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By Chris Dwyer | CNN
For gastronomes on vacation, few places feature cuisine more high end than Michelin-starred restaurants in the world’s finest hotels and resorts.
From Bangkok to Piedmont and Hanoi to Tokyo, these ridiculously lovely hotels let you indulge in the finest culinary arts, enjoy world class wines and then stagger back to the comfort of your room.
Here are 20 of the finest tables around the world, some of the dishes you can expect to enjoy, and the rooms in which to lay your head after an epic feast. Just bear in mind that menus change with the seasons – and culinary inspiration – so the dishes mentioned here may not necessarily be available on your visit.
The Restaurant, Dolder Grand: Zurich, Switzerland
The Dolder Grand sits in the hills above Zurich and has attracted the likes of Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and the Rolling Stones as past guests. Filled with a collection of contemporary art, it’s a home away from home for Swiss high society and well heeled international travelers.
It may have a simple name, but “The Restaurant” is a culinary tour de force from chef Heiko Nieder, home to two Michelin stars as well as multiple other accolades. He frequently welcomes fellow acclaimed chefs from around the world in pop-up events and special dining partnerships.
Dishes such as beef brisket with snails, horseradish and cabbage, and “chili con carne” made with tomato, coffee and kidney bean ice cream, show the sort of culinary creativity and innovation at work, while one of Switzerland’s finest wine cellars makes for the perfect pairing.
Hjem: Northumberland, UK
A couple in both life and work, Swedish chef Alex Nietosvuori and restaurateur Ally Thompson from northeast England have made a humble spot called Hjem one of the UK’s most sought-after places to dine and spend the night.
Located in rolling hills near historic Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, Hjem – “home” in both Swedish and the local Northumbrian pronunciation – offers cozy rooms and a stellar one Michelin star tasting menu using sensational local produce from Hexhamshire Organics.
Small bites may include a tartlet of venison, celeriac and wild garlic, or North Sea trout with preserved rhubarb and dill oil, while lobster tail and morel mushroom is the new take on surf and turf you’ve been waiting for. Be sure not to miss their epic breakfast, included in the room rate – it features more first class local ingredients, from fruit and cheeses to smoked meats and fish.
Piazza Duomo: Alba, Italy
Enrico Crippa is one of Italy’s most renowned and respected chefs, heading up the three Michelin-starred Piazza Duomo in Alba, Piedmont. Unassuming at first glance, the town is known as a gastronomic paradise thanks to truffles, chestnuts, mushrooms and world-class wines being just some of the produce on the doorstep.
As a result, almost everything he serves comes from either Piazza Duomo’s own garden, or from within a 50-mile radius of the restaurant. Crippa spent a number of years in Japan, learning to love the nation’s obsession with quality and elegance in food; a stint with Spanish legend Ferran Adrià further helped him to further hone his philosophy.
A salad called “21, 31, 41, 51” is one of his signature dishes as it reflects the astonishing number of different leaves, vegetables and herbs that are needed to prepare it. Raw beef from the Langhe (the local area) is another specialty, while the wine list is one of Italy’s finest, thanks in part to the restaurant’s owners being Piedmont’s Ceretto winemaking dynasty. Rooms exude Italian style and warmth.
Côte By Mauro Colagreco, Capella Bangkok: Thailand
Argentinian maestro Mauro Colagreco was the first ever non-French chef to earn three Michelin stars in France, at Mirazur on the famed French Riviera. Consequently, he brings a remarkable resume to Côte, his restaurant at Capella Bangkok, thousands of miles away on the banks of the Thai capital’s Chao Phraya river.
The elegant dining room overlooks the busy “river of kings,” but eyes will be firmly fixed on the dishes from a menu which cleverly positions itself as “Riviera to River,” combining textures and tastes from France with traditional Thai ingredients like lemongrass, ginger and pomelo.
Open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday, Côte by Mauro Colagreco lets diners eat either à la carte or choose from a seven or nine-course tasting menu. Standouts include the decadent choux pastry filled with chicken mousse, foie gras and black trumpet mushroom, served with a black winter truffle sauce.
Chaat, Rosewood Hong Kong
High above Hong Kong harbor, Chaat at Rosewood Hong Kong has become a must-visit for fans of pan-Indian cuisine, thanks to the innovation and execution of chef de cuisine Manav Tuli. Although only open since 2020, it was quickly awarded a Michelin star thanks to its flawless, creative renditions of Indian dishes.
