The Sweetest Seasonal Stays from Booking.com
Booking.com creating a mouthwatering ‘once in a lifetime’ spectacular stay for sweet-toothed travelers
With the nights drawing in and the first Christmas songs being played on the radio, many of us are dreaming of a visit from Father Christmas. The festive period is a great one for travel, with many capitalizing on a few extra days off for a trip to visit family and loved ones, or simply to capitalize on the season’s culinary focus. Nearly six in 10 (58%)* of global travelers admit they pick their vacation destination because of its great food and drink. With this in mind Booking.com, the digital travel leader connecting travelers with the widest choice of unique places to stay, a range of must-do travel experiences and seamless transport options, shares some ‘food for thought’ for a mouthwatering seasonal getaway. From sugary turróns tucked in Christmas stockings in Spain, to rich chocolate delicacies with Aztec heritage in Italy or even spectacular one-off stays of candy-lovers dream, there’s a destination for all sweet-toothed travelers to indulge in this festive season.
London is the perfect seasonal stop this holiday season; with Christmas markets, winter wonderlands and a plethora of world-renowned restaurants, festive travelers will be able to indulge in treats across the city. This year though, an extra sweet festive treat will be opening its doors in London just in time for the holiday period; a Candy Cane House in the heart of London’s Soho – brought to you by Booking.com.
Where to stay: At Booking.com’s Candy Cane House, the lucky guests who book this exclusive stay will get to spend a magical night immersed in sugar, chocolate, gingerbread and more! Available exclusively on Booking.com for just x2 night stays (x2 people per night) on the 18th and 19th December. Candy cravers and chocolate lovers will be able to nibble on the edible Christmas wreaths upon arrival whilst admiring the property’s show-stopping Candy Cane inspired windows and glistening, icing sugar infused, snowy facade. Once inside, guests can relax in the Candy Lounge or the Coco-Kitchen before following stepping stones of Christmas sugar cookies into the master Ginger-Breadroom, a true fairy tale inspired delight.
This town’s sugary namesake is known all around the world, so it’s probably no surprise that it ranks high in Booking.com’s destinations endorsed for chocolate all year-round. Visitors to Hershey in Pennsylvania can take a walk down Cocoa Avenue, before passing the original Hershey Chocolate Factory, located downtown on Chocolate Avenue. After exploring the town, sweet-treat fans can indulge in a day out at Hershey's Chocolate World to learn how chocolate is made and then try their hand at creating a candy bar themselves, perhaps even to gift to someone else come Christmas day! At Christmas Santa and his reindeer even pay a visit to Hershey Park and visitors can see more than four million holiday lights twinkling as part of a festive light show.
Where to stay: Just a short drive from Chocolate World Way, The Inn at Westwynd Farm offers bed and board on a 32-acre horse farm. Guests can enjoy a hearty breakfast, read a book in the on-site library or play a hand of cards in the B&B’s games room. After a busy day exploring Hershey Park or exploring the town, visitors can relax on the porch and soak up the chilled atmosphere of this idyllic abode.
Sweet treat lovers familiar with Spain will no doubt have sampled turrón, the nutty treat which is enjoyed throughout the year is often considered a key component of any Spanish Christmas meal. Made from a mixture of honey, eggs, sugar and toasted nuts, the recipe varies depending on the region. Yet, north of Alicante, Jijona (or Xixona in Valencian) has garnered itself the reputation of “The World Capital of the Turron”. Jijona is the perfect destination for treat-lovers, being home to the museum of Turron where travelers can learn more about the sweet’s history and stock up on their Christmas supplies.
Where to stay: Beyond Jijona’s quaint streets and heading towards the coast in Busot, is the charming Casa Rural Canelobre, the perfect accommodation for travelers on a turrón trail. Located five miles from the popular Canelobre Caves, guests can enjoy spacious rooms, a shared kitchen, a large terrace and beautifully kept gardens throughout their stay. The hotel also boasts an outdoor swimming pool, for those not afraid of a chilly festive dip!
Nestled amongst the Sicilian hills with the dramatic backdrop of Monti Iblei, Modica - a UNESCO-listed Baroque town - is popular with foodies throughout the year. Famous for its Cioccolato di Modica or Chocolate of Modica, the town is highly endorsed by chocolate lovers on Booking.com. Chocolate of Modica has a history as rich as its taste, using an ancient and original Aztec recipe that relies on manual grinding to give the finished product a unique grainy texture and aromatic flavor. The perfect Christmas gift to bring home to your loved ones. Visitors can learn all about the process and its heritage at a museum dedicated to the sweet treat or discover the town’s streets, visiting the large Baroque Cathedral San Giorgio or taking on the many steps to explore the old Modica Alta area.
Where to stay: Well-located to explore the town, Vacanze Romantiche a Modica is the ideal home away from home for travelers. This holiday home offers travelers everything needed to settle in well for a stay in Modica, also providing visitors with a welcome basket filled with local biscuits, which will prove particularly sweet with visitors. Those who are in town to sample Modica’s delicacy will be thrilled to know the apartment is just a 10-minute stroll from one of the oldest and most famous chocolate shops, Antica Dolceria Bonajuto.
Often saved for special occasions or festivals, Barfi is a dense milk-based confectionery loved by many across India. Coming from the Persian word barf, meaning snow, this delicious treat would be well placed at any festive table. With many Barfi variants available across India, travelers will be spoilt for choice. Yet Delhi is home to one of the widest ranges sweet houses for visitors to sample them all and discover their favorite. Evergreen Sweet House is one of the oldest sweet shops in Delhi, making it well practiced in the art of making Barfi, while the Bengali Sweet Center is a popular hotspot and often busy with travelers and visitors alike looking for a sugar-fix. For other festive indulgences visitors can explore the German Christmas market which opens in Chanakyapuri, offering German Christmas cakes, German sausages and beer.
Where to stay: Podstop offers travelers everything they’d need in a base to explore Delhi, with air-conditioned rooms, cable TV, terrace and an ATM on site. In the shared lounge travelers at this hostel can make friends with other sweet-lovers and share insider knowledge on the best Barfi stops in the city. The hostel is well-located for exploring other delights the city has to offer too, with the Lotus Temple and Humayun's Tomb nearby.
Also proving a sweet choice with Booking.com travelers, the small mountain town of Gramado in Brazil is also highly endorsed for chocolate. This resort boasts a Bavarian feel thanks to its mixed heritage of German and Portuguese immigrants, Alpine chalets and of course chocolatiers. Treat fans can visit the World of Chocolate (Mundo de Chocolate) which showcases more than 200 sculptures made entirely from chocolate. During the festive period the town is decked out with Christmas cheer, including the Reindeer Exposition at Pedro Benetti Street where life-size reindeer sculptures are decorated by local artists.
Where to stay: Foodie travelers who fancy a savory treat instead will love the BBQ facilities on offer at Residencial Via Florida Gramado. Located in Gramado city center, this apartment boasts sweeping views of the mountains outside with the main streets and attractions all accessible by foot. After an indulgent day at World of Chocolate, travelers can relax at this plush apartment or treat themselves to even more foodie delights at the nearby Avenida Gastronômica restaurant.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 53,492 respondents across 31 markets. In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place between October 16th and November 12th, 2018.