Tao Group Hospitality creates immersive experience for holiday pop-ups in New York City

Photo: Tao Group Hospitality

The Winter Rose Garden pop-up is open at PHD Terrace in Dream Midtown Hotel. The pop-up features a flower tunnel made of 10,000 red roses, twinkling lights, photo-ops and winter-themed cocktails. 

Drink options include the Frozen Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini, the Black Walnut Old Fashioned, the Santa Baby and the Winter Warmer Margarita. But the pop-up is more than just a winter cocktail; attendees experience the design and creative handiwork of Design House Décor’s Lead Designer Laila Ahmed and Tao Group Hospitality’s Senior Director of Marketing Yvonne Najor, who served as creative director for the Winter Rose Garden install. To plan projects like this, they begin the process six to nine months before the launch date. 

Najor said that she starts with gathering inspiration from fashion, food and art, creating mood boards, Pinterest boards and decks to solidify the vision. After that, she works with the team at Design House Décor and Tao Group Hospitality’s in-house food and beverage teams to create an immersive experience. 

Photo: Tao Group Hospitality

“Our teams are always aligned and our vision is to make sure that the décor is appealing and photo worthy and that the food and drinks are unique, over the top and most importantly delicious,” Najor said. 

Ahmed and Najor also created holiday pop-ups at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge in Moxy Times Square Hotel and The Ready Rooftop Bar in Moxy East Village Hotel. The Magic Hour’s Pink Winter Lodge: Frosted Edition installation features white amaranthus that hangs to mimic icicles. Along with cocktails like the Ice Queen, a spicy frozen margarita with Heinz hot honey or the Après Ski, a boozy pink hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. For snacking, guests can order the Pink Campfire S’mores or Snow Powder Donuts. The space is filled with carefully placed trees, a white gondola, chandeliers and a carousel covered in 25,000 rhinestones, on which guests can reserve a seat to dine, all serving to create an experience that Ahmed and Najor meticulously planned. 

The Ready Rooftop’s Holiday Disco pop-up is decorated with large neon cacti, disco snowmen, gold and green neon lights and hundreds of sparkling disco balls. Guests can sip from an assortment of seasonal cocktails including the Frozen Hot Chocolate, Salted Caramel Espresso Martini and the Disco Holiday Cooler. 

Photo: Tao Group Hospitality

Najor said that she wants guests to go to all three pop-ups and have a different experience at each place, so she tries to create concepts that are unique to each venue. 

“I also try to think of non-traditional concepts that guests can go to after the holidays. All our themes are winter themes and will be up until the end of February,” Najor said. 

To make reservations for The Winter Rose Garden pop-up at PHD Terrace, visit taogroup.com. Reservations are also recommended for Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge and can be made at moxytimessquare.com. Walk-ins are welcome at The Ready Rooftop Bar. 

“We want to create something that’s truly one-of-a-kind and memorable for our guests. Not only is it visually pleasing, photogenic and you get that perfect photo opp, but it’s also a place that you can enjoy while you’re there,” Najor said. 

Photo: Tao Group Hospitality