Crunchy cookies and sugarplum dreams are the stuff the holidays are made of. From coast to coast, high-end hotels across the country are decking the halls with culinary confections as pleasing to the eye as they are to the taste buds. Here are a few of our favorite sugary structures to see this December.
The St. Regis New York
If you’re feeling handy this holiday season, then follow the scent of freshly baked cookies down Fifth Avenue to this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star New York stunner for a gingerbread house-decorating workshop. On December 16, Christmas cheer takes center stage as kids of all ages can learn to build their own edible abodes while also enjoying hot chocolate, apple cider, afternoon tea and mimosas (for the grown-ups).
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
You might be tempted to move into the life-size gingerbread abode found at this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Tucson resort. Featuring a table for six, custom interior design elements and a sugary garden, this gingerbread house provides a sweet setting for an unforgettable holiday dinner from the property’s Four-Star CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar.
Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village
Get into the spirit of the season with a visit to this serene Four-Star escape outside of L.A. Dreamed up by executive pastry chef Patrick Fahy and his culinary team, a playful gingerbread village has taken up residence in the hotel’s lobby made entirely from sugary ingredients. After the holidays, each house will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be donated to the local Boys and Girls Club.
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
History comes alive during the holidays in New Orleans, especially at this Four-Star beaux-arts beauty. Walk through an edible 750-square-foot version of the city’s well-known “Wedding Cake House” — a Victorian colonial-revival home on St. Charles Avenue that comes complete with a fireplace, stockings and picture-perfect Christmas tree — on display in the hotel’s lobby through the season.
JW Marriott Los Angeles, L.A. Live
Enjoy a grown-up spin on a holiday favorite with this Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel’s first gingerbread bar. Made with 1,300 pounds of spiced cookie, Santa’s Tavern is a watering hole outfitted with elaborately decorated candy bottles that will play host to seasonal mixology classes and cocktail tastings through the end of the year.
Four Seasons Resort Vail
Take a break from skiing Vail’s legendary slopes to partake in some mountain merriment at this luxe Four-Star Colorado resort. Inspired by the Dr. Seuss classic The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, WhoVail is a stunning 140-square-foot culinary creation decorated with more than 1,500 gingerbread tiles and home to a resident Grinch and his dog Max throughout the holiday season.
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
This Four-Star Orange County resort is showing off its wild side this winter with an adorable animal-filled gingerbread extravaganza. Showcasing themes of climate change, sustainability and clean energy, this work of art from executive pastry chef Sylvain Haage represents California’s diverse landscape and The Ritz-Carlton’s commitment to its protection.
The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino
A 32-year tradition, this Four-Star Verona, New York lodge’s gingerbread village continues to bring Christmas cheer with its 2017 display. Stretching more than 70 feet long, the adorable town consists of nine towering buildings, including a bakery, a Tudor-style home and a train station with its own functional locomotive. More than 500 pounds of gingerbread, 2,045 pounds of icing and 750 pounds of candy bring this merry masterpiece to life.
The St. Regis Atlanta
You can have your gingerbread house and eat it, too, when you stop by this Four-Star Buckhead property. The hotel hosts Atlanta’s largest edible pop-up candy shop in partnership with luxury confectioner Sugarfina through January 1. Step inside the life-size sugary structure to get an eyeful (and a taste of) the gourmet sweet treats that adorn it.
Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa
Whether or not you win big at this Palm Springs casino resort, be sure to stop by the Grand Palm Buffet to catch a glimpse of a monumental masterpiece. The eight-foot-long gingerbread hotel on display in the restaurant mirrors Agua Caliente, down to the towering California palms at the entrance. This sweet structure is so big that it even has its own Twitter account.
Gurney’s Newport Resort and Marina
Newport has long been known for its over-the-top holiday decorations, having played host to the rich and famous for decades, and this brand-new waterfront resort doesn’t disappoint. As you set foot into the enchanting lobby, you’ll be greeted by an adorable gingerbread display representing the historic city, complete with an illuminated lighthouse.
The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
Watch your little one’s dreams become reality at this Four-Star Sarasota retreat this holiday season. Anchored to a wall in the hotel’s lobby is a life-size gingerbread ship, sea monster, buried treasure and sea turtles all made entirely out of confections, providing a festive backdrop for a one-of-a-kind Christmas photo opportunity.