1. Faux Snow
Nothing says "suburban mall Santa" like fake snow on or near the Christmas tree. This doesn't look good at the mall, and it doesn't belong anywhere near a beautiful lobby floor. Like fake cobwebs around Halloween, the gauzey whiteness just looks tacky against the shiny luxe materials used in a hotel. Behold the San Diego US Grant Hotel's lobby back in 2004 to see what we mean.
[Photo: Jim Epler]
We're fans of tinsel at slammin' New Year's Eve parties and perhaps hanging behind the stage at our favorite karaoke bar but, as a general rule, let's all just agree that tinsel is only appropriate in venues that serve two-for-one beers.
3. Poinsettia Forests
With poinsettias (and every other decoration we're mentioning here), less is oh-so-much more. Also, we read somewhere that those particular plants contain a latex protein, and guests who have a latex allergy can have a bad reaction just by going near 'em.
[Photo: Lake Atitlan]
4. Scent Fakeout
We love walking into a room and being greeted by the sweet scents of the season warm apple cider, gingerbread, cinnamon, cookies. Do you know what we hate? When there are no mugs of cider or any gingerbread or cinnamony cookies around. Please don't so that to us. If you've got the aroma, deliver the goods.
5. Flashing Lights and Moving Parts
When a light in a hotel's hallway is flickering on and off, someone fixes it, right? Why would someone want to intentionally re-create the look of a busted bulb by using flashing Christmas lights in a lobby? It drives staffers nutty, and there are enough flashing lights outside (and in 'da club) to satisfy us and don't even get us started on the chaotic feel created in a hotel lobby when there are trains zipping around (like this one in the Charleston Place) and plastic Santa figures waving. Lobbies are bustling and lively enough without them.
[Photo: Michelle Lyles]
As usual, we've voiced our opinion quite loudly but what do you think? What are the worst decorations you've seen in perfectly lovely upscale hotel lobbies? We know you've got something to say light up the comments.