Travelers in search of a hotel with both a great restaurant and a fabulous spa have a spate of new choices. The chefs at the four American hotels described on these pages would never say they make “spa food,” but all have tucked at least a few healthy—and utterly delicious—dishes onto their menus among the more decadent choices. Here are some of the best, from resorts in New Mexico, Florida, Texas and Georgia—exactly the kind of food anyone would want to eat after a two-hour massage or a killer Pilates session.
Encantado• Santa Fe, New Mexico
© Erhard Pfeiffer
Recipe: Salmon Club Sandwiches
Charles Dale (an F&W Best New Chef 1995) brings a yogic calm to the kitchen at Auberge Resorts’ new hotel, Encantado. “It has nothing to do with asanas and everything to do with focus and intention,” explains Dale, who happens to be a fan of the Bikram yoga classes at Encantado’s 10,000-square-foot spa. Dale cooks Southwestern-style farm-to-table food at the AvroKO-designed restaurant, Terra, from a slow-cooked and superindulgent suckling pig to a healthy barbecued-salmon sandwich.
Boca Raton Resort & Club • Boca Raton, Florida
Courtesy of Boca Raton Resort & Club
Grandly renovated and expanded, with a new spa modeled on Spain’s Alhambra Palace, this resort is nothing if not ambitious. Cielo, the first U.S. venture from Michelin-starred U.K. chef Angela Hartnett, serves Spanish tapas and dishes like chicken with candied lemon.
The Stoneleigh • Dallas, Texas
Courtesy of The Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa
Recipe: Hearty Minestrone Soup
A recent renovation to this Art Deco hotel added a 5,200-square-foot spa and Bolla, a modern Italian restaurant. David Bull (an F&W Best New Chef 2003) prepares hearty dishes like short-rib cannelloni, but his signature recipe is a healthy minestrone loaded with vegetables and beans. The spa offers a menu of Bull’s lightest dishes, but ironically, this soup didn’t make the cut. “I had to pick foods that guests could eat while sitting pretty, getting their nails done,” Bull says, and the minestrone just wasn’t manicure-friendly.
The Mansion On Peachtree • Atlanta, Georgia
Courtesy of The Mansion on Peachtree, A Rosewood Resort & Residence
This Rosewood property is home to Lydia Mondavi’s grapeseed-centric 29 Spa and two lovely restaurants, Craft Atlanta and Neo. At the latter, Eric Chopin creates exceptional Italian dishes like this whole wheat rigatoni.