Once the holidays roll around, hotels try to outdo each other with massive gingerbread houses and towns. Artistic chefs are sometimes flown in, the “raw” materials arrive, and a crew worth their salt erect walls, pipe icing, and sprinkle powdered sugar and brightly colored candies. Then the spicy sweet scent fills the air and hotel guests and spectators enjoy viewing the temporary holiday houses with all of their sugary details.
Following are 6 of the swankiest of the hotel gingerbread houses in 2017, along with links to the hotel pages so you can get more info to plan your visit.
The Fairmont San Francisco has a huge 25 foot high two-story life-sized Gingerbread House right in the hotel’s lobby. With over 10,250 edible gingerbread bricks and 1,650 pounds of candy, the culinary wonder will be sealed at the seams with 3,300 pounds of icing.
Although you can wander through the Gingerbread House on your own, you can also reserve the whole thing for a private dining experience for up to 12 people for tea or dinner.
If you’ve been waiting to pop the question to someone special, there’s even a customizable Gingerbread House proposal package you can book. It gives you an hour of private time inside the Gingerbread House, along with sparkling wine, roses, a concierge to help plan, and a heart-shaped gingerbread cookie with your names inscribed in icing. The proposal package starts at $500.
Every year, The Dorchester in London creates an intricate gingerbread house that is built carefully to resemble the iconic Dorchester property in miniature form. The back of the house is even open dollhouse-style, revealing a tiny replica of the penthouse and details inside the hotel that both children and adults will enjoy.
4. Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad
The Park Hyatt Aviara has a Gingerbread Mountain Village display in the lobby that uses more than 44 pounds of gingerbread and 20 pounds of sugar. For those wanting a more hands-on experience, the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef will be offering gingerbread making classes for children and adults. Class reservations are required in advance, and can be arranged by calling 760-603-6907. The cost of the class is $60 per adult, and $40 per child.
3. Omni Grove Park Inn, North Carolina
The Omni Grove Park Inn hotel hosted the highly competitive 25th annual National Gingerbread House Competition in late November, and televised segments have aired via ABC and the Food Network in past years. Winning submissions from this year are on display through January 4, 2018 and include works by children, teens, school classes, and adults. Note that there is a minimum $20 parking fee for those not staying at the property and just coming to see the displays. If you won’t be in the area, you can also see the winners here (click on the gingerbread tab).
2. Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage
The Hotel Captain Cook didn’t stop at a single Gingerbread house, but had their chef merrily create a whole miniature Gingerbread Village, which you can view via their real-time webcam here. The village features over two dozen gingerbread buildings, and if you kneel down to look closely at the pint-sized decorations you’ll see that each is elaborately constructed.
1. The Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Texas
The annual Gingerbread Village display in the lobby of the Four Seasons hotel in Austin this year has a Monopoly theme. The 10 gingerbread houses were made to represent Austin businesses and sights, and you’ll find whimsical game pieces such as a Scottie dog (representing the Humane Society). If you stop by, you can even take a “Chance” entry card and fill it in before dropping in a box next to the game. A winner will be randomly selected on December 22, 2017 to receive a $200 gift certificate for the Four Seasons Hotel Austin. A second winner will be randomly selected from those who enter via social media. You can enter via Twitter or Instagram, by taking a selfie in front of the Gingerbread Village and using hashtag #FSGingerbread. Here are the complete contest rules. The Gingerbread Village is open for visitors 24 hours a day through December 28, 2017.
If you aren’t sure how much work goes into some of these amazing hotel Gingerbread creations, here’s a time lapse video of the team at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin putting together their Gingerbread “Austinopoly” –
I don’t know about you, but after writing about all those displays I could definitely go for a chunk of delicious gingerbread!