Securing a reservation at the best restaurant in town is easy when you're honeymooning upstairs. The concierge will happily award you that VIP table as celebrated newlywed guests. After all, if your honeymoon tailors to foodies in love, then your hotel stay should be as delicious as it is romantic.
Often when we travel, the hotel food is, well, ‘hotel food'. Which means to say, continental buffets, uninspired menus that appeal to the masses and overpriced cocktails. Yes, you can order a Maine lobster tail at midnight (and we approve of all indulgences). But, do you really think the North Atlantic crustacean is going to taste as sublime in your tropical overwater bungalow?
For foodie travelers, this is often a nonissue. Traveling to specific regions for favorite cuisines, food-lover itineraries most often include a long list of restaurants, cafes and bar stops. Such exploration renders a crappy hotel menu completely irrelevant.
But, how wonderful would it be if the best restaurant in town was just down the hall? The room service breakfast-in-bed was as sublime as a classic Scandinavian bakery? Your hotel's drink menu came from the best wine cellar in town? What if the greenery and flowers outside your honeymoon suite's terrace doubled as a farm-to-table chef garden?
Much like the Michelin guide's three-star rating, this list compiles hotel restaurants worth making a special trip to. You'll discover food lovers' paradises that could stand alone purely for food. It just so happens they offer gorgeous accommodations, as well. Giving you no need to ask the host to call you a taxi home.
Hótel Búðir -Búðir, Iceland
Iceland has long been heralded as the perfect honeymoon destination for both spa lovers and adventure travelers. Already well-known for its natural geothermal baths, horseback riding, ice caving, active volcanoes, fields of icebergs, whale watching and hiking. One might ask, could there possibly be more?
Iceland's food scene is having a moment. And Hótel Búðir is, in large part, to thank for it. Celebrated for modernizing Icelandic cuisine, the hotel's restaurant gives guests the chance to sample a fresh perspective on local ingredients. Enjoy lavish meals of fresh fish and local lamb while you look out over Iceland's rugged landscape and beaches. Yes, foodie honeymooners are finding their place in the land of fire and ice, too.
Furthermore, the famous black chapel of Iceland, Búðakirkja, is within walking distance. For the ultimate food lover's wedding and honeymoon, you could marry right next door. Then, retreat to Hótel Búðir for the best ever wedding dinner.
Babylonstoren – Franschoeck, South Africa
As a honeymoon destination, South Africa is most often known for luxury safaris. And while that may be true (we've recommended the best for your honeymoon itinerary) South African honeymoons are for wine & food lovers, too.
Enter, Babylonstoren. Located in the breathtaking Franschhoek wine valley beneath towering, rugged peaks. This farm-to-table restaurant, winery and inn is, quite frankly, one of the most beautiful places in the world. A feast for the eyes and taste buds, we say. Wander through the gardens – which supply the hotel's kitchens – in bliss, hypnotized by humming bees and fragrant fynbos. As a luxury hotel and spa, the accommodations are the epitome of honeymoon-worthy.
The meals that await celebrate the incredible biodiversity of the Western Cape. Three restaurants – Babel, Greenhouse and Bakery – offer three different styles and atmospheres of dining. All of which embrace their ‘farm-to-fork' philosophy. Try local wines, fresh-caught fish and explore the very unique and diverse Western Cape cuisine. Bakery's Carnivore Nights feature favorite local snacks like boerewors and biltong. For dessert, try the iconic treats like koeksisters and malva pudding.
Casa Maria Luigia – Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Have you ever dreamed of dining at Massimo Bottura's three Michelin star restaurant, Osteria Francescana? Now, imagine that experience beyond the city walls of Modena in Massimo Bottura's private Italian countryside home. Picture yourself splashing in your pool by day. Later, dine Chef Bottura's creations by night.
Arguably Italy's most celebrated chef of the day, Massimo Bottura has opened an unparalleled hotel and fine dining experience outside of Modena. The exclusive accommodations feature a wood decked swimming pool, tennis court, leisure gardens, lounging areas and a wood-burning pizza oven. As you await your dream dinner, you can browse the home's vegetable garden that supplies your on-site restaurant, Francescana.
Offering a tasting menu featuring signature dishes from its award-winning sister restaurant, Francescana at Casa Maria Luigia is a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience fitting for the most dedicated foodie honeymooners.
Hiša Franko – Soča Valley, Slovenia
True foodies should already know about Hiša Franko's chef & owner, Ana Roš. She stars in her own episode of the tantalizing Netflix series, Chef's Table. More impressively, Hiša Franko lands on San Pelligrino's The World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Chef Roš has put her tasty corner of Slovenia on the map.
The restaurant's menu is hyper-local. Featuring traditional Slovenian produce, Chef Roš presents her dishes in modern fashion. The eleven-course meal might feature homemade ravioli and local Tomin cheese. The kitchen larder is made up of the spoils of local mushroom foragers, trout fishermen, vegetable growers, mountain farmers and even an herbalist. The wine list undoubtedly features bottles from Slovenia. A region that is heralded for some of the world's most exciting orange wines.
The restaurant is a long countryside drive from wherever your honeymoon might be. Perhaps, you're visiting Venice? Or maybe, a Slovenian road trip is the main event? Thankfully, Hiša Franko doubles as a boutique hotel. The ten-room inn offers chic rooms to soak in the Slovenian countryside while you look forward to every morsel.
Casadonna Reale – Abruzzo, Italy
Some hotels and menus researched for this list instantly made me think of my husband. And that's the idea, right? To find the best destinations and menus worthy of romance? Perhaps, one day, Jack and I will take a second honeymoon to Casadonna Reale, the charming hotel home of Ristorante Reale.
