No longer is award-winning food resigned to "perk" status during a hotel stay. Properties around the world are making their food programs an integral part of the experience, where culinarily curious travelers can indulge in the art of cooking, farming, and eating like a pro. Forget thread counts—breakfast, lunch, and dinner are the highlights at these seven best hotels for foodies. Dig in.
The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, WA
James Beard Award-winning chef Blaine Wetzel describes the seasonal prix fixe menu he serves at the legendary Willows Inn as a “story about the land.” The cozy, seven-room cottage's position at the center of the San Juan Islands’ archipelago is a perfect base for telling tales about the Pacific Northwest waters through its food, which is fished, foraged, and farmed daily. Pre-set breakfasts highlight local eggs, cured meats and cheeses, and fruits and vegetables from the inn’s farm, while midday snacks like boudin blanc sausage served with fresh warm bread tide guests over until the day’s crescendo: a dinner of, for example, Lummi scallops, sea urchin in fermented broth, and island pears over toasted kale leaves.
Inn at Little Washington, Washington, VA
Travelers who have fantasized about being treated like European kings or queens don’t have to cross the Atlantic to make their dreams come true—at least for a weekend. Designed by renowned London set designer Joyce Evans, this English-style inn features opulent rooms and two-story suites with scenic balconies, not to mention Bvlgari bath products. But that’s not the main draw—meals here are performances in their own right. Dreamed up by celebrated chef Patrick O’Connell, imaginative dishes arrive at the table in a theatrical setting (think wall-sized tapestries, tenting ceilings, and tables illuminated by low-hanging silk lampshades). On any given evening, your tasting menu might offer fit-for-royalty courses like American Osetra caviar, baby lamb loin with caesar salad ice cream, or lacquered milk-fed porcelet.
Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
As one of the pioneers in the farm-to-table movement, Blackberry Farm is better suited for traveling foodies who'd rather roll up their sleeves in the garden than idle all day by the pool. On a pastoral 4,200-acre farm and estate in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the food here has a real sense of place: ingredients are tilled from the gardens, milk and cheese is provided from the livestock, and wild mushrooms and blackberries are foraged from the surrounding area. Even the award-winning craft brewery utilizes sour cherries and persimmons picked right off the grounds. Enjoy the fruits of their labor during dinner at Farmstead, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant, known for its hyper-seasonal dishes like thyme-basted golden beets and hen of the woods mushrooms drizzled with pine syrup.
Cavallo Point, Sausalito, CA
Travel eight miles outside one of America’s best dining cities, just across the Golden Gate Bridge, and you'll find this luxury lodge with a world-class cooking school. Here, the Cavallo Point Cooking School recruits celebrated chefs to teach personalized classes in its stunning farmhouse-style demonstration kitchen, using organic produce sourced from farms around the Bay Area. Each class focuses on a single style—Spanish tapas, tacos, sushi, fresh pasta—and highlights artful presentation. Throughout the year, the hotel hosts elaborate culinary celebrations like the Lexus Culinary Classic, in the spring, which unites 15 notable chefs and 20 vintners from across the U.S. for a weekend of unabashed epicurean indulgence.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Albuquerque, NM
Consider this landmark inn the Chez Panisse of the southwest: intimate, creative yet approachable, and all about farm-to-fork food. The New Mexican architectural gem, originally a private residence on a dairy and sugarbeet farm in the 1930s, is now a chic country inn and working organic farm in the Rio Grande River Valley. The restaurant’s menu consist of food from their own farm—a 25-acre expanse planted with cottonwood trees, lavender, and organic produce—as well as from their neighbors, like the homemade peach gelato with lavender or the “field plate” tossed with sautéed greens, toasted sesame seeds, spiced pecans, currants, and quail eggs. Aspiring florist? Check out its annual summer Lavender Lab workshops, which are all about cooking and decorating with—you guessed it—lavender.
Wequassett Resort and Gold Club, Chatam, MA
This classic Cape Cod hideaway is marked by its salty breezes that sweep off the Atlantic, and décor that nods to the Cape’s nautical lifestyle. It’s also one of the best spots to enjoy Cape Cod’s finest fresh seafood, thanks to a dining experience rivaled only by the property's views found at every turn, from the area's Insta-worthy lapboard cottages and salt marshes and woodlands to Pleasant Bay and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. If you're in the mood for native Atlantic cuisine and seasonal ingredients, you’ll find it at the hotel’s famed restaurant, which dishes out sea-centric bites like fresh scallop crudo, macadamia nut gazpacho with caviar, and lobster-tarragon ravioli.
SingleThread Farm-Restaurant-Inn, California
This Sonoma County newcomer stands out for its ability to flip the conventional hotel-restaurant concept on its head: rather than your typical hotel with a restaurant, this is a restaurant that also happens to have a hotel, showing just how seriously SingleThread takes its cooking. For both lunches and dinners, chef Kyle Connaughton and his farmer wife Katina collaborate on an elaborate kaiseki-style menu that highlights Sonoma’s many micro-seasons. The experience begins with drinks on the roof, then moves downstairs to the formal dining room for a three-hour, 11-course experience that spotlights ingredients from the farm (guinea hen roulade and pumpkin purée; local farro in a matsutake mushroom broth), and—if you choose—concludes in one of five luxury guest rooms upstairs.