Press Releases

November 08, 2013
Hotel Bethlehem Brings The Holidays Alive In City’s Downtown With Decorating Tradition

Historic hotel is highlight of the season for visitors to the Christmas City

BETHLEHEM, PA - November 8, 2013 - It's time once again to deck the halls and trim the trees at Historic Hotel Bethlehem as the city's destination hotel transforms into a holiday wonderland for the next two months.

The massive undertaking of decorating the hotel lobby, restaurants, grand ballroom, meeting spaces, and exterior requires the services of two professional designers, Gary Burger and Robert Averill. Together they coordinate the decorating project as well as design the elaborate displays, supervising and organizing the set-up along with the hotel's engineering staff. All decorating is done during the overnight hours so as to not disturb the hotel's guests. Their designs are created to highlight the hotel's ornate architectural features. (See decorating fun facts below.)

Decorating is completed in time for Thanksgiving and the Community Open House event held on Black Friday, which takes place from 5-8 p.m., immediately following the City of Bethlehem's tree-lighting ceremony at Payrow Plaza. The public is invited to the hotel for complimentary hot apple cider with Christmas pastries and cookies during which guests can take in the decorations while on a self-guided tour. 

"The hotel's open house and our elaborate decorations have become as much of an annual tradition for visitors and residents to see as the tree lighting ceremony itself," said General Manager Dennis Costello. "It's a great way to start the Christmas season and get into the holiday spirit."

The Historic Hotel Bethlehem is located in the heart of Bethlehem, Pa.'s nationally registered historic district. The Hotel is a proud member of Historic Hotels of America and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and is also listed on the Department of Interior's National Park Service National Register.  Experience world-class service, charming guest accommodations and award-winning cuisine, all on a site that has been warmly welcoming guests since 1741. Visit for more information.

Historic Hotel Bethlehem - Christmas Decorations Fun Facts

  • More than 35,000 Christmas lights are used.
  • Over 1,000 hours of labor is needed to complete the decorations.
  • 26 sparkling Christmas trees throughout the hotel
  • Two  new 16 ft. trees in the lobby
  • 36 wreaths
  • Six  7 ft. toy soldiers
  • Two 6 ft.  Nutcrackers
  • Nativity by St. Joseph's Studio
  • New for 2013 - a gingerbread model of Historic Hotel Bethlehem
  • Every tree is recreated from scratch every year.
  • 1741 on the Terrace retains its garden theme but will feature playful garden elves stealing greens from the trees.
  • The Mural Ballroom will be redesigned this year with a gold and silver classic Christmas theme.
  • New for 2013 - Bethlehem lights featured throughout the hotel. Flameless candles featuring a mechanism designed by Disney for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.  They will also be available for purchase in The Shoppe at Hotel Bethlehem.
  • A new Historic Hotel Bethlehem Collector's Edition Christmas ornament will be available for purchase in The Shoppe at Hotel Bethlehem, as will a featured Star of Bethlehem ornament.





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