During the holidays, pastry chefs in hotels design, create and bake the most spectacular gingerbread houses for their guests to enjoy. Here are three of my favorites dazzling displays:
The Mission Inn & Spa
The life-size “Santa’s Wonderland House” displayed in the lobby of The Mission Inn & Spa took Executive Pastry Chef David Blaine and his team ten weeks to create. They baked 800 gingerbread bricks and 200 gingerbread tiles. The dazzling décor is not limited to the house’s exterior, as the interior is decorated with pink and white striped wallpaper, and a fireplace with stockings and a Christmas tree with presents underneath. The best way to see this one-of-a-kind sweet creation is to make a dinner reservation in one of the hotel’s restaurants or stay overnight.
Enjoy a festive holiday meal now through Jan. 6, 2019 at Southern California’s historic hotel. Each year they hang 5 million lights and arrange 400 of animated figures. A holiday dinner buffet inside the Mission Inn Restaurant is available between 4 to 10 p.m. Enjoy dinner before or after seeing the annual Festival of Lights, one of the nation’s largest holiday public light collection. Diners have special access into the hotel to see the hotel’s beautifully decorated Christmas tree, Menorah and life-size gingerbread house. There are appearances by Santa Claus and Sugar Plum Fairy ballerinas.
For the ultimate holiday experience, stay in the Kensington Kelly Suite. It’s a mini-European castle featuring a royal, yet playful ambiance and elegantly decorated rooms in pinks and gold with polka dot and striped accents. Exclusive in-room amenities include a large crown mounted above the elevated queen-size bed, with luxurious 650-thread count bedding. There are customized Kensington Kelly bathrobes and slippers, a Queen-sized sofa bed in the sitting area, and two flat screen televisions. The suite also features a quaint sitting area with a special Kensington Kelly Afternoon Tea Set, near a beautifully tiled fireplace and a personal outdoor patio area through French doors enclosed by wrought iron, creating the ultimate fairytale get-away for children and adults alike. To make a dinner or hotel reservation Mission Inn & Spa.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Every year 16 talented bakers and pastry chefs bake 600 pounds of gingerbread, and 250 pounds of fondant to make the iconic Grand Gingerbread House showcased in the lobby of the hotel. It takes 6 craftsmen, two electricians, and 1,225 cast member hours to design and craft the 7 1/2 feet high and 12 feet wide detailed house. This year the hotel is offering a new Grand Gingerbread House Experience, where guests of all ages get to work with Disney’s talented pastry chefs in a hands-on workshop. It’s a fun holiday activity, complete with hot cocoa and cookies to enjoy. At the end, guests get to take a miniature version home The class takes place in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa from 2-3:30 p.m. on Dec. 5, 11, 20, 21, 22 and 23. For the workshop details, pricing information and to register for this experience, hotel guests may call Guest Services at 714-635-2300. Click on Disney to learn more.
The Broadmoor in Colorado
For over thirty-four years, pastry chefs and contractors have been impressing guests with their holiday cookie creation. The first was a small, detailed Hansel and Gretel house thirty-four years ago. It was made entirely of gingerbread with a sugar wafer roof covered with snow icing. Each year an army of pastry chefs have created ambitious gingerbread creations. In 2016 they made a near full-size steam engine, and in 2017 they made a 13 ½ foot tall chapel. This year Broadmoor’s Executive Pastry Chef Adam Thomas designed a replica of the original 1918 Broadmoor resort. It measures 13 ½ feet tall. While the actual hotel took 13 months to build and 600 artisans to complete, the gingerbread replica took over 220 hours for the 10 master pastry chefs snd two carpenters for this year’s dazzling sweet delight. For information about The Broadmoor and upcoming holiday and winter events and happenings, visit broadmoor.com.
This review was also featured in JustLuxe – http://www.justluxe.com/community/the-most-spectacular-gingerbread-houses_a_1967853.php.