13 Luxury Hotels Taking Sustainable Dining to a New Level
Farm-to-table may seem too buzzy to hold any real meaning, but the rise in sustainably farmed and foraged food is not just a trend—for some, it’s a way of life. And why shouldn’t it be? Eating local means less pollution, more economic support for independent farmers, and best of all, better quality food. And ethical, sustainable cuisine isn’t just for restaurants. Luxury hotels across the globe are cultivating their own gardens and orchards, as well as working with local farms. From urban properties sourcing ingredients nearby to the ultimate resort set amid lush gardens on a private island in Fiji, these are the luxury hotels elevating sustainable dining to a whole new level.
Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont
At this all-inclusive Relais & Châteaux property in rural Vermont, chef Nathan Rich maintains a garden on-site, works with local farms, and even forages for ramps in the surrounding woods—all to put the freshest produce, eggs, and meat on guests’ plates. The offerings change daily, and there are no written menus except at breakfast, which is a la carte. Lunch might be a barbecue served on the terrace overlooking the hills where you can hike, while dinner is a more formal affair in the dining room. If you go, request a beer and cider tasting featuring local brews.
Ritz-Carlton Central Park, New York City
Chef Mark Arnao, who heads up Auden Bistro & Bar and the rest of the hotel’s culinary program, goes a step farther than the average chef, which might explain why T+L readers voted the Ritz-Carlton, Central Park the #1 best large city hotel in the U.S. in this year’s World’s Best Awards. As part of a partnership with Sister Hills Organic Farm in Dutchess County, he brings a group of the restaurant’s employees upstate to fertilize, plant, till, and harvest their portion of the farm. Plus, the free-range chicken he serves is fed on a surplus of trimmings from the restaurant.
Castello di Casole in Tuscany
Slow food has long been a way of life in Italy, and Tuscany is one of the best places to feast on the bounty of the earth. Set on a 4,200 acre estate in the rolling hills near Siena, T+L World’s Best Award-winning hotel Castello di Casole occupies a restored villa and farmhouses. Organic vineyards cultivate Cabernet, Sangiovese, Merlot, and Petit Verdot grapes, and the property’s olive groves produce a private label of extra virgin olive oil used exclusively at the estate. Indulge in the region’s delicious rustic cuisine at one of the hotel’s two restaurants or at Bar Visconti, named for the famed Italian director Luchino Visconti, who inhabited the Castello in the 1960s.
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England
A trailblazer of farm-to-table cuisine in the picturesque Cotswolds, Raymond Blanc has been influencing English chefs since he opened the 32-room Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in 1984. Set in an idyllic landscape of flowering orchards and gardens, Le Manoir au Quat’Saisons draws gastronomes for its Michelin-starred restaurant and Raymond Blanc Cookery School. Blanc uses fresh ingredients from the gardens, which produce 70 varieties of herbs and 90 vegetables, to create artful dishes like wild mushroom risotto with truffle cream and seared duck liver with calvados and vanilla, orchard apples, prune ketchup, and bacon. A popular upscale vacation spot for Londoners, the Cotswolds have become a full-fledged dining destination of late, thanks in part to Blanc’s influence.
The Lodge at Glendorn in Pennsylvania
For guests interested in catching their dinner, the Lodge at Glendorn in rural Pennsylvania is known for its hunting and fishing. On the property’s thousands of acres, guests can go fly fishing and hunt for wild turkey, pheasants, grouse, and wild woodcock. Chef Joe Schaefer will then prepare a meal with your catch accompanied by vegetables and herbs from the on-site garden.
Rockhouse in Negril, Jamaica
Perched atop volcanic cliffs, this gorgeous Jamaican boutique hotel serves a modern take on island cuisine with fresh ingredients grown on the property’s organic garden. Guests have three excellent restaurants to choose from: the Rockhouse Restaurant for fine dining, Pushcart Restaurant & Rum Bar for casual jerk chichen, meat, and fish, the Pool Bar & Grill for lunch and drinks by the pool, plus a juice bar for organic local juices.
