Back to Basics: The Best 6 Hotels to Travel Like a Locavore

By , February 18th, 2016

Farm-to-table, field-to-fork, head-to-tail, bean-to-bar: it seems as if food trends these days are not focused solely on the execution of the dish but the complete sourcing and story behind the ingredients. Hotels are no less behind the times with top-tier properties looking to add foodie-friendly amenities and experiences to their on-site offerings. Be it erecting a beehive up on the rooftops, or tending to a chef’s kept garden — hotels are keen to please discerning gourmands with hyperlocal offerings.

Locavore hotels are leading the way in bringing guests and local producers closer together around the season’s bounty, picked and prepared at its peak freshness. So go ahead: dig into those farm fresh eggs from the coop, sip your way through the vineyard next door’s bottle of red and why not snap into some dark chocolate cultivated on the hotel grounds?

Feed your gluttony for food porn at one of these remarkably self-reliant farm-to-table hotels and properties.

Bardessono Hotel California

Picking the day’s harvest at Bardessono. Photo courtesy of Bardessono.


Yountville, CA

Bardessono Resort California

Rolling up to Bardessono, a LEED Platinum-certified hotel in the heart of Yountville. Photo courtesy of Bardessono.

Snugly nestled into America’s most celebrated wine region, expectations of Yountville’s Bardessono are understandably set high when sharing a zip code with gastronomic superstars French Laundry and Domaine Chandon. Fortunately, this luxury country-living hotel plays to its advantage with seasonal food and drink sourced from Napa Valley. The 62-room Bardessono honors the local bounty at Lucy Restaurant & Bar, which describes its offerings as “fresh, innovative, garden-inspired cuisine.” With Chef Nate Lindsay at the helm, their current menu is serving up Lucy Gnocchi enveloped in a kale pesto from the garden and sealed with tartufata, followed by a Dry Aged Beef Striploin from Bay Area Schmitz Ranch.

Bardessono Lucy Restaurant

Bardessono’s Lucy Restaurant & Bar plating up beef tenderloin from Schmitz Ranch. Photo courtesy of Bardessono.

Meanwhile, the wine card pulling on Napa’s best bottles are sure to delight versed oenophiles. Need an introduction to the regional stock? Locavores can taste for themselves at one of six local vineyards within walking distance from the property. Or better yet, get guidance from Bardessono’s sommelier Anani Lawson at one of the complimentary “Somm’s Table” evenings held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Pool at Bardessono hotel California

Lounging out poolside with enviable views of Napa’s rolling hills. Photo courtesy of Bardessono.

Bardessono’s attention to the environment goes well beyond the 940 solar panels covering its roofs and the conscious sourcing of building materials. With the mission to reduce food waste, the hotel’s food compost gets a second life in the ground’s gardens while the restaurant’s pantries are stocked with the CCOF-certified organic harvests from Bardessono’s two gardens: Lucy’s Garden and Hill Family Estate Farm.

Book your Napa Valley Stay!

Farm To Table food at Bardessono

The warm hues of Lucy’s garden greens and root vegetables. Photo courtesy of Bardessono.

Locavore Love: Lucy’s Winter Garden Salad composed of garden greens and topped with Pt. Reyes blue cheese; Don Watson Milk-fed Lamb from Napa complemented by garden arugula, roasted local pears and organic farro

Fairmont Waterfront

Vancouver, BC

Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver deck

Fairmont Waterfront’s Gold Terrace with a vantage point of the Vancouver Convention Centre’s green roof and Vancouver Harbour. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Waterfront.

Something is abuzz at the Fairmont Waterfront anchored at the base of Vancouver’s Canada Place. Since 1995, the luxury hotel’s third-floor terrace has been re-purposed into a living herb garden and apiary. As one of the first green roofs in the downtown core, the Fairmont Waterfront maintains its leading position in keeping Vancouver green with a hotel-wide zero waste initiative, ocean-wise certified seafood choices fished from Haida Gwaii and complimentary electric vehicle parking. Opening onto striking views of the Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains, reminders to protect the environment are always front and center.

Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver dining

ARC’s pared down Harvest Salad. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Waterfront.

Up in the air, winged guests from the City’s East Hastings neighborhood can check into the ‘Bee and Bee’ pollinator hotel at the Fairmont Waterfront. As a part of the Pollinator Corridor Project, the hotel along with its Bee Butler Michael King are ensuring that the local solitary bee population has a place to nest and repopulate in town. The Fairmont chain in partnership with beauty brand Burt’s Bees has also installed thirteen other bee hotels across Canada as a part of the Wild For Bees program.

Fairmont Vancouver Bee hives

Fairmont Waterfront’s Bee Butler Michael King on the Rooftop Honey Bee Apiary. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Waterfront.

For the hotel’s two-legged guests this translates into daily Bee Butler tours (available April through September) and the luxury of capping off the day with a pint of Fairmont ‘Stinger’ Honey Lager in the ARC bar downstairs. Foodies shouldn’t miss out on Chef Alessandro Vianello’s three-course tasting menu of in-season dishes like a sea urchin risotto made with aged biodynamic rice.

Book your Vancouver Stay!

Fairmont Downtown Vancouver Bee hives

Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Waterfront

Locavore love: Foraged mushrooms candied in rooftop honey served on a fig & walnut loaf; Fairmont ‘Stinger’ Honey Lager

Calistoga Ranch

Calistoga, CA

Calistoga Ranch California

Calistoga Ranch guests can choose between Adult and Family swimming pools. Photo courtesy of Calistoga Ranch.

For some quality R&R with a hearty serving of local fare, bunk out at one of fifty Calistoga Ranch lodges tucked into the Upper Napa Valley. Each of Calistoga Ranch’s lodges plays into indoor-outdoor living with an open-air rain shower, soaking tub and fireplace. At the Ranch, guests can cultivate their culinary savoir-faire with gardening, flora and beekeeping classes, followed by a jaunt through wine country by bike. For other experiences straight from the source, go for a dip in the Auberge Spa’s mineral pool to soak in its time-tested healing qualities. Off-ranch, guests can check out local sights including St Helena’s Main Street, Napa’s enotourism and Robert Louis Stevenson State Park.

Napa wines

The Ranch is built on some of the most fertile soil in California. Photo courtesy of Calistoga Ranch.

Slow food amateurs should inquire with the Ranch ahead of time whether their stay coincides with a Food of Place event. This series of one-of-a-kind gastronomic events last year saw the likes of a Napa Valley mustard workshop, a green gardening talk, a class on whole-animal butchery, and an Olive Harvest Party in the Ranch’s Wine Cave. Want to meet the feathered producers behind your breakfast eggs? Sneak over to Calistoga Ranch’s cabana-like chicken coop where the property’s hens are treated to top-notch furnishings (peckish for a mini chandelier?)

Book your Wine Country Stay!

Calistoga Ranch outdoor shower

Photo via trivago

Locavore Love: Huevos rancheros from farm fresh eggs and homemade chorizo; Calistoga roasters French press coffee

Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel, CA

Carmel Valley Ranch rooms

Rustic and refined: Carmel Valley Ranch’s Treetop Suites are the picture-perfect addition to any Pinterest Board. Photo courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch.

Styled as a 500-acre playground, the Carmel Valley Ranch’s near-coastal situation gives guests plenty of entertainment options by land and sea. A round of golf in the morning can be paired with an afternoon at the beach. Similarly, this collision of surf and turf has found its way into Carmel Ranch Valley’s dining options as well.

Executive Chef Tim Wood_Credit Scott Campbell

Executive Chef Tim Wood showing off the day’s yield from the Ranch garden. Photo courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch.

Executive Chef Tim Wood, at the head of the Ranch’s culinary program and Valley Kitchen, gives local ingredients starring roles and, when possible, procurement is done from the property itself. Sustainably-caught fish from the Monterey Coast meets its match with garden torpedo onion and other accouterments in the Valley Kitchen’s ceviche. Similarly, the Kitchen’s Honey and Goat Cheese Salad goes full local with Ranch lavender, honey, and local goat cheese.

