By Codelia Mantsebo
From opulent yuletide trimmings to avant-garde alternatives, the world’s best hotels reign in a multitude of magnificent and creative Christmas trees.
Five-star hotels are raising the bar in bedazzling pines. Whether it’s an immersive, enchanting installation at Claridge’s created in partnership with Apple or a 23-foot-tall tree complimented with a two-story delectable gingerbread house at Fairmont San Francisco, the traditional evergreen tree comes in many forms this year.
Feel the festive spirit at these hotels with the best Christmas trees and decorations.
Claridge’s enlisted two of the world’s most influential designers to create the immersive installation: Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, and Australian industrial doyen Marc Newson.
The five-star hotel’s opulent lobby was transformed into an otherworldly enchanting forest for Christmas 2016, which features towering light boxes that glow with black and white photographic images of snow, framed by silver birch trees, and cast models of Scots pine trees layered with both natural and photographed silver birch and fir, all underneath a canopy of natural green pine.
Fairmont San Francisco, San Francisco
A 23-foot-tall Christmas tree and a completely edible, two-story gingerbread house decorates Fairmont San Francisco’s lobby. The Fairmont’s engineering team uses around 700 pounds of royal icing and candy decor to construct a completely edible exterior.
The house stands at more than 22 feet high and 23 feet wide and includes thousands of home-baked gingerbread bricks.
The Connaught, London
Designed by the prize-winning British sculptor Anthony Gormley, The Connaught’s minimalist tree in London’s Mayfair is a masterpiece of understated elegance. Simplistic in style without any decorations, the tree trunk makes a statement at 57-feet high.
The hotel’s Christmas tree is illuminated by a glowing beam of light that runs up the trunk, in turn making each of its branches glow.
Langham Place, New York
The Langham has done fun things with its lobby in the past. In 2015, the hotel installed works by celebrated artist Alex Katz behind the front desks. This Christmas, the luxurious hotel’s lobby is adorned with a bespoke Holiday tree of Langham pink roses.
In partnership with Luxe Bloom, New York’s festive tree is comprised entirely of over 3,300 preserved roses in the brand’s signature shade of Langham Pink.
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
8,000 carefully hand-crafted French macarons were used to assemble a life-size macaron Christmas tree at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. The 12-foot tree was completed by the hotel’s pastry team. Adorning the lobby, the merriment includes the world’s largest croquembouche pastry tree featuring 1,700 French profiteroles and standing at eight feet in height.
Two added all-macaron trees, each eight feet in size, also decorate this Lobby wonderland, which will feature a special drop-off point for guests wishing to leave teddy bears to be donated to the city’s Levine Children’s Hospital.
Le Meurice, Paris
Simplicity and the power of light defines Le Meurice’s Christmas tree. Offering a chic alternative to the evergreen fir pine, the hotel’s enchanting Christmas tree is adorned with beautiful LED artificial cherry blossom lights. The enchanted Christmas tree delivers a dreamlike ambiance with contemporary nods while presents by Vilac are to be discovered under the tree.
For those booking a suite, Le Meurice will festively decorate the room, completing the ‘home away from home’ experience with a Christmas tree in the living room.