Seasons Greetings E-Trenders! As many of you know, I work at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, Michigan and love the wonderful world of hospitality!
(Illustration by Ooh la frou frou)
This time of year is always magical and our RPH team has the honor and huge responsibility of creating family traditions and treasured holiday memories. We all take this job very seriously and also take ownership of the month of December with passion and creativity!
What started out as an idea over five years ago "if you build it they will come" is now a family tradition and a must-see for Royal Park Hotel guests, family, friends and neighbors. The gingerbread house has become an icon over the season with thousands of visitors year after year.
I adore the look of wonderment in everyones eye when they enter the hotel. There is a vibe of magic that fills the air and our spectacular marble lobby which is filled with the scent of fresh baked gingerbread all month long.
Many of you always ask about the house and I thought I would share a recent press release written by Megan Swoyer (see below) and some of my favorite images of the gingerbread house throughout the years. The pictures were taken by Arising Images (thank you Prem)!
By the way E-Trenders Prem's adorable boys cut the ribbon this year - they did a great job!
The Royal Park Hotel got right to the heart of the yuletide season with the recent grand opening of its highly anticipated, ever-so-enchanting Gingerbread House. The big day was tied to a special Salvation Army of Metro Detroit program that raises funds for those in need.
The sweet, decked-out House, located in the elegant hotel’s lobby and centered beneath a white-as-snow crystal chandelier, rolled out its sugarcoated welcome mat with whimsy by the inch. Elves aplenty seemed to wink at viewers, beckoning all to peer inside their delectable domain. (Yes, visitors can view enticing details indoors, too, as one side of the House is open to reveal even more enchantment!)
During the opening gingerbread house ceremonies, dozens of metro-area residents lined up to donate to the cause. The Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles also were placed around the boutique-style hotel for the holiday season, awaiting additional monetary generosity from patrons, diners, visitors and others.
When Major Mark Anderson of The Salvation Army spoke to the crowd, he first asked attendees to listen to the “sounds of the season.” The lobby became quiet and all one could hear were the hushed giggles of highly excited children who couldn’t wait to get closer to the festive Gingerbread House and watch as three lucky brothers (Reid, Kole and Mayz Mukherfee) cut the opening-day ribbon (pictured above).
“In a day where everything seems to be digital, this House is a true piece of art, and it just blows you away,” he observed. The House is made of 220 cups of sugar, 300 pounds of gingerbread mix, 110 cups of powdered sugar, 90 gallons of water, 240 eggs, 400 candy canes and 300 pounds of holiday candy.
Royal Park Hotel Pastry Chef Mark Slessor shared that all of the designs that went into the House — from roof panels to window trim to snowflake adornments— were created by hand.
“I sketched out how I wanted it to look,” he said. Slessor started thinking about his plan back in August. “We went with a red and white theme this year, which is Santa’s favorite color combination and works well for The Salvation Army logo, which is also red and white, of course.”
The talented, young chef was most proud of the three-dimensional fondant snowdrifts atop the roof, the long white sugar icicles and the detailed red poinsettia and white carved peony adornments. “Everything is edible,” he added.
“Ten people worked about 200 hours total on the House in the basement of the hotel,” he recalled. “We had Christmas music playing in the background while we worked, to help us get into the spirit.” As busy as the elves that bedeck the Gingerbread House, Slessor and his team worked on getting the House perfect right up until the grand reveal. Grand, indeed. There’s no doubt that the spirit of Christmas can be found at the Royal Park Hotel, in more ways than one.
A shout out to Emerald City Designs who landscapes our Gingerbread House every year - thank you David and team for always taking the design to the next level!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and stay tuned for more gingerbread fever!
E-Trenders - don't forget to take time to enjoy the smaller things in life and show the world your magic!
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