Food and Drink Travel

The marriage of travel and food has been a long and happy one. For foodies, a destination isn’t going to rank as a favorite unless its cuisine — be it Mexican food in San Diego, seafood in Seattle, or the hodgepodge of deliciousness that is New York –  is something special. For us, that logic applies equally to the hotels where you stay within a city: not just hotels with great restaurants, but places that incorporate gourmet treats into the overall hotel experience. These hotels we love offer awesome foodie freebies, from decadent a la carte breafkasts to free nightly wine hours. Talk about tasty extras.

A la carte breakfast

The free a la carte breakfast at Costa Rica's Gaia Hotel and Reserve is worth writing home about.

The free a la carte breakfast at Costa Rica's Gaia Hotel and Reserve is worth writing home about.

Spotlight On: Gaia Hotel and Reserve, Costa Rica

Free hotel breakfasts aren’t exactly a rarity, but they are usually comprised of cereals, fruit, and, if you’re lucky, some moderately edible scrambled eggs. Not so at Gaia Hotel and Reserve, where the free breakfast is a gourmet a la carte affair. Menu items include Eggs Benedict, Belgian Waffles, Italian Egg White Frittata, Vanilla and Mango Pancakes, a Costa Rican Breafkast, and more. And the freebies don’t stop there: The room rate also includes a short spa treatment.

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Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

When we dream about our next beach vacation, we’re definitely picturing ourselves cooling off at a swim-up bar with fruity cocktail in hand. We’re not the only ones. And party-hearty Cancun is one of the best places in the world to indulge in some swim-up bar R&R, featuring options with stunning ocean views and well-stocked liquor supplies.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks to our friends at the Captivate Network, you can catch this story in your office elevator this week! And don’t miss Captivate’s Summer Fridays Sweepstakes!

The Manhattan skyline is of course one of the world’s most iconic, an awe-inspiring tribute to human ingenuity and America’s economic success. To see it at night is magical. To see it at night from atop a Manhattan roof — to be part of the skyline, in other words — is more magical still. And to do so with a well-mixed cocktail in one’s hand is an experience simply not to be missed.

The Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar & Lounge at The Empire Hotel

The Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar & Lounge at The Empire Hotel

The Empire Hotel Rooftop Bar & Lounge at The Empire Hotel

The Empire’s 12th-floor rooftop bar is one of the swankiest in town, but the crowd tends to be a little more down-to-earth than one might find at downtown options such as Gansevoort’s Plunge. Expect fancy cocktails, views of Lincoln Center, indoor and outdoor seating, and even a small pool. Read More »

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For many of us, long days at the office, stress, and errands can get in the way of a healthy lifestyle. So we often look at our vacations not as a chance for a calorie binge (well, not always), but as a chance to hit the reset button and get back to our exercise and fitness regimens. And those who do manage to stay fit year-round may not want to part with their healthy lifestyle choices when they go away for a week or two. After all, there’s a lot to be said for the mind-body connection, so we found 13 stunning holistic retreats that can help you take your relaxation and well-being to new heights on your next getaway.

Aqua Wellness Resort, Nicaragua

Aqua Wellness Resort, Nicaragua

Aqua Wellness Resort, Nicaragua

Aqua Wellness Resort is a rustic-luxe, wellness-focused retreat set into a hillside overlooking Redondo Bay on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast. The resort has eco-friendly design, lush vegetation (expect to spot wildlife such as howler monkeys and iguanas), healthy cuisine (almost every dish comes with a hearty side of vegetables), and an excellent ocean-view yoga platform where group classes are held. Plus, the spa uses local materials, treatments, and techniques. Rooms are adorned with lots of natural wood; some units include plunge pools and stunning ocean views. The white-sand beach is secluded and beautiful, and guests can get in an extra workout climbing up the hill from the beach to reception.
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Summer fever is in full swing and we’ll do just about anything to enjoy a little sun during our lunch break or a boozy weekend brunch. Over the past couple of weeks, we shared our top al fresco hotel restaurant picks in New York City and Los Angeles, and this week we’re spilling our inside scoop on the best outdoor dining spots in the nation’s capital. So come with some SPF and an empty stomach — these D.C. restaurants in the sun are sure to satisfy!

Cafe Du Parc at The Willard Intercontinental

Cafe Du Parc at The Willard Intercontinental

Cafe Du Parc, located just a short walk from the White House, is popular among tourists, locals, and business people in town with clients. Serving three meals a day, as well as cocktails and light bites in between, the restaurant offers French-inspired dishes such as French onion soup and wild mushroom tarts.

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Los Angeles may be sunny and star-studded year-round, but summer is the prime time to grab a seat and some grub outdoors in La La Land. Al fresco restaurants around L.A. serve up delicious bites alongside ideal locations for spotting celebs — whether they are dining at the restaurant, or just walking by on the way to designer shops and exclusive clubs. So even though we’d hate to have you snag our reservation, we’re giving you the down-low on the best hotel restaurants for dining al fresco. Bon appetit!

