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Historic Hotels of America

Magnificient Gingerbread Houses and More

Historic Hotels of America® has some of the best hotels to celebrate the holiday season and see some spectacular (and delicious) gingerbread houses. From life-sized gingerbread houses to exact replicas of historic hotels made up entirely of gingerbread and hotels where you can make your gingerbread creation come to life, these are must visit historic hotels to see (and make) gingerbread houses.

The Omni Homestead Resort

The Omni Homestead Resort (1766)
Hot Spring, Virginia

The Omni Homestead Resort creates a replica gingerbread house of the hotel each holiday season. This year’s gingerbread house will be bigger than ever measuring eight by eight feet and will be completed around November 20, with the arrival of the hotels’ Christmas tree. The gingerbread house promises to be the best ever with over 160 pounds of flour being used, 53 pounds of honey, 18 pounds of eggs and over five pounds of spices.

Hanover Inn Dartmouth

Hanover Inn Dartmouth (1780)
Hanover, New Hampshire

The Hanover Inn Dartmouth gingerbread creation is an entire village of houses, that takes over the 2,000 pound granite slab table in the middle of the hotel lobby. The gingerbread village debuts on the first Friday in December when Dartmouth College lights the huge pine in the middle of the Dartmouth Green, right across the street from the hotel (and visible from guestroom windows). The hotel welcomes the community attending the tree-lighting with hot chocolate and the 29th annual display of the Connecticut Valley Model Railroad Club’s collection of HO scale trains.

French Lick Springs Hotel

French Lick Springs Hotel (1845)
French Lick, Indiana

French Lick Springs Hotel creates a large scale gingerbread house each year with a different architectural style. This year’s Tudor style home will feature edible exposed beams, multiple gables and lattice work. The gingerbread house is known to be the largest in the Midwest measuring in at six by eight feet. The house is constructed with two different types of gingerbread blonde (made with honey) and regular (made with molasses). The shingles on the roof will have six different shades of “French Lick red.” Outside of the wood frame, everything on the house is edible- chocolate, Rice Krispies treats, fondant and sculpted sugar are also among decorations. This gingerbread house requires 400-500 hours to construct and will make its debut during the French Lick Springs Hotel Tree Lighting on November 17.

Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa

Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa (1847)
Point Clear, Alabama

For over 10 years, the Grand Hotel has constructed a gingerbread creation. In 2016, the hotel constructed a gingerbread village that weighed over 1,200 pounds using 300 pounds of gingerbread, 25 gallons of icing and 30 pounds of candy for adornment. This gingerbread village was hand sculpted in the hotel’s bake ship and featured five different guest room buildings: South Bay House, Main Building, North Bay House, Marina, and Spa Building. The hotel will host a culinary academy of how to make a gingerbread house for visitors and guests.

The Willard InterContinental

The Willard InterContinental, Washington DC (1847)
Washington, DC

Each year the talented team in the pastry department works to create a gingerbread house that pays tribute to an iconic memorial, monument, or museum. In 2016 the hotel featured the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This gingerbread house used over 26 pounds of granulated sugar, 100 eggs, 27 pounds of flour, 20 pounds of granulated sugar and weighed in at 150 pounds. This year, the hotel will construct a replica of Mount Vernon.

Mohonk Mountain House

Mohonk Mountain House (1869)
New Paltz, New York

In 2016 The Hudson Valley Gingerbread Competition was launched at Mohonk Mountain House. The tradition will continue in 2017 by inviting guests, members of the local community, and employees to construct their best gingerbread creation for a chance to have it displayed throughout the resort during the holiday season. A panel of local judges selects three prize winners and two honorable mentions in three categories and the top five finishers will have their creations put on display throughout the holiday season. The three blue ribbon winners from each category will have the honor of being displayed in the prime location at the bottom of the hotel’s central stairs. Along with the recognition, the top three winners in each category are awarded prizes to Mohonk Mountain House that range from an overnight stay to dinner at the resort. This year, the competition takes place on Sunday, December 10, 2017.

The Peabody Memphis

The Peabody Memphis (1869)
Memphis, Tennessee

Each year this historic hotel features a large scale gingerbread house and village in the lobby. The giant gingerbread village is made using 400 pounds of sugar, 120 pounds of flour, four gallons of molasses, 300 eggs plus eight gallons of egg whites, five pounds of gingerbread spices, and 50 pounds of assorted candy. Chef Konrad Spitzbart and his team of 12 “pastry elves” start work in September and it takes 250 total “elf hours” to complete. A master at gingerbread design and construction, Chef Spitzbart won the “Food Network Challenge: Giant Gingerbread Houses” competition in 2009.

