Celebrate the Holidays with Festive Afternoon Tea at the Iconic Fairmont Hotel

Fairmont San Francisco’s Giant Gingerbread House Offers a Sweet See’s Candies Start to the 2021 Holiday Season

Fairmont San Francisco has enchanted guests for over a century with its joyful holiday festivities and exuberant seasonal ambiance. This year, the Fairmont elves in good company with our sweet partners at See’s Candies are working overtime to create a hotel display like no other. From November 27, 2021, the hotel lobby transforms into one of the world’s most beloved holiday destinations, where cherished memories for locals and visitors alike are created. The highlight of this awe-inspiring exhibit will be the two-story giant Gingerbread House adorned in hundreds of pounds of See’s Candies iconic sweets located in the hotel’s grand lobby.

The public can view this delectable abode, lovingly built with a completely edible exterior. Kids can also write letters to Saint Nick in the lobby’s “North Pole Nook” all season long (Fairmont guarantees speedy delivery to the North Pole).

In the spirit of the season, an entrance fee of $10.00 per adult will be collected from non-hotel guests and those who do not hold dining/holiday tea reservations, who wish to admire the festive décor, and Gingerbread House. Net proceeds from entrance fees will be donated to Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area. (Accompanied children will be extended complimentary access.)

A seasonal Moët Champagne bar will also be open throughout the festive season. For additional information on holiday events and programming, click here.

Fairmont San Francisco’s talented culinary team, led by Executive Chef Michael Quigley, has meticulously constructed this year’s enormous Gingerbread House. The house stands more than 22 feet high and 23 feet wide and includes thousands of home-baked gingerbread bricks and more than a ton of royal icing and candy décor.

The Gingerbread House takes center stage and fills the halls with its sweet aroma, but the hotel’s holiday trees are also impressive in their own right. Guests will enjoy the enchanting 23-foot-tall Christmas tree tickling the center of the ceiling in the Main Lobby, the celebrated Molinari Family Nutcracker Collection, and beautiful holiday decorations.

Markus Treppenhauer, General Manager of Fairmont San Francisco, shares, “We are delighted to once again celebrate the holiday season in true Fairmont style. The unmatched Victorian Gingerbread House resplendent in See’s Candies, the festive Moët Champagne Bar, and the ever-popular traditional holiday tea offerings truly define the magic of the holiday season in San Francisco.”

Hundreds of pounds of See’s Candies, including their iconic lollypops, sour candies, and chocolate confections, are artfully placed on the breathtaking build, creating a true work of art. This year, the California-based candy company celebrates 100 years of sweetness, having first opened in 1921.

Guests, San Francisco residents, and visitors to the city are encouraged to stop by the See’s Candies pop-up location in Fairmont San Francisco’s lobby to purchase an array of sweet offerings ahead of the season. The pop-up shop will be open during peak periods throughout the holiday.

“Two companies that have been serving the Bay Area for a century or more celebrating the season together is truly special! We are proud to partner with the Fairmont San Francisco to bring some sweetness and joy to San Francisco and the Bay Area. Celebrating a Centennial together would be special any year, but this season will be even more meaningful after the last year. I remember visiting the Gingerbread House when I was young, so being able to include our candies in this iconic tradition is extra sweet for me,” said Pat Egan, President & CEO of See’s Candies.

With all the polished silver, fine china, and Victorian accouterments, Holiday afternoon tea has been a Fairmont San Francisco tradition since 1907, and Laurel Court provides the perfect Old-World backdrop.

Invite family and friends for steaming pots of fine loose-leaf tea over house-made scones, tea sandwiches on artisan bread, luscious fruit-topped pastries, and delectable sweets delivered in elegant style. Requisite sides include lemon curd, Devonshire cream, and fruit compote.


  • Reservations are recommended. Please click here for reservations.
  • Holiday Tea at Fairmont San Francisco
  • November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022
  • Seatings at 1:00 pm & 3:30 pm
  • Price: $149 Adults / $89 Children (under 12 years old) + tax & gratuity



  • 22-feet-high by 23-feet-wide by 10 1⁄2 -feet deep
  • 7,750 pieces of gingerbread
  • 1,500 pounds of royal icing
  • Hundreds of pounds of See’s Candies


The Culinary Team spends approximately 375 hours creating the gingerbread house The Engineering Department works 520 hours to construct its framework.

Phone the hotel directly at (415) 772- 5212 or email saf.santa@fairmont.com

In accordance with the City and County of San Francisco, masks are required indoors while not actively eating or drinking and proof of vaccination is required within food & beverage venues.