The Food & Wine Hotel Awards 2017
Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam
The Capital of Gin & Tonics
This new classic combines six 17th-century canal houses into the city’s most up-to-date luxe hotel, with a vast private garden and a museum’s worth of original art—but it’s the food and drink that had us at hallo. There’s a Michelin-starred restaurant, a more casual spot overlooking the garden and breakfast pastries made with honey from the property’s rooftop hives. Our favorite? A sophisticated bar inside a former bank vault, where gin and tonics are made with toasted juniper berries, which the bartender sets alight. From $423; waldorfastoria3.hilton.com.
The Beekman, New York City
New York in a Single Block
This converted 1881 landmark may be on a sleepy corner in the Financial District, however the scene inside is anything but. An elegant lobby bar serves drinks and small plates from Tom Colicchio, right next to his modern American restaurant, Fowler & Wells, where the sweetbreads with chanterelles are our current obsession (bonus points for the smart, well-priced wine list). Across the lobby is Keith McNally’s Augustine, wowing crowds with brasserie-inspired greatest hits. This is downtown in a nutshell: edgy yet glamorous, vintage yet modern, and a bellwether for the new New York. From $619; thebeekman.com.
The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice
Room to Book: The Kitchen
As if the handblown chandeliers and Lorenzo Rubelli fabrics weren’t enough, this 15th-century palazzo hotel offers one of Italy’s top cooking classes. Chef Daniele Turco starts the day with a trip to the Rialto Market for cuttlefish, leeks and soft-shell crabs. Back in the kitchen, he will guide you through signature dishes like squid-ink spaghetti or risotto with clams and squash blossoms. From $455; thegrittipalace.com.
The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India
Live Like a Prince
Did the maharajas eat this well? It’s doubtful their Bengal fish curry was as piquant and fresh or their lamb kebabs as tender. After wrapping up your meal with petha, a candied pumpkin dessert local to Agra, it’s time to retire to a teak-clad suite with views of the Taj Mahal. From $350; oberoihotels.com.
The Opposite House, Beijing
Where the Locals Are
Energy courses through this eye-popping design hotel, from the art-filled lobby to the four superb restaurants and bars, which draw an ideal balance of guests and non-guests alike. The location helps: right at the white-hot center of Sanlitun, a retail-and-nightlife hub beloved by Beijing’s creative class. Come sundown, they flock to the Opposite House’s Mesh bar for Sichuan Sours, then head to the stylish Jing Yaa Tang for cuminy lamb skewers, mapo tofu and one of the city’s best versions of Peking duck. From $334; theoppositehouse.com.
Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal
Drink Wine, Feel Better
Six Senses made its name in Asia, offering wellness-focused, eco-friendly escapes in beautiful settings. Its first Western outpost tweaks that formula by adding—rather crucially, we’d say—wine. The 57-room estate has the requisite state-of-the-art spa, but also a dedicated “wine concierge,” who’ll arrange visits to local quintas, cruises down the river (the best way to see the vineyards) and winemaker-for-a-day programs (which may involve stomping grapes in a traditional stone lagar). From $285; sixsenses.com.
J.K. Place Roma, Rome
Aperitivo Hour, All Day
A stay at this lovely 30-room design hotel just off the Via del Corso feels like spending the night with your most stylish (and indulgent) Roman friend. Around every polished corner some unexpected treat awaits: fresh-pressed juice or Prosecco at check-in, Aperol spritzes and slices of delectable nonna cake in the afternoons. Finish the night at the bar with a J.K. Sour, made with Disaronno, passion fruit and lemon juice. From $635; jkroma.com.
St. Regis Aspen Resort, Colorado
King of the Hills
Few Aspen hotels do après-anything as well as the St. Regis. Heck, even dogs get the VIP treatment here: plush beds, custom menus, baths and robes (no joke). Should you opt for a massage in lieu of your morning hike, a “dog butler” will gladly hit the trails with your pup. From $450; stregisaspen.com.
