From the freshest, most delicate sashimi in Japan to a taco in Mexico with a ratio of tortilla to filling to salsa that Fibonacci would be proud of, we’ll travel for food and happily plan our vacations around the bucket list spots we’ll eat at along the way. But at luxury hotels and resorts around the world, you can have a memorable restaurant experience without even leaving the building — which is ideal for those days when you’d rather relax and experience a world-class meal without having to worry about calling a cab or pulling out so much as a map.
Get ready to add a few more stops to your bucket lists, as these unique dining destinations (and the hotels where they’re located) have it all — from exciting menus to bold design, gorgeous spaces, impeccable service, and experiences you won’t soon forget.
Conrad Punta de Mita sits on two miles of tropical white sand beach on the western coast of Mexico, and both its dining and water-based experiences pay homage to the land and indigenous traditions of the past.
After hydrotherapy and an ancient Temazcal steam ritual led by a Shaman at the spa, head to the signature, open-air restaurant, Codex. It was inspired by the 16th century Aztec Codices, which were the first herbal and medical texts in the New World, filled with recipes, rituals, and cures for ailments. The menu takes advantage of local and traditional Mexican ingredients like the green herbs epazote and hoja santa, and quelites, Mexican wild greens. Try one of the dishes made with local seafood, like the lomo de atun, tuna loin wrapped in hoja santa with chorizo sauce, onion ashes, and brussel sprout puree — or the jaiba de concha suave, soft shell crab with ancho chili, black garlic, citrus jocoque (Mexican fermented milk), charred eggplant puree, and tomato sauce with chipotle and brown sugar.
To pair with your meal, try one of the unique cocktails at Codex like the Ixi’im, named after the Mayan word for corn, which is made with corn liqueur, Mexican corn whiskey, lemon, and ancho chile liqueur.
During the rest of your stay, after a day spent fishing, sailing, whale watching, snorkeling or horseback riding, try one of Conrad Punta de Mita’s bars. Agave Studio in Arbol restaurant offers a tasting of agave-based spirits like sotol, mezcal, raicilla, and tequila paired with Mexican antojitos (small snacks and appetizers). Or you can always lounge while sipping a refreshing cocktail from their pool side eatery, Paleta.
In Vegas, the dining destinations are endless, each one bigger and better than the next. But it’s hard to get much bigger than Conrad Las Vegas at Resort World’s Famous Foods Street Eats. It’s not your average food hall: It’s a 24,000-square-foot dining destination that’s inspired by Asian hawker culture, and filled with 16 street food stalls, the most Bib Gourmand and Michelin Plate-recognized concepts anywhere in the country. That means Conrad Las Vegas put dozens of dishes that are trip-worthy themselves under one roof (a roof that also holds seven different pool experiences, including an infinity pool with views of the Las Vegas Strip.) In order to get the same dishes, you’d need to travel all around the world.
The stalls include Malaysian Chef Googgle Man’s Char Kuey Teow, known for its traditional charcoal-fired stoves used to touch rice and egg noodles with a smokiness called wok hei, or dragon’s breath. Moving to the Philippines, there’s Pepita’s Kitchen by the fondly known Lechón Diva, Dedet de la Fuente, who cooks whole roasted suckling pigs over charcoal. From Thailand there’s Ten Suns Braised Beef, an outpost of a family-run Thai beef noodle shop in Bangkok’s old town that earned a Bib Gourmand recognition from the Michelin Guide in 2019, 2020, and 2021. From Japan, there’s KuruKuruPa Yakitori, serving up yakitori, kushiyaki, and yaki onigiri created by the Aoki brothers. And for a taste that’s a bit closer to home, there’s Streetbird for comfort classics by Marcus Samuelsson like fried chicken and mac n’ greens. And if you can find it (hint: it’s behind a shelf filled with lucky cats somewhere in the food hall), Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den is a speakeasy filled with neon tigers on the walls and unique cocktails like the Pink Kitty made with Japanese gin and sparkling peach sake.
But Conrad Las Vegas offers more restaurants than just a first-class food hall: There’s ¡VIVA! for Mexican by Ray Garcia, Brezza for coastal Italian, Craig’s Vegan, Sun’s Out Buns Out for egg dishes served all day, and Wally’s Wine & Spirits. There’s also a spa, fitness center, and room service built for a restorative day after a long night hitting the Strip.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island — on top of having two luxurious spas, two infinity pools, a watersports center with 42 dive sites nearby (including the famous Manta Point), and an open-air cinema spanning two islands — is also home to a once in a lifetime dining experience: the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant, Ithaa. As you sit down for dinner in the turquoise waters 16 feet below sea level, you’ll watch sharks, turtles, and rays roam the coral reef around and above you.
Ithaa means “mother-of-pearl” in Dhivehi, the Maldivian language, and has a changing, fusion menu filled with ingredients from the reef around you, like whole Maldivian lobster with saffron and chili hollandaise, snow crab and hamachi salad, blackened scallops, and prawn tartare.
