It used to simply be a choice of balsam fir, white pine or synthetic plastic when it came time to pick a Christmas tree. But no longer do evergreen holiday trees reign supreme; creativity abounds when decorating the perfect seasonal centerpiece. Forget predictable snowflakes and reindeer ornaments, the following seven hotels outdid themselves with macarons and real antlers to deliver brilliant, outside-of-the-wrapped-box holiday tree displays.
In a cheeky play on typical holiday season weather in London, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Claridge’s showcases a resplendent umbrella Christmas tree. Designed by Burberry creative director and CEO Christopher Bailey, the tree of more than 100 metallic gold and silver umbrellas makes for quite the conversation starter. Thousands of sparkling lights glitter when you approach and some of the umbrellas are even programmed to move.
The St. Regis New York
Inside this Five-Star hotel, it hardly feels like midtown Manhattan at all. Instead of enduring bustling city life, experience a winter wonderland in the Swiss Alps. The Armarium Chalet (the hotel’s Cognac Room lounge reimagined as a European-style hunting lodge) boasts tapestries, hand-braided wreaths and a gorgeously rustic holiday tree. Floating candles woven into the branches cast a warm light on the tree adorned with naturally shed antlers.
Conrad Centennial Singapore
Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Conrad Centennial Singapore’s Christmas tree isn’t just huggable; it is also full of good deeds. The 15-foot beauty is covered in 440 plush teddy bears. With a charitable donation (otherwise known as an “adoption fee”) to the Association for Persons with Special Needs, you can take one of the cuddly bears home at the end of the holiday season.
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
The Queen City Four-Star property pulled out all the stops this year with several creative tree designs. Inside the lobby, there are three macaron holiday trees, each one containing thousands of delicate sweet cookies. The hotel’s pastry team devoted 170 hours to the construction of the vibrantly colored towers. Then there’s the mouthwatering eight-foot-tall croquembouche tree — crafted with 1,700 profiteroles, it’s the world’s largest such tree. But the star of the show may actually be an ode to sustainability, a 17-foot tree made of 789 recycled green plastic soda bottles.
The St. Regis Bali Resort
Incredible moon orchids garnish the tropical Christmas tree at the Bali hotel. Inspired by the resort’s Indonesian beach location, the hundreds of lush white and gold flowers represent nobility, refinement and prosperous friendship. These elegant blooms are one of the country’s national flowers and can blossom up to two months.
The Liberty Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel
This Boston hotel has taken the quintessential Christmas tree image and turned it upside down — literally. Inside The Liberty Hotel’s lobby, eight holiday trees (decked out in colorful seasonal pizazz) are suspended upside down from the ceiling of the 90-foot-tall rotunda. The holiday tree chandeliers drip with scarlet ornaments, gold ribbon and plenty of glowing lights.
The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami
At this Key Biscayne hotel, which sits just outside of downtown Miami, sand is swapped in for pine. The Four-Star hotel takes three days and more than 50 tons of sand to build this towering 20-foot tropical tree. To make it even more festive, The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami hosts a tree-lighting ceremony for families to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.