Top 10

Mountain Gourmet

With their stunning settings, these resorts all boast restaurants that capture the flavors of their mountain destinations through skillfully crafted menus, regional wines and dining rooms with a view.


STOP at one of three mountainside restaurants from this grand St. Moritz hotel, including the famed Restaurant Chamanna, which boasts spectacular Alpine views.
ADMIRE the mountains from the glass-enclosed portico of the award-winning restaurant (considered one of the East Coast's best) at this idyllic Massachusetts retreat.
APPRECIATE the seasonal, locally sourced and always-creative dishes from Damien Molinié, head chef at this ski-in and ski-out Villars hotel.
RELAX over brunch with spectacular views at the Grand Restaurant of this classic Gstaad resort-this year celebrating its centenary.
EXPERIENCE outstanding culinary creations and a stellar wine list in Le Stuben Restaurant at this charming retreat surrounded by the beauty of the majestic Dolomites.
ENJOY the locally sourced meat and fish caught in Lake Tegernsee at the two-Michelin star restaurant of this traditional Bavarian hotel.
DINE in the glass-gazebo restaurant of this idyllic Cortina ski hotel and admire the unique panoramic views of the Tofane mountains.
SIP one of 48 regional and global wines served at this Crans-Montana hotel, which boasts views of the Swiss Alps.
KNOW that the emphasis on wellness at this exclusive Vail resort extends from the world-class skiing to the organic, locally grown ingredients used in the hotel's five restaurants.
WARM UP with a traditional Swiss meal of raclette or fondue in the La Fromagerie restaurant of this classic Gstaad retreat.

Spring Skiing, Dining & Award Winners

Round-Up: Spring Skiing

The advantages of end-of-season skiing are numerous (lower prices, quieter slopes, more accommodation options), but the trick is knowing where to go. Heading north and heading high will mean better snow later in the season, so Switzerland and Austria are reliable favorites. Alternatively, pick resorts that incorporate glaciers and have just one month off in May before summer skiing begins in June. Or, for guaranteed year-round skiing, opt for the back-to-front season of the southern hemisphere. Experience the best late-season skiing at one of these Leading Hotels of the World:


Zermatt has the double benefit of lifts that reach almost 4,000 meters and an enormous glacier for summer skiing. Stay at Mont Cervin Palace, a classic Alpine retreat in the heart of car-free Zermatt village. Also in Switzerland, set up camp at the contemporary Hotel Guarda Golf, close to the legendary Crans-Montana ski region boasting the Plaine-Morte glacier. In Austria, Kitzbühel's season starts early and ends late so weary skiers can enjoy some pampering time at the 3,600-square-meter spa of the Royal Spa Kitzbühel Hotel. Japan's Mount Gassan offers spectacular skiing on snow so thick the roads aren't accessible until April, and lifts stay open until August. There is guaranteed luxury and relaxation less than an hour away at the Chikusenso Mt. Zao Onsen Resort and Spa. Finally, look to the southern hemisphere for a ski season that begins in June. New Zealand's iconic Huka Lodge sits on the Waikato River surrounded by seventeen acres of beautifully lush grounds; but for ski aficionados, it's also just a one-hour drive from the Whakapapa ski area, the country's largest and renowned for its dependably deep snow.

Hotel Guarda Golf
Hotel Guarda Golf is the only property in the region to offer year-round luxury accommodations and serious golf. The hotel sits on a sunny plateau overlooking a Jack Nicklaus designed course, in a seamless merging of hospitality and golf. It's also adjacent to the Severiano Ballesteros designed course that Greg Norman described as "the most spectacular tournament site in the world." The hotel can schedule tee times, book lessons and arrange indoor practice. Cross-country skiers have access to an extensive network of tracks directly from the hotel, while challenging downhill is a gondola ride away. For relaxation, there is the ultra-modern spa zone with four treatment rooms, an indoor lap pool and a traditional Hammam.
Kempinski Hotel Das Tirol
The Kempinski Hotel Das Tirol offers spacious rooms and suites with panoramic views of the surrounding mountain scenery. Modern architecture meets Tyrolean naturalness. The hotel stands for its modern and luxurious amenities with a fine Tyrolean touch. A particular advantage is the location of the new Kempinski hotel with its immediate proximity to the ski slopes in the middle of the extensive ski area in the Kitzbühel Alps. The 3,600 squared-meters spa offers exclusive products and a wide range of spa treatments, movement therapy, relaxation and recreation. With a total of 300 square-meters, the indoor and outdoor, fresh and salt water pools give plenty of space to enjoy the bathing experience. The Restaurant Steinberg and the Pan-Asian lifestyle restaurant “Sra Bua” offer guests culinary experience complemented by a bar and a lobby with a fireplace, the Mountain Health Bar and a café offering delicious pastries.
Mont Cervin Palace
Located in the shadow of the mighty Matterhorn, the chic resort of Zermatt is an unspoiled sanctuary for skiers, and the Mont Cervin Palace is an elegant home away from home. Cars are not allowed in the town, so guests travel from the train station by covered horse-drawn carriage, a foretaste of the hotel’s signature quaint charm and warm hospitality. The rooms are decorated in different styles, from rustic Alpine to luxurious contemporary, but all have stunning views of the Mischabel mountain chain, the Edelweiss or, of course, the Matterhorn. After enjoying the 400 kilometers of hiking trails and 350 kilometers of ski slopes, guests will welcome a retreat to the 1,700-square-meter Wellness & Spa with outdoor pool and magnificent mountain views. Three in-house fine dining restaurants.