There are 11 other dining options at the resort too, like the KoKo Grill Japanese Restaurant on the beach, and the Mandhoo Spa Restaurant, where each dish is designed to impact your mind, body and spirit in different ways. All are luxurious, romantic, and unforgettable.
In the candle-lit dining room at Jahn, there are stunning views of the Gulf of Thailand framed by palm trees, where green islands rise out of the blue waters. There, changing, bespoke menus (with your choice of a tasting or a la carte) showcase elegant Thai dishes like tom kha gai served in a local Samui coconut, scallop and prawn panang curry with Gulf of Thailand prawns, seared scallops, jackfruit, pineapple and cashew nuts, and beef massaman made with Wagyu beef tenderloin, finished off with desserts like coconut créme brûlée and mango sticky rice. All that with pairings by the restaurant’s sommelier makes for a decadent meal in one of the most beautiful places in the world — which, alone, is worth the trip.
But Conrad Koh Samui offers so much more. The resort’s luxury villas sit on a hidden hill on the southwestern tip of Koh Samui island, which is known for its coconut groves and rich rainforest, making for a tropical getaway for the ages. You can explore the coral reef by swimming, kayaking, sailing or diving, and Koh Samui offers excursions like sunset yacht rides for a romantic experience.
Botanikka restaurant is another, more casual dining option: it’s a secret garden that grows micro leaves, mushrooms, vegetables, and tropical flowers for the resort’s bars and restaurants, where you can start the day with coffee or tea. To continue relaxing, there are 10 treatment suites at the spa, including a private plunge pool and saunas with ocean views. It offers Thai treatments like the 4 Hands 1 Heart massage and mud wraps and facials with Thai Phu Klon mineral mud. To end the day, head to KO Lounge, Koh Samui’s bar, which sits high above the resort against a rock face to experience the best view of the Gulf Koh Samui has to offer, with a drink in hand.
There’s no way you’re going to Tokyo without trying some world-class sushi, and there’s no better place than Kazahana for fine dining with exceptional Japanese ingredients. The restaurant sits on the 28th floor of the Shiodome skyscraper, which also houses Conrad Tokyo, offering sky-high views of the ancient Hamarikyu Gardens and Tokyo Bay. Inside, the minimalist design of the space plays off the plating of the sushi, kaiseki, and teppanyaki dishes — all made with Japanese ingredients like persimmons, spiny lobster, abalone, uni, and Wagyu. Try their steamed Japanese rice with deep fried sea urchin, wasabi stem and sweet soy sauce, simmered Wagyu beef with butterbur bud miso, and Japanese wafer “Monaka” for dessert with butterbur sprout ice cream and black sesame sauce.
Conrad Tokyo is filled with other luxury dining experiences, too, like China Blue for Cantonese and TwentyEight for fine crafted cocktails, Japanese whiskeys, seasonal tea offerings, and small bites.
Once you’ve eaten all the hotel has to offer, don’t forget to ask the concierge for recommendations and use the nearby Shiodome subway station for a quick ride to central Tokyo spots like the sprawling Toyosu Fish Market.
Abu Dhabi is a playground, filled with experiences and luxury you can’t find anywhere else. Take Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers’ Le Petit Chef at Ray’s Grill, the hotel’s signature restaurant. On the 63rd floor of the skyscraper with views of the resort’s private beach and the Persian Gulf, your table will be brought to life alongside a new kind of entertainment. Once you sit down you’ll meet Le Petit Chef, known fondly as the world’s smallest chef, who climbs out of your table, takes a bow, and begins to prepare your meal — all thanks to 3D projection mapping technology. This immersive culinary journey takes you through five courses with classic dishes like confit de canard, a confit duck leg with farro mushroom risotto and white truffle, and bouillabaisse made with lobster, scallops, mussels, sea bass, and octopus.
The sprawling Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers hotel has 11 other restaurants, like Li Beirut for Lebanese mezze, VaKaVa for a study in South American flavors (like seven different Peruvian ceviches and cachapas, Venezuelan sweet corn pancakes). There’s also Tori No Su, a Japanese restaurant named the world’s best hotel restaurant in 2020, with dishes like yuzu miso burrata, sea urchin Wagyu rolls, and for dessert, a Japanese chestnut tart.
There’s more to vacation than just eating (right?), and Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers has everything you’re looking for in a luxury stay. The spa has 13 treatment rooms, including a Hammam Turkish bath suite and a Rasul chamber where you can experience a traditional Arabian mud cleansing ritual. Plus, the finest shopping is never too far away. At the Avenue, the highest-end fashion houses and luxury cars have stores for you to wander. And don’t think we wouldn’t come back to the private beach — there’s 7,000 square feet of it on the Persian Gulf and three outdoor pools to dip into.