The newly renovated Portland hotel continues its time-honored holiday tradition with an elaborate gingerbread display of the Corvin Castle
PORTLAND, Ore. – (November 30, 2018) – The Benson Hotel’s 47-year-long holiday tradition continues as the property invites the public to view this year’s Gingerbread Masterpiece. Designed and built by professional pastry chef David Diffendorfer, this year’s architectural feat guarantees to evoke the cheery holiday spirit in visitors of all ages with an intricate candy-and-gingerbread representation of one of Europe’s largest castles, Corvin Castle, located in Hunedoara, Romania. Surrounded by festive trimmings of more than 300 poinsettias and a magnificent 20-foot Douglas Fir Christmas tree, the Gingerbread Masterpiece will be on display in the grand lobby through December 26.
Referred to by many as one of the seven wonders of Romania, the original Corvin Castle was constructed in 1446 under the reign of a Hungarian military leader, Iancu de Hunedoara. Today, a number of legends are associated with the castle, the most prominent among them being that Vlad the Impaler spent seven years in the dungeons of Corvin Castle. It is rumored that the stay resulted in his eventual madness.
Chef Diffendorfer’s meticulous design incorporates the Gothic Renaissance–style characteristics that make the castle unique by using the impressive edible features for which he is known. For example, his interpretation of Corvin Castle combines a myriad of lofty towers and bastions with stain-glassed windows and balconies. Additionally, Chef Diffendorfer’s Corvin Castle is set atop an edible sugar replica of the Zlasti River and surrounded by cone tree forests. This year’s structure was crafted entirely by hand, and required approximately 150 pounds of gingerbread, 50 pounds of marzipan and 20 pounds of chocolate to complete.
“2018 is a special year for The Benson as we celebrate both change and time-honored traditions. From completing our renovations to bringing back the Gingerbread Masterpiece each year, we strive to maintain the highest level of guest experience in everything we do,” said George Schweitzer, The Benson Hotel’s new Managing Director. “We are so thrilled to have Chef Diffendorfer continue to create these works of art for us for and share his holiday magic with our community for the past 26 years.”
Earlier this year, The Benson Hotel completed a two-year, $14 million renovation to give a refreshed feel to the property’s guestrooms, suites and corridors, while still upholding its historic roots. Past gingerbread creations by Chef Diffendorfer include representations of Lichtenstein Castle, Château de Chenonceau, Château Loire, St. Vitus Cathedral, Neuschwanstein Castle, and Boldt Castle, as well as several of his own designs, including “Santa’s North Pole,” “The Isles of Gingerbread,” “An Austrian Hillside Town” and his first American castle, “Biltmore House.” For a full gallery of Chef Diffendorfer’s past creations, please visit www.gingerbreadcities.com.
While the annual viewing of The Benson Hotel’s Gingerbread Masterpiece is free, attendees are encouraged to donate unwrapped toys to Human Solutions, a local organization that will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is focused on serving the community, especially local families, affected by homelessness and poverty. All of the gifts collected during this holiday season will go to Human Solutions’ Holiday Store, which serves over 500 children in the community, and is open for three days a week before Christmas.
For more information about this year’s Gingerbread Masterpiece or The Benson Hotel, please visit www.bensonhotel.com.
ABOUT THE BENSON HOTEL
Established in 1912, the historic Benson Hotel combines European elegance and charm with modern luxuries. Located in the heart of downtown Portland near sightseeing, tax-free shopping, nightlife, performing arts and museums, The Benson features 287 guestrooms and suites with high-definition LCD televisions, high-speed wireless, alarm clocks with iPod/MP3 stations, organic bamboo robes and slippers, Sealy® Tempur-Pedic sleep-system beds and more. The property is also home to The Palm Court restaurant and bar, as well as more than 18,000 square feet of versatile meeting and event space. For more information, visit www.bensonhotel.com. If you would like to stay in touch, please like The Benson Hotel on Facebook or follow @TheBensonHotel on Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT HUMAN SOLUTIONS
Human Solutions envisions vibrant, healthy neighborhoods where all people can share in the security, hopes and advantages of a thriving, supportive community. Human Solutions operates as a nimble, financially strong organization driven by our passion, strategic goals and guiding principles. Human Solutions counters the forces that keep people and communities in poverty by building relationships and assets that create opportunity – today and for future generations.