Jan 30, 2020

The Best Hotel Restaurants in the World

As more people travel for work and pleasure, hotels are trying to cater to travelers who demand more than just the usual amenities. Gone are the days of upscale hotels trying to satisfy diners with bland on-site restaurants. Now, hotel chains are wooing Michelin-star chefs like Eric Frechon and Jason Atherton by giving them free rein over state-of-the-art kitchens, knowing that it will attract more than just hotel guests. These restaurants are often designed by brilliant minds, like Philippe Starck, and feature bold new dishes served in an elegant setting. Gone are the days when convenience was the only appeal of the on-site hotel restaurant. If you’re interested in traveling with food in mind, here are some of the best hotel restaurants in the world.

  • Although many of the restaurants that dot the Las Vegas Strip adhere to a style guide of “bolder is better”, é by José Andrés has always relied on substance rather than flash to attract diners. Located in an upstairs corner of The Cosmopolitan hotel, the restaurant is reservation-only.

    The dishes served are elegant interpretations of Spanish-tinged haute cuisine. Because each dish is so personalized, there are only two seatings every night, which each last around two hours. Some dishes that have made guests return again and again are the asparagus escabeche and the impossibly elegant peanut butter and jelly “wonder bread” sandwich.

  • Nathan Outlaw is the executive chef of Al Mahara. He’s made a name for himself as one of the best seafood chefs in the world. Outlaw made that name for his excellent flavors. Moreover, he doesn’t overwhelm the impeccably fresh ingredients that he’s working with. Some typical dishes include whole langoustines with butter, olive oil, and lemon, crispy oysters with caviar, and hand-picked Scottish scallops.

    The restaurant itself is dominated by a floor-to-ceiling aquarium, which serves to underscore the freshness of the ingredients as diners dig in.

  • The El Motel Restaurant is in the Hotel Empordà. It is one of the premier hotels of Figueres, Spain, which has made a name for itself as the birthplace of artist Salvador Dalí.

    El Motel Restaurant has taken the spirit of artistry that made Dalí famous and applied that creative spirit to their food. They work with fresh, seasonal ingredients to make beautiful dishes like English partridge, pigeon and lamb cutlets, and freshly made crème doughnuts. While their dishes always look impeccably elegant, the plating only serves to emphasize the delicious, fresh flavors of each unique ingredient.

  • Francis Mallmann has become a household name ever since he was profiled on the very first season of the Netflix documentary show Chef’s Table. He’s made a name for himself over the last decade for his ability to skillfully manipulate huge cuts of Argentine beef, using an open flame to transform the raw ingredients into grilled masterpieces. His specialty is a nine-hour slow-grilled rib eye.

    Despite Mallmann’s specialty, his restaurant Siete Fuegos is (improbably) vegetarian and vegan-friendly. He’s managed to take the technique used on beef and apply it to fish. Mallmann has even made delicate roasted fruits and vegetables that enhance the flavors of the base ingredients.

    Diners can eat outside, in a dining area nestled beside the rolling fields of vines, or inside overlooking the bustling open kitchen.

  • Although Las Vegas has a history of prioritizing cheap thrills over substance, it has transformed itself into a luxury destination over the last decade. This is partially because of restaurants like Restaurant Guy Savoy, which is operated by Michelin-starred chef Guy Savoy.

    Chef Savoy serves decadent French cuisine in his spare, modernist dining room. As such, dishes like artichoke and black truffle soup, foie gras, and grapefruit terrine populating the menu.

    If you just won big at the casino and are feeling like a high roller, you can reserve the chef’s table. At this table, you and five friends can indulge in a personalized tasting menu perfectly paired with Krug champagne.

  • The Peninsula is one of the most spectacular hotels in the world. So, it only makes sense that their on-site restaurant, Felix, would have to live up to the hotel’s illustrious name.

    Felix, which is run by Chef Juan Gomez, serves up avant-garde cuisine alongside cocktails from world-renowned mixologist Marko Petrovic. The restaurant is on the hotel’s top floor, which gives a stunning view of the Hong Kong skyline. Chef Gomez plays with elements of molecular gastronomy in both his “Experience” prix-fixe menu and in the smaller plates that feature on the à la carte menu. All the dishes on the menu taste incredible. Plus, some — like the Parmesan lollipops with Manchego air bags — are truly unusual.

  • Southern California has become known since the 1960s as a culinary destination. The fresh ingredients that are grown nearby are plated up simply, with none of the fuss that’s typical in European fine dining establishments.

    One of the region’s best restaurants is Aubergine, the on-site restaurant of L’Auberge Carmel in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Headed by Chef Justin Cogley with desserts from Chef Yulanda Santos, the food served here is the pinnacle of Southern California cuisine, which the chefs distilled into a 10-course tasting menu.

    This tasting experience costs $175 per person. It currently features foie gras with strawberry, halibut with shiso tempura, and huckleberry panna cotta.

  • Located at the Victoria Falls Hotel in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the Livingstone Room is one of the most distinguished restaurants in the world. In fact, it has a rich history dating back to 1904.

    The restaurant was recently refurbished in 2013. This update brought the aging dining room back up to the world standard.

    The restaurant gives smartly dressed diners a choice of either the seven-course degustation menu or a full à la carte menu. Although there are modern touches on the menu, the most popular dishes are classics like confit pork belly with scallops, beef wellington, and crêpe suzette.

  • The elegant setting of Le Bristol hotel in Paris is the perfect atmosphere for dining with one of the country’s most celebrated chefs.

    Epicure’s chef Eric Frechon holds three Michelin stars. As a result, he has honed his craft to produce dishes like his famous macaroni stuffed with black truffle, artichoke, and duck foie gras, gratinéed with aged Parmesan. It’s no wonder that Frechon was honored with France’s Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 1993 and the Légion d’Honneur in 2008.

    Epicure was awarded Best Restaurant in the World in 2014 by no less than three separate organizations. Despite Frechon’s success, he continues to work hard at Epicure, creating a new seven-course tasting menu every day.

  • Another restaurant with an incredible view of the gorgeous Hong Kong skyline is Man Wah, which is located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The restaurant serves up elegant Cantonese cuisine, with specialties from Chef Wong like sea urchin pudding, poached bitter melon with salted and preserved eggs, and stir-fried fresh abalone with crispy minced garlic and chili.

    The daily dinner tasting menu costs around $200 USD per person. It is comprised of 10 courses, accompanied by either four wines or two cognacs. The dining room is a study in opulence, with silk paintings on every wall, and gold-plated bird-cage lamps contrasting the energetic twinkle of the city lights.

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