Each hotel restaurant is being equally honored in no particular order.
Anyone who loves a particular restaurant knows that while the food needs to be sublime, it’s just part of a complicated, subjective equation that includes – but is certainly not limited to — the service, overall vibe, beverage options, and décor. Toss in details like noise level or a particularly welcoming bartender and it’s easy to see why one diner’s dream can be another’s nightmare.
So how do we choose seven fabulous, very best hotel restaurants? I’ll admit — we’re subjective. But trust us. Each of these establishments — from Hong Kong to Mexico and the U.S. to Europe — delivers not only delicious food, but food with a story, created by chefs who deeply care about their craft.
T’Ang Court, The Langham Hong Kong
For more than 30 years, this three Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant hotel has graced tables with elevated renditions of classic dishes like locally caught lobster stir-fried with three varieties of onion and a splash of Shaoxing wine and a creamy crab and onion mixture piled into a crab shell and baked until bubbly. Meats shine as well: traditional Chinese roast pork infuses Iberico pork with sweet char siu barbecue sauce, which gets an umami kick from fermented red bean paste and a good dose of soy.
Cantonese dishes are notoriously difficult to pair with wine; at T’Ang Court, sommeliers know their deep list exceptionally well and seem to enjoy ferreting out unexpectedly delicious partners for the wide variety of flavors on the menu.
The surroundings are as luxurious as the food: white-clothed tables set with fresh flowers are arrayed beneath a canopy of pleated maroon silk that speaks of Chinese mansions of yesteryear and the opulence of the T’ang Dynasty.
Dhilli, The Oberoi New Delhi
The five-star Oberoi Delhi greets guests with a striking black and white checkerboard-patterned marble floor in the lobby; throughout the hotel, traditional Indian design motifs are mixed with neoclassical accents in the style of early 20th-century architect Edwin Lutyens. Plush rooms look out over the deep green Delhi Golf Club as well as landmarks like Humayun’s Tomb, Sunder Nursery, and Nizamuddin. And now they’ve added another incredible reason to stay.
Guests are invited on a metaphorical culinary tour of the city with Michelin–starred — and avowed Delhi street-food aficionado – Chef Vineet Bhatia MBE. Open since early 2023, Dhilli delectably guides your tastebuds through Delhi, neighborhood by neighborhood, creating a delicious, and often surprising, mosaic of tastes and textures. In some cases, as with the samosas from Chadni Chowk, dishes are exactly as you might remember — and crave. In others, such as chatak chana chaat, a savory yogurt parfait that delivers the creamy, crunchy, highly addictive elements of dahi bhalla, Bhatia brings a more freestyle approach. Bhatia has also included akhroti tawa seekh and other favorite dishes from his childhood on the menu, as well as beautiful rendition of royal recipes from Shahi kitchens. Don’t miss the Sultans of Delhi, a dessert that incorporates Mughal era’s love for the refreshing flavors of paan; the crispy sweetness of Jalebi and creamy rabri.
Espadon, The Ritz, Paris
From the golden swans that decorate every faucet to the no-reservation policy at the cozy Hemingway bar, tradition reigns at the Ritz Paris, whose pleated canopies have graced Place Vendome since 1898. But while the hotel may respect tradition, it isn’t stuck in the past. Case in point is Eugenie Béziat, the one Michelin-starred chef who is now in charge of the kitchen at Espadon, a serene, 30-seat restaurant that opened in September of 2023. Born and raised in Africa, Béziat brings the flavors of Congo, Gabon, Senegal, and Côte d’Ivoire to Espadon along with technique perfected at La Flibuste, in Villeneuve Loubet, where she earned her Michelin star after just 18 months. Menu items run the gamut from a seemingly simple chicken dish based on Chicken Yassa, a simmered supper from Béziat’s childhood made perfect with stellar ingredients, to an artichoke served with bits of cacao and lobster scented with hibiscus.
For diners looking to try something entirely new, sommelier Florian Guilloteau has dreamed up three non-traditional pairing options for Béziat’s food. One alternates wine with sakes, eaux-de-vies, infusions, and even liqueurs; another features lesser-known winemakers. The third option is a completely alcohol-free menu of juices, broths, macerations, and other beverages.
Mezcal, Montage Los Cabos, Mexico
Mexico brims with an array of culinary traditions that vary from region to region — think Oaxaca’s seven moles and Jalisco’s pozole — but, beyond seafood, Cabo San Lucas, a former fishing village, really isn’t associated with a specific dish. If you’re Odin Rocha, the chef at Montage’s Mezcal, you use that fact to your advantage and create a menu that serves as a love letter to the tastes, flavors, and foodways available within Mexico’s many markets.
Though à la carte dining is available, the tasting menu, which features a stunning wreath-shaped salad tasting of avocado and dusted with fresh blooms that was inspired by Mexico City’s Xochimlico, one of the largest flower markets in the world and, from Jalisco, lamb birria, a comforting stew brightened with cilantro.
