11 Hotels That Go All Out for Halloween
Enjoy dog costume parties, Hocus Pocus-themed cocktails, graveyard discos, and more.
When October 31 rolls around, you may decide to head to a raucous Halloween party, stay in and watch scary movies, or simply go to bed without any shenanigans. (You do you.) But there’s another option when it comes to the spookiest holiday: Get your chills and thrills at a decked-out hotel.
From New York to Seattle, we’ve rounded up 11 hotels that really know how to get you in the Halloween spirit this year. We’re talking dog costume parties, boo-zy cocktails, and huge lobby displays made entirely of candy. And let’s face it—all parties are a lot more enjoyable when you can head upstairs to a plush guest room at the end of the night.
The James Hotel, New York
Featured fright: A witch-in-residence program.
The James New York is one of the best places to stay in midtown Manhattan, with a speakeasy-style cocktail lounge and pet-friendly rooms. During the month of October, the hotel is offering an extra, decidedly spook amenity: a witch-in-residence program that lets guests concoct love spells and get their birth charts read by “professional witch” Shawn Engel. The sessions are available through the hotel’s digital concierge and range in price from $55 to $88.
The Wayfarer DTLA, Los Angeles
Featured fright: Spooky high tea & highballs
Drink up, witches. For the entire month of October, The Wayfarer is offering Spooky High Tea & Highballs service at Lilly Rose, the hotel’s popular underground bar. Reservations are available from 2 pm to 6 pm every Wednesday through Sunday, and they must be made 24 hours in advance on OpenTable. Each booking comes with a tea selection and small bites menu, and highballs and tea-infused cocktails are sold separately.
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego
Featured fright: Halloween movies on the beach
Hotel del Coronado is a proudly haunted hotel in San Diego, and it has an impressive line-up of Halloween events this year. Families can enjoy pumpkin carving on the beach ($25 per pumpkin), while visitors 12 and older can book the Haunted Happenings tour to learn more about the hotel’s resident ghost, Kate Morgan ($30 per person). You can also reserve a beachside fire pit and enjoy a Ghost Roast with s’mores, snacks, and spooky stories ($195 for up to 10 people). But our favorite activity has to be the Halloween movie screenings on the beach: Catch Hocus Pocus on October 22 and Beetlejuice on October 29 (tickets from $25).
Balboa Bay Resort, Newport Beach, California
Featured fright: Dog-friendly costume party
Why celebrate Halloween when you can celebrate Howl-o-Ween? Experience a four-legged spin on the holiday at Balboa Bay Resort’s waterfront restaurant on October 31. Guests are encouraged to bring their dogs (dressed in costume, of course) and enjoy an extravagant pet-friendly menu, trick-or-treat bags, and plenty of photo ops—plus gorgeous ocean views for humans to enjoy.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Anaheim, California
Featured fright: Larger-than-life lobby decor
The Disney parks have famously elaborate Halloween celebrations every year, and the brand’s resorts and hotels also love getting in on the spooky action. Just check out Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which features a four-foot Oogie Boogie sculpture made entirely out of candy. The structure’s ingredient list includes 160 pounds of sugar, 80 pounds of butter, and 200 pounds of chocolate, and it truly must be seen to be believed.
Featured fright: Halloween-themed trivia nights
It’s fairly easy to find haunted happenings in NOLA (and not just in October), but Virgin Hotels New Orleans is upping the ante this year. Aside from bottomless brunches and burlesque shows over Halloween weekend, the hotel is hosting a series of Halloween-themed trivia nights every Wednesday in October. The themes are Disney Halloween Favorites on October 5, Stranger Things on October 12, 90s Slasher Films on October 19, and Halloween Villains on October 26. The best part? Admission is free.
Hotel Sorrento, Seattle
Featured fright: Ghostly Gala with themed food and drinks
As one of Seattle’s oldest and most haunted stays, Hotel Sorrento is the perfect place to cozy up this Halloween season. While guests can experience paranormal events any time of year, the Ghostly Gala on October 29 guarantees at least a few ghost sightings (even if they’re of the costumed variety). Held in the hotel’s historic ballroom, the party costs $95 per person and includes two drink tickets, delicious food, and photo souvenirs.
Bellyard Hotel, Atlanta
Featured fright: A graveyard disco party
They say disco is dead, but at Bellyard Hotel, disco is undead. On October 29, the Atlanta hotel is throwing its annual Graveyard Disco Halloween Party, complete with live music, a photo booth, and costumes (per the event page: “70s costumes are HIGHLY encouraged”). The event is totally free and no tickets are required—simply head over to Eventbrite to register.
The Gwen, Chicago
Featured fright:Hocus Pocus-themed tea parties
Halloween is practically synonymous with the Sanderson sisters, and it seems as if The Gwen got the memo. The Chicago hotel is celebrating the holiday with Hocus Pocus-themed tea parties at 12 pm and 2:30 pm the weekends of October 22-23 and October 29-30. Each “Black Flame Tipsy Tea” ($65–$80 per person) will be held at the hotel’s restaurant, Kostali, and will feature cocktails, small bites, a DJ, and presumably plenty of Bette Midler appreciation.
The Vanderbilt, Newport, Rhode Island
Featured fright: Dinner theater with circus performers
The Halloween parties at Newport’s most iconic mansion are appropriately fancy (the hotel was founded by the Vanderbilt family, after all). The property is throwing a “Cabinet of Curiosities” dinner party on October 28, featuring a multi-course menu, unlimited champagne, and performances from No Ring Circus—a New York-based theater company showcasing magicians, fortune tellers, palm readers, and more. Tickets are $275 per person and include dinner and an open bar, and a portion of the proceeds will go towards Rhode Island’s biggest animal welfare organization.
Featured fright:Frankenstein screening with live orchestra
For a Los Angeles party that’s a bit classy (but still scary), head to the Ace Hotel and enjoy a mash-up of film and opera. On October 28 and 29, the hotel is screening the 1931 horror classic, Frankenstein, played in tandem with an original score performed live by the LA Opera Orchestra—and it’s all taking place in the hotel’s own theater, which itself is very gothic and cool (see photo above for proof). Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased online.