2011 Conde Nast Golden List: Hotels for foodies
First-class food is just one of the reasons to stay at these classic culinary gems.
Just around the corner from Lumpini Park in the centre of Bangkok, this 171-room sister to London’s famous Metropolitan is an ultra-modern hotel with Comme des Garçons staff uniforms, hand-woven silk curtains and paintings by Thai artist Natee Utarit. Guests can relax in the COMO Shambhala Urban Escape before heading down for cocktails in the stylish Met Bar.
X-factor The new Nahm restaurant, opened by chef David Thompson in September (Nahm London holds a Michelin star), is a showcase for such regional Thai delicacies as stir-fried baby squid with sugar-snap peas,
and coconut and turmeric crab curry.
Swissôtel The Stamford, Singapore
Right in the heart of the city, South-East Asia’s tallest hotel has 1,261 rooms and suites on 71 floors. All are decorated in a colourful, comfortable style and have stunning picture-window views of the Singapore skyline. The business facilities are second-to-none, though most guests will no doubt find the two outdoor pools, six tennis courts and Willow Stream Spa (with aromatherapy rooms, meditation alcoves and private VIP couple suites) a lot more fun.
X-factor Situated on the 70th floor, Equinox Restaurant (one of six at Swissôtel The Stamford) serves superb cuisine that’s every bit as dramatic as the views.
Swissôtel The Stamford: 2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882 (00 65 6338 8585; www.swissotel.com). Doubles from US$286
The Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai
After the terrorist attack of 2008 and a complete refurbishment (completed last spring), the Taj Mahal Palace officially reopened its doors on Indian Independence Day in August 2010. Housed in a 1903 building with a modern tower extension, the 560 rooms provide a choice of old-world charm in the palace, European style and Indian elegance in the tower, and regal luxury in the 44 suites. Public areas reflect Moorish, Oriental, Indian and Florentine influences with vaulted alabaster ceilings, hand-woven carpets and crystal chandeliers.
X-factor There are eight restaurants serving a wide range of cuisines, including Eastern Mediterranean at the rooftop Souk and Japanese at Wasabi by Morimoto.
The Taj Mahal Palace: Apollo Bunder, Mumbai, India (00 800 4 588 1825; www.tajhotels.com). Doubles from Rs31,000 (about £430)
Le Meurice, Paris
This 175-year-old Parisian grande dame is handily located in the 1st arrondissement, opposite the Tuileries and close to the Louvre. It has 120 rooms and 40 suites decorated in a Louis XVI style, but each of the seven floors has a different look. The top-floor Belle Etoile Suite has a 360-degree view from its terrace. The lobby, both restaurants and Bar 228 were recently redesigned by Philippe Starck; Restaurant le Dali features a huge ceiling canvas painted by Starck’s daughter, Ara.
X-factor Yannick Alléno’s cooking at the Restaurant le Meurice has won it three Michelin stars. His delicacies are served in a stunning dining room inspired by the Salon de la Paix at Versailles.
Le Meurice: 228 rue de Rivoli, Paris, France (00 33 1 44 58 10 10; www.lemeurice.com). Doubles from €810
Hesperia Tower, Barcelona
Designed by Richard Rogers in association with Spanish architects Alonso Balaguer, the 280-room, 107-metre high Hesperia Tower Hotel has become one of Barcelona’s most popular hotels since it opened in 2006. Rooms are decorated in a warm colour palette and feature stylish, contemporary furniture, Jacuzzis in the bathrooms and wonderful views of the Barcelona skyline. Facilities include a spa, sauna, solarium, pool and, in the Axis Bar, one of the city’s most buzzing hangouts.
X-factor The Evo restaurant, beneath a glass dome at the top of the tower, is a spectacular setting for Santi Santamaria’s contemporary Catalan cuisine.
Hesperia Tower: Gran Via 144. 08907 Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain (00 34 93 413 5000;www.hesperia.com). Doubles from €89
Hotel Splendido, Portofino
This former monastery in the millionaires’ playground of Portoﬁno has been one of Italy’s most glamorous retreats for more than 100 years, and has hosted everyone from Bogart and Bacall to Taylor and Burton. There are 64 rooms, including 35 suites, nearly all of which have balconies with commanding views across and beyond the picturesque harbour. Facilities include an outdoor saltwater infinity pool, a tennis court, a wellness centre and spa, plus access to the hotel’s motor boat. The hotel’s sister property, Splendido Mare, is a short walk away in Portofino’s village square.
X-factor La Terrazza’s open-air terrace, with its views over the bay, is the ideal place to enjoy chef Corrado Corti’s superb Italian regional cooking.
Hotel Splendido: 16 viale Baratta, Portoﬁno, Italy (00 39 0185 267801; www.hotelsplendido.com). Doubles from €975
Cape Lodge, Australia
This charming hotel is set in its own vineyard in Western Australia’s Margaret River wine-growing region. There are 22 bedrooms and suites, decorated in a contemporary style and showcasing original artwork, as well as a two-bedroom cottage and ﬁve-bedroom villa in the grounds. The gardens contain tennis courts and a brand-new pool; wine and gourmet tours, cookery classes, riding and ﬁshing are all available.
X-factor The gorgeous Cape Lodge Margaret River Restaurant has a 14,000- bottle cellar and chef Tony Howell cooks contemporary Australian cuisine with a Mediterranean twist to great effect.
Cape Lodge: Caves Road, Yallingup, Western Australia (00 61 8 9755 6311; www.capelodge.com.au). Doubles from A$395 (about £245)
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand
Set on a 6,000-acre working sheep and cattle farm in the Hawke’s Bay wine region, this 22-suite resort is famed for its spectacular Tom Doak-designed golf course. There are four suites in the former farm buildings that make up the main lodge, but most of the suites are clustered on either side of it. The spa, on a hillside above, has three treatment rooms. Activities include tours of the farm on quad bikes, visits to the local gannet colony (the largest mainland one in the world) and mountain biking.
X-factor Chef Dale Gartland makes excellent use of local produce, including seafood and New Zealand lamb and beef. The wine list is excellent.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers: 446 Clifton Road, Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay, North Island, New Zealand (00 64 6 875 1900; www.capekidnappers.com). Doubles from NZ$720 (about £350)