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7 Hotel Restaurants Where You Can Feed Your Inner Chef

Cooking classes, wine tasting, and culinary delights—feed your inner chef at these hotel restaurants before heading to bed.

The sweet smell of change wafts through the air as spring slowly turns into summer, ushering in a new wave of produce, ripe for the plucking. All across the country, farmers markets’ cups runneth over, bursting with colorful fruits and vegetables for sale. The ripest tomatoes, sweet corn, eggplant, and berries come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. They lay freshly picked from the abundant fields, just waiting to be transformed into delectable seasonal dishes.

With a growing popularity in the farm-to-table movement, you don’t have to look too far—even on getaways—for a meal crafted using locally-sourced ingredients that change according to the seasons. Food has a unique way of crafting a story about the place you’re visiting, uniting people and sparking their curiosity for knowledge.

A shared meal, a walk in the vineyard with a glass of freshly poured wine, and a cooking lesson that teaches you the basics of Southern cuisine or pastry making are all ways to learn about food in the city you’re visiting. A stay at any of these seven hotels across the country offers everything from mixology lessons and hands-on cooking classes with James Beard award-winning chefs, to wine tastings and cooking camps for the aspiring young chef, giving you a chance to immerse in local culture and simply try something new.

Charleston, South Carolina | Fine Dining From a Two-Time Chopped Champion Chef

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Set in a series of restored historic houses dating back to the early 1800s, Zero George Street expertly combines Charleston’s old-world charm with luxurious modern comforts and amenities. Drawing inspiration from the city’s history as a colonial port town, this chic 16-room property features British, French, and nautical-themed rooms with period millwork, high ceilings, and luxe silk and velvet fabrics.

Executive Chef Vinson Petrillo, a two-time winner of the Food Network’s show Chopped, helms Zero Restaurant + Bar, known for its quaint alfresco courtyard dining location. With a constantly changing fine dining menu featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients—including many herbs and vegetables from the on-site garden—rest assured that you’ll never eat the same dish twice. For those interested in expanding their culinary repertoire, the property also has a cooking school, housed in one of its 19th-century carriage houses. Chef Petrillo along with visiting chefs—who in the past have included Top Chef winner Kristen Kish and food writer, Brys Stephens—teach everything from Southern recipes and wine pairings to sous vide cookery and texture development, all in an intimate class setting.

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Zero George Street

Top rated
Charleston, 7.9 miles to Boone Hall Plantation
9.4 Excellent (342 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
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Coral Cables, Florida | Hands-on Cooking Classes for the Whole Family

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Set in the city of Coral Gables, known for its grandeur, oak-lined avenues, and love of Spanish architecture, the stately Biltmore Hotel is just one of the city’s many buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Set on 150 acres of verdant tropical landscape, the property has long been a favorite of celebrities and politicians alike, hosting everyone from English royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to infamous gangsters like Al Capone, since it first opened in 1926.

Recent renovations to the 273-rooms and suites take notes from the building’s original Moorish-Italian architecture and feature rich jewel tones with plum and gold fabric accents and Art Deco-inspired carpets. For the Epicureans, the resort’s primary draw is the Biltmore Culinary Academy, which hosts a variety of cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes—everything from Italian and Indian to Cuban cuisine and even pastry 101s—for both adults and kids.

There’s also six restaurants and bars to choose from and a 12,000-square-foot spa to pamper yourself in. Recreational amenities include a 10,000 square-foot-gym and a 23,000-square-foot swimming pool, one of the largest hotel pools in the United States. In addition, the sprawling resort offers an 18-hole golf course, designed by renowned golf course architect Donald Ross, which now serves as the University of Miami Women’s Golf Team headquarters.

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Biltmore Hotel

Top rated
Coral Gables, 0.5 miles to Venetian Pool
8.8 Excellent (1552 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9 / 10
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Essex, Vermont | A Foodie-Filled Getaway in the Foothills of Vermont's Green Mountains

Located on 18 green acres of countryside in the foothills of the Green Mountains, The Essex – Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa is the state’s premier getaway for culinary enthusiasts. Cozy accommodations range from guest rooms designed around three culinary concepts: The Art of Baking, The Harvest, and Spice Rack, each with its own color palette and unique furnishings—think headboards resembling wooden cutting boards and measuring spoon artworks—to two-bedroom extended-stay suites, complete with kitchenettes and dining areas.

The resort previously functioned as the second campus for the New England Culinary Institute, and in keeping with its gastronomy roots, offers guests a myriad of food-focused amenities, including a culinary library stocked with cookbooks. Junction and The Tavern, the property’s two in-house restaurants, use herbs and vegetable straight from their own organic gardens. The menu pairs well with their award-winning wine list and exciting selection of Vermont craft beers and microbrews. Cooking classes at the Essex’s Cook Academy range from hands-on workshops to demonstrations by renowned chefs; there’s even a week-long cooking camp for the budding young chef.