Laucala Island, Fiji
Does Your Hotel Have Its Own Wagyu Herd?
This one does. It also has its own coconut plantation, pastures full of Fijian sheep, and a 240-acre farm growing everything from mango and passion fruit to the orchids in your villa. Fiji’s 4.5-square-mile, utterly private Laucala Island may be the planet’s most extravagant tropical resort. From $4,800; laucala.com.
The Beaumont, London
Where Every Day Feels Like Your Birthday
We can’t wait to return each night to cocktails at the American Bar or a late bite at the Colony Grill Room—and to the tasty gift that’s always waiting in our guest room. One night it’s three still-life- worthy satsumas, the next it’s the pastry chef’s ingenious nut brittle. These are the kind of turndown treats we’ll never turn down. From $483; thebeaumont.com.
Four Seasons Nam Hai, Vietnam
Street Food by the Beach
This beautiful all-villa property sits on the East Vietnam Sea, away from the busy ancient city. With incredible breakfast buffets bursting with ingredients from the resort’s garden, a new beach bar and terrific versions of classics like cao lau, there’s really no reason to leave. If you’re lucky during your stay, the grounds will be transformed into a duong bo song, a street-food market with hawker stall favorites like banana blossom salad and lemongrass pork skewers. From $675; fourseasons.com.
Hotel Eumelia, Greece
The Island Idyll
An orchard of 1,000 olive trees, lush plots of organic lettuces, stucco guesthouses with geothermal heating and housemade olive oil bath products—this Peloponnese retreat is as green as it is quintessentially Greek, with eco-credentials matching its next-level comforts. Learn to cook pita and gogges, a beloved local pasta; or just savor the chef’s herb-filled grape leaves and spinach pies with peppery Sfela cheese. From $106; eumelia.com.
Hoshinoya Karuizawa, Japan
Soak in Japanese Tradition
When you’re not dining on Kasuke beef shabu-shabu or artful bento boxes at this ryokan, two hours outside of Tokyo, you’re likely bathing in one of the mineral-rich springs for which this region is famous. The property also has a meditation bath—a series of restorative pools and waterfalls. From $1,400 for two nights; hoshinoyakaruizawa.com.
Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico
The Rule Breaker
Resort Rule No. 487: Big brands are rarely in touch with the nuances of local cuisine, let alone local ingredients. Delicious exception: Rosewood Mayakoba, on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, where chef Juan Pablo Loza uses herbs and produce grown on the property in soulful Yucatecan dishes like grilled octopus with achiote and pineapple or a fork-tender cochinita pibil. And don’t miss the field-fresh chaya juice, which is made with a bright, leafy green that’s similar to spinach. From $695; rosewoodhotels.com.
Ruckomechi Camp, Zimbabwe
The Sybarite’s Safari
The setting is among Africa’s finest: smack-dab on the sparkling Zambezi River, inside the 848-square-mile Mana Pools National Park. After a day in the wild, you’re welcomed back to this exquisite 10-tent camp with Zambezi bream bathed in butter-lemon sauce, and crisp vegetable spring rolls with chile-ginger jam. Meals are served alfresco on the riverbank while lumbering elephants snack alongside you on the pods of albida trees. From $740; wilderness-safaris.com.
Satellite Island, Tasmania
Worth the 26+ Hour Trip
There’s no chef, no bar and no room service, and yet Satellite Island has some of the best food we’ve ever tasted. Less hotel than luxury homestay, your kitchen will be stocked with everything you’ll need for a days-long, self-catered feast. Did we mention the chicken coop, where you’ll gather still-warm eggs each morning, or the tidal pools full of ready-to-shuck oysters and mussels? This isn’t a hotel, it’s an alternate reality. From $1,100; satelliteisland.com.au.
