12 Magnificent Gingerbread House Displays You Need to See This Holiday Season

See the sweets in person this year.

Pebble Beach Resorts Gingerbread Village
Photo: Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resorts

We're in the throes of the holiday season, and one of the tastiest traditional ways to celebrate is with gingerbread houses. Whether you make your own from scratch, buy a kit, or leave them to the pros, gingerbread houses are a terrific way to really make it feel like the holidays.

But even amid the merriment making of the holiday season, it's nice to sit back and take in someone else's beautiful work. (We ride around looking at Christmas lights, don't we?)

Here's a look at some larger than life gingerbread houses and impressive displays across the country. They're sure to fill your heart with the spirit of the season and inspire your own gingerbread masterpiece.

Houses, Chateaus, Hotels, and More

The Omni Grove Park Inn with gingerbread entry
Courtesy of The Omni Grove Park Inn

Sitting in the Great Hall at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C., is the Great Gingerbread House, a hot cocoa stand fashioned after the historic hotel and made entirely of gingerbread.

It took the inn's executive pastry chef John Cook and his culinary team 500 hours over 25 days to build the massive house. The team used 400 pounds of powdered sugar; 160 pounds of bread flour; six pounds each of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves; and 60 pounds of candies used to decorate the house, among many other baking ingredients.

The Boadmoor Gingrebread House
Courtesy of The Boadmoor

The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs has gone cozy and classic with this year's gingerbread creation, with a theme of "Heartfelt – Home for the Holidays."

Coming in at about 10 feet tall, 12 feet wide, and eight feet deep, the building of the Gingerbread Chateau took two carpenters, 10 pastry chefs and just under 290 hours to complete. As far as ingredients, we're talking 958 pounds of powdered sugar, 650 eggs, 19 pounds of holiday spices, 200 pounds of honey, 164 pounds of dark chocolate, 20 pounds of candy canes and much, much more. The chateau will be on display through the New Year.

Hotel Colorado gingerbread
Courtesy of Hotel Colorado

The gingerbread house at Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, Colo., envelops the hotel's Legends Coffee and Gift Shop in the lobby. It took 311 pounds of gingerbread, eight gallons of frosting, and two days to build, and it smells just as delicious as it looks.

Hilton Chicago gingrebread
Courtesy of Hilton Chicago

It took three pastry chefs more than 300 hours to create the replica gingerbread hotel at Hilton Chicago. Standing at more than six feet tall, the pastry team used 380 pounds of sugar, 16 pounds of ginger, 16 pounds of cinnamon, and 16,000 gingerbread bricks to create the hotel and surrounding landscapes.

It Takes a (Gingerbread) Village

The Grand Hotel gingerbead
Courtesy of The Grand Hotel

Forty members of the team at the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa in Point Clear, Ala., joined Chef Kimberly to build a gingerbread village complete with fire pits, the Grand's ducks, and Nitro, Chef's dog, to create an "I Spy" game for those who stop by. To create the village, the team used 30 pounds of sugar, 150 pounds of royal icing, and 10 pounds each of coconut and chocolate.

The Drake gingerbread
Courtesy of The Drake

Another gingerbread village to check out is at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. More than 80 hours were dedicated to creating the village, using 300 pounds of powdered sugar, 20 pounds of meringue mix, 150 pounds of candies and 45 sheet pans of gingerbread. How sweet it is!

Park Hyatt Aviara gingerbread creation
Courtesy of Park Hyatt Aviara

The team at Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, Calif., spent three months planning, designing and building the gingerbread village that is on display at the hotel through December 27. The gingerbread homes in the village are inspired by the real-life homes in the area; 100 pounds of gingerbread, 200 pounds of royal icing, and 50 pounds of chocolate were used in the build.

Pebble Beach Resorts gingerbread creation
Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resorts

Pastry Chef Anastasia Simpson and her team are pulling out all the stops for their gingerbread display in the lobby of The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, Calif. Their gingerbread land is filled with houses that look like desserts, including a princess cake house, a slice of black forest cake house, a cupcake house and more. It took the chef's team nearly a month to create their masterpiece, and it will be on display through the month.

Otsego County, New York gingerbread
Courtesy of Destination Oneonta

The community of Otsego County, N.Y., came together early this month for the Gingerbread Jubilee, an event designed to celebrate all things gingerbread and kick off the holiday season. This year's theme was"Deck the Palms, Sand is the New Snow," and each of the houses built had to be 18" x 24" or smaller, and covered in icing, frosting, or unwrapped edible goodies. The tantalizing creations are on display in Oneonta storefronts through New Year's Eve.

A Sweet Ride

El Conquistador gingerbread train
Courtesy of El Conquistador

Instead of a traditional gingerbread house, this year the team at the El Conquistador Tucson opted for a steam locomotive instead, taking inspiration from the countless western movies set in this part of Arizona. All aboard… figuratively, of course, not literally!

Waldorf Astoria Chicago gingerbread sleigh
Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Pastry Chef Saber Rejbi and his culinary team at Waldorf Astoria Chicago were inspired by fashion icon Coco Chanel for their Coco's Waldorf Sleigh. It took the team 36 hours, 100 pounds of gingerbread cookies, 60 pounds of fondant, 50 pounds of candy, and 60 pounds of royal icing to bring the sleigh to life.

Take a closer look and you'll see that the black and white pearl candy and white piping along the sleigh edge pay homage to the fashion maven's iconic pearl necklace.

Under Construction

Though it wasn't finished by press time, the culinary team at the Kimpton Armory Hotel in Bozeman, Mont., is working on a gingerbread house that replicates the original armory building in which the hotel is now housed. When it's finished, the oversized house will stand between five and six feet tall.

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