Trend: Leading Hotels of the World Award Winners

Celebrating innovation in the independent luxury-hotel field, the much-anticipated Leading Hotels of the World Awards for 2010 were announced at Tokyo's Imperial Hotel last November. Newly introduced was the Leading Legends Award, which honored some of the industry's most respected figures. Nominated by their fellow hoteliers and reviewed by a panel of industry experts, the inaugural tributes went to Elisabeth Gürtler of Sacher Hotels; Gordon Campbell Gray of Campbell Gray Hotels -- which include London's One Aldwych, Le Gray in Beirut and Carlisle Bay in Antigua -- and, for a career spanning six decades, Ichiro Inumaru of the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. The other outstanding awards included:


• The Commitment to Excellence Award - Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa for Commitment to the Environment, Nam Hai in Vietnam for Commitment to the Community and Hawaii's Halekulani for Commitment to Culture.


• The Commitment to Quality Award - Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo; Carlton Hotel, St. Moritz; La Cigale Hôtel, Doha; The Residence Tunis, Les Côtes de Carthage; One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives; The Chedi Chiang Mai, Thailand; Encantado in Santa Fe; SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand, Las Vegas; Emiliano, São Paulo; and Hotel Fasano, São Paulo.


• Leaders Club members-who receive exclusive extras at Leading properties-cited three Leading Hotels for providing outstanding member benefits and service: Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo, Hotel Sacher Wien in Vienna and the Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne.


• This year's Grand Prize Winners-hotels that ranked number one in each of their categories-were the Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa in Australia's Blue Mountains and Hôtel de Paris and Hotel Metropole in Monte Carlo.

