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Food + Drink

10 Food Hotels of Your Dreams

From in-lobby food trucks to celeb chef room service, food has become as vital to a good hotel stay as a nice bed. So it makes sense that some chefs have decided to skip the middle man and open their own hotels. Nicola McCormack checks into the tastiest chef- and restauranteur-owned stays around the world

See recent posts by Nicola McCormack

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Joël Robuchon La Grande Maison, Bordeaux

Legendary French chef Joël Robuchon has 28 Michelin stars and the culinary equivalent of a Nobel Prize. Wine magnate Bernard Magrez owns four of the most legendary wine estates in Bordeaux and a few more in, oh, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Japan, Morocco and California. They’re the perfect pairing behind the new La Grande Maison, a hotel tucked within a 19th century mansion in Bordeaux. The idea is to recapture a time when Bordeaux families invited friends to their grand maison for good food and wine, and the decor reflects that refined, Napoleon III style — it’s all very “à la francaise,” right down to the Hermes products in the bathrooms. With only six deluxe rooms and an informal 25-seat lounge focused on one course/one glass servings, it’s pretty much the dream foodie stay. Those not lucky enough to be bedding down for the night can try for a reservation at the hotel’s 45-seat restaurant, split into two elegant dining rooms. Robuchon hopes to add a few more stars to his Michelin constellation, so you better reserve now.

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Nobu Matsuhisa Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Nobu Matsuhisa’s first foray into the hotel world came last year with the opening of Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace. If Vegas seems like an unlikely location, consider the 181 zen-style rooms as an antidote to the clubbing, gambling, and neon frenzy outside and you’ll appreciate its place in Sin City. Architect/designer David Rockwell has taken traditional Japanese décor and given it a contemporary spin, with a modern take on Japanese lanterns, calligraphy brushstrokes on the walls and a monochrome color scheme in grays and creams. The 327-seat restaurant, where hotel guests get preferential seating, provides all the hits that made Nobu’s name—tempura, sashimi, sushi, black cod with miso—but with two teppanyaki grill tables and dishes unique to Vegas. But you don’t even have to leave your room to get a taste of the master’s fare: just order the bento box room service.

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Alain Ducasse L’Andana, Tuscany, Italy

Alain Ducasse was the first chef in the world to go three-for-three, owning three-starred Michelin restaurants in three different cities (Paris, Monaco and New York). His 33-room L'Andana hotel in Tuscany, housed in what was once a Medici villa, is no slouch either. Set in the 500-acre La Badiola Estate among rows of grape vines and a classic Italian garden, it’s picture-postcard Tuscany. Twenty bedrooms and 13 suites are spread over two wings of the main building, connected by a winter garden. Décor is traditional Tuscan just shy of ornamental, with rich fabrics in ochre and purple paired with neutral gray and beige. A former granary with exposed brick and roughly hewn wooden beams houses his 80-seat Trattoria Toscana. The elegantly rustic setting matches the food, made entirely with products from local farmers, olive oil made on property and rosemary from the bushes lining the path to the dining room. Even the spa is a delicious experience with a menu of cakes and herb teas listed alongside the treatments — panna cotta and fruits, for example, with an ESPA facial.

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Tom Colicchio The Topping Rose House, Bridgehampton

New York’s movers and shakers have long loved star chef Tom Colicchio’s empire of New York restaurants. So it only makes sense that he would join them among their second homes out in the Hamptons. In 2013, the Top Chef judge took charge of The Topping Rose House, a restaurant and hotel housed in a restored 1842 Greek revival mansion. The Bridgehampton property, with a modern addition by architect Roger Ferris & Partners, has 22 rooms—eight in the main house and 14 modern cottages—with muted walls and upholstery, colorful Madeline Weinrib rugs and a rotating collection of contemporary art curated by Winston Wächter Fine Art. A spa is located below the Modern Studio, which overlooks a heated, outdoor pool, but the main event is the food. The hotel’s chic 50-seat restaurant is the embodiment of farm-to-table with produce grown on the property’s one-acre Topping Rose Farm as well as ingredients from other local farmers and fishermen.