Palmer House

Palmer House®, a Hilton Hotel (1871)
Chicago, Illinois

The holidays are about tradition and one of those notable Chicago holiday traditions is the installation of the Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel’s Holiday Hearth at the entrance of the hotel. This gingerbread creation will be on display throughout the holiday season. The creation of Executive Pastry Chef Bouet from Lyons, France, the Holiday Hearth represents over 150 man hours of work composed of 250 pounds of freshly made gingerbread, 20 pounds of royal icing and 90 pounds of Belgian Chocolate.

Wentworth by the Sea

Wentworth by the Sea (1874)
New Castle, New Hampshire

Wentworth by the Sea constructs an eight foot tall gingerbread house that greets visitors in the lobby throughout the month of December. This year’s Victorian architecture design will include a train station along with moving train. The unveiling of the annual gingerbread house at the hotel is a highlight of the "Wentworth illumination," a free community event the night the hotel turns on the white lights that outline the exterior and its three Victorian towers.

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa (1876)
Riverside, California

In celebration of the Mission Inn’s 24th Annual Festival of Lights in 2016, their culinary team created three deliciously amazing gingerbread villages that were on display in the hotel lobby. The team designed, baked and pieced together the elaborately decorated villages by hand, which took 10 weeks of working round-the-clock to complete. The villages were constructed with over 500 pounds of edible gingerbread, royal icing and candy. The three themed gingerbread houses displayed last year were, Holly Jolly Polar Express Village, Casey’s Glamorous Gingerbread Wonderland and Downtown Candy Cane.

The Sagamore

The Sagamore (1883)
Bolton Landing, New York

In 2016 the hotel had a Santa’s Workshop gingerbread theme weighing in at over 11 feet tall. Gingerbread pieces included 1,000 roof shingles, 300 side bricks, and 400 cobblestone pieces- all baked in 2.5 days. It took about 115 hours of decorating between the two pastry chefs to put it together. It took over 520 pounds of gingerbread dough, 290 pounds of royal icing using approximately 5,000 pieces to decorate the whole house. The resort hosts an all-day “make your own gingerbread house” on December 23 for guests.

The Jefferson Hotel

The Jefferson Hotel (1895)
Richmond, Virginia

Each year, the Palm Court Lobby of this historic hotel features a large scale gingerbread house composed of hundreds of pounds of gingerbread. Last year’s gingerbread display was a full size Santa’s sleigh that was six feet in height and weighed approximately 900 pounds. This season’s display will include over 300 pounds of royal icing, 400 pounds of royal icing and an abundance of candies to adorn the magical Christmas village. The holiday festivities will kick off on November 27 with a tree lighting ceremony, music, and refreshments. Throughout the season, visitors to The Jefferson will be delighted by the holiday performances by area musical ensembles performing in the Music at Midday concert series.

Recipe: The Jefferson Hotel Gingerbread

Moana Surfrider

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (1901)
Honolulu, Hawaii

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, celebrates the Christmas Holiday Season every year with 12 days of Christmas and a Gingerbread Display for resort guests and visitors to enjoy throughout their stay. A sweet gingerbread tower masterpiece by the hotel’s talented Moana Bakeshop with Executive Pastry Chef Nanako Perez-Nava was the feature in 2016. The display took more than 34 hours to create and was made of seven pounds of gingerbread, 40 pounds of rolled fondant, 56 pounds of royal icing, 300 French macarons, and two pounds of dark chocolate. The display includes Santa with his reindeer and elves in a Hawaiian themed village, dressed with palm trees, hula dancers, pineapples and starfish. An electric train adds to the display circling the village and providing delight to young guests.

The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco

The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco (1907)
San Francisco, California

Starting on November 25, this historic hotel transforms into one of the world’s most beloved holiday destination featuring a two-story, life-sized gingerbread house in the hotel’s lobby. The talented culinary and engineering teams at the hotel have joined forces to meticulously plan construction of this year’s enormous gingerbread house, which will be even larger than last year complete with a private dining space for up to 12 people. Holiday tea or a meal can be served with this unique and festive backdrop if booked an advance. Once complete, the impressive, edible abode will stand more than 25 feet high, 35 feet wide and 10 feet deep and will feature more than 10,250 homemade gingerbread bricks, 1,650 pounds of candy and 3,300 pounds of royal icing. The gingerbread house is inspired by the Victorian design of several San Francisco homes, such as the Painted Ladies in Alamo Square.