Thinking of a wander down to Carmel Beach or Monterey Historic State Park? Have the Ranch’s kitchen prepare a fully-stocked picnic basket for your al fresco afternoon with treats like artisanal olives marinated in citrus and herbs from Carmel Valley, local salami, and cheeses, accompanied by housemade chocolate chip cookies and Lulu’s local chocolates. Or is it a horseback ride through Jacks Peaks County Park that’s calling you? Carmel Valley Ranch will throw together a Ranch Hand Back Pack for two with baguette sandwiches stuffed with grilled garden vegetables, housemade granola bars and trail mix and other snackable sides for active day-trippers.

Mary's Free Ranch Chicken Breast Carmel Valley Ranch

Mary’s Free Range Chicken Breast in a personal cast-iron pan. Photo courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch.

Back at the hotel, gastronauts young and old can enroll themselves in a Bee Experience hosted by beekeeper and lavender expert John Russo, guiding you through an educational and hands-on trip through the Ranch’s apiary. Once suited up in beekeeping attire, honey-loving visitors will learn the breadth of hive duties and see first-hand how the Ranch’s colonies transform pollen into nature’s own sweetener. The lavender beeswax balm, a gift at the end of the Bee Experience, is sure to be the perfect travel-size memento of the day.

Book your Carmel Valley Stay!

Carmel Valley Ranch view

Unobstructed views of the vineyard, golf course and Carmel Valley from one of the Vineyard Suites. Photo courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch.

Locavore Love: Ranch Sea Salt Shishito Peppers kissed with Carmel Valley Olive Oil, California Tomato Pizza topped with local tomatoes and cheese and dressed with garden herbs

Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

Soufrière, Saint Lucia

Hotel Chocolat St.Lucia infinity pool

Boucan by Hotel Chocolat’s infinity pool melts into Rabot Estate and the (not-so) Petit Piton. Photo courtesy of Hotel Chocolat.

When the founders of UK-based chocolatier Hotel Chocolat came across the occasion to purchase the historic Rabot Estate in St. Lucia, it was a chance that comes once in a lifetime. Featuring impressive views of the island’s landmark Pitons, Boucan by Hotel Chocolat is the dashing product of a major transfiguration of a former chocolate plantation into the destination resort that both chocolate lovers and luxury travelers have long dreamt of. Avid fans of The Bachelor may recognize the Estate’s grounds from its wooing cameo in Season 18.

Chocolate at Boucan Hotel Chocolat St.Lucia

Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot Estate has the goal to regenerate small-batch chocolate production on the island of St. Lucia. Photo courtesy of Hotel Chocolat.

While staying over at one of fourteen lodges scattered around the 140-acre plantation, it’s hard to drown out chocolatey temptations with daily replenishment of in-room chocolate treats. Boucan’s restaurant also doesn’t hold back in boldly incorporating chocolate into dishes savory and sweet alike. To start, the gluten-free Carpaccio Rabot with thin slices of cacao-cured beef tenderloin, fashioned with a 100% pure cacao tuile, shaved Parmesan and locally-sourced salad greens. Proceed into the poached St. Lucian Kingfish accompanied by a cacao nib-spiced escabeche bouillon and seasoned with nursery herbs. Then round it out with the dessert known as ‘The Story of Chocolate, In Ice’ which charts the chocolate-making process from pod (cacao pulp sorbet) to roasting (cacao nib-infused ice cream) to tempering (estate chocolate ice cream) in a delicious trio of sweets.

Boucan Hotel Chocolat St.Lucia bathrooms

The extra-long vanity in Boucan’s Luxe Lodges. Photo courtesy of Hotel Chocolat.

Lodges, set 1000 feet above sea level, are well-appointed with a king size four poster bed, super-high thread count sheets and towels and a rainforest shower, with the addition of private sea-facing verandas in the Luxe Lodges. Guests can take a dip at Club Boucan, centered around the indulgent 50-foot black quartz infinity pool, or hitch a ride with the Estate’s private speedboat to visit St. Lucia’s local beaches.