For example, his take on samosas, the beloved Indian snack, means delicate cones filled with spiced jackfruit. Other streetfood dishes include Pav Bhaji, a delicious spicy vegetable curry that is mashed and served on a soft bread roll.
Tandoor ovens mean that chicken, fish and paneer cheese are beautifully rendered with just the right amount of smoke and charring, while the range of breads they cook reflect India’s culinary diversity. After dinner, rooms and suites at Rosewood Hong Kong are some of the finest in the city, with jaw-dropping views of the harbor.
Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons: Oxfordshire, UK
Chef Raymond Blanc is one of the most recognizable and beloved French residents in the UK. He’s cooked for everyone from Lady Gaga to Queen Elizabeth II, first won two Michelin stars way back in 1984 and astonishingly has held onto them ever since – as well as adding a “green Michelin star,” awarded for sustainability.
Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, a Belmond Hotel, is a picture perfect, honey-colored manor house dating from the 15th century. It’s home to one of England’s finest walled gardens, where a cornucopia of produce includes dozens of types of vegetables, an expansive orchard, herbs, flowers and even a “mushroom valley.”
Blanc and his team, led by executive head chef Luke Selby, craft it into sublime dishes served in their dining room overlooking perfectly manicured lawns. A “fruit soup” with mint and basil is light and refreshing, while a combination of sea bass, scallop and mash with a red wine sauce is beautifully balanced. The trio of chocolate, featuring a fondant, ice cream and marquise, makes for a perfect ending.
Plénitude, Cheval Blanc Paris: France
A relatively new arrival in the City of Light, Cheval Blanc Paris has been the talk of the town since opening in late 2021 in the heart of the capital on the right bank of the Seine. With just 72 rooms and suites, each has a dedicated butler and large windows with stellar views over Notre Dame and the famous skyline.
Gastronomic restaurant Plénitude by chef Arnaud Donckele marked an extraordinary debut by being awarded the pinnacle of three Michelin stars just six months after opening. The 26-seater is booked up months ahead for Donckele’s dishes which are defined by his true mastery of sauces, the backbone of French cuisine.
Menus are driven by the season so could include scarlet shrimp with artichoke under a sauce called “Chopin Carmin,” created from a dazzling mix of ingredients including Thai basil, shrimp broth and bergamot. As one would hope in France, the desserts – by Maxime Frédéric – also wow.
Ynyshir: Powys, UK
A remote coastal corner of Wales has become one of the UK’s hottest culinary destinations thanks to Ynyshir, a restaurant and inn which has won two Michelin stars and promises an immersive and unique dining experience. That’s thanks to a DJ playing while you dine, the flames of a very open kitchen and menus from chef Gareth Ward which can stretch to 31 – yes, 31 – courses over four hours.
Luckily, they’re all pretty much bite-sized, but these bites have had gastronomes raving. The burger, for example, sees local Welsh wagyu aged, brined, minced, flavored with ginger and scallions, then smoked on the grill. Fermented lettuce, gherkins and a mayonnaise made from charred bread makes for a one-bite wonder.
Rooms are uniquely furnished and most overlook the Cambrian mountains and 14 acres of grounds, where after-dinner walks are popular, given those 31 courses. One thing to note: given the long tasting menu, dietary requirements cannot be catered for.
Il Ristorante Niko Romito, Bulgari Resort Dubai: UAE
Italian chef Niko Romito was one of the big winners in the inaugural Dubai Michelin Awards, as his eponymous restaurant at Bulgari Resort Dubai was awarded two stars. In a stellar career, Romito has won critical and public acclaim and is widely respected by his peers for his three Michelin-starred restaurant Reale in Italy’s Abruzzo region.
In Dubai, his resident chef Giacomo Amicucci takes the same approach, meaning creative but never gimmicky takes on Italian dishes. “Spaghetti and tomato” couldn’t sound more humble but becomes a game-changer by using cutting edge extraction and reduction techniques to innovate two classic ingredients, while the risotto alla milanese is a brilliant take on one of Italy’s best loved dishes.
Located on an island reached by a causeway, the Bulgari Resort Dubai features villas, rooms and suites which epitomize Italian style – especially the 1,300 square foot Bulgari Suite with a wraparound terrace and views over the multimillion dollar yachts below.
Located in the picturesque small town of Healdsburg in the heart of Sonoma wine country, restaurant-inn SingleThread is the creation of Kyle and Katina Connaughton. Since 2021, they have held three Michelin stars for their cuisine, which celebrates peerless produce from their sustainable farm just seven miles away.