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Chris Corbin & Jeremy King The Beaumont, London, England

London’s hottest restaurants often have two things in common: Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. The duo behind red-hot celeb faves Le Caprice, The Ivy and The Wolseley are known for their ability to set a glamorous, almost cinematic scene. Their new Mayfair hotel takes that to the next level, from the 1927 façade to the Deco pineapple chandeliers to the ROOM, a one-bedroom suite created by artist Antony Gormley that perches like a monochrome lego man on the south side of the exterior. The remaining interiors are decidedly traditional, with 73 guest rooms, two bars, and a marble and chrome spa with all the curves, glamorous antiques, and checkerboard flooring you’d expect in a Deco property. There’s plenty of throwback glamour to go around in the Colony Grill Room with chef Lee Ward’s classic dishes (lobster a la Russe, lamb cutlets, strawberries romanoff) and you’ll always be on the list at the Cub Room, a clubby little lounge for old school cocktails that’s reserved for guests only.

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Francis Mallmann El Garzon, Uruguay

Fans of Argentine chef Francis Mallmann’s style of cooking (on an open wood fire and a cast iron griddle) will go that extra mile to eat at his restaurants. It’s a passion he clearly depended on when he opened a restaurant in a non-descript railway village 20 miles inland from the resort town of José Ignacio in Uruguay. If you’re going to come that far for a meal, you might as well spend the night. So Mallmann also opened an attractive boutique hotel for diners to lay their weary heads after overindulging on braised rib eye steak, embers vegetables and chimichurri sauce. An old red brick general store houses the five-room hotel, but it’s a decidedly glam affair with ornamental candelabras, fireplaces and freestanding tubs. There’s also a garden, a swimming pool and a poetry library. But we think the food is inspiration enough.

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Rosa Maria Esteva Hotel Omm, Barcelona, Spain

Restaurateur Rosa Maria Esteva is something of a legend in Spain. Along with her son, Tomas Tarruella, she opened El Mordisco back in 1983 followed by a successful roll call of eateries (17 at last count) in Barcelona and Madrid—most recently Luzi Bombón in 2012. In 2003, they opened Hotel Omm in Barcelona’s Eixample district, with 86 stylish rooms, black-walled hallways, and a white slab façade with slits that reveal the windows. Esteva attributes much of the hotel’s success to its popularity among locals who are regulars at Omm’s spa and Michelin-starred Roca MOO restaurant, run by the Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca fame. Plus, she keeps a watchful eye over proceedings, literally, by living above the hotel.

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Tara Lazar Alcazar Palm Springs, Palm Springs

Chef-Owner Tara Lazar followed two successful restaurants in the Design District with the opening of the funky 34-room Alcazar Palm Springs alongside her husband Marco Rossetti in 2011. The restored 1950s Spanish Colonial property has 34 dazzling white rooms with a midcentury vibe, all surrounding a pool that twinkles at night with fairy lights. Since the hotel is in the same complex as two of their eateries — Cheeky’s is a breakfast-and-lunch spot and Birba is a pizzeria — and just along the street from their newest opening JIAO, serving Asian street food, you’ve got a global smorgasbord right outside your room.

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Charlie Palmer Mystic Hotel, San Francisco

Chef Charlie Palmer opened his 79-room modern boutique hotel in the former Victorian-era Crescent Hotel in 2012. The downtown property’s update, completed last spring, introduced contemporary rooms with exposed brick walls and a monochromatic palette with poppy accents. Sensibly, the popular Burritt Room bar was left untouched, sultry chandeliers and all. But this being a “chef-driven boutique hotel” Palmer added a 125-seat, speakeasy-style restaurant called the Burritt Tavern with modern American dishes like Bay Area king salmon and grilled Niman Ranch rib eye. With six private booths hidden behind velvet curtains and historic images of San Fran on the walls, the film-noir name and vibe won’t be lost on fans of The Maltese Falcon.

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Sébastien Bras Bras, Laguiole, France

The modernist glass dining room of Bras hovers like a spaceship above the rolling countryside in the Midi-Pyrénées, fitting considering its innovative role as one of the pioneering chef-owned properties in the world. Michel Bras and his son Sébastien opened the property in 1992 and it soon topped foodie wishlists, earning three Michelin stars. The 15 minimalist rooms come in pale woods with white walls, simple lines, and sliding plate glass windows. The overall effect encourages guests to gaze out upon the surrounding nature… that’s when they’re not looking down at their plate, each a meticulously designed work of art, vibrant with the ingredients of the Aubrac plateau.



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