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The Magical Swissotel Santa Suite

Every now and then, life brings us super special moments. These moments create memories that make us feel warm inside (kind of like vacation). My family was lucky enough to have one of these moments earlier this week and our experience in the Santa Suite at the Swissotel is something we will never forget. We will probably talk about it every single Christmas until Zelda turns forty. Everyone is familiar with Eloise, the little girl who lives “on the tippy-top floor” of the Plaza Hotel. While Zelda doesn’t live at the Swissotel, our experiences there are reminiscent of Eloise. From her stay in the Kid’s Suite to her epic Zelchella birthday bash, it has become a place where my family has created truly amazing memories.

A toddler visits the Santa Suite in the Swissotel and sits in Santa's chair.

I’m not going to lie, when you first step into the Santa Suite, its a little overwhelming. With 12 perfectly decorated trees, a table fit for Santa, and a gingerbread house that looked to be straight from the North Pole, we knew it was going to be a night to remember. We were greeted with a special hot chocolate bar, more holiday treats than you could ever imagine, and as if that wasn’t already enough, Santa had already stopped by to leave some presents for Zelda. 

A hot chocolate bar in the Swissotel's Santa Suite.A chocolate bar in the Santa Suite at the Swissotel.A handmade Gingerbread House in the Swissotel.A close up of Santa's Gingerbread House.The Santa Suite Bedroom at the Swissotel.Christmas at the Swissotel in Chicago.A train Christmas tree in the Santa Suite at the Swissotel.

There’s not a detail missed in the Santa Suite. Each year the Suite takes on a different theme, and this year’s is the Island of Misfit Toys. Each of the Misfits has their own tree decorated and a place set for them at Santa’s dinner table, including the Train with Square Wheels, the Spotted Elephant and the Cowboy Who Rode An Ostrich.

A pink Christmas tree at the Santa Suite.A rocking horse at the Swissotel.A gold Christmas tree.A dinner with Santa at the Swissotel.Christmas table decorations.A little girl wearing a floral Monnalisa jacket at the Swissotel

A little girl wearing Monnalisa Kids.

A special night calls for a special outfit, so we turned to our friends at Monnalisa in Beverly Hills to help perfectly style Zelda for dinner with Santa. Typically, we reach for our fanciest dress during the holiday season, but it doesn’t always have to be a traditional holiday dress, or even a dress at all! You can pull together some separates in a color palette they love and throw in some sparkle for a look that’s perfectly festive. And if you shop smart, the pieces can carry your babe well through the holiday season. Creating a look that isn’t over the top holiday is the key to this, you simply have to put some thought into it and get creative. 

Santa at the Swissotel.Family Christmas time at the Swissotel.Christmas presents with Santa.

We told Zelda some of her friends would be joining us for a special dinner later that evening, but what we didn’t mention was that Santa was going to stop by for a visit. The last two years had been a little touch and go between her and Santa, and three is a tricky age in and of itself so I had absolutely no idea how it was going to play out…

A little girl plays with Santa at the Swissotel Chicago.

Clearly Spiro was a little Santa deprived growing up in Greece.

Opening presents with Santa at the Swissotel.

But it took all of five minutes for Zelda to warm up to Santa, and what happened next no one expected. She quickly enlisted Santa as her assistant, creating custom nail polish with her brand new Num Noms Nail Polish Maker he brought her. She assumed he’d be good help since he made it and all!

Santa gives a little girl a pedicure by a Christmas tree.A family eats dinner in the Santa Suite of the Swissotel.A mother daughter hot chocolate cheers.Santa plays Candyland with a little girl.

The moments we witnessed that evening didn’t even seem real, it felt like we were in a scene from a movie. At one point I was convinced this was the actual Santa Claus. The beautiful thing about having a child is being able to relive Christmas again and see the magic through their eyes. 

Santa at the Swissotel.

 We’re still struggling to get Zelda to go number two on the potty, so we had Santa deliver the message to help move things along! 

A little girl wearing Monnalisa stands with Santa by the Christmas tree.A little girl has hot chocolate with Santa.A little girl gets her hair done by BloHaute for a holiday event.Santa Christmas tree.A little girl sits in Santa's chair at the Swissotel with Santa.A family Christmas picture with Santa.

The Suite is too good to keep to yourself, so we invited some friends over for dinner to share the magic. Santa’s helpers set up a holiday dinner spread complete with Endive Salad, Caramelized Winter Squash, Pumpkin Bisque with Sage Croutons, Turkey Ballotine, Salmon Wellington and even a Yule Log Cake. In my 36 years this is the first time I’ve had dinner with Santa!

Dinner at the Swissotel.A kid-friendly dinner at the Swissotel.A big bowl of Christmas candy at the Swissotel.Friends at the Swissotel.A mother and daughter build gingerbread houses at the Swissotel.

There were several activities set up for the kids around the room, because what would the holidays be without your child eating icing straight from the tube?! 

How to celebrate the holiday at with friends and family at the Swissotel.A Christmas surfboard.Christmas toys in the Santa Suite of the Swissotel.Holiday bites at the Swissotel.

Just as the sugar high was starting to dissipate, there was another knock on the door. Santa’s helpers paraded into the room armed with Garrett’s Popcorn, puppy chow with a holiday twist, more gifts for the kids and cranberry margaritas for the adults. Let’s just say we parted the seas for them to get through! Knowing that we’d all get a second wind after this round, they also left kits for the kids to write letters to Santa with all of their holiday wishes. 

Cranberry Margaritas at the Swissotel.A holiday margarita at the Swissotel.Children eating popcorn in the Santa Suite.Brunch in the Santa Suite at the Swissotel.

We woke up still in a holiday haze, and the magic continued with a breakfast buffet set up in the room just for our family. The morning was filled with sprinkles, manicures, and lots of smiles. There was even one last gift under the tree from our friends at Make to Celebrate, which was a DIY gemstone gingerbread kit! We worked on that while we nibbled on more sprinkles and whipped cream from the buffet. Zelda milked every second until check out, and who can blame her?! 

Breakfast at the Swissotel.Swissotel WafflesGingerbread cookies in the Santa Suite.Christmas at the Swissotel.Christmas morning in the Santa Suite at the Swissotel.

Though you can’t book a night in the Santa Suite this year (you can enter to win a one night stay for the 2018 season here!), you can throw a dreamy holiday party. Swissotel has a private event package for up to 12 people, complete with delicious bites, bubbly and a hot chocolate bar for $500.00. The Suite is yours for an hour and a half, and if you want you can even add on a visit from Santa for an additional $200.00.

If you’ve got your holiday fête all planned and just want to check out the Santa Suite for yourself, here’s the schedule for not only Santa’s visits, but all the rad pop up shops that are making an appearance as well. 

Photo Credit: Hallie Duesenberg

Swissotel Santa Schedule

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