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The Best Hotel Breakfasts in the World

Thursday, 04/20/2017 08:42
Gone are the days of boring continental breakfasts. Instead, we're saying "good morning" with dumplings, prosciutto with sliced melon, and airy eggs Benedict at some of the best breakfasts our editors have eaten at hotels around the world.

Thompson Playa del Carmen, Mexico

© Photo by Alex Grossman

Its rooftop restaurant, Cinco, has a Yucatán-inspired menu, ocean views, and a pool literally steps from your table. Buttermilk pancakes are served with coconut crème fraîche, a drizzle of ginger-hibiscus jam, and a side of maple syrup. Chilaquiles come with ultracrispy tortillas and eggs from a local farm. Order them divorciados—doused half with salsa verde and half with red-chile sauce. Offbeat house-made jams like spearmint-watermelon and roasted pineapple with clove kick the bread basket up a notch. For a little extra heat on your eggs, ask for charred-habanero salsa. The juice blend pictured has cucumber, pineapple, and chaya, an indigenous leafy green that’s packed with more iron than spinach. – Rebecca Misner

Baccarat Hotel New York

© Photo by Oddur Thorisson

With its pleated silk walls, plush ecru chairs, red roses, and of course crystal chandeliers and candelabras, the Baccarat Hotel’s Grand Salon will get you in the mood for a decadent breakfast. You wouldn’t be disappointed by blowing your carb allotment on the croissants here, but the off-menu ricotta pancakes—ethereally fluffy with butter-crisped edges, dusted with powdered sugar and served with maple syrup and a quenelle of butter—is the order to beat. Counteract any trace of guilt with a green juice that makes no gesture to sweetness and bites with parsley and celery. And someone should get the custardy canelé, to be washed down with a strong espresso as the sunlight filtering through the beveled-glass windows scatters rainbows across your table. – Rachel Khong

Brae, Victoria

© Photo by Sharyn Cairns

When chef Dan Hunter opened six suites next to his cultish restaurant this year, he kept “brekkie” simple, looking to Brae's 30-acre farm for menu inspiration. It’s not an Aussie breakfast without fruit—or jams and honey to mix with the muesli. Brae’s are made with plums and berries from its orchards, or hand-sourced from its own beehive. The house-made sourdough takes days to make: The dough is left out overnight, then cold-fermented for 22 hours before being baked in an outdoor wood-fired oven. Chef Dan replaces bacon with house-cured charcuterie from free-range pigs raised at Victoria’s famous Greenvale Farm.

Le Bristol Paris

© Photo by Matt Hranek

The signature breakfast at Epicure—the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant—is a case study in old-world decadence. Chef Éric Fréchon, who’s been here since 1999, will start your day with Parma ham and burrata, smoked salmon and blini, seasonal fruit with a healthy side of fromage blanc, and a soft-boiled egg topped with Sologne caviar, crème fraîche, and an edible 23-karat-gold leaf. It’s all served on hand-painted Limoges porcelain and accompanied by Champagne. The somm pairs a different vintage every month—in December, it’s Dom Pérignon 2006. Which might make you that much freer with your credit card while strolling along the rue St-Honoré. –Andrea Whittle

Babylonstoren, South Africa

© Photo by David Crookes

At Babel, the hotel’s cowshed-turned-restaurant, the question “What’s for breakfast?” is best answered by taking a look at the eight-acre garden. Your double-cream yogurt might come loaded with guava and cape gooseberries; nut, fennel, and curry powder granola; and a spoonful of blue gum honey from on-site hives. Top the wood-fired country loaf—made with wheat from the farm—with heaps of salty Serrano-style ham and Gorgonzola (or just a slab of hand-churned butter). And if you had a glass too many of the Babel red the night before, a shot of ginger in your fresh-pressed beetroot and blood orange juice should do the trick. – Sarah Khan

Aman Tokyo, Japan

© Photo by Koji Hanabuchi

The Japanese breakfast is a microcosm of the culture itself. Here, a balance of texture, color, and flavor is executed with beautiful precision. This rolled Tamagoyaki is tangier than the eggs we’re used to: It’s served with grated radish as well as pickled vegetables and ginger beef. Marinated eggplant, shishito peppers, taro, and carrot are eaten separately from the rice and fish. You’ll get either steamed rice or congee rice (Japan’s oatmeal), pepped up with pickled plum (next to the fruit). The salmon is delivered from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market, then lightly baked and served with dried seaweed.

