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Holiday Ideas Hotel Guests or Multifamily Residents Will Love

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Hotels truly shine during the holiday season. Guests are visiting family and friends, looking for a fun vacation, or finding ways to entertain their kids before Santa comes to town. Multifamily communities have special events to lift spirits and show appreciation to their residents. Holiday cheer is in higher demand than ever before, which is exactly why we’ve curated this list of holiday ideas to help you not only give your guests/residents a memorable experience, but actually help you market your property. While most of the following ideas are geared toward Christmas, they can also be applied to Hanukkah or other holiday celebrations. Maybe you might even find an idea or two to create a little extra holiday magic at home!

Gustave, the emblematic red teddy bear of the Plaza Athénée has invaded the elegant lobby and a gigantic Christmas Tree decorated with red and gold ornaments.

Decorate like never before

Loews Hotel, Santa Monica, CA

Outdo your decor from Christmases past by going bigger and better. Add a tree to the lobby and courtyard if you haven’t had one before. Bring in ice sculptures for a more luxurious look if your property is higher end. Turn communal spaces into Santa’s workshop.

Have your residents/guests get involved – have a door decoration contest. For multifamily communities this could last all month long - have your residents post photos of their decorated front doors, windows, porches, etc. to enter the contest. You can create a fun hashtag for them to use and ask them to tag your community. At the end of the month, they’ll vote on a winner; the prize could be something like a gift card to a local business. This is a cost-effective event that brings in a lot of engagement online and offers you the chance to partner up with a local business.

On December 24th, do a surprise transformation overnight by making it snow inside your lobby. Add “snow” to your tree, hang giant snowflakes from the ceiling and add garlands. Waking up to a winter wonderland will make the holidays even more special for guests and their families.

The Post Oak Hotel, Houston, TX

Don’t forget your Multifamily models - A miniature decorated Christmas tree on the coffee table or counter, a few wrapped “gifts” and some pine or cinnamon potpourri is all it takes to add a warm holiday touch to a decorated model - ready to welcome your new residents home for the holidays.

Of all the holiday ideas on this list, this one is arguably the most important -don't hesitate to think outside the box!

Host a photo scavenger hunt

The Aria, Las Vegas, NV

Try hosting a holiday-themed photo scavenger hunt, where your guests/residents and their children can search for a variety of clues around your property at their own pace. Ask participants to find secret objects hidden in your holiday decor such as a nutcracker, a blue snowflake, or Rudolph’s nose. Instruct them to take pictures of the item and share it on Instagram using your scavenger hunt hashtag. Give out prizes such as custom ornaments for anyone who completes the scavenger hunt or schedule a different prize on each of the 12 days of Christmas to encourage them to collect them all.

Sweet Treats for your Guests/Residents

Host a cookie decorating night or deliver cookie decorating kits to guests’ rooms. Who doesn’t love baked goods and colorful icing? Christmas cookies are a time-honored tradition dating back to the early 17th century. Providing some tasty treats and an activity all in one will delight both adults and kids. Use popular shapes such as wreaths, candy canes, stars, and snowmen. Add in miniature tubes of icing in white, red, green, and blue. Also, go above and beyond with sparkly sprinkles and provide twist ties and cellophane bags so they can turn their carefully decorated deserts into holiday gifts for their loved ones. And don’t forget to have a list of ingredients just in case of allergies.

Pendry San Diego, Nason’s Beer Hall offers frosty cocktails like ‘Rum and Cookies’ in a snowy white glass with a cookie cut-out for Santa.

Set up a hot chocolate bar in your clubhouse/Santa Suite with all the works! Get marshmallows, whipped cream, cherries, sprinkles, etc. and a cute sign. Invite your guests/ residents down for a hot chocolate night. Kids especially love these events, and it is the perfect opportunity for your guests/residents to socialize. You can also partner up with a local café and offer them some exposure in exchange for a discount on a few boxes of hot chocolate.

