Now that the holiday season is well underway, there’s one particular sweet treat that’s on our minds (and probably yours, too!). Although we’ve already got our favorite recipes ready for the cookie exchange party, we're not referring to Christmas cookies. Actually, the food-related item we’ve been waiting to bake all year long is equal parts spicy and sweet, but not necessarily something we enjoy eating. Yep, you guessed it—we’re talking about gingerbread houses.
It’s that time of year where bakers, Christmas enthusiasts, and even some luxury hotels pull out all the stops to decorate these masterful confectionery displays. Whether it’s to fill the home with an enveloping aroma of warm spices and Yuletide cheer, or simply to entice holiday travel-goers, gingerbread houses are the perfect creations to get anyone in the spirit—unless you’re the Grinch personified.
Adding to the list of hotels creating charming and edible gingerbread abodes is The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville. In its 25th year, the historic hotel accommodation hosted its annual National Gingerbread House Competition on November 20, 2017. And this year the participants raised the candy bar even higher. So if you’re headed through the Blue Ridge Mountains area this winter, venture inside the hotel to get a look (and a whiff) at these merry, sugar-laden behemoths. The winning creations will be on display through January 4, 2018. However, if you’re not a guest at the resort hotel, you can only view the gingerbread houses after 3:00 p.m. on Sundays or anytime Monday through Thursday. From carbon copies of existing structures to dreamy European escapes with intricate icing overlays, here are 19 awe-inspiring entries from the 2017 competition.