Boucan’s infusion of cocoa into its locavore stays doesn’t stop with its food. Guests can even find the use of the magical beans at the Cocoa Juvenate spa with an array of naturally-derived products used in their cacao facial, deep tissue massages and other refreshing treatments. Devoted chocoholics ought to follow Boucan’s Tree-to-Bar Experience, which operates weekday mornings, taking guests through the complete sourcing and production of a chocolate bar from cocoa pod harvest through to the satisfying sample.

Book your St. Lucia Stay!

Hotel Chocolat St. Lucia chocolate workshop

Photo via trivago

Locavore Love: Fresh Cacao Bellini with a blend of Prosecco, Estate cacao pulp, lemon verbena and soursop juice; Rum Baba drenched in the island’s very own Chairman’s Reserve rum then topped with cacao whipped cream; Soufriere Cheesecake with layers of soursop-mascarpone cream and mango jelly resting atop a cacao nib-pecan-cinnamon biscuit base and paired with a cacao pulp sorbet

Los Poblanos

Albuquerque, NM

Los Poblanos Ranch exterior

Los Poblanos Organic Farm provides the Inn with bacon, pork, honey, lavender and a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Photo courtesy of the Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm Facebook page.

If your accommodation outside Albuquerque bears USDA certified organic status, two things are certain: first of which is that you will be having a sumptuous farm-to-table stay and secondly, you most likely have found your way to Los Poblanos in the Rio Grande River Valley. This trailblazing locavore destination hotel will sweep gourmands off their feet with their updated spin on New Mexican cuisine set in a historic estate that feels as meticulously preserved and refined.

Los Poblanos Ranch New Mexican Cuisine

Smoked beets get stacked upon a Quinoa cake and finished with a goat cheese yogurt sauce in the Chef’s Selection Vegetarian Entrée. Photo courtesy of the Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm Facebook page.

The twenty rooms at the Inn underscore the building’s Territorial Revival architectural style while subtly refreshing with modern amenities. From the Classic Queen to the Farm Deluxe Suite, guests can expect a Southwestern Kiva fireplace, inset Talavera tiles, Farm lavender-based toiletries – and of course, the solace of Albuquerque’s North Valley. A full farm-to-fork breakfast is offered by the Inn to greet guests every morning. The menu, which rotates day by day, could mean dipping into a plate of herbed buttermilk biscuits and green chile pork gravy, or slicing through a pile of Cardamom Danish Aebleskiver pancakes served with the Inn’s fruit preserves. Consider biking off your first meal of the day on one of Los Poblanos’ loaners, equally offered to guests free of charge.

Los Poblanos Room

Deluxe Rooms include a sleek four-poster King bed and patio seating looking onto the Inn’s lotus pond. Photo via trivago.

Consider yourself lucky if you manage to catch one of Los Poblanos’ Long Table Dining events. Arranged by Executive Chef Jonathan Perno and his team, these seasonally-themed soirées start with a cocktail reception before enjoying a four-course menu convivially with other diners in the adjacent La Quinta hall. Other recurring provenance-focus activities include a Farm Tour, Farm Volunteer Day and the Meet the Farmer series. Best of all, Los Poblanos’ onsite Farm Shop and its online shop stocks many of the condiments it uses in its kitchen for guests wanting to take a bit of their locavore stay home.

Book your New Mexico Stay!

Los Poblanos cuisine

Smoked farm pork belly served at Los Poblanos’ La Merienda. Photo courtesy of the Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm Facebook page.

Locavore Love: Cumin & Anchv o Rubbed Farm Pork Tenderloin served with a two-tone Acoma posole; Local Peach and Farm Lavender Ice Cream; Farm Lavender Salve from the Los Poblanos Farm Shop

Did we miss your favorite Farm-To-Table Hotel?

We’d love to hear where you’ve found your bon vivant stay.