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The Westin St. Francis Brings Holiday Dreams to Life

By JulieVR |

Gingerbread house fans will be wowed this winter by a spectacular 12-foot rotating holiday sugar castle, on display in the historic lobby of the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco. Executive Pastry Chef, Jean-François Houdré (aka “King of the Castle”) and his team are currently hard at work day and night perfecting this culinary masterpiece. Originally created in 2005, this magnificent castle continually grows larger and more impressive each year.

Since then, it has become a holiday tradition for many families to visit the hotel during the holidays to see this evolving magical palace. Resembling a French château, it weighs over 1200 pounds and features more than 20 grand circular towers, approximately 30 rooms, glowing windows and a running train. New this year is an extensive life-like replica of a medieval French village complete with intricately constructed homes, a church, a bakery and stores, all with illuminated windows and surrounded by a magical forest. A second train filled with elves will encircle this winter fantasy land, scheduled to be unveiled on Wednesday, November 23.

The only hotel located directly on Union Square, the heart of the city’s glamorous shopping mecca and across the street from the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink, there’s no better place to celebrate the holidays than at the iconic Westin St. Francis. Visitors will delight in seeing one of the country’s largest and most extravagant sugar castles and the elegant holiday decorations, plus enjoy traditional holiday tea service, decadent meals and fun overnight packages.

About The Westin St. Francis

Opened more than a century ago on March 21, 1904, The Westin St. Francis still today maintains its preeminence as San Francisco’s center of social, theatrical and business life. Renowned for luxury accommodations and excellent service, the hotel completed an extensive $40 million transformation in 2009 that preserves its rich history and elegance while enhancing the guest experience with fresh, innovative concepts. The only hotel located on San Francisco’s famous Union Square, The Westin St. Francis is located right on the classic cable line and is just steps from first-class shopping, world-renowned dining, award-winning theater and a bustling arts district. For reservations and more information, please call (415) 397-7000, toll free (800) 917-7458 or visit

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About JulieVR



Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of five best-selling cookbooks, food editor of Parents Canada magazine, a CBC Radio columnist and a freelance writer. Her award-winning blog, Dinner with Julie documents life in her home kitchen in Canada with her husband and 7-year-old son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Julie's latest posts →

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2 thoughts on “The Westin St. Francis Brings Holiday Dreams to Life

  1. Roger The Castle Man says:

    Jean-François (aka “King of the Castle”) This is The Castle Man calling.

    You have done an amazing job on this castle, I cannot believe that this is made of Gingerbread. I bake a castle cake from time to time, however, mine ends up being a castle ruin, yours is magnificent.

    Do you mind if we write about this on our blog with an image please?

    Look forward to hearing back from you

  2. whithonea says:

    That is amazing. I love a good gingerbread, but I’m more of an eater than a builder. We all play to our strengths.

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