The Plaza

The Plaza (1907)
New York, New York

The Plaza served as the opulent backdrop for the world-famous children’s book Eloise. Introduced to the public in Kay Thompson’s Eloise: A book for precocious grown-ups – Eloise’s mischief and antics have delighted readers and visitors of The Plaza since its publication in 1955. Each year the hotel has an Eloise gingerbread house decorating event for young guests. Children will be able to assembly their own gingerbread house at the hotel. Pink hot chocolate and delicious holiday sweets will be served and guests will write a letter to Eloise and hear a story about her many adventures. At the culmination of the event, children will get to take home a delicious gingerbread house to share.

The Hermitage Hotel

The Hermitage Hotel (1910)
Nashville, Tennessee

In 2016, the Hermitage Hotel created a 40 pound gingerbread replica of The Hermitage Hotel that took over three weeks to construct. This year, the hotel is planning to craft a gingerbread display featuring Double H Farms silo and farmhouse in snowfall, celebrating this hotel’s sustainable farming project. Double H Farms is the home to the restaurant’s own herd of Red Poll cattle, allowing Capitol Grille to offer some the highest quality steaks in the city.

The Omni Grove Park Inn

The Omni Grove Park Inn (1913)
Asheville, North Carolina

The Omni Grove Park Inn has been conducting a gingerbread competition for 25 years. It began in 1992 with a small group of gingerbread houses built by community members in as another way to celebrate the holiday season. The event has now morphed into the prestigious 25th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition™. Open to the public, the featured the winning creations will be on display from November 26, 2017 through January 4, 2018.

Omni William Penn Hotel

Omni William Penn Hotel, Pittsburgh (1916)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Each year, the Omni William Penn kicks of the holiday season at the annual Light Up Night party. The grand lobby is decorated and holiday tree is lighted with the help of the children that attend our event. There is food, drink and lots of laughter. The annual Omni William Penn gingerbread house is baked and built lovingly by the culinary elves of the hotel’s kitchens. It is a replica of the 100 year old hotel. This gingerbread house is constructed with over 40 pounds of sugar, 75 pounds of piped royal icing, and over 3,500 pieces of individual candy.

Broadmoor-Gingerbread-Train.jpg

The Broadmoor (1918)
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Each year The Broadmoor has a gingerbread display in place and unveiled at the kick off of the holiday season during the White Lights Weekend. Last year’s display was a 10 foot high train made entirely of gingerbread. This year, the hotel will be producing an artistic interpretation of Pauline Chapel. It will be approximately 10-12 feet in height. In addition to this life size gingerbread replica, the hotel will be offering gingerbread house decorating and gingerbread cookie decorating for guests and visitors. Last year’s gingerbread train used over 89 pounds of chocolate, 350 pounds of powdered sugar, and 286 pounds of egg whites.

Recipe: The Broadmoor Gingersnap Cookies

The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel (1920)
Chicago, Illinois

Drake, a Hilton Hotel, a symbol of holiday elegance for over 80 years, has constructed a gingerbread village with Gloria Hafner and After School Matters Students. Each student has designed and assembled their own gingerbread house to create a confectionery holiday inspired gingerbread village. On November 8 in the lobby of The Drake After School Matter Students pulled back the golden curtain and unveiled their gingerbread masterpiece. A process that takes over 80 hours and incorporates 300 pounds of confectioner sugar, 20 pounds of meringue mix, 150 pounds of candies and 45 sheet pans of gingerbread.

La Fonda

La Fonda (1922)
Santa Fe, New Mexico

La Fonda traditionally creates a Gingerbread Hotel every holiday season that proudly occupies a center space in the lobby. Chef Lane and his elves put hours of work into duplicating the gingerbread structure that is La Fonda. The final hotel illustrates the shape of the hotel with kiva ladders added, tootsie rolls for the wooden vigas, actual mini-farolitos light on top of the multitude of levels, decorated trees and La Fonda signage. The structure is completed by hand and is set up in the middle of the lobby at La Fonda on the day of the construction for everyone to gather and watch the creation. The estimated weight of La Fonda on the Plaza’s Gingerbread hotel is estimated to be about 50 pounds. The delectable gingerbread hotel uses over 30 pounds of gingerbread, over 40 pounds of candy, five pounds of candy canes and 10 pounds of royal icing.

The Vinoy Renaissance

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club (1925)
St. Petersburg, Florida

The Vinoy constructed a replica gingerbread house of the hotel in 2016. The estimated weight was 120 pounds of gingerbread, powdered sugar and rolled fondant. Over the holidays, the hotel has a gingerbread decorating station for all of the young guests that arrive at the hotel.

