalfi delicacies and mulled wine on display. For more information on Anantara Convento di Amalfi Grand Hotel’s festive offers T: +39 (0) 89 873 6711 E:

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Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel, Hungary

Those looking to celebrate in a grand European capital will find an enchanting Christmas Day scene at New York Café on the ground floor of Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel. This beloved institution, that has been at the heart of Budapest’s coffee culture for over a century, will be hosting a festive lunch with live Hungarian music and traditional food inside the imposing dining room filled with dozens of chandeliers, marble columns, stuccoed angels and gold trim. For more information on Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel’s festive offers T: +36 (1) 886 6111, E:

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Anantara Chiang Mai Resort

Chiang Mai is Thailand’s favourite destination for the festive season, with hot sunny days and cool nights. Anantara Chiang Mai Resort’s unique setting allows for lavish celebrations, with its magnificent heritage house The Service 1921, formerly the British Consulate, having played host to elegant soirees for over a century, and it continues to do so today. Festivities include a traditional feast with all the trimmings on Christmas Eve and a family barbeque on the lawn on Christmas Day. To bring in the New Year, guests are invited to indulge their imagination and dress as ‘Tomorrow’s Tribe’, for a celebratory dinner with bubbles, music, dancing and merriment, with a spectacular finale of fireworks over the river, the perfect way to end one year and begin another. For more information on Anantara Chiang Mai Resort’s festive offers T: +66 53 253 333, E:

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Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort, Thailand

In the heart of the Thai capital, Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort will centre the festivities on the River of Kings. Set amidst eleven acres of lush tropical gardens, the urban escape on the banks of the majestic Chao Phraya is offering ‘A Suite New Year's Eve’ special complete with luxury accommodations, executive lounge privileges, daily breakfast and an exuberant Cirque du Riverside gala dinner with live cooking stations, performances and spectacular fireworks over the river. For more information on Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort’s special offers T: +66 (0) 2476 0022 E:

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About Anantara Hotels:

Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the world’s most exciting destinations. The collection of distinct, thoughtfully designed luxury hotels and resorts provides a window through which to journey into invigorating new territory, curating personal travel experiences.

From cosmopolitan cities to desert sands to lush islands, Anantara connects travellers to the indigenous, grounds them in authentic luxury, and hosts them with passionate expertise. The portfolio currently boasts over 40 stunning properties located in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles, Mozambique, Zambia, Tunisia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Hungary and The Netherlands, with a pipeline of future properties across Asia, Middle East, Europe, Africa and South America. The brand’s premier vacation ownership programme, Anantara Vacation Club, extends the opportunity to own a share in the Anantara experience with a portfolio of 8 luxurious Club Resorts as well as travel privileges at partner resorts and hotels worldwide.

For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, please visit

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About Minor Hotels

Minor Hotels is a global hospitality group operating over 550 hotels, resorts and residences in 56 countries, pursuing its vision of crafting a more passionate and interconnected world. As a hotel owner, operator and investor, Minor Hotels fulfils the needs and desires of today’s global travellers through its diverse portfolio of eight hotel brands – Anantara, Avani, Elewana Collection, NH, NH Collection, nhow, Oaks and Tivoli – and a collection of related businesses. Minor Hotels is rapidly accelerating its global growth ambitions, aiming to add more than 200 hotels by the end of 2026.

Minor Hotels is a proud member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world's largest alliance of independent hotel brands, and participates in the GHA DISCOVERY loyalty programme.

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