Keep a running supply of holiday refreshments (cookies and punch or spiced cider) in the lobby for visitors. A crock-pot full of warm spiced cider makes a great treat for future residents and guest visiting on a cold day.

The St. Regis, Washington, D.C. has a replica of the hotel made entirely of gingerbread and other edible ingredients. The hotel’s pastry team spent 145 hours over the past several months creating the structure, which is composed of more than 1,000 individually shaped gingerbread bricks.

Introduce your staff as Santa’s helpers

The Goring, London is pulling out all the stops with suited footmen on hand to wrap gifts .

Get acquainted with past, present, and future guests using the power of video marketing. Share clips of your team dressed as elves, adding finishing touches on upcoming events, and hanging decorations. Have your team and willing guests take part in a short video introducing themselves with their name, what they do, and what they love about Christmas if they celebrate it. Share details about your other holiday activities at your property and give kids tips on how to help Santa. Use the video to advertise on your website, blog, social media, and onsite.

The Fairmont Washington DC, Georgetown has a Santa Suite where the house dog, Georgie, hangs out.

Team up with a local charity to provide a gift-wrapping service to your residents/

guests or host a wrapping party. Grab a few different wrapping papers with fun patterns, ribbon, tape, scissors, and all of the essentials. At the event, you can show them how to make their gifts stand out with unique wrapping techniques and hacks to make the process easier.

Recommend nearby activities

The Kimpton Hotel & Dirty Habit are partners of Washington DC’s “Annual Downtown Holiday Market.”

By offering an updated list of shops, restaurants, and holiday-related events nearby, you’ll save guests/residents the hassle of digging for the information themselves. Create a map, add updated hours for each establishment, and bullet point the reasons why it’s perfect for celebrating the holidays. Go a step further and offer to make reservations or help purchase tickets for them when needed. Some great holiday events to look out for include movie theaters featuring classic Christmas films, Christmas parades, and Christmas light displays in the park. Don’t forget to include virtual events, too, as well as any event your property is hosting.

Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA hosts Skating by the Sea for beachfront ice skating that benefits Make-A-Wish San Diego. With thousands of white sparkling lights, magnificent Christmas trees, ornament-trimmed evergreens, and garlands, skaters can enjoy a charming setting at this property to get into the holiday spirit.

Help out with local Toys for Tots or Food Drive. There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than devoting some time to helping others. Provide your residents/guests with an opportunity to help this season. There are endless ways to give back some of which include hosting a food drive, a toy drive, or a clothing drive. If you are not sure where to start Toys for Tots is a large program run by the marine corps that provides toys for children in need and they likely have a local campaign near you. Feeding America is another great organization to work with; they have over 200 food banks across the country and hunger relief programs that help countless communities. No matter how you choose to give back, your community will be happy to join in and help.

Create an Instagram-worthy backdrop

Give families an opportunity to DIY their Christmas card photos or simply get a keepsake from their stay by setting up a photo background they’re sure to love. Set your display off to the side where it’s easy for guests/residents to access but far enough away from traffic that they will have space to wait their turn. Have them take their own photos or have the front desk staff take turns manning the booth.

Create a faux living room set complete with a mantelpiece, decorated Christmas tree, and some gift packages. Or use wrapping paper with large black and white stripes and some garlands framing the top and sides to form a mock photo booth. You can make it ideal for selfies by using simple decorations to help spice up their Instagram grid.

The Plaza, New York

The Plaza’s impressive Christmas tree draws crowds every year. Few cities match New York when it comes to sheer over-the-top holiday fabulousness, and The Plaza, sitting pretty at the southern end of Central Park, epitomizes the fun-filled glamour of the season. The Plaza’s Grand Staircase takes a no-holds-barred approach to holiday decor — in the most elegant way, of course. There’s a lot to see here, but one of its shining stars is this grand staircase, which features a garland display and a Christmas tree practically fit for royalty.

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