The festive season is almost upon us, bringing with it a host of events and celebrations. This month, AsiaLIFE picks out some of the Christmas and New Year’s Eve highlights.

Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

Sofitel is hosting a feast of festive events to choose from. On Christmas Eve, Do Forni restaurant is hosting a six-course dinner that takes in truffles, beef tenderloin, foie gras and lobster, while La Coupole’s Christmas Eve indulgent buffet offers delights that include beef wellington and duck foie gras. On Christmas Day, La Coupole will host a Christmas brunch, with an expansive Christmas dinner buffet in the evening. Do Forni will also host a four-course Italian Christmas dinner in the evening. On New Year’s Eve, Do Forni will put on a brunch buffet, with a six-course gala dinner held in the evening. La Coupole will ring 2018 in in style with a Moulin Rouge-themed buffet dinner. The Chaktomuk band will see in New Year at Le Bar. And the hotel will host a recovery pool party barbecue on Jan. 1 at Phokeethra Sports Club.

www.sofitel.com

Raffles Le Royal

There’s no better way to get in the festive spirit than carols and a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, and that’s what is taking place at Raffles on Dec. 8 at 5.30pm. Several other special events are being hosted at the hotel’s various restaurants and bars. Café Monivong will put on a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day buffet, as well as a New Year’s Day buffet dinner. Restaurant Le Royal will also be host its own evening dinner events, featuring set menus. And Raffles will be rolling out its popular brunches to cover Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For New Year’s Eve, a gala dinner with the theme Venetian party will take place at Raffles’ poolside, with a live band playing all night at Elephant Bar, where 2018 will be rung in. A local drummer will also be on hand in the Lobby Bar to chime in the New Year.

www.grandluxuryhotels.com

Chinese House

On Dec. 17, Chinese House guests can indulge in some last-minute Christmas shopping at a Brunch ‘n’ Shop event. Enjoy brunch then browse the array of stalls displaying an array of locally-produced goods, local brands, ethical fashion, handmade jewellery and luxury gourmet items, from 11am to 6pm. Christmas dinner is served on Dec. 24 in the form of a six-course degustation menu, while a Christmas Day carvery is on offer from noon on Christmas Day. And New Year’s Eve is going off with a bang, thanks to the exquisite eight-course degustation menu on Dec. 31. This is followed by an evening of music and entertainment.

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InterContinental Phnom Penh

The InterContinental Phnom Penh has a host of festive celebrations taking place throughout this month. For those wanting to treat themselves to an extra special few days, the hotel is offering various packages to stay from Dec. 23 to 25 and enjoy being transported there by Mercedes, evening drinks in the Lobby Lounge and Bar, gourmet festival lunch and what promises to be a feast of food on Christmas Day. Other activities include an evening of festive drinks, finger food and live music on Dec. 23, a gourmet Christmas Eve four-course lunch at Xiang Palace, a Christmas Eve dinner at Regency Café, and a classic Christmas buffet that includes a visit from Santa himself and entertainment from Hosanna Choir on Christmas Day. It is also marking the New Year countdown with a grand buffet from 6pm on Dec. 31.

www.intercontinental.com

Shopping

So, that’s the entertainment and food sorted. Now for the presents. CULT is hosting a special holiday edition of its popular markets on Dec. 9 at Hops Brewery, from 4pm to midnight. A host of vendors – all with an ethical and sustainable background – are lined up, selling a delightful range of lifestyle products, all loving made in Cambodia. The more than 30 stalls include arts and crafts, clothes and accessories and home décor. Or get yourself along to Rosy Guesthouse in Siem Reap’s Christmas fair for its third annual outing on Dec. 2. From 10am to 3pm, kids can post their letter to Santa with templates available if they haven’t prepared them in advance, mulled wine and mince pies will be on hand and stalls will sell handicrafts and other items.