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Warm up in Arizona, do some last-minute holiday shopping in California or indulge in a very special Christmas train ride in London

A Loft Suite with living room and kitchen in the Tower at Hotel Valley Ho.Mark Boisclair/Hotel Valley Ho


A loft suite at Hotel Valley Ho’s Tower hotel.

Opened on Dec. 20, 1956, the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Ariz., has mostly changed over the years by not changing at all. And while a design overhaul of the resort's Tower hotel within a hotel was recently completed, the new look still celebrates the Ho's step-back-in-time aesthetic. The tunes played in the lobby are mid-century masterpieces, setting the chilled vibe of a hip retreat once populated by Hollywooders escaping the pop-bulb paparazzi. Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh and Zsa Zsa Gabor were among the A-list guests back in the day. Rooms from $240 (U.S.). – Brad Wheeler

Beverly Hills, Calif.

Sculptures light up the street at BOLD – Beverly Hills Open Later Days.

Still haven't started your holiday shopping? Instead of stressing, use your procrastination as an excuse to head to Beverly Hills. All month, the home of Rodeo Drive – the ultimate shopping street – will give desperate Santa helpers extra hours to shop on Friday and Saturday nights. Which, in this town, means stores are open until the boundary-pushing late hour of – 8 p.m. (Weird, right?) Other festive elements of BOLD – Beverly Hills Open Later Days – include a geometric light display, public art installations, restaurant specials, in-store events and live entertainment.


The vintage Belmond British Pullman features lush interiors.

Trains and Christmas go together like mint and chocolate. Better than watching a toy train chug round and round the tree, though, is taking a festive ride on the real deal. The vintage Belmond British Pullman is true luxury on the rails and it celebrates the season with a variety of merry adventures. You can enjoy a five-course British seasonal lunch as you're pulled through the countryside by steam locomotive, take a trip to Canterbury to hear carols in the famed cathedral or travel to Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire for an extravagant lunch at its two-Michelin-starred restaurant. From £374 a passenger; – Domini Clark