The Connaughtons grow their world class ingredients based in part on the concept of “micro seasons,” where the year is broken down to 72 periods of five days each to ensure that produce reaches the kitchen at the absolute optimum ripeness. They worked for years at the acclaimed Michel Bras in Toya, Japan, and a Japanese ethos pervades SingleThread in design, elegant rooms – and food.
The menu changes weekly, but dishes could include venison hobayaki cooked over an open flame on a magnolia leaf with a carrot miso, or a dessert of rhubarb with green tea and almond cream. Presentation is everything, especially their famous appetizer, Summer in Sonoma, where small, elegant dishes such as lemon pannacotta topped with caviar are served surrounded by flowers and plants.
Le Saint-Martin, Château Saint-Martin Hotel & Spa: Provence, France
The French Riviera is famed for its sun-kissed produce, so Chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois has plenty to play with at Le Saint-Martin in Vence, in the hills overlooking the Côte d’Azur. Some ingredients in his one Michelin-starred restaurant come from the kitchen gardens in the grounds of the chateau which dates back to the 12th century and offers elegant rooms and suites.
The four course Le Saint-Martin menu – served with sweeping views towards the glittering Mediterranean – celebrates this local bounty, as well as traditions. Hake with fondant potato and fennel comes with a bouillabaisse juice inspired by the legendary fish stew of Marseille, while veal shank is accompanied by smoked bell pepper and zucchini. Head sommelier Vincent Arhuro ensures perfect wine pairings.
Lung King Heen, Four Seasons Hong Kong
Lung King Heen at Four Seasons Hong Kong made history in 2008 as the first Chinese restaurant in the world to receive three Michelin stars – an accolade it held until 2023, when it went down to two. The man who’s earned them again and again is Hong Kong born and bred chef Chan Yan Tak, who has more than half a century of experience in Cantonese cuisine.
Under his watch, the execution of every dish demonstrates the techniques, patience and creativity needed to take food to the next level. Exquisite dim sum could feature baked buns filled with barbecued pork and pine nuts, or delicate crispy scallops topped with fresh pear, shrimp paste and Yunnan ham.
Other classic dishes from China’s vast and diverse food landscape include shrimp coated in salted egg, and deep fried or roast Peking duck. The hotel also has a three-star restaurant, Caprice (for French fine dining), making this a ticket to somewhere bordering food paradise.
Pergola, Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel: Italy
La Pergola was the first and remains the only three Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome. Sitting in a roof garden atop the Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, you get a side order of views of the Eternal City along with sumptuous Mediterranean dishes from chef Heinz Beck.
Their homemade pasta is the star of the show. Fagotelli La Pergola are delicate parcels filled with pecorino cheese, egg yolks and whipped cream, served with slow-cooked veal and a zucchini and guanciale-based sauce. Risotto with baby squid, and saffron or lamb with carrots and myrtle sauce are other options from the à la carte menu, although the seven and 10-course tasting menus are popular.
As for the hotel side of things, you’ll find suites furnished with invaluable art pieces dating back three centuries, as well as terraces for impromptu al fresco parties.
Tapas Molecular Bar, Mandarin Oriental: Tokyo, Japan
Molecular cuisine essentially deconstructs familiar dishes and uses new approaches, techniques and technology to integrate flavor and texture, with often surprising results. High above the city of Tokyo, the single-starred Tapas Molecular Bar seats just eight diners who enjoy dishes stimulating the five senses from Kento Ushikubo, chef de cuisine.
Ushikubo majored in art and calls his selection of dishes an “art gallery” as he takes guests on a culinary world tour. One of his most celebrated creations is a donut filled with caviar and mascarpone cheese, paired with a glass of champagne. Another is a riff on the classic Spanish “bikini” ham and cheese sandwich, serving it with Iberico ham, truffle butter and three types of cheese.
Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo is located in the capital’s historical and cultural center of Nihonbashi, meaning that local craftspeople and artisan food producers are further draws for guests wanting a more authentic experience.
Raby Hunt: County Durham, UK
Chef James Close has had an unusual career path, starting out as a semi-pro golfer before pivoting to cuisine after taking over Raby Hunt, his parents’ countryside pub with cozy rooms in a small village outside Darlington in northeast England. He now runs it with his wife, Maria, who’s also the pastry chef.
Incredibly, Close has had no formal culinary training, yet Raby Hunt holds two Michelin stars, while he has never once missed a restaurant service – in 13 years. That single-minded dedication results in brilliant renditions of global dishes which form a tasting menu which lives long in the memory.
