A hotel is offering a very unique holiday experience that has guests booking a stay for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. One of the tastes of the holiday season is gingerbread, whether it be in cutout cookie form or elaborately decorated houses made of the delicious baked good. Guests and visitors to the Fairmont San Francisco can now book a reservation to dine inside of a gorgeous two story gingerbread house located in the hotel’s lobby.
The experience is available through January 1 and it’s unlikely you’ve ever had the chance to dine inside a giant cookie house, measuring 25 feet high, 35 feet wide, and 10 feet deep. It’s big enough inside to fit a table of ten people.
The hotel’s website explains: “Fairmont’s elves are once again working overtime to create a dazzling, unparalleled winter display.” This has become a yearly part of the hotel’s holiday display, which includes a 23-foot tall Christmas tree and a railroad track.
This year’s gingerbread house was unveiled on November 24 and it’s quite an impressive two-story Victorian home. It has several rooms inside and was created with more than 10,250 gingerbread bricks, 1,650 pounds of candy, and 3,300 pounds of royal icing.
While the hotel has included a large gingerbread home in their holiday display before, this is the first year they’ve offered the opportunity to reserve a dining experience inside. For a special engagement proposal, there’s also a $500 package that includes one hour of private access in the house, complete with sparkling wine, red roses, and a cookie with the couple’s names.
There are other hotels that erect oversized gingerbread houses as well, including the 2.5 ton Gingerbread Sweet Shop, made with 800 pounds of gingerbread, 1,000 pounds of chocolate, 800 pounds of sugar, and 300 pounds of candy built at Hilton Americas-Houston in Texas.
At Disney World in Orlando, Florida, a number of large gingerbread houses are on display during the holidays, including the massive 14-foot tall display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. It contains 1,050 pounds of honey, 800 pounds of flour, 600 pounds of chocolate, 600 pounds of powdered sugar, 140 pints of egg whites, and 35 pounds of spices.
According to Disney Food blog, the home is covered in 5,089 gingerbread shingles, and “takes the Grand Floridian pastry team — led by Victoria and Albert’s Master Pastry Chef, Kristine Farmer — more than two months and 840 hours to mix, cut, bake, and construct the house and its components.”
Many people commented on social media about how visiting this unique display in San Francisco has become an annual tradition. One person remarked that the hotel’s holiday setup is a favorite, year after year, sharing: “Our favorite place. My grandma and I have been doing the holiday high tea for over 18 years and 15 have been here. Tradition and my daughter started to join us at only 9 months old.”
Others, however, found the oversized gingerbread house wasteful, with one person noting: “I love Christmas and the Fairmont is iconic and glorious. But San Francisco has a homeless population that could have received a couple of meals, if not more, with what it must cost in terms of just materials to make that gingerbread house. When you factor in all the labor, the figure goes higher.”