From Smoked Fish Trolleys to Bottled Cocktails, These Hotels Offer Some Epic Amenities
Hotels across the world are redefining their culinary credentials with exceptional warmth and whimsy.
In the thick of one of the many unforeseen waves of the pandemic, I was transiting through Frankfurt on the way to visit family in the south of Germany. My previous experiences in the city had been rather dull (it’s nicknamed “Bankfurt” for a reason), but this time a quiet culinary and hospitality revolution was underway. At the new, luxurious Ameron Neckarvillen hotel they closed their breakfast buffet and instead delivered a packed breakfast to your room with enough local treats to see you through lunch. This simple yet thoughtful extension of hospitality is a theme I’ve seen time and again over the last few years. At Anouk and Louis Solanet’s Hotel Rochechouart in Paris, a rotating roster of the bar’s signature cocktails are bottled in mini and standard formats for guests to enjoy on site or purchase for home. And in Portland, Maine, my husband had to steer me away from the vast and complimentary butler’s pantry at the Blind Tiger more than once lest I ruin my appetite for dinner. Following are just some of the ways hotels are delivering hospitality with increasing warmth and whimsy.
Wine Books, Archer Hotel, Napa
At this elegant property in downtown Napa, each room has a wine fridge to hold your bottles from the nearby wineries. Another thoughtful touch is the books available for purchase, such as The 24-Hour Wine Expert by wine critic Jancis Robinson. It’s an easily digestible guide that one could read in an afternoon. If you don’t believe me, believe the hotel’s review, printed on the bookmark: “Whether you’re a wine novice or need a quick refresher, this guide is a healthy pour of knowledge in a short amount of time.” Rooms from $306.
Caviar Service, Silversea’s Silver Dawn, At Sea
While sailing from Bari to Rome on Silversea’s Silver Dawn (think of it as a fancy hotel at sea!) this past summer, I heard a rumor that my butler would provide a daily caviar service at any time of the day at no extra cost. (The line’s culinary offerings are all-inclusive.) I tested this promise by ordering a double round of caviar one evening. The service includes a custom platter arranged with caviar and all the fixings: finely chopped egg, chives, onions, and crème fraîche. Itineraries from $3,150.
Cocktails to Go, Hôtel Rochechouart, Paris
Last summer, I stayed at this charming property, one of the most painstakingly recreated Art Deco hotels in Paris. Its rooftop bar also happens to have one of the best views, facing Sacré Coeur. The cocktail program is a real highlight, leaning into the owners’ Corsican roots while evoking 1930s Paris through ingredients such as gin and verjus. The hotel’s seasonal, signature cocktails—such as summer’s Marguerite with gin, rosemary, honey, lavender, and orange blossom—are also available to purchase in the form of both full-size and miniature bottles from the comfort of your in-room minibar. Rooms from $190.
A Packed Breakfast, Ameron Neckarvillen Boutique, Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt’s hospitality scene is becoming more vibrant, which was evident walking into this new luxury property. During the thick of the pandemic, the team would leave a packed breakfast from a local bakery in the room, large enough to double as a lunch: Bircher muesli, a layered sandwich on excellent rye bread, pastries, and fruit. Don’t miss dinner at their on-site restaurant, Le Petit Royal. It’s one of the most thrilling meals I had in Germany. Rooms from $118.
Smoked and Cured Fish Trolley, The Game Bird at The Stafford, London
London’s hotels have no shortage of elegant culinary offerings, but the smoked fish trolley at The Stafford’s The Game Bird is uniquely special. Guests who dine at the restaurant are greeted by a cart filled with smoked and cured salmon and trout with all the trimmings, including lemon, mignonette, and horseradish crème fraîche. Once plated, the fish is given a spritz of Cognac from a vintage-inspired perfume bottle. It’s an experience you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Rooms from $459 — Sean Flynn
Butler’s Pantry, Blind Tiger, Portland, Maine
When I arrived at this small boutique hotel, a concierge rushed past me clutching a tray of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. I beelined for them and discovered an epically stocked, complimentary butler’s pantry. (The hotel is located in an old mansion.) In addition to housemade cookies, trail mix, and granola bars, there was a curated selection of craft snacks, sodas, teas, cold brew, and a martini and cocktail station sporting handsome barware, olives, citrus, multiple vermouths, bitters, recipe cards, and more. Rooms from $365.
Firepit S’mores, Callicoon Hills, Western Catskills, New York
This spectacularly cozy century-old Catskills resort is the perfect rural getaway for city dwellers, in part because it lets you live out camp-adjacent fantasies without having to actually pitch a tent. Nightly complimentary s’mores enjoyed around the grounds’ firepit (perhaps with a stiff drink from the excellent Conover Club restaurant) make stargazing even sweeter. That jovial communal setting really proves the resort’s motto: “a friendly place for nice people.” Rooms from $266 — Maria Yagoda
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