Le Suquet in Laguiole, France
Culinary giant Michel Bras may be known as a man of few words, but his exquisite cuisine speaks for itself. His restaurant Le Suquet, inside the 13-room inn founded by his mother in 1954, is the only three-Michelin-starred restaurant in France’s department of Aveyron, in the Pyrenées. Now run by his son Sébastien, the restaurant is known for its sophisticated tasting menus highlighting the region’s flavors, including the wild roots, herbs, and flowers that Bras is passionate about foraging.
Hiša Franko in Kobarid, Slovenia
Hiša Franko may bill itself simply as a countryside inn, but it’s here that Chef Ana Roš serves culinary masterpieces made with ingredients farmed and foraged on the property. She updates traditional Slovenian cuisine, which blends influences from the Balkans and the Mediterranean, and gives them a modern twist. Expect dishes like pasta filled with sheep cottage cheese, langoustines, chanterelles, and bone barrow. Her husband Valter Kramer runs the wine cellar.
Laucala Island in Fiji
For those who fantasize about escaping to a remote island, a stay at the exclusive Laucala Island in Fiji is the ultimate dream trip. Built by Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, this lush resort boasts five restaurants that get 85% of their food from the property’s orchards, gardens and greenhouses. Staff members pick coconuts and tend to the farm, which grows 40 different vegetables (including eggplant, okra, taro, and beets), 15 fruits (pineapple, guava, passion fruit, and avocado among them), herbs, greens, coffee, tea, and sugarcane. Waygu cows graze under coconut palms and wild goats roam the island. Guests who can afford to stay in one of the 25 private villas dine on dishes goat curry, fresh tuna sashimi, or lobster caught off the island’s shores.
Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee
For gastronomes interested in learning where their food comes from, a trip to Blackberry Farm in the Smokey Mountains is a must. Guests can watch a cooking demo, tour the Relais & Châteaux property’s organic farm and heirloom gardens, see the beehives, feed the animals grazing in the pasture, collect eggs in the chicken coop, and visit the larder, where cheese is made. You can even join in on a truffle hunt with the property’s Lagatto Romagnolo dogs when the precious fungi are in season. Then taste the fruits of the gardeners’ and chef’s labors over meals at James Beard Award-winning restaurant the Barn at Blackberry Farm and the Dogwood, the property’s newest concept.
The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida
The Ritz-Carlton in Naples, Florida teamed up with CropBox this summer to begin growing an acre’s worth of leafy greens in a recycled shipping container year-round. The innovative hydroponic garden uses 90% less water than a traditional greenhouse and 80% less fertilizer. Every 8-12 days, the hotel’s team harvests romaine and Bibb lettuce, arugula, spinach, cilantro, cabbage, and assorted micro-greens for use in dishes throughout the resort’s seven restaurants. Chef George Fistrovich will bring guests to visit the Grow House upon request.
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba in Huayabamba, Peru
Nestled in Peru’s Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is a great place to get a taste of Andean culture and cuisine. Orchards and local farms surrounding the hotel provide many of the ingredients that go into updated Peruvian dishes like corn pie with guinea pig ragu and chicken with mashed potatoes and mushrooms native to the cloud forest. Guests can learn more about the region’s crops and cuisine by visiting the ecological farm and taking a cooking class.
The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington State
Foodies travel from far and wide for a taste of Blaine Wetzel’s contemporary Pacific Northwest cuisine at the Willows Inn on Lummi Island in Washington State’s rugged Salish Sea. An alum of Copenhagen’s Noma, Wetzel took home this year’s James Beard Award for best chef in the Northwest for his inventive tasting menus that showcase the region’s unique terroir. Wetzel’s seasonally changing menus incorporate ingredients that are fished, foraged, and farmed daily. Expect things like salmon cooked in the smokehouse, roasted razor clams, and berries picked in the fields.