A gorgeous, 16th-century Italian monastery appears from a daydream. The old-world charm of Casadonna juxtaposes an entirely modern and sophisticated menu. Crafting inventive dishes that represent “Italian food of tomorrow”, Chef Niko Romito is pushing Italian food forward in a way that excites any foodie or chef. The menu features forgotten ingredients reimagined with cutting-edge techniques.
Mandarin Oriental – Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo's fashionable Mandarin Oriental offers twelve options for dining and drinking. Thus, it might seem daunting to know which tables to book. Let us narrow the list for you. Three of the hotel's restaurants garner one Michelin star each. First, enjoy what is often said is the best French cuisine outside France at Signature. Next, try a variety of Cantonese dim sum at Sense. Also, for a modern and whimsical dining experience, have the hotel concierge book you a table at Tapas Molecular Bar.
However, the most exciting in-hotel dining option touts three Michelin stars. And, the cuisine is likely what you came to Tokyo for, after all: Sushi Shin by Miyakawa. By booking a honeymoon suite at Mandarin Oriental, you'll have the best chance of securing your spots at this exclusive nine-seat omakase counter. Watch Miyakawa's celebrated sushi chefs prepare the world's finest and freshest nirigi in front of epic views of Tokyo.
Cottage In The Wood – Lake District, United Kingdom
Accolades seem to gravitate to the Lake District's Cottage In The Wood. Landing on various Top UK and Top World lists for dining and most notably garnering their own Michelin Star. Cottage In The Wood is a celebrated dining experience fitting for your own celebration.
The boutique hotel's nine lovely cottage rooms boast promises of cheerful birdsong every morning. Honeymooners enjoy the relaxing and tranquil atmosphere. This is the perfect setting for couples looking to get away from it all. Two can enjoy all the nature and wildlife the Lake District has to offer.
But, it's the food lovers who will profit the most. Sample lunch and dinner menus describe dishes like seared venison served with fennel, cabbage, capers and pine nuts. Or, discover the best shellfish of the coast with dishes like scallops with spiced carrot and lemongrass. Menus shift with the seasons, with every change as delicious as the last.
SingleThread Farm – Healdsburg, California
It's not Napa, it's not Sonoma, its Healdsburg beckoning foodie honeymooners to California wine country.
Located further north up Sonoma Valley, Healdsburg is an up-and-coming food and wine lover's paradise. SingleThread Farm – part farm, part restaurant and part inn – is the place to drop your bags and change into plush robes for the duration of your wine country honeymoon.
Granting it three Michelin stars, the respected restaurant guide declares SingleThread worth its own special journey. San Pelligrino agrees, putting the restaurant at the #37 spot on The World's 50 Best Restaurants List.
So, what do honeymooning diners have to look forward to? Guests of the restaurant are treated to an eleven-course Japanese tasting menu, showcasing the seasonal bounty from the owners' farm. Both the menu and the hotel's stunning design hark back to ancient Japanese ryokans. For example, honeymooners staying at SingleThread will be treated to a unique, in-room Japanese breakfast. All the more reason why to stay a while.
The Ludlow – New York City
No destination does the ‘hotel restaurant' concept better than New York City. Each New Yorker and respective travel writer will have their own can't miss, ultimate recommendation. But, one thing is for certain. No foodie will leave unsatisfied after a stay at the Lower East Side's stylish The Ludlow.
When celebrated restauranteurs Major Food Group (those behind the beloved Manhattan restaurant, Carbone) opened Dirty French on the first floor of The Ludlow, it arrived with major fanfare. Winning over the neighborhood, city and tourists alike with their duck à l'orange with ras el hanout and trout amandine. The restaurant was an instant hit. ‘Best New Restaurant' ‘Best Dish' and two stars from The New York Times give Dirty French rights to battle for the city's best hotel restaurant spot.
The hotel rooms, restaurant and bar are all incredibly stylish. So, naturally, the restaurant attracts New York's most fashionable. Much like the vibrant neighborhood it calls home, Dirty French feels like a fun night out. Even if you've yet to need to hail a taxi or hop on the subway.
ACRE – San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
Forget the mega-resorts of Cabo San Lucas. In 2022, the focus goes to Los Cabos' lesser-traveled city, San Jose del Cabo. A charming downtown featuring craft cocktail bars, trendy restaurants and killer taco stands, SJC more aptly celebrates Mexican cuisine.
Visits to downtown SJC deserve a spot on your foodie honeymoon to-do list. But, we recommend you spend evenings relaxing outside of town, at your chic farm-to-table restaurant and luxury treehouse abode, ACRE.
A hotel, wedding venue and restaurant, ACRE is trending for good reason. First, the hotel invites you to ‘a sleepover among the palms' in one of their twelve private Treehouses. Relax in peace, far away from the packed hotels of Los Cabos. Then, dine in splendor at ACRE's restaurant. Acre offers such tantalizing menus for all breakfast, lunch and dinner that you'll be glad you're staying a few days. We implore you to try the local produce cooked in the wood-fired oven and share the roasted suckling pig.
10 Other Hotel Restaurants to Consider
Still hungry? Below you'll find our list of ten more hotel restaurant honorable mentions. We've listed the names of our recommended restaurants and linked the hotel they're in, for easy honeymoon booking.
Brae – Victoria, Australia
Kerridge's Bar & Grill in Corinthia London – London, United Kingdom
La Pergola in Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria – Rome, Italy
La Colombe in Silvermist Hotel – Cape Town, South Africa
Yamazato Restaurant in Hotel Okura Amsterdam – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
La Grenouillère – Montreuil, France
Milla Milla in VIK Hotel – Millahue Valley, Chile
Miss River and Chemin À La Mer in Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans – New Orleans, Louisiana
Ixi'im Restaurant in Chablé Yucatán – Mérida, Mexico
For more honeymoon inspiration, visit our Travel section.