What’s more satisfying than a hotel with a luxurious four-poster bed, marble bath, wood-burning fireplace, and Blue Ridge Mountains views? How about a dinner courtesy of James Beard Award–winning chef Patrick O’Connell—and waiting right downstairs.
Guests of Virginia’s Inn at Little Washington don’t have to travel far for a world-class meal. Chef O’Connell’s creative dishes, such as carpaccio of baby lamb with Caesar salad ice cream and pappardelle with chanterelle mushrooms, apricots, and country ham, secured Little Washington the No. 1 ranking among America’s best hotels for foodies, as chosen by T+L readers in the World’s Best Hotels 2012 survey. It’s one of the winning hotels heating up the U.S. hotel culinary scene, from the best New England lobsters to the tastiest farm-to-table California fare.
At The Peninsula Chicago (No. 12), foodies can savor skyline views while indulging in chef Lee Wolen’s creations at buzzed-about new restaurant The Lobby. “The best chicken you’ve ever eaten has just gotten better,” raves Time Out Chicago food editor David Tamarkin about the whole roasted chicken stuffed with thyme, brioche butter, and lemon zest.
Michelin-starred chef Bruno Davaillon recently took the helm of Mansion Restaurant at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (No. 7), a Dallas icon of luxury. His menu of haute Texas dishes with a French twist—king crab butternut squash soup and bison tenderloin au poivre, for instance—has given local and visiting foodies a new reason to check in.
Seeking out slower-paced indulgences has its own appeal, when it comes to enjoying both a meal and a destination. Those who ditch the city for the old-growth rainforests of Gold Beach, OR, are rewarded with chef Scott Guynn’s “slow food” cooking at Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge (No. 6). The cozy lodge’s dining room offers communal seating, family-style dining, and Rouge River views—paired with local wild chinook salmon.
Or sink your teeth into the ultimate farm-to-table country experience at Blackberry Farm’s The Barn (No. 5) in Walland, TN. Chef Joseph Lenn’s five-course southern “Foothills Cuisine” comes fresh from this Smoky Mountain’s 4,200-acre farm.
Whatever your idea of foodie paradise, there’s a hotel among these top picks that is sure to get your vacation plans cooking.