The countdown to Christmas has begun. To get into the holiday spirit, Luxe Lodgings contributors Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno sought out some of the most unique and clever hotel holiday displays throughout the world.
Looking for a unique experience this year? The Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne has installed two lakeside igloos in the hotel’s 10-acre garden. The Nordic retreats were created by a team of designers from Chic Cham in collaboration with Espaces Contemporains. Guests can look out over Lake Geneva and the distant snow-capped Alps while having up to six people for teatime. There’s the option to order classic Swiss holiday treats such as fondue, mulled wine, and gingerbread. Guests can choose from the classic alpine style, with wooden elements accented in red and green, or the modern version decorated with frosted silver and gold.
The ART is a luxury hotel that opened in downtown Denver last year. With innovative, modern design, high-tech amenities and a museum-quality art collection, one would only expect a unique take on Christmas décor. Taking a twist on classic Christmas tree decorations, and adding the hotel’s artistic aesthetic, they’ve placed pop art-inspired trees throughout the lobby and halls. Designed by local florist The Perfect Petal, the trees mirror the playful Christmas spirit and draw from the culture of Denver’s surrounding museums.
Langham Place, New York features an innovative holiday tree in the lobby comprised entirely of 3,500 roses in the brand’s signature pink. Floral designer Luxe Bloom is known for making naturally preserved roses, but combining them into a tree is a first. Installed on November 29, this tree will last up to 60 days and requires no water or care. Langham has a number of “Christmas State of Mind” packages, with our favorite being the fully-decorated in-room tree with gifts—an edible chocolate box with Langham Pink diamond gifts and two cashmere blankets.
Le Bristol Paris transforms itself at Christmas time with an indoor tree decorated with 1,200 ornaments, including 200 crystal ornaments from the fine crystal retailer Baccarat, and another tree in the Jardin Français’ courtyard assembled from 50 different trees. A team of six people worked for a total of eighteen days on the preparation and installation of the decorations. LeBristol has an added surprise for guests on Christmas morning, bringing them champagne, chocolate, and shoes stuffed with gifts for the children.
Bringing snow to Miami, the Jack Frost Happy Hour at Conrad Miami has guests enjoying “snowfall” over the bar every 30 minutes while indulging in drinks and treats at LvL 25. Stage Equipment & Lighting, Inc. provides the snow machine used from 4-7 p.m. daily, while Florally provides the holiday decorations (including trees and wreaths) throughout the hotel and in guest rooms. “Elves” put a memorable holiday treat in each room with festive adornments, including pillows, a wreath, and a Christmas tree.
The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa has made its holiday festivities a signature event since 1986. Reflecting the property’s Sonoran Desert setting, the centerpiece each year is a 24-foot Golden Barrel Cactus Christmas Tree comprised of more than 300 living cacti. At the end of the holiday season, each Golden Barrel Cacti gets planted into the resort’s landscape and is nurtured for future years to come.
New to 2016, we found a California Christmas chocolate wonderland at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Carlsbad, California. Here you’ll find an array of individually themed and professionally decorated trees around a larger-than-life 10-foot holiday snow globe. The 250-pound chocolate creation inside the globe created by pastry chef Christophe Rull was inspired by the movie Pinocchio, and is surrounded by a village of chocolate Christmas trees.
After a complete two-year transformation by designer Philippe Starck, the lobby of Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris has been revitalized. For the holidays you can discover natural Christmas trees by florist Baptiste Pitou. In the lobby, a main piece by the legendary master glassmaker Daum reflects 250 hanging snowflakes made of pâte de verre, a kiln casting method that means “paste of glass.” The playful tree includes a purple moon, roses, and teddy bears. This tree required hundreds of hours of work in the Daum factory before making its way to the City of Lights.
Casa Monica is an historic landmark hotel, centered in the nation’s oldest city of St. Augustine. Spanish influenced, the façade and grand lobby have Moroccan frescos, fountains, and ornate chandeliers. Casa Monica celebrates its history during the Nights of Lights, a light show with three million lights covering St. Augustine. The lights in the town square lead to Casa Monica’s entrance with twinkles and wreaths. Indoors, the holiday decorations are equally majestic, tracing back to the traditional Spanish practice of displaying a white candle in windows during the Christmas holidays.
Centered in the Mayan jungle, the Sandos Caracol Eco Resort embraces its natural environment and invites you to do the same. The Sandos in-house design team constructed a Christmas tree made of 598 wine bottles. The philosophy behind its creation was to emphasize the importance of “reduce, reuse recycle” by presenting a creative and original “green” Christmas tree. By creating this tree, the resort avoided contaminating the environment with waste that would have taken 4,000 years to disintegrate and could have released a large amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte has seven spectacular holiday trees to amaze and dazzle. Our favorite is a giant tree made of 8,000 macarons, with a sweet surprise inside. The towering 12-foot tree took the hotel’s pastry team 170 hours to assemble. Two more eight-foot macaron trees are part of this delectable display. Another creation is the world’s largest croquembouche tree, 10 feet in height and featuring 1,700 French profiteroles…and these are only the edible ones!
This holiday season, the world renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo created an exclusive holiday tree for the Montage Laguna Beach. Sitting atop the resort’s main staircase, this 10-foot Christmas tree makes shoe lovers’ dreams come true with gold Jimmy Choo heels in place of ornaments. In addition to the exclusive Jimmy Choo shoes, the holiday tree is also dressed in diamond snowflake and teardrop ornaments and crystal garland, complete with wrapped Jimmy Choo presents under the tree. We are hoping there are complete pairs of Choos in our size!
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is located in Marana between Tucson and Phoenix. This year, the hotel built a life-size dine-in gingerbread house featuring a working fireplace and table that seats six. This sugary abode is completely edible and comprised of 400 pounds of honey, 856 pounds of sugar, 350 pounds of flour, 100 pounds of ginger powder, 50 pounds of cinnamon, 250 eggs, and 10 pounds of nutmeg. Located on the resort lobby level, the house is available for complimentary public viewing and may be rented for private lunches or dinners throughout the holidays.
Want to learn about more Christmas celebrations and holiday displays around the world? Check out:
- Extravagant Holiday Light Displays Around the World
- Towns Across America Where You Can Celebrate the Holidays
- Fiestas de Navidad: Traditions for Celebrating Christmas in Mexico
By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for PeterGreenberg.com