Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: ‘Shop and stay’ ideas for Christmas shoppers.
Hoteliers are planning to make Christmas shopping easier and more enjoyable this year.
Fawsley Hall offers VIP mini-breaks. Breakfast at this Tudor-era hotel prepares guests for a day of bargain-hunting before they’re driven 45 minutes to Bicester Village, the designer shopping outlet where some 160 stores, including Barbour, Paul Smith and Versace, stock products at discount prices.
Fawsley Hall offers VIP mini-breaks that include transport to Bicester Village and designer shopping (pictured).
Fawsley Hall Christmas Tree: Festive sparkle
Guests are given access to Bicester’s ‘ultra-luxe’ area, The Apartment, where personal shoppers are on hand to help. The hotel has a chauffeur who brings guests with their bags to the spa, where they can unwind and enjoy a 5-course meal. From £530 per night (handpickedhotels.co.uk).
If you fancy a shopping mini-break in London, there are perfect places to stay next to the capital’s ‘big two’ malls. Head to Westfield Stratford and you don’t need to leave the mall to reach a room at the attached Premier Inn, which even has Amazon delivery lockers, so you could pick up online bargains and shop in person. From £47 per night (premierinn.com).
The Stratford boutique hotel is just minutes away from Hackney Wick. From £149 a night (thestratford.com).
Go west to the even bigger Westfield mall in London’s White City and stay a short walk away at K-West Hotel. Built in sleek glass, this building once housed the BBC’s recording studio. Now it offers super-sized rooms for guests. Plus you’re only a few Tube stops from Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street. From £140 per night (k-west.co.uk).
England’s ancient capital of Winchester is one of the UK’s best-decorated cities in the festive season. In the Cathedral’s shadow, fairy lights decorate wooden chalets at the Christmas market. Santa can be found at Marwell Zoo. You could also win a hamper if you locate the 10 hidden characters from the Winchester Gingerbread Trail.
Visit Winchester for the Christmas Market outside of the cathedral. Stay nearby at the Winchester Royal Hotel The Winchester Royal Hotel
You can enjoy it all in 16th Century glory by staying at the Winchester Royal Hotel. It is located just a few steps from Cathedral Close. There are parking spaces available for guests who require a vehicle to take their goods home. Suites or rooms with four-poster beds are on offer from £215 per night (winchesterroyalhotel.com).
Bath, a Georgian capital city is now even more beautiful with its cobbled streets decorated in sparkling Christmas lights.
Bath Artisan Market in Queen Square offers an array of handmade gifts – check in to the Francis Hotel opposite to combine shopping with Regency splendour from £169 per night (all.accor.com). You’ll also find plenty of luxury interior shops from India Jane to Oka plus Biba’s latest designs in traditional department store Jolly’s.