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The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa

8.4 Very good (1427 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
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Kennebunk, Maine | A Taste of Coastal New England

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Situated in the quiet coastal town of Kennebunk is White Barn Inn, a cozy inn set in a restored 19th-century farmhouse. The main highlight of the 26-room inn is its quaint cottages featuring Kennebunk River views and direct access to the property’s heated infinity pool.

The Inn’s fine dining restaurant, which opened in 1973, is one of only six AAA Five Diamond-awarded restaurants in the state of New England. The prix-fixe menu focuses on New-England style dishes like the Kennebunkport lobster or the beef tenderloin with a rich foie gras crust, using only fresh, seasonal produce and ingredients. For a more casual vibe, head to The Bistro for Maine classics like oysters, lobster pizza, or surf & turf. Guests can also enjoy several culinary-themed activities from a complimentary wine tasting every Thursday evening in the Inn’s cellar with their resident sommelier to a private cooking class with chef Padilla focusing on how to prepare some of the restaurant’s most-ordered dishes.

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Hotel Grace White Barn Inn

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (121 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
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Las Vegas, Nevada | A Culinary Oasis Along the Las Vegas Strip

Set along the bustling Las Vegas Strip, Wynn Las Vegas is a luxe casino hotel known primarily for its entertainment venues—there are four nightclubs and theatres, along with two spas, an 18-hole golf course, and 260,000 square feet of meeting space. But it should also be seriously considered for its culinary highlights.

The sprawling 2,716-room resort along with its sister complex, Encore, is home to 26 cafe, restaurants, lounges and bars which include a Frank Sinatra-inspired Italian spot serving many of his personal favorites such as Frank’s Clams Posilipo, and the Veal Milanese; an extravagant all-you-can-eat buffet; a lakeside restaurant and a Wing Lei, a haute Chinese restaurant known for its Imperial Peking Duck tasting. Executive chef Mark LoRusso serves an exclusive Italian-focused tasting menu—that he originally cooked at the James Beard House in NYC—nightly at Costa di Mare. In addition to dining to your heart’s content, the resort offers cooking demonstrations and workshops by world-renowned chefs, vintners, and cheesemakers.

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Wynn Las Vegas

Top rated
Las Vegas, 0.8 miles to Adventuredome Theme Park
9.5 Excellent (44783 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
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Sausalito, California | A View from the Golden Gate Bridge

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Set on 45 acres of land overlooking San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Bridge, the Cavallo Point Lodge is housed in Fort Baker, a former U.S. military base. The 142 polished rooms and suites, some located in historic officers’ buildings dating back to the 1900s, offer views of the lush hills, bay views, and San Francisco city skyline.

Guests can spend the day indulging in spa treatments at the 11,000-square-foot spa—including practicing mindfulness in the heated outdoor meditation pool. Your appetite is curbed at Murray Circle and Farley Bar, both relaxed choices featuring seasonal ingredients procured weekly from the area’s farmers and fishermen; the house-cured charcuterie board is not to be missed.

Apart from its enviable location along the San Francisco Bay, the property is most known for its renowned Cavallo Point Cooking School. The culinary school focuses on the use of local, seasonal ingredients in recipes, taught by Tony Adams, Camila Loew, and Meggan Arnoux, three well-known Bay Area chefs, along with one-off workshops led by vintners from nearby wine country. The school hosts a monthly dining series called the Chef’s Counter, where guests enjoy a curated fine-dining experience while interacting with the chef and watching him prepare each dish in front of them.

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Cavallo Point Lodge

Top rated
Sausalito, 1.8 miles to Sausalito Bay
9.0 Excellent (824 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Tampa, Florida | Complete with an Innovative 40-Seat Culinary Kitchen

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Named after the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, the Epicurean Hotel serves as a heavenly abode for the culinary-obsessed traveler heading to Tampa. Developed by the owners of the legendary Bern’s Steak House, a James Beard Award-winning Tampa establishment, this 137-room contemporary property located in the lively Hyde Park neighborhood draws inspiration from Epicurus’ philosophical teachings that pleasure motivates our thoughts and actions. The theme throughout the hotel focuses on the culinary arts, with rooms featuring wine crates, butcher-block-style cabinetry, and an artisanal pantry filled with local craft beers, wines, and curated snack pairings—think prosciutto, sea salt caramels, and soft chèvre.

With handcrafted cocktails in hand, take in the sunset overlooking the Tampa skyline at Edge, the hotel’s relaxed rooftop cocktail lounge. Award-winning Executive Chef Chad Johnson is responsible for the international menu—highlights include the homage to Bern’s, a juicy steak sandwich, and the brioche-crusted halibut—at the in-house restaurant, Élevage. The Epicurean Theatre, a 40-seat event space plays host to a variety of culinary workshops, mixology classes, and James Beard chef-led demonstrations. On your way out, don’t forget to peruse the selection of rare wines and spirits at Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits in the hotel lobby.

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Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection

Top rated
Tampa, 4.7 miles to Armani's
9.0 Excellent (596 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Feature photo by Alyson McPhee on Unsplash