35 top hotel restaurants you need to add to your itinerary
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Hotel restaurants sometimes get a bad rap. But for every mediocre lobby cafeteria, there are just as many spectacular restaurants that just happen to be located in hotels.
We’re not talking about the places where you grab a bite before a long day of sightseeing out of convenience. We’re talking about the places that are so good, you should make time in your itinerary to go to — whether or not you’re actually staying in the hotel.
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Of course, you’ll still want to make a reservation if possible, and we have a few strategies that might help. We’re big fans of restaurant booking service Resy, since you can set alerts for times that a requested reservation shows up (take note, frequent flyer programs!). There’s also OpenTable, which now lets you redeem OpenTable Dining Points for hotel stays through Kayak. If that fails, Amex Concierge is going to be your best bet. Select American Express cardholders have access to this special service that will help you with tours, events and yes, even hard-to-get restaurant reservations. The latter can really come in handy when traveling internationally, as many countries have their own restaurant reservation online platforms, rendering sites like Resy and OpenTable out for the count.
No matter how you get the reservation — or if you just show up early and hope for the best — at any of these places, make sure you’re paying with a card that earns you bonus points on dining at restaurants. Our favorites are the American Express® Gold Card (4x at restaurants), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x) and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x). I mean, is there anything better than stuffing your face with pizza or bagels knowing all the money you just spent will be funding your next vacation? We didn’t think so.
We rounded up some of our favorites here, but we know this list is only the tip of the iceberg. Book a table, pack your stretchy pants and sound off in the comments below to add to the list.
Located on the ground floor of The Bowery Hotel in New York City, Gemma is known for its A+ Italian-American fare and A-list celebrity sightings. After dinner, grab a seat in the wood-paneled lobby around the roaring gas fireplace.
Transport yourself back to Rome while sitting in Gramercy Park Hotel, in Manhattan’s eponymous neighborhood. Don’t skip the cacio e pepe.
Get the chicken for two and get ready to people-watch in this acclaimed spot in the — you guessed it — Nomad Hotel.
You come to this restaurant in The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, for the upscale European food. And of course, the mouth-watering seafood tower. Find it in one of New York City’s oldest skyscrapers in the financial district.
Because you can never have enough Italian places in New York City or on this list. This one dishes out chef Andrew Carmellini’s pastas and pizzas in the William Vale hotel, on so-called “Hotel Row” in Williamsburg, and it’s worth the trip out of Manhattan.
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The Bazaar by José Andrés
Post up at the SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection property in Beverly Hills, and spend your day enjoying Spanish-inspired tapas. Get there in time for happy hour on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and order the jamón Ibérico.
This is, quite possibly, one of the best Sunday brunches in the world. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a beautiful boutique hotel in South Florida, either.
The Michelin stars at the elegant Taj Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco aren’t for nothing. Chef Srijith Gopinathan serves up Indian-inspired dishes with fresh California ingredients.
You can never go wrong with dinner at Nobu, especially when it’s in one of the group’s hotels. We particularly like the restaurants in Miami and inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. You can leverage elite status from a status match to get top-tier Diamond status within the Caesars Hotels and Resorts chain, and use the annual $100 dinner credit at Nobu.
Los Fuegos By Francis Mallmann
If the decor alone isn’t enticing enough to come to this hot spot at the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach, the award-winning Argentinian cuisine should be. Expect your dishes to have plenty of char and smoke flavors, and opt to sit inside, at a leopard booth, for the full, over-the-top experience.
At Chapulín, in the Presidente InterContinental in Mexico City, diners can experience traditional Mexican dishes such as tostadas de escamoles (don’t Google it, just order it), the cochinita pibil (pork loin and rib-eye cooked in a banana leaf) and, of course, garlic-and-chili chapulines.
Find this upscale restaurant dreamed up by famed Mexican chef Enrique Olvera at The Cape, a Thompson Hotel outside Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Here, Mexican ingredients are prepared using Peruvian and Japanese techniques. If it’s on the menu, order the bluefin tuna sashimi with freshly shaved wasabi and the white tequila cocktail with avocado, chamomile, lime and sake.
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This hotspot in the Four Seasons Buenos Aires is one of Latin America’s “top 50 restaurants,” just in case you needed another excuse to go to the Four Seasons. Afterward, grab a drink at Pony Line, which is a delightfully playful space specializing in Argentinian wines and local beers.
The Grand Hyatt in São Paulo boasts some of the best Japanese food outside of Japan.
Ristorante Hotel Cipriani
We dare you to find someone who travels to Paris, France and doesn’t consider coming back to the restaurant at Hôtel Costes more than once. Order the strawberries. Trust us on this.
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British comfort food is the name of the game here at this London haunt in Ian Schrager’s Edition Hotel. It’s like having dinner in an impossibly chic portrait gallery.
We’d be remiss not to include the famed Chiltern Firehouse in London (try the black-truffle-and-walnut pasta or the rib-eye steak). Added bonus: It’s part of the Amex Global Dining Collection.
Kerridge’s Bar & Grill
Related: The 17 best restaurants in London
Tourists and locals alike flock to Amsterdam’s Vermeer for upscale European cuisine. It’s located inside NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace, an upscale property comprising 17th-century townhouses and a chapel from the 1400s.
New York Grill
A casual but incredibly delicious sushi ya in the Hotel & Residence Roppongi in Tokyo, travelers an expect quality fish at affordable prices.
Lobster Bar and Grill
Enjoy fine food, fine wine and fine dining at the Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong.
It’s next to impossible to narrow down the best Chinese food in Shanghai, but T’ang Court at The Langham, Hong Kong is definitely up there.
It’s a special occasion dining destination, but if you’re in Singapore, isn’t that in itself the occasion? This Michelin-starred spot in the Hilton hotel receives ingredients from Japan and Europe twice a week.
You’ll find some of Singapore’s best Chinese food at the Goodwood Park Hotel outpost of Min Jiang. Brass, polished wood and traditional pendant lamps make this an incredibly evocative space to dine out.
Enjoy Michelin-starred Cantonese dining at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. It even boasts hand-painted tableware.
The term “wine estate” doesn’t even do it justice. The grounds are absolutely breathtaking, and it has a menu and wine list to match. A visit here, to the Cape Winelands, will be a highlight of your trip to South Africa.
The Olive Restaurant
The restaurant at The Olive Exclusive, an all-suite five-star hotel in Windhoek, Namibia is worth the trip alone.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: There are few things better in life than dining by the water. The Oberoi Beach Resort in Mauritius is another prime example.
Part restaurant, guest house and organic farm, Brae has defied definition to become one of the most celebrated restaurants in Australia. The prix-fixe menu at this Birregurra, Victoria culinary destination is set daily ($290) and includes whatever’s fresh from the farm. Think: red garlic, Chantenay carrots and Kittyhawk wheat.
Featured photo courtesy of The Bowery Hotel.
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