A toasted tortilla tostada with a chipotle crema and ahi is dressed in sesame with crispy leeks, while the tartare of 60-day aged beef, with a smoked eel cream and horseradish “snow” is stunning. An entree of rack of Herdwick lamb with anchovy emulsion and steamed romaine lettuce is another standout. Chef Maria then crafts incredible desserts to finish the menu in style, underlining her reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting pastry chefs.
Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer, Hotel Adlon Kempinski: Berlin, Germany
A gourmet restaurant in the heart of Berlin, looking out towards the Brandenburg Gate, Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer holds two Michelin stars. Young Swiss chef Reto Brändli integrates ingenuity into contemporary haute cuisine, taking influences and ideas from across Europe while also championing Asian touches.
Flavors and textures across the six, seven and eight course tasting menus combine in creations like sea bass with chicory, kohlrabi and orange, or wild turbot with grapefruit, celery and hazelnuts. Duck liver with variations of apples and sour cream also shows a seriously confident hand in the kitchen.
The restaurant’s elegant wood-paneled dining room exudes class and old world luxury, reflecting the Adlon’s storied history – past guests have included Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller.
Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands: Singapore
Japanese chef Tetsuya Wakuda made his name in Australia but has also held two Michelin stars in Singapore since 2017, thanks to his restaurant Waku Ghin at Marina Bay Sands. Guests can choose between the dining room, private dining areas or the signature Chef’s Table where the finest Japanese ingredients are prepared in front of you. There’s also the bar, which serves rare sakes and more than 100 cocktails along with your food.
Delicacies may include wasabi from Shizuoka or sea urchin from the cold waters of Hokkaido, picked by chef Tetsuya who has few rivals in his knowledge of Japanese seafood. On the plate, they’re transformed into dishes like the decadent marinated Botan shrimp with sea urchin and caviar, or simple but delicious grilled bamboo shoots with kinome miso with ground sansho leaves adding a citrus note.
It’s a short stroll to the elevators taking you up to the huge array of rooms housed in the Marina Bay Sands’ three towers, which have become a Singapore landmark – not least because of the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool which straddles them.
Marchal, Hotel d’Angleterre: Copenhagen, Denmark
Eating at the Hotel d’Angleterre is a historic occasion – since the restaurant here dates back to 1755. Indeed, the hotel started out as a restaurant, owned by Jean Marchal and Maria Coppy. Their inn would later expand and grow into the 92-room hotel that now surrounds it – and into Marchal, which opened in 2013 and has one Michelin star. Although proudly French in the 18th century, today executive chef Jakob de Neergaard intersperses French touches with his modern Nordic cuisine.
Diners can be tempted by an impressive selection of caviar, oysters and Spanish jamon iberico to kick off a meal in style. Entrees include Danish turbot that has been steamed in champagne, a chanterelle mushroom and truffle tart, and lobster with avocado and horseradish cream.
After dessert, there are 92 rooms to choose from. For those really splashing out, the Royal Suite overlooks The Royal Theater and has a spectacular fireplace, perfect for chilly Danish evenings.
Memories, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz: Zurich, Switzerland
At Memories, chef Sven Wassmer recently instigated a four-day week to give his team a greater work-life balance. That means there’s even more laser focus on execution and quality across lunch and dinner – and it’s paid off, with the Swiss Alps restaurant going from two to three Michelin stars in October 2022.
With an incredible local bounty of produce to play with, Wassmer’s approach is less is more – or as he says, “The longer I cook, the more I leave out.” Hence his signature dish of char from the nearby waters of Val Lumnezia is served with just burnt dairy cream and Douglas fir for a true taste of the Alps.
Diners can choose from seven, nine or 11-course tasting menus, before retiring to the hotel’s impressive array of rooms. If you need a rest, the spa is filled with thermal water from the adjacent Tamina Gorge.
Hibana by Koki, Capella Hanoi: Vietnam
Finally to Vietnam, where Michelin published its first ever guide in June 2023. Only four restaurants were awarded a hugely coveted star, including Hibana by Koki at the elegant Capella Hanoi.
Head chef Hiroshi Yamaguchi is a visionary master of teppanyaki, the technique involving cooking on a teppan (metal griddle). As always in Japanese cuisine, the ingredients are all. His meticulously sourced vegetables, seafood, meats and more are among the finest that money can buy. That translates for diners into courses including perfectly prepared Hokkaido crab, spiny lobster and Yaeyama Kyori beef. After dinner, head up to your whimsical, historically inspired room by designer Bill Bensley.
Chris Dwyer is a freelance food and travel writer, follow him on Instagram at @chrismdwyer
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