Vacation memories are often formed by the taste of authentic local produce, feasts of fresh seafood, or exquisite dishes that appear like artworks on your plate. Happily, from Cannes to the Cotswolds, excellent new hotels are embracing this philosophy, and we’ve selected four of the very best fine dining experiences, here.
Hotelier Ian Schrager recently reopened his Public hotel, with two acclaimed chefs—Diego Muñoz of Lima, Peru, and New York’s John Fraser—overseeing its revamped restaurants and bars. Popular, the hotel’s signature restaurant, celebrates Peru’s multicultural cuisine that brings together Incan, Spanish, Moorish, African, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese influences, while the Cantina & Pisco Bar will serve “live” ceviche, where guests can watch their dishes being expertly made. Louis, meanwhile, is a “global, fast-gourmet-food bazaar, bakery, and coffee and tea bar.”
You could spend much of your time at The Milestone Hotel admiring its architecture and interiors. Built as three separate houses in the 1880s, and turned into a hotel in the 1920s, The Milestone is now Grade II listed and has the kind of period features that realtors dream about. There’s an impressive art collection here, too, including a permanent display of contemporary equestrian paintings by prolific Belgian artist Elie Lambert.
We checked into the Noël Coward suite and loved the design—leopard-print carpet, well-sourced antiques, gilded lighting, and views over Kensington Gardens—though there are more than 50 rooms and suites to choose from, each individually styled, as well as six residences for longer stays.
Food at the Cheneston’s restaurant is as noteworthy as the decor. Standout dishes from our dinner included torched Cornish mackerel with pickled cucumber, dill, and radish, and a perfect steak sandwich, accompanied by a selection of excellent wines. If you do venture outside, The Milestone is ideally placed for visiting Kensington Palace, the Royal Albert Hall, and the museums of South Kensington.
The Manor House, Wiltshire, England
Running through five counties, the Cotswolds, with its charming villages, was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty back in 1966. At its heart, in Castle Combe, is a grand 14th-century hotel. Each of The Manor House’s 50 bedrooms and suites is individually styled, with interiors ranging from smart contemporary to gloriously traditional, complete with beamed ceilings, four-poster beds, and log-burning stoves.
Whichever sleeping option you choose, take the chance to dine at the Michelin-starred Bybrook restaurant. With its stained-glass leaded windows and golden stone walls, dining rooms don’t come much grander, offering the perfect backdrop to head chef Robert Potter’s showstopping cooking.
There are informal dining options, too, as well as afternoon tea and a welcoming bar, and during warmer months the staff will happily prepare a picnic for you to take on your exploration of the surrounding countryside. Golf lovers are equally well catered for with The Manor House golf break package, which includes bed and breakfast as well as the use of the hotel’s nearby driving range and “36 holes of the best golf in Wiltshire.”
One of the jewels in the town’s crown, Hotel Barrière Le Majestic Cannes has unveiled three new signature suites: Escale, Horizon, and Balancine. Each features 1,722 square feet (160 sq m) of floor space, and terraces with stunning views over the Mediterranean and the Lérins islands.
As one of the region’s top hotels, the very best in fine dining is on offer from Nicole Rubi, Pierre Gagnaire, and Mauro Colagreco, and cocktails from Emanuele Balestra. A new Majestic Experiences program of leisure activities both inside and outside the hotel includes movie screenings, a digital escape-room adventure, watersports, horseback riding, and wine tourism.
Banner image: A selection of dishes served at Popular in the Public hotel, New York City. Image: Liz Clayman