This American City Builds a Gigantic Gingerbread House Every Christmas

Photo of Deanna Morgado
6 December 2017

When the holiday season approaches in San Francisco, that means one thing: the Fairmont Hotel begins construction on their giant gingerbread house. The elegant hotel lobby of the Fairmont completely transforms into festive elegance just after Thanksgiving each year. For 2017, it’s been their most impressive work yet.

The historic hotel already boasts one of the most grand lobbies in the entire Bay Area. When the jingle bells start to ring as Christmas approaches, even more people from all over the world come to see the Fairmont’s two-story Gingerbread House. This life-sized cookie Victorian is made with over 10,250 homemade gingerbread bricks, 1,650 pounds of candy, and 3,300 pounds of royal icing. The entirely edible home stands over 25 feet high and 35 feet wide.

Fairmont Hotel Gingerbread House | © Deanna Rose Morgado

This isn’t something visitors just stand on the outside and stare at either. The 10-foot-deep Victorian is big enough for people to walk through to experience the holiday gingerbread magic from the inside. Huge San Francisco-esque bay windows show you what’s going on inside the gingerbread house too. Human-sized nutcrackers stand behind the windows, silently greeting you, along with the rest of the surrounding snow-filled Christmas village. A lovely apartment with decked-out Christmas cheer is on the second story, complete with a holiday scene of even more gingerbread baking.

An even sweeter treat is stuck at the very top of the Gingerbread House. Just above the elegantly constructed clock tower is an edible chimney with some very familiar looking shiny boots and red pants trying to shimmy into the cookie home.

Santa’s Feet | © Deanna Rose Morgado

It’s pretty safe to assume that the beloved Santa Claus was drawn to the Fairmont Hotel a little early this holiday season because of the delicious gingerbread aroma that fills the entire grand lobby. The Gingerbread House is the perfect pairing to the Fairmont’s other exquisite ode to the season, a completely ornament-donned 23-foot Christmas tree that sits just before the Gingerbread House.

To make this Christmas delight even better, visitors can reserve in advance a private dining space for up to 12 people. This dining experience is perfect for a lovely dinner or even afternoon tea time for those looking to celebrate the holidays a little early.

Fairmont Grand Lobby | © Deanna Rose Morgado

The Fairmont Hotel’s Gingerbread House will be up and open for visiting until the first of the new year.

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