Hotel Plaza Athénée, Paris
You’re Gonna Need More Pastry
No question, you should begin your vacances with a perfect croissant or pain au chocolat (or both) at La Galerie. But fashion-house execs and Parisian power players know the pro move here is afternoon tea, served with artful sweets (piña colada–style roll cakes, raspberry-and-pistachio Merveilles, delicate grapefruit cheesecakes) and elegant pots of the hotel’s own fig, grape and quince tea. From $1,217; dorchestercollection.com.
Babylonstoren, South Africa
What a Wine Estate Should Taste Like
On nearly 500 acres east of Cape Town, airy rooms overlook vineyards and eight acres of gardens bursting with Cape sour figs, spiky jelly melon cucumbers and fat calabash gourds. Spend sun-drenched days playing pétanque or canoeing on the farm dam. At the cheerful provisions shop, stock up on sheep-milk cheeses, cherry preserves and superb bread, made from wheat grown and milled on the property. From $300; babylonstoren.com.
Awasi Patagonia, Chile
The Last Delicious Frontier
This Relais & Chateaux property is in one of the most remote regions of South America, yet chef Federico Ziegler manages to turn out superbly innovative dishes that pair perfectly with Chilean wines. Guest villas have locally woven throws, wood-burning stoves, and views of the Torres del Paine mountain range and the Patagonian Steppe through a wall of windows. From $3,200 for three nights all-inclusive; awasipatagonia.com.
Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills
The Sweet Life in L.A.
Hit the gorgeous spa for the decadent, hydrating citrus soufflé treatment or a nourishing superfood body wrap, then follow it up with Champagne and some of our favorite desserts anywhere in the country. Pastry whiz Chris Ford gives nostalgic treats an elegant makeover at The Blvd. His strawberry shortcake layers fresh and pureed fruit atop a verrine of strawberry panna cotta, fromage blanc mousse and a white chocolate dome that shatters to add even more texture. Hey, there are already enough people on diets in Los Angeles. From $595; fourseasons.com.
The Agritourism Visionary
Sustainable-food pioneer Anya Fernald has transformed a jungle eco-lodge into a high-end model of self-sufficiency, taking locavore living to the next level. Guests can pick cacao and leave with bars of chocolate or visit the garden where farmers grow limes, coconut and pitaya for cocktails. Mornings in the 16 treetop suites start with wake-up calls from howler monkeys, just in time for a delivery of pastries, fresh fruit and coffee roasted at the resort. From $305; belcampobz.com.
Blackberry Farm, Tennessee
The Ultimate Farm Stay
Long before agritourism and farm-to-table were household terms, this family-owned Smoky Mountains retreat epitomized a luxe approach to agrarian life. Start your day with berry griddle cakes topped with pecan-honey butter, then tour the farm and sample produce straight from the fields. End it with dinner and incredible housemade cheeses, paired with wine from the resort’s impressive 160,000-bottle cellar. From $845; blackberryfarm.com.
Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
Ocean Views and Legendary Wines
All 22 suites on this 6,000-acre working sheep-and-cattle farm have spectacular views of the orchards, vineyards and precipitous cliffs of Hawke’s Bay. A domed silo holds a wine cellar stocked with the award-winning Bordeaux blends for which the region is known. The dinner menu celebrates incredible local lamb and beef as well as vegetables from the resort’s garden, which grows 37 types of tomatoes. From $790; capekidnappers.com.
Como Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos
In this age of food-first travel, Caribbean resorts often lag behind the culinary curve. Not Parrot Cay. Yes, it’s one of the prettiest resorts you’ll ever see, ringed by talcum-white beaches and translucent waters, but it’s the Asian-inflected food—healthful, flavorful, thoughtful, delightful—that draws us back again and again. Just wait till you try the Green Goddess soup, made with watercress, spinach and milk from coconuts grown on-island. Plant your own coconut tree when you tour the resort’s two-acre plantation. From $650; comohotels.com.
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