THE Blvd at Beverly Wilshire Beverly Hills – A Four Seasons Hotel

THE Blvd at the Beverly Wilshire

Talk about a spot to see and be seen! Located along Wilshire Boulevard, the aptly-named Blvd restaurant is book-ended by luxury boutiques frequented by stars — who also pass by on their way to Rodeo Drive. Over a third of the seating is outdoors, so diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner outdoors. The restaurant boasts an extensive wine list, but the dessert menu is perhaps more decadent, with options such as a candy cart, a “chocolate experience,” and even birthday cake.

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The weather in New York City may be a little hard to predict these days, so we understand wanting to take full advantage when the sun peaks out and the wind ceases. That’s why it’s handy to have a list of the best restaurants serving tasty al fresco treats at the ready. That’s where we come in; we’ve taken up the hard job of sampling delicious food at tons of New York City hotel restaurants to find the best spots to grub down outdoors this summer.

 The Standard Grill at The Standard New York

Standard Grill at The Standard New York

Situated under the High Line in the trendy Meatpacking District, the Standard Grill has remained a neighborhood hot spot, while other restaurants in the area have suffered from being too-cool-too-soon. Indoor seating (atop a penny-covered floor) is ample, as is outdoor seating, but nonetheless tables book up weeks in advance and reservations are a must. Diners stop by for dinner before heading to the hotel’s biergarten (or uber-exclusive Top of the Standard, better known as the Boom Boom Room) or opt for the tasty Sunday brunch, complete with brioche french toast, classic eggs benedict, and bloody Marys.
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Gorgeous Napa Vineyards

by Devon on May 14, 2013

California’s Napa Valley attracts plenty of visitors each year with its gorgeous scenery, gourmet eats, and, of course, some of the best wineries in the world. While Napa has other great draws, its wineries are an undeniable source of inspiration for most visitors to the region. So drink in the best that Wine Country has to offer with a look at a few of our favorite Napa stays with impressive vineyards right outside their doors.

Auberge Du Soleil, Rutherford

The view of Auberge du Soleil and the surrounding vineyards

With only 50 rooms, this countryside resort is one of the most exclusive in the entire Wine Country region. With a stunning location between the Rutherford Hill winery next door and hundreds of other nearby vineyards, the Auberge du Soleil boasts one of the most dramatic landscapes in the area. Added bonuses are its Michelin-stared restaurant and lovely sculpture garden.
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Many hotels have on-site bars, even if they’re merely situated in the glorified outskirts of the lobby, where guests can grab standard drinks after a day of sight-seeing. But these days, some of the best hotels across the country are making sure they step up their scene by providing not only comfy rooms and high-end services, but hotspot bars that attract locals as well as guests. We’ve traveled across the country and have found the 12 trendiest hotel bars in the U.S. So check ‘em out, and maybe offer your friends a round at one of these hip locales.

Bar Marmont, Chateau Marmont; Los Angeles

Bar Marmont

With its butterfly-covered ceiling, stuffed peacock in the corner, and plush banquettes, this 1930s Vietnam-inspired bar is one of the best places in Hollywood to share a drink with a starlet in hiding. Beyond the celebrity factor, the Chateau’s comfortable bar is a wonderful place to enjoy the fantastic food. The “damn good burger,” we can assure you, lives up to the name.

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Staying fit on the road is never easy, particularly when it comes to eating well. Many of us let our diets go out the window when we travel, partly because there simply aren’t any healthy options to be had. After all, if the only edible-looking option on the room service menu is the burger, what is one to do?! Luckily, hotels are starting to recognize the demand for more healthful food options, and a handful of chains are taking action. Hyatt, Fairmont, and Westin are among the brands paving the way, working with health experts and organizations to come up with some tasty, guilt-free menu options. Here’s hoping other hotel chains get on board with this trend!

Hyatt

Hyatt, which has 492 hotels worldwide, is one of the largest chains to introduce healthy food options at its properties. The “Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served.” initiative launched in 2012 has brought cage-free eggs, hormone-free beef, and sustainable seafood options to all of its hotels, among other health-conscious food options. Hyatt also teamed up with Partnership for a Healthier America (Michelle Obama is a Chair!) to make its kids’ menus healthier in support of the effort to combat childhood obesity. In addition, all Hyatt hotels have on-site fitness centers, so no excuse not to hit the gym either!

Hyatt at Olive 8, Seattle

Hyatt at Olive 8, Seattle

Oyster.com’s Pick for a Standout Hyatt Hotel: Hyatt at Olive 8, Seattle

You almost can’t go wrong with the Hyatt at Olive 8, which is known for its exceptionally high customer ratings, environmentally conscious design, and easy, walk-to-everything location. If you’re looking for a romantic lobby in which to have cocktails, you might want to head across the street to the dark and elegant Grand Hyatt; otherwise, be prepared to stay happily put.
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