’Tis the season for drinking eggnog, wrapping presents, being merry and — let us not forget — building (or simply ogling) gingerbread houses. Hotels are getting into the spirit, too, constructing whole villages and even decorating an elevator with gingerbread. Here are our top three must-see gingerbread structures this season:
This Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel opted for a rather unique gingerbread creation: its very own Gingerbread Express elevator. One lift leading up to the hotel’s Four-Star restaurant, Sixteen, has been decked out with gingerbread, chocolate and candy canes. Guests walk past four-foot candy canes to enter the elevator, which is lined with more than 1,000 gingerbread bricks, has a working train set circling its floor and boasts a wood ceiling inspired by a Montana lodge. The team used 222 pounds of frosting, 178 pounds of sugar and 103 pounds of chocolate to create the Gingerbread Express.
For especially sweet offerings, head to the nation’s capital and this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel. Debuting on December 1 after one month of construction, the Ritz-Carlton’s life-size Gingerbread House & Boutique will feature holiday treats created by executive pastry chef Nelson Paz through Christmas Day. At night, you can book an intimate party in the Gingerbread House for up to six people; your group will enjoy a four-course meal — gingerbread inspired, of course — from executive chef Yves Samake. Notable ingredients used to make the house include 61 pounds of dark brown sugar, 175 pounds of cake flour and 490 whole eggs.
You’ll find this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Back in September, the team at the property began planning for its Gingerbread Village, and baking commenced in October. Everything except the base and a few dowels is edible, including the melted Dum Dums and Jolly Ranchers used for the windows. Inspired by the Wild West, the 16 structures that make up the village include a saloon and schoolhouse as well as an active train set and town clock that keeps perfect time. The whole village required roughly 50 pounds of flour, 25 pounds of sugar, 25 pounds of butter and a host of holiday spices.
Photos Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC and The Broadmoor