A guide to booking Christmas lodges and vacation houses

Looking for something a little extra special to really make that holiday getaway one to remember? Cue Christmas lodges and Christmas vacation houses. Set in prime locales – think snowy mountainsides, frosty forests, and waterside with views – these one-of-a-kind stays have all the comforts of home and then some. Find out what they’re all about…

Special features of Christmas lodges

Whether situated slope side in the Rocky Mountains or down by the rocky cliffs of the central coast of California, Christmas vacation rentals tend to have a few things in common. Learn about their highlights and best draws below…

The comforts of home

Just because you’re spending the holidays away from your own abode doesn’t mean you have to leave all the creature comforts and yuletide traditions behind. Christmas lodges and houses are here to serve as your home-away-from-home, with space to set up the tinsel tree and a kitchen for decorating sugar cookies. If you want a yard full of white for making snow angels and a mantle for hanging up the stockings, that can be arranged, too.

Filled with unique designs

Unlike standard hotels and resorts, Christmas lodges are a bit more personal and friendly. Whether it’s a pine-scented cabin that hearkens back memories of holidays gone by or a big villa with walls of windows overlooking a frosty forest, you can expect these accommodations to pack a punch. Look for features like stone fireplaces with crackling logs, big wooden decks filled with cushy seating, and vaulted ceilings with timber beams.

Family-friendly spaces

If the yuletide vacay is all about reconnecting with the fam, you’ll find that vacation rentals are just the space to do so, whether it’s just the two of you, a whole big bunch of cousins and grandparents, or something in between. Christmas lodges can have up to 9 or more bedrooms, so you can customize to just the right amount of space you need for your crew. And with open kitchens, sofa-filled lounges, roomy decks, and big yards on the table, everyone will have enough space to play, dine, and hang out.

Different types of Christmas vacation rentals

Christmas lodges fit all sorts of descriptions, from cozy bungalows tucked away in pine forests to grand villas surrounded by hills and lakes. Whether your search takes you to the high mountains or snow-blanketed valleys, the perfect holiday vacation house is waiting to be discovered.

Cabins in the mountains and woods

Look for these Christmas lodges buried in pine forests so peaceful you can hear a deer prancing nearby or on the cusp of ski villages with prime access to thrilling slopes and snowshoe trails. Traditional wooden cabins dot the Appalachian range in the eastern US in places like North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains and up in forests of northern Pennsylvania.

Luxury chalets near the slopes

If some winter sports are on the wish list, look to the snow-covered Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Famous towns like Breckenridge and Vail mix heart-pumping ski runs and bunny trails with a whole host of resplendent chalets. Features like grandiose fireplaces and bubbling hot tubs – both the indoor Jacuzzi type and outdoor tubs under the stars – make some of these abodes look straight out of a magazine feature.

Waterfront Christmas vacation houses

Just because its winter doesn’t mean you can’t look for a lodge with a breathtaking view of the sparkling sea – or maybe a frozen lake? If you don’t mind a nip in the air, there’s some stunning cabins on the rivers and lakes of Oregon surrounded by lush woods. But if a breath of warm air is more important, Florida is always a safe bet, what with its tepid December temps and villas that brush up against the sand.

Securing the best Christmas vacation deals out there

Thanksgiving through the New Year is a prime time to travel, and some of the prices out there can be downright shocking. If you need to cut the budget a bit to spend more on things that go under the tree, these tips will keep your wallet in check.

Start looking early

No matter if you’re heading to the slopes or hoping for a Christmas vacation house by the sea, you know that the holiday weeks will fill up fast. That’s why it’s important to start your search as soon as you nail down the travel dates, to ensure the lowest prices and best locations are still on the table when you go to book.

Be flexible

Whether it’s moving your prime location off the waterfront or a few blocks outside of town, having a little flexibility in your plans will open more affordable options for Christmas lodges and rentals. Start by widening your search outside of the uber-popular destinations and considering more offbeat spots. If there’s any wiggle room in your vacay days, swaying away from Dec 25 on either end will usually ease up the prices a tad, too.