Omni San Francisco Hotel

Omni San Francisco Hotel (1926)
San Francisco, California

In 2016 the Omni San Francisco created a gingerbread fantasy castle the weighed over 100 pounds and was five feet tall. It was made with entirely edible materials including gumballs, red hots, marshmallows, royal icing, Oreos and more. This year the hotel is creating another gingerbread structure that will be a holiday surprise. This will be unveiled after Thanksgiving to all visitors and guests.

Recipe: Omni San Francisco Hotel Gingerbread

Hilton Chicago

Hilton Chicago (1927)
Chicago, Illinois

The six foot display gingerbread hotel replica at the Hilton Chicago is installed prior to the Lights Festival. It takes 300 pounds of flour, 200 pounds of powdered sugar, 30 pounds of egg whites, 14 pounds of ginger, eight pounds of cinnamon and 16,000 gingerbread bricks (and more than 250 hours!) to make this gingerbread replica a reality. Three pastry chefs worked tirelessly to create this masterpiece for all to enjoy. It is located near the lobby level elevators and will be on display throughout the holiday season. This year, the pastry team will be adding a Chicago skyline and “L” installation to amplify the Chicago holiday spirit.

The Royal Hawaiian

The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort (1927)
Honolulu, Hawaii

To celebrate the holidays last year at The Royal Hawaiian, a replica of the hotel was made entirely of gingerbread. It was a full 360 degree replica to scale of the hotel and took a week to complete from start to finish. It was set on display in the lobby and over 100 pounds of gingerbread, 75 pounds of pink chocolate, and 60 quarts of royal icing were used in its creation. Throughout the holiday season the hotel has cookie decorating for hotel guests, Santa mail and a variety of holiday sweets and decorations. This year the Executive Pastry Chef will be constructing a seven foot tall replica of the bell tower that is on top of the hotel. There will even be a button guests can push that will ring a bell inside the gingerbread tower.

The Settlers Inn at Bingham Park

The Settlers Inn at Bingham Park (1927)
Hawley, Pennsylvania

For over 30 years, Settlers Inn has constructed an annual replica gingerbread house of the hotel, complete with lighting and holiday decor. This tradition was started with close family friends of the Inn in 1987 and has remained a constant ever since. The replica of Settlers Inn can be viewed from after Thanksgiving through the first of the year.

Skytop Lodge

Skytop Lodge (1928)
Skytop, Pennsylvania

This year, Skytop Lodge will be creating a gingerbread house with a Willy Wonka theme. The Executive Pastry Chef, Christa Kuhar’s inspiration was the chocolate factory from Willy Wonka. The gingerbread factory that is in production will feature chocolate fountains, cocoa pods, cocoa beans and weigh in at over 1,500 pounds.

Recipe: Skytop Lodge Gingerbread

The Mimslyn Inn

The Mimslyn Inn (1931)
Luray, Virginia

The Mimslyn Inn used over 100 pounds of sugar, more than 40 pounds of gingerbread and hundreds of other edible treats for their replica gingerbread creation, the Gingerbread Inn which is displayed in the lobby. In addition to featuring the Gingerbread Inn, the Mimslyn fully decorates the lobby using 20 foot trees, gilded wreaths and bows. The Inn also has several holiday events planned through the month of December - from a Christmas Tea to benefit the local food pantry to a Christmas Variety Show complete with dancing and carols.

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort (1935)
St. Simons, Georgia

In 2016 the King and Prince crafted a gingerbread house that was drawn up by the hotel’s engineering department using their own design. The ingredients included gingerbread, Frosted Mini-Wheats, candy canes, gum drops, Twizzlers, and more. In addition to the gingerbread house on display, local school children design and build gingerbread houses that are on display in the lobby of the hotel. This year, the gingerbread houses will go on display the week of December 4th.

The Wort Hotel

The Wort Hotel (1941)
Jackson, Wyoming

The Wort Hotel has been hosting “12 days of Christmas” events throughout the holiday season for 21 years. During these special holiday festivities, there is a gingerbread house decorating event held at the hotel. Over 65 gingerbread houses are constructed during the event with over 125 people attending. The gingerbread houses are completely edible and there are over 20 different kinds of candy and toppings use for decoration.

Hotel Captain Cook

Hotel Captain Cook (1964)
Anchorage, Alaska

Each holiday season, the hotel creates a one of a kind fantastically detailed gingerbread village. The preparations typically can begin as early as August and take about 100 hours of work to complete. The village has used as much as 850 pounds of icing, 65 baking sheets and gingerbread and 125 pounds of chocolate in years past.

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