A family Thanksgiving should be rife with good humor and good cheer.
Which will inevitably lead to decades-old drama, but hey, at least you tried.
There is, however, an alternative: take your show on the road. Because while home is where the heart is, it’s also where the walls are too thin and the quarters too close. Plus: no cooking, no dishes, and no begrudging trip to the nearest-by Chinese restaurant because you left the turkey on two hours too long.
If you dig, look no further than these five high-end hotels, each of which offers a bountiful turkey feast and plenty of activities to burn off those calories.
All the trimmings, none of the stress.
The Dorchester Hotel
Just because you’re overseas doesn’t mean you should have to forgo your favorite meal of the year. London’s iconic Dorchester Hotel treats American guests to a sumptuous feast and then some. On the menu at The Grill restaurant: pumpkin velouté, black Norfolk turkey and pecan pie. Pair the food with an Oregon Chardonnay or a California Pinot Noir and you’ll feel right at home. Then walk around nearby Hyde Park to burn off those calories.
Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
Traverse City, Michigan
Located in beautiful northern Michigan, the Grand Traverse is an ideal spot for large families. The on-site Aerie Restaurant & Lounge has long hosted a popular Thanksgiving buffet with all the trimmings (kids under four eat free) and many guests end up taking part in the city’s annual 5K Turkey Trot afterwards. Arrive on November 19th and you’re just in time for the North vs. South beer battle, featuring pours from Short’s Brewing Company and Atwater Brewery.
The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
If you can’t wait until the evening to dine on a hearty turkey repast, the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds has you covered. This 30-acre resort on bucolic Lake Oconee offers a four-hour Thanksgiving brunch. Executive Chef Andrew Litherland starts you off with a raw bar featuring crab claws, jumbo shrimp and oysters. Follow that with sage orange-roasted turkey and cornbread stuffing and you have a feast fit for a southern king. End the day at the 27,600-square-foot spa or on the nearly 100 holes of championship golf.
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
This 102-acre resort outside of Los Angeles boasts not one, but eight unique feasts on Thanksgiving Day. Choose from a ballroom Thanksgiving buffet featuring tangerine maple-roasted turkey, a family-style dinner in the Catalina Kitchen or an Asian-inspired meal at bashi. After dinner, check out the ocean views from one of the hotel suites or villas. Work off your dinner at the nine-hole, par-three golf course or four swimming pools.
The Windsor Court
New Orleans, Louisiana
The stately Windsor Court has long enthralled gourmands of every ilk, thanks to its award-winning restaurant, The Grill Room. On Thanksgiving, chef Daniel Causgrove serves Belon oysters as well as spice-rubbed turkey among other hearty creole-inspired favorites. Start the meal with caviar and Champagne but make sure to save some room for maple-glazed beignets. Luckily for your belly, the hotel’s rooftop saltwater pool is open year-round. We hear the city ain’t too shabby, either.