You can't beat the combination of top-notch theater, imaginative Chinese food, and a charming hotel. That's what my family and I found when we spent some time in downtown Boston's Chinatown/Theater District.

Before an afternoon performance of the Boston Ballet's 37th annual “Nutcracker,” we enjoyed a brunch at the Doubletree Hotel Downtown, a 268-room hotel around the corner from the Wang Theatre, home to the Boston Ballet.

The hotel, which opened in July 2000, offers meeting/sleeping space for groups of up to about 75, including a lovely outdoor courtyard for warm-weather events and several suites with setups for small meetings. Guests have free access to the gleaming, adjacent YMCA, with its Olympic-size pool and two levels of exercise equipment. The hotel and the Y were formerly part of a Catholic high school that has been converted into an interesting small hotel where no two guest rooms are alike.

Feng shui is a big part of the interior design — from the tank with nine colored fish in the middle of the lobby to the carefully chosen guest room colors and the greenery and water ornaments throughout the hotel. Wisteria offers an excellent lunch and dinner menu at reasonable prices for a downtown restaurant.

A magical performance of “The Nutcracker” at the ornate Wang Theatre around the corner easily ranks as a memory-making Christmas experience for adults and children alike. The world-class Boston Ballet offers six ballet productions a year, and group ticket sales are easily arranged for meeting groups and attendees.

We capped the performance with a short walk to lovely Boston Commons, followed by dinner at P.F. Changs, an imaginative Chinatown eatery featuring such creative delights as spicy peanut sauce chicken wrapped in crisp iceberg lettuce and eaten like a burrito. Yum. As we learned, there's much more to Boston than lobster and all the usual downtown attractions.