It’s no secret that the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year: Steeped in tradition, peopled by our family and friends, and smelling of our favorite foods, they have no equal. And just as each family revels in their seasonal celebrations, so too does the city of Houston. One of its greatest holiday traditions? The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa.
The transformation begins on November 24, when Pastry Chef Catherine Rodriguez and her team of elves turn the Great Room Lobby into a “Gingerbread Wonderland.” Resplendent with 6-foot tall, handcrafted gingerbread houses, the Gingerbread Village comes to life with the help of a real choo-choo train, a hidden Elf on the Shelf, and a forest of ornamented, glittering trees. The village, which is made of 95 pounds of gingerbread, 200 pounds of royal icing, and over 200 gumdrops, takes the pastry team more than six months to complete.
Mere days after the arrival of the Gingerbread Wonderland, hotel guests and Houstonian Club members gather for one of the season’s rarest treats: the Grand Holiday Tree Lighting.
Known for its 27 acres of graceful grounds, The Houstonian property is home to an especially majestic live oak tree. On November 26, the king of the forest is lit with over 100,000 lights, bringing the spirit of the season to glimmering life. The grand lighting is celebrated with an evening event featuring real snow, tasty fare, and entertainment for hotel guests and Houstonian Club members.
The merrymaking continues on November 27 with “Gingerbread Nights,” a series of entertainment and goodies that proceeds through December 16.
Over the course of these days, libations and light bites are served from 5 to 9 p.m. in the hotel lobby. As guests sip their holiday-inspired cocktails, they are treated to performances by local choirs, violin ensembles, handbells, and soloists, all enhanced by the gorgeous backdrop of the Great Room Lobby’s 30-foot stone fireplace. These special performances take place from 6 to 7 p.m., and are made even sweeter with Mrs. Bush’s Cookies for the kids, a complimentary treat from former First Lady Barbara Bush.
The holiday festivities come to a sweeping conclusion with three bountiful Christmas Day Brunches, each a display of seasonal splendor.
For an unforgettable meal, consider making reservations in The Houstonian Grande Ballroom, where Christmas Brunch features an over-the-top buffet and seasonal mimosas. The sumptuous 6,000-square foot ballroom sparkles with four chandeliers, exquisite blue carpeting, and floor-to-ceiling windows, the perfect memory-making setting for your family and friends. Seating is from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
On-site restaurant Olivette’s inviting space offers a warm, beautiful backdrop for Christmas Brunch, a seated affair with an à la carte menu featuring seasonal selections. Sit down with your loved ones to enjoy holiday favorites in this beloved Houston eatery. Accommodations are available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Diners with an eye for history will love The Manor House, a Houston gem that recently opened to the public. Make reservations for an elegant, seated Christmas meal, featuring a delectable prix fixe menu. The estate will be serving from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Christmas Day is not complete without family photos, and The Houstonian’s Great Room Lobby presents a picture-perfect setting for capturing family heirlooms that will be treasured for years to come. Following your family portrait, stroll through the grounds to experience the enchanting holiday décor that extends throughout the property.
With each passing season, the historic Houstonian grows yet more timeless. Add your memories to its legacy, and experience for yourself why The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa is one of Houston’s favorite holiday traditions.
111 North Post Oak Lane | (713) 680-2626 | Houstonian.com
Featured photo courtesy of The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa