Forget the $30 continental breakfasts and forgettable buffets. Hotel dining has
reclaimed its space at the top of the world traveler’s food chain, providing a home to some of the best restaurants in town, and serving as an important testing-ground for new concepts
in fine dining.
The newest crop of
global hotel openings continue this trend, bringing world-class chefs, innovative wine programs and even an on-property Holstein cow to reinvent hotel food scenes from Northern Virginia to
the Middle East.
Add these new, refreshed, and soon-to-open hotels to your culinary travel planning for 2013. After all, your hotel should be as much a place to dine as a place to rest and recharge between food forays.
Located in the swanky Yorkville district, the new Four Seasons
has 259 guestrooms, a 1700-piece private art collection and Toronto’s first restaurant from master chef Daniel Boulud. Upon its October 2012 opening, the hotel’s Café Boulud quickly became one of the city’s hottest tables, serving classics like steak au poivre and Boulet’s incredible duck terrine. Its accompanying cocktail bar, dBar, has killer views overlooking bustling Bay St. and Yorkville Ave.
After a two-year renovation to an iconic national landmark on Valparaiso Bay, this 23-key boutique hotel opened in October 2012. elBulli alum Sergio Barroso heads up the kitchen at Alegre restaurant, which serves innovative takes on local ingredients like fresh salmon pickled in Chile’s national spirit Pisco, as well as a playful take on suckling pig with pate and potato confit.
Orient-Express’ El Encanto is not a new hotel, but it may seem like one come March 2013. The sweeping renovations to the L.A.-area property include the appointment of Chef Patrice Martineau, whose enthusiasm for California’s bounty includes a restaurant menu featuring locally grown produce and seafood, as evidenced in contemporary dishes like dashi-poached halibut and a savory seaweed custard with poached quail eggs. Chef Martineau has also commissioned an on-property Holstein cow, Ellie, for the freshest cheeses this side of I-405.
The first hotel from revered Iron Chef Nobu Matsuhisa will open within a remodeled tower in Caesars Palace in February 2013. Part of a new trend of chef-helmed hotels
worldwide, the David Rockwell-designed digs will have 181 guestrooms, and a 327-seat Nobu dining room. Room service will also be available from the restaurant, which means that you can indulge in Chef Matsuhisa’s signature rock shrimp tempura and miso black cod in a plush hotel robe. Which surely beats the hell out of a turkey club sandwich.
Opening in spring 2013, the St. Regis will be a major player in a city that knows from luxury accommodations. In addition to an 11,000-square-foot presidential suite, which has its own movie theatre and spa, the 283-key hotel will have the city’s first restaurant from Michelin-starred British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes. Rhodes 44 will overlook the city’s sweeping Corniche and serve the chef’s signature British cuisine with Middle Eastern touches.
The adorably named Salamander Resort & Spa will open in the heart of Virginia’s wine country in August 2013. Virginia vintners will provide an extensive collection of local wines, and Chef Todd Gray of the perennially popular Washington DC restaurant Equinox will create the menus for all restaurants across the resort’s 340 acres, including its 150-year-old stallion barn-turned-private dining space. Giddy up.