Carlisle Bay
It’s the sounds of Carlisle Bay that stay with guests long after they have left: the song of the birds, the whispering of waves, the swoosh of the palm trees. In a spectacular location on the island’s southern coast, Carlisle Bay is part of the CampbellGray Hotels collection. The hotel features spacious Ocean and Garden Suites for couples which are quite separate from the family-friendly Beach and Carlisle Suites. All have ocean views and cool calm interiors. Guests can enjoy tennis, the large gym, a long list of water sports and classes (yoga in the tropical gardens is popular), while those looking to unwind can chill out in the hip library or spa. Carlisle Bay excels at looking after families of all ages with a highly acclaimed kid’s club.
Carlton Hotel St. Moritz
The Carlton Hotel is a seasonal, all-suite St. Moritz property that opened in 1913, and has emerged from a multi-million dollar renovation that redefines the concept of luxury. Skiers are drawn to St. Moritz for its beauty, and its variety of social, sports and cultural events make it a true holiday choice. Accommodations were created by interior designer Carlo Rampazzi and face St. Mortiz Lake and the Swiss Alps. With a 1,200-square-meter spa and many beauty and wellness treatments, the hotel is the perfect choice for international sophisticated travelers. Ski rentals, a ski school on property, personal butler service, a Kids & Teens Club and fine dining at the Restaurant Romanoff. Indulge into the three-Michelin star cuisine of Enrico & Roberto Cerea at the restaurant "Da Vittorio - St. Moritz".
Excelsior Hotel Ernst
Many hotels claim to be in the heart of a city, but in the case of Cologne's Excelsior Hotel Ernst, it's truly the case. The property sits opposite the Cologne Cathedral, a stunning Gothic extravaganza and world heritage landmark that took some 600 years to build. Opened in 1863, the hotel has a long history as the city’s most luxurious hotel. The city’s best shopping is within walking distance and the fairgrounds are just across the Rhine river. Suites, each uniquely decorated with rich fabrics and vibrant colors, overlook the Cathedral. Taku, the Asian-restaurant, recently awarded “best international restaurant in Germany”, makes an ideal dining experience for business or leisure and draws guests and locals alike, while Hanse Stube, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, offers contemporary French cuisine at its best.
Halekulani
Nestled on five acres of lush gardens fronting Gray’s Beach, the Halekulani (“house befitting heaven”) has long been synonymous with gracious Hawaiian hospitality. From humble beginnings a century ago, the hotel grew into a sophisticated destination for discerning guests like Clark Gable and Doris Duke and has remained the standard for polished service. Guests can lounge by the freshwater pool, which shimmers with a mosaic of 1.2 million pieces of blue South African glass, indulge in a traditional Lomi Lomi massage and dine at La Mer, the hotel’s much-praised French restaurant. The rooms, most with ocean views, are located in five buildings connected by courtyards.
Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo
The Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo sits in the heart of Monaco, with the best position on the F1 Grand Prix racetrack and a roster of such famous past guests as Cary Grant, Michael Jackson and Nelson Mandela. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary in its private wine cellar, one of the largest and oldest in the world. Today they might have opted instead for Alain Ducasse’s three-Michelin-starred Le Louis XV restaurant, with its soaring painted ceilings, low chandeliers and heavy draperies. At the one-Michelin-starred Le Grill, stunning panoramic views provide a breathtaking backdrop, while Le Bar Américain offers a cozy, low-key setting in which to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of one of the more than 300,000 Champagne vintages. Le Côté Jardin is a lovely garden restaurant in the middle of the city.
Hotel Emiliano
Cosmopolitan São Paulo is Brazil’s largest and richest city, as well as a vibrant cultural center, with a film festival, a contemporary-art biennial, fashion week and carnival. One way to escape the bustle is to book a room at the sleek Emiliano. Located in the central Jardins district, on boutique-lined Oscar Freire Street, the property ushers guests into a calm haven, starting with a complimentary fifteen-minute massage at the fullservice spa. Rooms have contemporary Brazilian furnishings mixed with iconic Eames pieces, LCD televisions, Hungarian goose-down pillows and fine Egyptian-cotton linens. For a culinary treat, the Champagne & Caviar Bar offers a selection of rare caviar and European roes.
Hotel Fasano São Paulo
The Hotel Fasano São Paulo was a decade in the making. To realize his vision of a modern take on 1930’s design, owner Rogério Fasano enlisted the services of leading Brazilian architects Isay Weinfeld and Marcio Kogan. The resulting 1940’s-style brick building is located in the historic Jardim Europa district. The impressive interiors feature travertine fireplaces and floors, hand-woven carpets and French leather club chairs. The Fasanos are fourth-generation restaurateurs, so naturally the hotel’s Restaurante Fasano has long been considered Brazil’s best Italian eatery. Jazz and bossa-nova artists like Caetano Veloso and Bebel Gilberto have performed in the piano bar, Baretto, attracting international visitors and Paulistanos alike.
Hôtel Métropole, Monte-Carlo
Since opening on the legendary casino square in 2004, the Hôtel Métropole has embodied the old-world glamour and modern allure of Monte-Carlo. Star chef Joël Robuchon heads three destination restaurants, including the two-Michelin-star Joël Robuchon Monte-Carlo and his first-ever Japanese restaurant, the Michelinstarred Yoshi. The Lobby Bar remains one of the most buzzing destinations in the commune, and royalty and celebrities alike have been dazzled by the luxurious Jacques Garcia–designed interiors and ESPA. At the latter, guests can unwind with customized therapies, including signature facials, hot-stone massages and full-body salt and oil scrubs. There are also two therapy rooms with private hammams and baths and the only saltwater pool in Monte-Carlo.
Hotel Sacher Wien
The Hotel Sacher Wien, which opened in 1876, occupies an enviable spot on Philharmonikerstrasse directly across from Vienna's State Opera. It has a storied past and served as a popular setting for spy movies (this is where Graham Greene was inspired to write the script for the 1949 film noir The Third Man). Equally famous are its classic, jewel-toned interiors. Guest rooms are decorated with antiques, silk curtains and select works from the museum-worthy collection of paintings. Two presidential suites, Madame Butterfly and the Magic Flute, are as grand as the personages who have checked in (Indira Gandhi, Queen Elizabeth II, Rudolph Nureyev and Herbert von Karajan), and both overlook the opera house. The top floor, meanwhile, boasts more contemporary accommodations, including suites with panoramic terraces.
Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
Opened in 1890 on request of the Japanese aristocracy, the Imperial Hotel Tokyo boasts an impressive historic pedigree. Centrally located just south of the Imperial Palace grounds, the property has long drawn a high-profile clientele who rely on the discretion of the gracious staff of devoted hoteliers particularly adept at looking after discerning guests. Rooms are situated in the main building or in the gleaming tower, and many look across 40-acre Hibiya Park, the Palace and Ginza neighborhood. Two pleasures not to be missed here are the daily chanoyu (traditional tea ceremony) and a drink in the Old Imperial bar, an elegant Art Deco space containing pieces of murals and terracotta tile from the original building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1923.
La Cigale Hotel
La Cigale Hotel resembles an unadorned jewel-box: behind a sedate stone façade lies a treasure trove of design, color and textures, making an arrival here truly breathtaking. Interiors feature Murano chandeliers and furnishings courtesy of Edra, Philippe Starck and Carlos Cruz-Díez. The exquisite details continue in the suites, some of which are decorated with handcrafted leather furniture and pieces by Lalique and Baccarat. Views, particularly from the top floors of the nineteen-story building, sweep from the Corniche to the desert of this oil-rich city. The bar from which to take in the vistas is the Sky View. The convention building, which connects to the hotel, accommodates up to 1,000 people.
Le Gray
Le Gray has just opened at the very heart of downtown Beirut. The city’s reborn historical center is buzzing with fashionable restaurants, shops and galleries, and has welcomed the first hotel in the Middle East created by renowned hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray. The modern classic design overseen by architect Kevin Dash, with breezy contemporary interiors by Mary Fox Linton and Campbell Gray himself, offers understated luxury and spacious rooms and suites for both business and leisure travelers. Restaurants and bars are equally dashing with healthy Mediterranean cuisine and fabulous cocktails served on rooftop terraces and a sidewalk café. Besides, you are just around the corner from everything else there is to do and see.
One Aldwych
Located in the former Morning Post newspaper building designed by star-architects Charles Mewes and Arthur Davis, One Aldwych is a stunning hotel with a striking contemporary design. Ideally located in the heart of London’s theatre district, it is a short walk from the shops and restaurants of the capital’s bustling West End and close to the financial district. In-house restaurant Axis at One Aldwych draws a large number of guests and locals for its Modern British menu, as does Indigo restaurant with its Modern European food. Overnight guests can relax in the new and private Lounge at One. Another highlight is the double height Lobby Bar, named one of the top five hotel bars in the world by The Sunday Telegraph; it is a buzzing hot spot where those in-the-know order the signature Gin & Tonic Martini.
SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand
SKYLOFTS is an exclusive, boutique “hotel within a hotel” on top of MGM Grand on the Strip. Often referred to as an experience rather than a hotel, SKYLOFTS draws guests who seek the ultimate exclusive retreat amidst Las Vegas’ entertainment and fine dining. Guests are whisked from the airport in a chauffeured custom Maybach 62 and brought to the 29th floor of MGM Grand hotel tower via private elevators. LOFTS are generous two-storey suites with sweeping city and mountain views with dedicated 24-hour butler and concierge service. Service is customized and guests are contacted prior to arrival to ensure a seamless stay to include everything from tickets to Cirque de Soleil’s KA to a choice table at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.
The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam
For many travelers, exploring Vietnam involves the north-to-south circuit between Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Min City; but those in the know stop at the enchanting Nam Hai resort. Located close to the ancient trading port city of Hoi An, the resort has re-invigorated Vietnam’s luxury hotel scene. French architect Reda Amalou created a contemporary, design-focused aesthetic, while Indonesian designer Jaya Ibrahim infused interiors with an abundance of dark wood furniture, slate floors and sleek amenities. Outside, three symmetrical swimming pools cascade down the manicured lawns to Ha My Beach, a stretch of white sand looking across the South China Sea. The setting, service and cuisine have transformed The Nam Hai, and by extension Hoi An, into a Vietnam-must in its own right.
The Residence Tunis
On the Mediterranean shores of North Africa, close to Carthage, lies The Residence Tunis, a graceful palace of domed ceilings and arched alcoves, drawing its inspiration from the country’s Arab-Andalucian heritage. This oasis welcomes sophisticated travelers with the calming signature scent of Neroli. Guestrooms are decorated in nuanced tones and bathed in filtered light. For those craving relaxation, Les Thermes Marins de Carthage, boasts 30 treatment rooms, a Darphin spa and an oriental hammam. Six restaurants can take guests on a gastronomic tour in this land of flavors and aromas, while the golf course, by Robert Trent Jones II, is a challenging distraction. A heady mix of ancient and modern combined with exceptional service makes The Residence Tunis a popular destination.
Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa
Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, a three-hour drive from Sydney in Australia's Blue Mountains, represents a new breed of high-end hotels dedicated to preserving the natural world for generations to come. Low-density is the mantra at this nearly 4,000-acre property, centered around the restored Wallerawang homestead, dating from 1832. Amenities and facilities, from the sumptuous, free-standing villa suites to the acclaimed spa, find the balance between relaxed and refined, while the great outdoors are breathtaking. Guests can go horseback-riding, hiking or biking, though most popular are the wildlife safaris (to see kangaroos, wallaroos, wallabies and more). Through grassy plains and verdant valleys, these nature tours vividly illustrate how important—and admirable—this resort's mission truly is.
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