Over the years the hospitality industry has seen a lot of changes and right now it’s amazing to see that the best bars and restaurants in the world are once again those that are connected to hotels.
For some time now the hotel restaurant and bar has been perceived as the slightly less glamorous option; when you go somewhere the idea is to go out and explore, see the city, experience a taste of the local culture and maybe stumble upon a hidden gem or two. The notion of staying in the hotel for everything, including the evening’s drinking and eating, has gained something of a bad image. It wasn’t always like this though.
There is in fact a great tradition of hotels being the best places to eat and drink. Think of those classic names such as The Ritz and The Savoy. In the glamorous years of cocktails and dressing for dinner, when anyone thought of a luxurious evening these were the places that sprang immediately to mind. And little wonder, as these were the centres of refined hospitality. The rarefied air of these venues that came of good food, great drink and of course exquisitely comfortable rooms was unmistakable.
Now everything is moving in that direction once again, but it’s bigger and better than ever- just look at the major hospitality complexes springing up in Asia that are built on the Las Vegas model. They have everything anyone could possibly desire and nothing is overlooked. The beds are beyond comfortable, whether it’s a perfectly proportioned three quarter bed or a super kingsize, the restaurants are phenomenal and often have Michelin starred chefs behind the wheel, so to speak, and the bars can be really exotic and offer some incredible hospitality.
Closer to home and on a slightly smaller scale, the London Edition in Fitzrovia provides a brilliant example of the sort of quality that is, pleasingly, becoming the norm now in hotel bars. With a very gentlemanlike atmosphere there are various options here. There’s the lobby bar and the more exclusive punch room where the traditional feel of the place is contrasted with some very up-to-date bar-keeping skills and knowledge.
A spectacular example of the sort of amazing food that’s available now in hotel restaurants can be found at Le Bristol in Paris. The chef here has not just one but three Michelin stars to his name and goes in for that really refined French style. You’ll find unbelievable dishes such as macaroni filled with artichoke, duck foie gras and black truffle here.
Of course you’d expect this sort of thing in Paris, but this is really a world-wide phenomenon we’re seeing at the moment. Check out this nice little read that rounds up the best hotel restaurants out there at the moment and shows the fantastic range of styles and settings currently in vogue. It’s not just the food but the interiors that set out to impress and bring back the kind of luxury and formality that’s been slipping away in recent years.