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  • Writer's pictureCheré Dastugue Coen

Forget gingerbread houses — The Grand Hotel in Fairhope comes to life in sweet miniature!

Gingerbread houses are all the rage this time of year, and it’s not uncommon to find hotels and resorts offering classes and contests. While we love that The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa in Fairhope, Ala., is hosting gingerbread classes on Dec. 19 for guests, we especially admire the display created by Grand Pastry Chef Kimberly Lyons and her pastry team. The massive gingerbread in the resort’s lobby recreates the resort in exceptional detail. It’s so remarkable, it’s been named one of the best in the country for the past three years from Historic Hotels of America.

If you want to make one yourself, classes will be offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, with instructors teaching culinary basics as well as advanced techniques. It’s fun for the whole family and costs $50 per gingerbread house decorated. Register online at and search for the Grand Hotel.

Other holiday happenings at The Grand this month include Breakfast with Santa, complete with full breakfast buffet, “North Pole Pastries” and photos with the Big Guy. Breakfast with Santa will be offered Saturday, Dec. 5, 12 and 19 with a breakfast buffet served from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Azalea Ballroom. Santa will be visiting from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. each Saturday to take pictures. Meals are $44 for ages 12 and over, $22 for children ages three to 11 and free for children ages two and younger. Reservations and more safety details are available on under the Grand Hotel.

For something more spirited, a Warm Drinks Class, part of the Grand Beverage Academy, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, teaching basic mixology with a few advanced techniques thrown in. Guests will receive a one-hour beverage demonstration, recipes and beverage sampling for $30 per person ages 21 or older. Reservations can be made at under the Grand Hotel.

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