Chiltern Firehouse, London

© Photo by Nicole Franzen

The impossibly sceney Marylebone restaurant draws all the celebs—Cara Delevingne, Marina Abramović, even David Cameron—and persistent paparazzi after dark. But in the quiet morning hours, it’s a cozy, calm retreat in the city’s most happening neighborhood. With a healthy slug of pure vanilla, the vanilla porridge here borders on dessert. And the Anglo-fied version of eggs Benedict is made with eggs from free-range Burford Brown hens (a heritage English breed) and maple-cured ham by Aubrey Allen, Suffolk’s finest butcher.

Upper House, Hong Kong

© Photo by Amanda Kho

Skip the eggs and toast and order Café Gray Deluxe’s “Upper East Breakfast.” It includes all the staples of a classic Chinese morning spread—with umami to spare. Sample the insanely delicate (and addictive) char siu bao, a super-light and fluffy steamed flour bun stuffed with sweet, slow-roasted pork tenderloin. Add on a side of congee—think of this rice porridge with corn and crabmeat as an Asian version of chicken soup. This one comes topped with traditional garnishes—chopped cilantro and slivers of green onion and ginger—and a side of roasted peanuts. And you can't forget the dumplings. Here you get two kinds: a minced pork and shrimp siu mai and the plumper shrimp ha gau (in the white pleated wrapper).

Hotel d’Angleterre, Copenhagen

© Photo by Nicole Franzen

The 260-year-old grande dame does a mean Danish morgenmad of fish, cured meats, and bread, served with views of King’s New Square. Try this: If it swims, it could make it onto a Danish breakfast plate. The stars offered here are fjord-sourced shrimp, hay-smoked salmon, and pungent house-pickled herring. The croissants are made daily, but it’s the tebirkes—a layered pastry coated in poppy seeds and filled with a sugar-marzipan paste—and spandauer, or, as we know it, Danish, that stay with you.

Hôtel du Palais, Biarritz

© Photo by Matt Hranek

When Condé Nast Traveler creative director Yolanda Edwards came back from French Basque Country, she raved about the breakfast at the Du Palais—specifically the seasonal gem lettuces and piment d’espelette, that smoky pepper which makes everything, including the buffet’s perfectly soft scrambled eggs, taste better. Savor it, along with house-baked brioche, cured meats, and fruit tarts, in the dining room late into the morning—meaning you may just skip lunch.

Park Hyatt Saigon, Vietnam

© Photo by Jason Lang

Our favorite hotel in Ho Chi Minh City—fresh off a major redo—happens to serve one of the city’s top breakfasts. The Vietnamese knock back their beloved pho the way the Italians do espresso: swiftly, routinely, and often in the morning. Us? We like to linger over the fragrant, herb-scattered noodle soup at the Park Hyatt Saigon, where a squad of chefs set to work on that beefy, cardamom-y broth hours before the sun—and hotel guests—rise. One hearty bowl will keep you fueled for a day of exploring, all the more so when paired with a Vietnamese coffee, a strong brew poured over sweet condensed milk.

Otahuna Lodge, New Zealand

© Photo by Alan Jensen

There’s no menu at this elegant South Island mansion. Instead, the chefs will make you whatever you feel like that morning—with whatever’s fresh from the garden. The kitchen often pairs house-cured coppa and prosciutto with sliced melon from the orchard, drizzled with vanilla bean–infused olive oil and 20-year-old balsamic. On top of still-warm sourdough loaves, expect banana bread, raspberry muffins, and date scones, all baked in-house.

Written by CNT Editors


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