By Terry Trucco
Call them instant mood lifters. Each year hotels throughout New York City dream up new ways to play dress up and beam holiday cheer to all who enter. Like snowflakes, no two hotels look (or decorate) alike. Here’s how some of our favorites decked out to celebrate Holidays 2015.
In a lobby ablaze with snowflakes, garlands, trees and lights, two enormous edible ornaments steal the show at the Peninsula New York. These Peninsula pages dressed as Frosty (note the jaunty hats) are the handiwork of executive pastry chef Deden Putra and his associate Irene Widjaya. Accompanying the classic SnowPage (right) is Papinee, a wink at the luxury toy brand that created 10 limited edition SnowPages to be auctioned by the hotel to benefit Make-a-Wish Metro New York and The New York Center for Children (bidding closes December 31). The not-so-little guys are made from 50 pounds of white chocolate, 5 pounds of sugar and 3 pounds of fondant.
In too-cool-for-school mode, boutique hotels often skip holiday decorations, but not Dream Downtown. Recast as Aspen on the Hudson, the lobby morphs into a ski lodge with sofas sporting plaid blankets, pony skin rugs and a huge canister of hot cider, a Broadway-ready set. Forget the hotel’s storied pool. Look out the window and behold skis, a wood cabin and — holy, moly — snow, a minor miracle given the balmy winter of 2015.
Can’t get everyone in the picture with the tree at Rockefeller Center? Check out the big tree a block away at the Lotte New York Palace, Rockefeller Center’s second most photographed tree. We tried taking a picture of the tree by itself but gave up.
It’s not a sequoia, but a tree that’s 32 feet tall qualifies as big. The Four Seasons New York’s giant beauty doesn’t change much from year to year, but when you get it right, why bother?
Like most classic luxury hotels, The Pierre doesn’t call it quits with one big tree. Look for bouquets of white flowers, a flock of white-lit trees and glittering ice skates. But our favorite grace note is this small forest planted atop the revolving door.
The Plaza Athenee turned fairy tale flower designer Jonathan Couture loose in the lobby and Annabelle restaurant. The smartly ornamented spruce, welcoming pine cone-decked boxwoods, big red bows adorning the mirrors — all gorgeous. But what caught our eye were splashes of serendipity, like this holiday bouquet crowned by a trompe l’oeil lampshade.
We love this big beauty at Loews Regency, a dash of California chic on Park Avenue. The lobby is dressed to the nines, but sometimes a tree says it all.
The winter rink at the Standard High Line exudes holiday cheer without trying, especially the Penguin ice buddies, the skating equivalent of training wheels.