Arrive early to take in the resort’s stunning ocean view, and plan to stay for dessert: the San Juan Dios is a chocolate lover’s dream.
Set on one the Cabo’s last stretches of undeveloped beach, the resort presides over the deep-blue water of Chileno Bay; graduates of the on-site PADI dive school can explore the many undersea wonders of the Sea of Cortez.
Main Dining Room, Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont
It’s hard to think about Vermont without conjuring images of blazing fires, forested lakes, and stone cottages, but food, in the form of fine dining, is often missing from the picture. Not at Twin Farms, a bucolic nearly 400-acre retreat set amid the covered bridges and adorably idiosyncratic villages of central Vermont. Here, guests with a penchant for culinary adventure forgo menus and trust Executive Chef Nathan Rich and his team to build multi-course tastings based on whim, the season, and a whole lot of talent. Vermont duck breast, for instance, is seared with a mixture of coriander, mustard, fennel seeds, and pink peppercorns then served with garden carrots confit and colorful, coriander-scented purée orange and red vegetables; a summer dish of cucumbers and tomatoes is garnished with edible wildflowers and finished with broth made from lightly charred local corn. Luckily, thanks to a plethora of activities such as hiking, cycling, tennis, canoeing and, during the winter months, cross-country and downhill skiing, working up an appetite is easy.
La Grande Table Marocaine, Royal Mansour, Marrakech
Like so much American food in the 1950s, Moroccan food often suffered from a comforting sameness that was delicious but a little boring. Enter La Grande Table Marocaine, which, from the moment it opened in 2008 plucked out the decisive elements in traditional dishes like tagine, couscous, and Moroccan salads and gave them space to shine. Now, under the exacting eye of Michelin-starred Chef Helene Darroze — who refined her palate for Moroccan food while dining with the families of restaurant staff members – the restaurant will continue to evolve. Darroze’s Medfouna, for instance, arrives studded with local lobster and scented with ginger; a pork-free duck chorizo brings the flavors of Darroze’s childhood (her home town of Landes, France, sits on the Spanish border) to Marrakech.
The passion project of King Mohammad VI of Morocco, the Royal Mansour was created to resemble a traditional Moroccan medina, or town, complete with blooming gardens, pools, and stately trees. Instead of rooms, guests stay in three-story, individually decorated riyads, residences set with private pools, courtyards, and rooftop terraces that are reached by pathways that curve through the property.
Forbes Street, Anantara The Marker Dublin
With its temperate climate, bountiful rainfall, acres of pastureland and, of course, access to the ocean, Ireland produces a huge range of fresh, delicious food. So why isn’t the country more of a food destination? Chef and Irish native Gareth Mullins wondered the same thing, so when he opened Forbes Street within Anantara The Marker Hotel in July of 2023, he made a commitment to not only source whatever he could from the island, but to create interesting dishes that draw on Ireland’s heritage but don’t stop at the shoreline. The result is a satisfying blend of all the things you came for —Irish cheese, salmon, oysters, beef, and, yes, even potatoes — enhanced with interesting flavors and spot-on technique. Try the roasted scallops, which arrive with a disc of black blood pudding, an Irish mainstay that resembles scrapple. Mullins added a bit of smoke to his version, which, like bacon, pairs beautifully with the naturally sweet shellfish. Mullins also went out of his way to stud the wine list with bottles that celebrate the Wild Geese of Ireland, a group of Irish winemakers living in France in the 17th century. Driven out by the Jacobites, they returned to Ireland, but the wineries they founded — Palmer, Kirwin, and Lynch — continue to produce some of the world’s best wines. Bottles by modern Irish winemakers such as Roisin Curley, which produces gorgeous Burgundies, are also featured.
Chef’s Table at Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse, Le Meurice, Paris
Le Meurice has graced the corner of rue de Rivoli and rue de Castiglione since 1835, when Charles-Augustin Meurice sought to create a hotel that would appeal to visitors from Great Britain. From the very beginning, the hotel attracted artists — Picasso celebrated his wedding to Olga Khokhlova at the hotel in 1918 — and today, paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and murals fill the hotel. Food is also an artful expression at Le Meurice, particularly at the Chef’s Table, which is accessed through a private gateway that leads directly into the kitchen, where works by executive chef Amaury Bouhours and pastry chef Cedric Grolet await. Strikingly minimalist, but lighted with a dramatic golden glow, the Chef’s Table features an always-changing procession of innovative dishes that take the form of veal that’s been cold-aged and is served with a vegetable-based sauce that changes with the season. Grolet’s sweet creations — he was named best pastry chef in the world in 2018 — are as beautiful as they are delectable, particularly his famous trompe l’oeil fruit, which resemble the real thing but, like Faberge eggs, crack open to reveal delights within.
Cover image, courtesy of Anantara The Marker Dublin; words by Katie McElveen.