Our readers pick the top hotels, spas, cruise lines, and cities for dining
Jose van Riele

Our readers pick the top hotels, spas, cruise lines, and cities for dining

The age of the dismal hotel restaurant is definitively over. Once avoided by all but the most desperate travelers, hotel restaurants today are destinations for both visitors and locals alike. To find the best of the bunch, we took the data from our 2001 World's Best survey and singled out the hotels that Travel + Leisure readers awarded the highest marks to for food and restaurants. (For good measure, we've also thrown in the top scorers among spas, cruise lines, and cities.) The results demonstrate that if you think Europe is the ultimate epicurean destination, you'll need to think again. American hotels snag the same number of spots in the top 10 overall as their European counterparts (four each)—including number one in the world.

Edited by Nathan Lump
Reporting by Robert Maniaci and Hillary Geronemus

food readers' poll

the top hotels for food overall

1. Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia—89.0
2. Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas—88.8
3. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay—88.3
4. Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo—87.1
5. Windsor Court, New Orleans—86.9
6. Four Seasons Hotel, Milan—86.3
7. Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris—86.1
8. Bellagio, Las Vegas—86.1
9. Hotel Cipriani, Venice—85.6
10. Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore—85.3

inn at little washington

restaurant: Dining Room at the Inn at Little Washington
chef: Hotel proprietor and self-taught cook Patrick O'Connell
signature dishes: Rabbit braised in apple cider with wild mushrooms and spaetzle; black truffle pizza with fontina cheese and Virginia country ham
wine: Sommelier William Lee commands a cellar of 14,000 bottles; more than 1,000 available on any given night
the look: English country house meets Victorian rococo
best tables: The 15 with garden views
dinner for two: Seven-course prix fixe from $196

the top hotels for food in the continental united states and canada

1. Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia—89.0
2. Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas—88.8
3. Windsor Court, New Orleans—86.9
4. Bellagio, Las Vegas—86.1
5. The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia— 84.5

the top hotels for food in hawaii

1. Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui—83.6
2. Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea—82.3
3. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii—82.0
4. Halekulani, Oahu—80.9
5. Mauna Lani Point Resorts, Hawaii—79.4

ritz-carlton, kapalua

fine-dining restaurant: Anuenue Room
chefs: Executive chef Stephen Marshall; chef de cuisine Virgile Brandel; pastry chef Jacques Poulain
signature dish: Wana (Hawaiian sea urchin) served with a pineapple champagne sabayon and beluga caviar
the look: Ritz-Carlton goes Polynesian
best tables: Those at the end of the lanai
dinner for two: Prix fixe from $150
more choices: Banyan Tree (Pacific Rim cuisine); Kai Sushi Bar

the top hotels for food in asia

1. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay—88.3
2. Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore—85.3
3. The Oriental, Bangkok—84.7
4. Ritz-Carlton, Bali—83.7
5. The Peninsula, Hong Kong—83.2

the top hotels for food in the caribbean, bermuda, and the bahamas

1. Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands— 78.1 (tie)
1. Fairmont Southampton Princess, Bermuda—78.1
3. The Reefs, Bermuda—75.9
4. Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort & Country Club, Puerto Rico—75.9
5. La Samanna, St. Martin—75.4

four seasons resort bali at jimbaran bay

fine-dining restaurant: Taman Wantilan
chef: Four Seasons veteran Marc Mirron
signature dishes: Crisp lobster spring rolls with two sauces; Balinese spiced grilled snapper in banana leaf
the look: Javanese wood open-air pavilion 100 feet above Jimbaran Bay
best tables: The 10 directly overlooking the bay
dinner for two: About $96
more choices: Warung Mie (Asian noodle dishes), PJ's (casual beachfront), Pool Terrace Café (casual poolside)

the top hotels for food in australia, new zealand, and the south pacific

1. Park Hyatt, Sydney—72.4
2. Grand Hyatt, Melbourne—71.4
3. Turtle Island, Fiji—69.6
4. Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort—69.4
5. Hotel Inter-Continental, Sydney—69.0

the top hotels for food in mexico and central and south america

1. Ritz-Carlton, Cancœn—82.1
2. Inter-Continental, Buenos Aires—76.0
3. Hyatt Regency CancÚn—72.6
4. Copacabana Palace Hotel, Rio de Janeiro—72.2
5. Fairmont Acapulco Princess—71.1

the top hotels for food in africa and the middle east

1. Sofitel Palais Jamaï, Fez, Morocco—70.7
2. La Mamounia, Marrakesh—69.0
3. Mount Kenya Safari Club, Nanyuki, Kenya—68.4
4. La Maison Arabe, Marrakesh—67.5
5. Château de Feuilles, Praslin Island, Seychelles—64.5

the top hotels for food in europe

1. Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo—87.1
2. Four Seasons Hotel, Milan—86.3
3. Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris—86.1
4. Hotel Cipriani, Venice—85.6
5. Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, Zermatt, Switzerland—84.3

hòtel de paris

fine-dining restaurant: Le Louis XV Alain Ducasse
chef: Alain Ducasse, who got his start here as chef de cuisine in 1987
signature dish: Provençal garden vegetables with crushed black truffles, Ligurian oil, and balsamic vinegar
wine: 400,000 bottles, including vintages dating back to the 1850's; sommelier No‘l Bajor supplies the restaurant as well as all those of the Société des Bains de Mer
the look: Belle Époque, overlooking the Place du Casino
best table: No. 5, at the extreme right of the restaurant
dinner for two: From $340
more choices: La Salle Empire (Mediterranean cuisine), Le Grill (casual fare, rooftop setting), Côté Jardin (garden-side café)

the top cruise lines for food

1. Crystal Cruises—82.4
2. Seabourn Cruise Line—81.7
3. Radisson Seven Seas Cruises—81.2
4. Silversea Cruises—79.7
5. Holland America Line—78.5

the top cities for food

1. New York—91.3
2. Paris—90.3
3. New Orleans—89.9
4. San Francisco—88.7
5. Rome—83.6
6. Chicago—82.5
7. Florence—81.5
8. Boston—77.7
9. Venice—77.6
10. Montreal—77.4

new york city

number of dining establishments: About 18,000
number of restaurant openings in 2000: 311
number of restaurant closings in 2000: 89
average cost of a restaurant meal: $35.14
average cost of a meal at the 20 most expensive restaurants: $76.73
average tip: 18.3%
Source: NYC & Co., Zagat Survey 2001

the top spas for food

1. Thermes Marins de Monte Carlo—80.2
2. Clinique La Prairie, Clarens-Montreux, Switzerland—79.7
3. Domaine du Royal Parc Évian, France—79.2
4. Canyon Ranch Health Resort, Tucson—77.6
5. Hotel Terme di Saturnia, Saturnia, Italy—76.0

thermes marins de monte carlo

restaurant: L'Hirondelle
chef: Jacky Oberti
signature dishes: Sautéed beef with paprika and French beans; mixed fish and vegetables in broth. Three-course meals average 500 calories
the look: Breezy and colorful, ocean views
best tables: Those in the solarium overlooking Port Hercule Harbor
dinner for two: Three-course prix fixe from $84