ARIA is lighting up the holiday season with its “Winter Wonderland” lobby display. Created by the ARIA Pastry team and on display through Jan. 5, this year’s centerpiece is a custom-designed Sugar Palace, made out of edible ingredients and stands 15-feet high.
Led by Executive Pastry Chef Mathieu Lavallee, the skilled team spent more than four weeks crafting the Sugar Palace, showcasing seven types of sugar work techniques in the pressed sugar bricks, snowflakes coated in crystal sugar, blown-sugar swans and blown and pulled flowers, among other sweet pieces.
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The holiday creation required close to 4,000 pounds of sugar which created 1,000 pressed sugar bricks, 500 sugar tiles made of cooked sugar and the Sugar Palace’s beautiful front window, which weighs in at one ton.
Additionally, 400 pounds of white royal icing was used to build the structure. Door decorations made from fondant, glistening white meringue drops on the roofline and sugar vines and icicles are a few of the other stunning hand-sculpted items found on the Sugar Palace.
The Sugar Palace is set in a sparkling white and silver winter wonderland, designed and created by the MGM Resorts Event Production team in collaboration with the ARIA Horticulture and Facilities teams.
Hand-carved oversized ornaments, including carousel horses, ballerinas, pirate ships, snowflakes, swans and trains, hang from the ceiling. The handmade Palace is surrounded by a glittering winter forest of stacked custom-designed trees, white manzanita trees detailed with white twinkle lights and shimmering angel hair and a 17-foot holiday tree decorated with 500 crystals.
The Winter Wonderland retail area will be open Monday to Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. (open through Jan. 5). Additionally, a physically distanced seating area in the Sugar Palace’s backyard provides guests a respite to enjoy their sweet treats with a warm holiday beverage – or cocktail for those 21 and over.