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World's Craziest Christmas Trees

World's Craziest Christmas Trees

Enlisting designers and diamonds to spritz up their spruce, these hotels don’t mess around on the holiday décor.

?Christmas trees are inherently a bit camp, but douse them in diamonds or unleash some fashion designers on their boughs, and they start to get down right over-the-top. No surprise the world?s top hotels turn it out for the holidays. Here, the best and most attentively accoutered trees worth a lounge in the lobby whether you?re staying there or not.

The Plaza Hotel, NYC>Designer: Betsey Johnson

Hot pink for Christmas? Nothing is too wackadoo for the always over-the-top Johnson. Created in collaboration with her new Eloise Suite.
ThePlaza.com

Claridge's, London>Designer: Alber Elbaz

Dior wasn?t all Galliano lost with his anti-Semitic screed. There?s also the annual honor of trimming Claridge?s tree. Stepping in to the luxe London digs, Alber Elbaz of Lanvin presents a traditional take with modern twists of a hotel Christmas scene: posh guests sipping on cocktails, a maid (or mistress? we aren?t too sure) in the background, and Elbaz himself atop the tree overlooking the whole hotel. Haute couture with angel wings, natch.
Claridges.co.uk

Intercontinental Le Grand, Paris>Designer: Ecole Boulle School of Art and Design students

10 design students have gone head to head to compete in a 150-year-old tradition for the "Designer Christmas Tree Displays" at Le Grand. Judges included haute fashion designers such as Jean-Claude Jitrois, Olivier Lapidus and Max Chaoul. First prize enjoys a weekend in the hotel complete with breakfast at Café de la Paix -- not a bad score when standard rooms start around 700 euros a night.
Intercontinental.com

First Hotel Skt Petri, Copenhagen>Designer: Georg Jensen

Up until Christmas Eve, the First Hotel uses decorations from local Danish designer treasure Georg Jensen throughout their hotel lobby. From the annual snow crystal to a white gold ice skate ornament, it?s pure elegance.
HotelSktPetri.dk

Browns Hotel, London>Designer: Garrard

A fundraiser for the Great Ormond Street Hospital begets a guessing game for guests -- and the prize is jewels. Creative Director of Garrards, one of Britain?s oldest fine jewelers, has taken inspiration from the upcoming 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens with a riff on all those "pockets" in Oliver Twist. Jewel-filled raspberry red pouches adorn the Brown?s Christmas tree. Guests are invited to make a donation for a chance to win a piece of jewelry from one of the many numbered pockets. Winners will be announced in January. BrownsHotel.com

The Opposite House, Beijing>Designer: Karl Duschek

From a hotel known for thinking green in a country that is decidedly not, parts from Viessman Heating Technology (reclaimed vacuum tubes, LEDs) have been constructed into a 20-foot high solar Christmas tree with a star representing the sun.
TheOppositeHouse.com

Hotel Birger Jarl, Stockholm>Designer: Multiple Swedish artists, designers and fashion personalities

Ten of Sweden?s top design individuals take to the hotel to create a wonderland of random and inspired trees. Decorations vary from kind-of traditional to completely weird and unusual, like a tree made all out of socks. BirgerJarl.se

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi>Designer: In-house

Having won a world record last year for having the most expensive Christmas tree, dripping with $11-million worth of gold, diamonds and sapphires, surprisingly (this is the region of perennial one-upmanship), this year they?re reigning it in. The tree is still massive but the ornaments are foil wrapped in ribbon and custom-made balls. Maybe Occupy: Abu Dhabi had something to do with it? EmiratesPalace.com

The Ritz, London>Designer: Paul Thomas

The tree -- as weighted down in red and gold as it is -- isn?t the only thing getting decorated this year. Using a famous floral designer whose pedigree includes Charles and Camilla?s wedding, their entire hotel has been dolled up to a royal degree for the Christmas occasion.
TheRitzLondon.com

Sofitel St James Hotel, London>Designer: Moet and Chandon

Taking the concept of ?tree? liberally, the Sofitel?s grand gesture features a pyramid of 42 transparent cubes stuffed with custom-made champagne flutes and limited-edition golden magnum bottles. We?re guessing Santa won?t mind.
SofitelStJames.com

Hôtel de la Paix, Siem Reap, Cambodia>Designer: In-house

With an eco-conscious Christmas tree in mind, Hotel de la Paix created a "tree" of 3,200 white feathers (an international symbol of peace) hung delicately on individual wires from the ceiling of the lobby. Taking more than 10 days to prepare and arrange, the tree fits in impeccably with the slick mod design of the hotel.
HotelDeLaPaixAngkor.com
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