Recently I went to a Toronto tourism event that featured ahoney tasting. My favorite nectar—a luscious caramel-brown with herby mintnotes—belonged to the Fairmont Royal York’s14-story-high rooftop hives (called the Honey Moon Suite), and is servedto guests at tea service and in specialty cocktails. The mint flavor (someone snootily insisted it was a hint of“eucalyptus”) comes from the rooftop garden’s herb plots, where the bar gleans much of their greenery for muddled mojitos andcaipirinhas.
Honey—golden, sticky, amber goodness—turns bitter andlooses nutrients during pasteurization. Hotels looking for an eco-luxe draw areturning to the home-grown raw stuff like, well, bees to honey.
The Four Seasons Hotel, Atlanta’sfifth-floor terrace apiaryproduces honey used in the “Honey Delight” spa treatment (a honey-oatmealscrub followed by a honey oil massage). The property’s new bees-ness venture wasoriginally set up by chef Robert Gerstenecker to provide honey for the hotelrestaurant, Park 75.
Executive chef Myk Banas at the aptly named Harvest restaurant at the Marriott Hotel in Chicago is so locavore-consciousthat the kitchen cures its own bacon, so bee-keeping wasn’t too far a leap. The200,000 on-site bees pollinate his rooftop garden that supplies herbs andvegetables for the property's restaurant.
Hive-five for delicious eco-innovation!
Charlotte Savino is the online listings editor at TravelandLeisure.com