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Over-the-Top Holiday Happenings at 3 Chicago Hotels

December 6, 2012 at 1:49 PM | by | Comment (1)

Let your pooch whisper her list to Santa at Hotel Allegro's Santa Paws event

With Turkey Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday finished, and Christmas just around the bend, we are smack in the middle of The Holiday Crazies.

Itís that time of year when itís totally permissible to loose your mind over last-minute shopping, dinner with the in-laws, and over-the-top bouts of feasting, drinking, and spending.

Hotels follow suit, too, with their own spin on holiday madness ó something we couldnít miss at Chicagoís most festive hotels. A Posh Santa meet-n-greet for pets, BŻche bakeoff, and an elevator covered in sugar? Call it cray cray or wildly exciting, but we've just got to let you know what's going on here.

Lift your spirit by the sugary fire inside Trump Chicago's edible Gingerbread Express

It may not be love in an elevator, but its pretty hot and sweet on the Gingerbread Express at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. An OTT culinary creation built over five days by pastry chef Patrick Fahy and his crew at Sixteen, the Express is the seasonís only designated hotel elevator to the Michelin-rated resto. Itís also a glorified edible arrangement dressed in 222 pounds of frosting, 178 pounds of sugar and 103 pounds of chocolate. That pans out to four-foot-high candy canes at the entrance, 1,000 bricks of gingerbread, a sweet fire, a window box view of a snow-covered alpine valley, holiday music, and an active train set circling above. In short, a ridiculous, yet awesome (and free!) holiday treat.

Kimpton Hotels of Chicago is hosting its fourth annual Santa Paws event at Hotel Allegro Chicago this weekend, December 8-9 from 2-4 pm. Dogs, cats, and other four-legged pals able to fit through the door are invited to enjoy some royal holiday treatment with pet-friendly treats, water bowls and professional photos with Santa. Plus, the chance to hang with other animals. Humans, on the other hand, will dig the festive dťcor, hot cocoa and cookies, and a raffle of Kimpton hotel and restaurant gift certificates to benefit Chicagoís Anti-Cruelty Society. All in all, and OTT pet-friendly event.

The Holiday Sweater Brigade ó err, Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press at Sofitel's BŻche de NoŽl bake off

What the heck is BŻche de NoŽl? We plan to find out at the second annual Holiday Rock & Roll bake-off at Sofitel Chicagoís Cafť des Architectes on December 17 from 6-8 pm. Hosted by ABCís Hungry Hound Steve Dolinsky, the competition invites a slew of top Chicago pastry chefs like Nate Meads (RM Champagne Salon), Amanda Rockman (Balena), Dana Cree (Blackbird), and Elissa Narrow (Perennial Virant), to compete for the best modern interpretation of the BŻche de NoŽl, a traditional French holiday desert. Sounds stuffy, but itís said to be excessive, yet entertaining. Nosh appetizers and countless cake slices, sip cocktails, boogie to a band dressed in cheesy holiday sweaters, then cast your vote for the winning BŻche. Tickets are $35 and benefit the Share Our Strength charity.

[Photos: Jeff Schear, Kimpton Hotels, Sofitel Hotels]

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