This is one Christmas tree that’ll cost more than all the presents underneath it combined
I’ll admit it. I was afraid it would never happen. Trying to find something for this weekly column, without knowing what you’re looking for, isn’t exactly a walk in the park. A blind man aiming for bullseye would stand better chances. But this time round, I got lucky. I found the world’s most extravagant Christmas tree, which beats Tiffany & Co’s $180,000 advent calendar by a landslide.
Now, the Mediterranean isn’t where you’d be thinking of spending Christmas, but Kempinski Hotel Bahia in Marbella, Spain hasn’t let that affected its holiday spirit one bit. Working in tandem with Debbie Wingham – mostly known for her out-of-this-world cake designs – the hotel has unveiled its £11.9 million (S$21.23 million) Christmas tree.
The 5.8-m tall tree stands proudly in the hotel’s main lobby. And like a peacock, it’s proudly displaying its beauty for all to see.
What’s on it? The usual suspects of 24k gold and diamonds. Three-carat pink diamonds, along with red, black and white diamonds.. and oh, a four-carat sapphire. Then, you’ve ribbons of designer fabric cascading the tree, along with a cluster of jewellery from Bvlgari, Cartier, Chanel and Van Cleef & Arpels dangling off the tree’s needles.
But the other ‘toppers’ don’t play second fiddle either. For those lucky enough to be staying at the hotel, give yourself some time to inspect the tree closely. You’ll find more frills in the form of martini glasses, feathers, perfume bottles and even a 24k gold-plated emu egg sprayed with red diamond dust, all placed alongside the classic snowflakes, nutcrackers and baubles. And while we’ve lost count of the number of ornaments on the tree, it’s been said that Wingham made 500 of them by herself, while enlisting the help of British fashion icon Gary James McQueen and resin artist Debra Frances Bean for creative input.
Of course, if you’re thinking of inching close enough to the tree and gently fanning at its branches in hopes that something sparkly will roll towards you, you’re in for a tough time. Here’s a better suggestion: attend Kempinski Hotel Bahia’s Champagne and Diamonds Night on 28 December. Apart from wining and dining, guests will have the chance to take home a diamond worth €2,000 (S$3,000). That’s at least something, isn’t it?