Lush, tropical landscapes. Gorgeous city skylines. Tempting mountain vistas. These are the reasons why we go on vacation, right? That, and being able to relax and let someone else do the cooking for a change. But why not have both? Hotels with top-notch restaurants know that pulling in diners is about more than just the grub. A destination restaurant has to have both killer cuisine and a view to dine for [Ed. Note: See what we did there?] in order to pull vacationers away from their lounge chairs. We’ve seen some of the most unique and breathtaking vistas, all while dining on the freshest cuisine, at these five scrumptious hotel properties.
Restaurant #1: Mango Reef at the Alexandra Resort and Spa, Turks and Caicos
Specializing in fresh seafood and Caribbean flavors, the Alexandra Resort and Spa’s Mango Reef is known for its beachside dining. Not only is it one of the most recommended restaurants in Turks and Caicos, but its plates are surprisingly affordable in an otherwise pricey destination. The menu is as extensive as the view is expansive, offering delicious eats both familiar and unique to the islands.
Oyster’s Menu Pick: While Turks and Caicos is best known foodie-wise for its conch dishes (both the fritters and conch salad here are delicious), the fish fillets at Mango Reef are prepared to perfection. Try the char-grilled grouper; marinated with garlic, sweet basil and lemon juice; the flavors are simple and satisfying.
Restaurant #2: Terrazza Brunelleschi Restaurant at the Grand Hotel Baglioni, Florence
With a breathtaking view of the Duomo, Terrazza Brunelleschi at the Grand Hotel Baglioni is worth a visit if just for the photo-op. But the traditional Florentine cuisine makes this spot a great dinner destination as well. Outdoor seating is available when it’s nice out and we highly recommend it. Al fresco diners can enjoy views of gorgeous Tuscan architecture and picturesque countryside. Meals are pricey, but worth every cent.
Oyster’s Menu Pick: The veal cheek, served alongside creamy potatoes with olives and Brussels sprouts, is a deliciously rich meal. The veal melts in your mouth, while the natural sweetness of the potatoes isn’t overpowered by the olives. The Brussels sprouts add a refreshing crunch.
Restaurant #3: Six Peaks Grille at the Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe
Beautiful vistas are abundant at the Resort at Squaw Creek. There are gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and valley from nearly every point of the property, but we’d argue that the best spot for soaking it all in is at Six Peaks Grille. The fine dining establishment offers unique culinary creations, craft cocktails and breathtaking views of the scenery.
Oyster’s Menu Pick: We love the halibut with baby bok choy, coconut risotto, and ginger-yuzu froth. The delicate flavors in this dish require a careful hand so that one does not overpower the others, but Six Peaks passes the test with flying colors.
Restaurant #4: Jade Cuisine at the Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia
Overlooking St. Lucia’s pristine mountains and crystal blue waters, the Jade Mountain Resort is known for its startlingly beautiful architecture and dedicated service — qualities that only enhance the awe-inspiring view at its main restaurant, Jade Cuisine. James Beard Award-winning Chef Allen Susser is the culinary genius behind the menu, which fuses bold island flavors with European cooking techniques.
Oyster’s Menu Pick: Tarragon Roasted Wahoo is a must-try. This scrumptious — and filling — meal comes with chorizo crab stuffed hearts of palm and shrimp bisque. The flavors pair well together, while the spice of the chorizo and creaminess of the bisque balance the wahoo’s light, slightly aromatic preparation.
Restaurant #5: Restaurant Petrus at the Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong
Perched high above the city with breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour, the Michelin-starred Restaurant Petrus at the Island Shangri-La offers haute French cuisine and one of the most extensive wine lists in Asia. Chef Frederic Chabbert has created a menu that both speaks to its opulent surroundings and features fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Oyster’s Menu Pick: No meal is complete without dessert, and Chabbert’s Dark Chocolate Sphere is a masterful creation that no sweet tooth will be able to deny. Served with mascarpone, orange zest, and cinnamon milk, this dish is crisp and creamy, tangy and sweet.
You can’t return a bad vacation. That’s why Oyster.com, “The Hotel Tell-All,” and partner of The Travel Channel, comprehensively visits, photographs, reviews and rates each hotel we feature. Basically, we uncover the truth, before it’s “uh-oh” time.