This Thanksgiving, while most of us were carving our turkey and stuffing ourselves with pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte was busy creating a winter wonderland that now occupies the entire lobby level of the luxury hotel.
The Wonka-esque holiday décor will feature seven Holiday Sweet Scenes, most of which are entirely edible, including a 12-foot Christmas tree made of 8,000 handcrafted French macaroons, an eight-foot croquembouche pastry tree and a 10-foot-tall gingerbread house that even Hansel and Gretel couldn’t say no to. The holiday event also focuses on environmental impact as the LEED Gold-certified Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is the city’s only eco-designated property, and as such, showcases their love of the environment with a 17-foot tree made with exactly 789 recycles bottles.
The first of seven Holiday Sweet Scenes brings visitors to Santa’s Sleigh pulled by four chocolate reindeer, which serves as both the greeting area to guests, as well as a drop off point for those wanting to leave teddy bears for donation to Charlotte’s Levine Children’s Hospital. Beyond that is the gingerbread house with functional clock tower, working elves and several live trees, with two inverted silver, teal and white tinsel trees suspended just overhead.
The macaroon tree, the pièce de résistance of the event, lies as a showpiece in the lobby, reportedly taking the hotel’s entire pastry team over 58 hours to complete. The world’s largest croquembouche pastry tree decorated with gingerbread and caramel ornaments lies just beyond, and those who’ve worked up a craving for chocolate can stop at Candy-Land, a desert bar with gelato, candy, hot chocolate and baking demonstrations.
In the last land, just outside the lobby, lies the recycled glass tree welcoming and bidding farewell to guests this Christmas. The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte Holiday Sweet Scenes is open to the public until December 28, 2014 and will be also host several events throughout the month including Holiday Tea and cooking classes.