A $15 million Christmas tree, even if it were the largest and most beautiful in the world, sounds a tad excessive. Also extravagant, lavish, decadent…Yes, but before looking for more qualifications, some clarifications are necessary.
The record value of what the media has dubbed the “Most Expensive Christmas Tree In The World” has been claimed by a beachfront luxury hotel near Marbella in the south of Spain whose lobby the tree graces.
To be clear, the astronomical value attached to it isn’t precisely for the tree per se. It’s for the decorations. And what adornments!
Dripping with real diamonds, the tree is the product of a partnership between the Kempinski Hotel Bahia in Estepona, near Marbella on the Spanish Costa del Sol, and celebrity designer Debbie Wingham, a British artist who has crafted showy, life-sized desserts of Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner among others .
She has made her name in the luxury world with other extravagant creations including the most expensive wedding cake in the world, commissioned by a client in Dubai and valued at €50 million euros and the most expensive shoes in the world, a pair of sandals made with gold, pink and blue diamonds worth €15 million.
Along with the high-value stones, including pink, red, white and black diamonds, the tree has edible treats and traditional decorations.
As a comparison, some publications have mentioned the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York, which is worth around $74,000.
There are other decadent holidays trees that have claimed the title of “Most Expensive:” One was designed by Van Cleef & Arpels and unveiled on December 7, 2001, at the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles. It also was encrusted with diamonds and featured the ‘Lutece,’ a $2.6 million emerald-and-diamond -necklace and earring set at its top.
The current Guinness World Record holder for the world’s most expensive Christmas tree is the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi, valued at about $11 million. Shown in 2010, it stood at 43.2 feet and was lavishly decorated with 181 pieces of jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces and watches.
The show-stopper tree in Spain was unveiled this week at a reception during which the hotel management explained that the flawlessly-cut and ethically-sourced decorations include three carat pink diamonds, four carat sapphires, oval red diamonds, black and white diamonds and a mixture of designed jewelry from brands including Bvlgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chanel.
Art Deco-inspired, the other ‘baubles’ on the tree take the form of luxury items like perfume bottles and martini glasses.
Digital artist Gary James McQueen and resin artist Debra Frances Bean also assisted in creating adornments for the tree, according to the resort’s statement.
“Inspired by the verdant feathers of a peacock and the modernist art-deco era, the tree features unique martini glasses, feathers, perfume bottles and even 3D printed chocolate peacocks,” the resort said. “But it wouldn’t be Christmas without tradition, and guests can still expect to find classic decorations such as snowflakes, fairies and beautifully decorated baubles, carefully curated with a mixture of materials, from diamond dust and 24 carat gold, to emu and ostrich eggs.”
The Kempinski Hotel Bahia, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, is one of the Kempinski Hotels, “Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, created in 1897 and with a portfolio of 78 five-star hotels and residences in 34 countries,” according to its website.
A night at the Kempinski Hotel Bahía costs between €60 and €620 for special winter promotion.