It wasn’t too long ago when “hotel restaurant” immediately brought to mind unremarkable dining rooms, warmed-over breakfast buffets, and bland, generic menus. But that’s all changing as more and more chefs and restaurateurs realize that opening up in a hotel has some major benefits, and nowadays some of the finest restaurants in a given city can be found inside its most popular hotels. We’ve tracked down the best hotel restaurant in every state and Washington, D.C.
Opening a restaurant from scratch is one of the riskiest business moves someone can make; a small percentage of restaurants survive to see their first anniversary, and there are countless reasons a restaurant can fail. By opening in a hotel, however, restaurant owners are able to share the burden with the hotel owners, and there are other added benefits like built-in foot traffic. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see some of the most popular chefs and restaurateurs in the country deciding to hitch their wagon to a hotel, like Grant Achatz’s The Aviary in New York’s Mandarin Oriental, Danny Meyer’s Marta in New York’s Redbury, José Andrés’ The Bazaar in Miami Beach’s SLS, and Andrew Carmellini’s Rec Pier Chop House in Baltimore’s Pendry. And we haven’t even mentioned Las Vegas’ massive hotel-casinos, where a who’s who of America’s leading chefs have opened restaurants in recent years.
In order to assemble our list, we began by combing our most recent ranking of the 101 Best Restaurants in America for highly-ranked restaurants located in hotels; we then went state-by-state, looking for hotel-based restaurants that are highly-praised by both out-of-towners and locals alike. Many of these restaurants have been named among their city’s best by local publications and have staked their claim as one of the best restaurants in town, period. We also awarded extra points for serving breakfast, brunch, and/or lunch along with dinner, as many hotel restaurants serve three meals a day (and handle room service as well). Responsible ingredient sourcing, partnerships with local farmers and purveyors, and seasonality were also important to us. Not all of these are big-city hotels, either; many of them are main dining rooms of out-of-the-way resorts that have become destinations in their own right. Read on to learn to learn what the best hotel restaurant in your state is, and to also get an idea as to where you might want to stay the next time you travel!