Historic Hotels of America Announces the 2017 Top 25 Most Magnificent Gingerbread Displays at Historic Hotels in the United States of America

These historic hotels have *sweet* events throughout the holiday season for all ages to enjoy

WASHINGTON--()--Historic Hotels of America® has some of the best hotels to celebrate the holiday season and see some of the most spectacular (and delicious) gingerbread houses. Gingerbread houses originated more than five centuries ago in Germany. Historic Hotels of America members are keeping this long celebrated annual holiday tradition alive. 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 the top 25 historic hotels to see (and make) gingerbread houses. These gingerbread creations were hand selected from over 35 nominations. To see all of the historic hotels with gingerbread creations visit HistoricHotels.org. As many of the 2017 gingerbread houses and displays are still under construction or in final days of decoration, judges relied on the 2016 final gingerbread creations in determining the finalists of the Historic Hotels of America 2017 Top Most Magnificent Gingerbread Displays at Historic Hotels.

“Run, Run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man. is from the famous fairy-tale, The Gingerbread Man. This holiday season, run, run as fast as you can and catch the most magnificent gingerbread houses and displays at many historic hotels.”

Can you imagine a recipe that requires 920 eggs, 612 pounds of all-purpose flour, 315 pounds of royal icing, 250 pounds of candy, 153 pounds of honey, 153 pounds of molasses, 124 pounds of brown sugar, and more? This is just a partial list of the ingredients required by Skytop Lodge for its gingerbread house. One historic hotel’s recipe requires more than 16,000 gingerbread bricks, another historic hotel’s recipe uses more than 1,650 pounds of candy, another historic hotel’s gingerbread village is set on top of a 2,000 pound slab of granite, and another historic hotel uses more than 25 gallons of icing. The 2017 Gingerbread houses are still under construction and decorating with hundreds of hours of work the norm. The tallest historic hotel gingerbread house is higher than 25 feet (or a full-size two-story house). One gingerbread house is 23 feet wide. The heaviest gingerbread house weighs more than 1,500 pounds (includes gingerbread, icing, candy decorations, and more). You and 11 friends can enjoy a private dinner inside one lavishly decorated and edible gingerbread house. A very full-sized Santa with gifts for a small town could deliver presents using a historic hotel’s full-size gingerbread Santa-Sleigh.

Here is a listing of the top five historic hotels with the largest gingerbread houses:

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 among the 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.

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-sized Santa’s sleigh that was six feet tall and weighed approximately 900 pounds. This season’s display will include over 200 pounds of gingerbread, 500 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.

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 in 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.

Hilton Chicago (1927) Chicago, Illinois
In 2016, the six foot display gingerbread hotel replica at the Hilton Chicago was installed prior to the Lights Festival. It took 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 was 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 spirt.

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 currently in production will feature chocolate fountains, cocoa pods, cocoa beans and weigh in at over 1,500 pounds.

Here are the other remaining historic hotels with extraordinary gingerbread creations for viewing this holiday season:

The Omni Homestead Resort (1766) Hot Springs, Virginia

Hanover Inn Dartmouth (1780) Hanover, New Hampshire

The Willard InterContinental, Washington DC (1847)

Mohonk Mountain House (1869) New Paltz, New York

The Peabody Memphis (1869) Memphis, Tennessee

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

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

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

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

The Plaza (1907) New York, New York

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

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

The Broadmoor (1918) Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Drake Hotel (1920) Chicago, Illinois

La Fonda (1922) Santa Fe, New Mexico

Omni San Francisco Hotel (1926) San Francisco, California

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

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

The Wort Hotel (1941) Jackson, Wyoming

“The tradition of gingerbread fairy-tale houses reportedly started in the United States more than 200 years ago with the German immigrants to Pennsylvania. Today, one of the world’s largest gingerbread houses is created and baked (in parts of course) at the Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania. Across the country, 12 people can dine in the more than life-sized gingerbread house at the Fairmont San Francisco,” said Lawrence Horwitz, Executive Director Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. “Run, Run as fast as you can! You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man. is from the famous fairy-tale, The Gingerbread Man. This holiday season, run, run as fast as you can and catch the most magnificent gingerbread houses and displays at many historic hotels.”

About Historic Hotels of America®

Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 46 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance. For more information, please visit HistoricHotels.org.


Historic Hotels of America
Heather Taylor
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Historic Hotels of America Announces the 2017 Top 25 Most Magnificent Gingerbread Displays at Historic Hotels in the United States of America

Historic Hotels of America