8 Hotels Worth Visiting Just for the Food

We've rounded up eight hotel restaurants worth visiting just for a meal.

Most people think of hotel food as something to endure, not enjoy. At some places, it’s as bad as you’d find at a hospital. But when it comes to knockout ambience, killer cuisine and a world-class experience, some luxury hotels bring their A game. Here, we’ve rounded up eight worth visiting just for a meal, based on cursory research and recommendations.

1. Wit & Wisdom at Four Seasons Hotel, Baltimore

Michael Mina’s award-winning tavern is as American as you can get, with seafood thrown in for good measure. New Englanders will feel right at home with their lobster pot pie and grilled chicken breast, while adventurous types will spring for the beef tartare toast and uni hashbrowns with black caviar.

2. The J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln, Chicago

You’d have to visit the Willis Tower for a view that beats the J. Parker’s. Located on the 13th floor of the Hotel Lincoln, the restaurant serves up the usual suspects: crab cakes, grilled cheese sandwiches and spinach garlic dip. We advise ordering cocktails, preferably the one called Dangerous When Rested.

3. Huang Ting Restaurant at the Peninsula, Beijing

Luckily for travelers, the food at Huang Ting is as good as its ambience — and judging by the photos, the ambience is stunning. Designed to recreate a Beijing nobleman’s courtyard home, the restaurant serves Cantonese food with a contemporary twist. The equally elegant tea lounge is adorned with Ming Dynasty-era tables and parasols.

4. Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, Dubai 

The waterfront patio isn’t the only attraction at Nathan Outlaw — the seafood restaurant features a floor-to-ceiling aquarium. Also attractive: the lobster risotto, lightly pickled oysters and Dover sole terrine.

5. The Restaurant at Meadowood, Napa Valley

The $500 tasting menu may be outrageously pricey, but few would turn down the chance to sample one of star chef Christopher Kostow’s warm strawberries infused with anchovy or buttery oysters layered with sturgeon caviar. The drinking selection, which features mostly locally grown vino, is worth writing home about.

6. Borgne at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans

Chefs John Besh and Brian Landry have made Borgne into a destination for lovers of classic New Orleans cuisine, which may explain why it was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best New Restaurant in 2013. Thursday’s special, fried chicken with homemade pepper jelly, may be worth skipping lunch for.

7. NoMad Restaurant, NoMad Hotel, New York

If imbibing an absinthe martini in the library doesn’t entice you, perhaps entrees like the signature roasted chicken will. Not convinced a trip to NoMad is worth it? The wine list is almost as tempting as The Restaurant at Meadowood’s, and the extensive selection of cocktails features something called the Drunk Monk.

8. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris

Jaw-dropping decor? Check. Wines as old as 55 years? Check. The subject of a film (“Naturalité”) because the shojin cuisine is so memorable? Check and check. Basically, the restaurant is everything one could hope for from the godfather of French cuisine.

Save on Your Next Trip 

Whether you’re planning to try the Drunk Monk or splurge on the tasting menu at The Restaurant at Meadowood, it never hurts to make a plan to save on your travels. Rewards cards can help you do that and rack up some freebies while you’re at it. Be sure to check out our roundups of the best airline miles cards and cards with no foreign transaction fees.

And remember, before you apply for any credit card, we recommend checking your credit to see if you’re likely to qualify. You can do that here on Credit.com, where you’ll get two of your free credit scores with updates every two weeks.

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13 Ways Breakfast Could Help You Fix Your Money Problems

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Sure, there are “morning people,” but for the rest of us, getting up, getting dressed and getting out the door to work is pretty much just a giant hassle every morning.

Figuring out what to eat on top of that? Pffft. That drive-thru on the way to the office is looking pretty good.

Americans spend $47 billion each year on fast-food breakfasts, according to 2014 figures from brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. And a recent New York Times story reported that almost 40% of millennials surveyed said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it.

Cereal? Really? The original convenience food is no longer convenient because of dishes?

Seriously, if you’re wanting to save money – toward a new home, car, emergency fund or paying off your student loans or credit card debt – not wanting to wash some dishes is costing you, and not just a little. If you spend $3 each weekday on coffee, that adds up to $780 a year. That $4 egg sandwich twice a week? $416.

There’s a cheaper, easier and healthier way to go about getting your morning fuel. It takes a little advanced planning, but you can eat well, plus save time and money in the mornings. Here are 13 ways to do that.

1. Eat the Cereal

Even the expensive $4-plus boxes of cereal are still one of the cheapest breakfast options around. If you’re really too lazy or busy to wash a bowl and a spoon, spend a little more and buy some disposables – that you can recycle.

2. Make Your Own Coffee

Seriously. It’s not hard, and you can probably get better quality beans anyway. Plus, you can make it just as you like it.

3. Just Juice It

If you can’t start your day without a liquid sugar hit, squeeze your own juice at home. It’s easy and inexpensive (if you choose the right fruits!) and you can do it the night before and keep it in the refrigerator in a travel mug ready to grab and go.

4. Go for Value Menus

If you have to eat out, try to find a breakfast spot with extra-cheap alternatives.

5. Prepare Breakfasts in Advance & Freeze

There are literally dozens of options here. Making pancakes on Saturday? Double the batch, cook and freeze. Pop a couple of pancakes in the toaster come Monday morning and BAM! You have breakfast in 1 minute.

6. Take Advantage of Breakfast Meetings

If you’re in a position to do so, plan or attend breakfast meetings where your company buys the coffee and pastries, breakfast tacos or donuts. Everyone wins.

7. Hotels With Free Breakfasts

If you’re traveling, breakfast can be crazy expensive, especially at the hotel — $30 for room service is crazy, as is the $20 buffet downstairs. Look for hotels with free breakfast options when traveling. Even if you can expense your meals, it could free you up to spend a bit more of your per diem on dinner.

8. Buy Ready-Made Breakfasts at the Grocery Store

If you don’t cook, you can still save money by stocking up on pre-made breakfast items like muffins, biscuits and sausage or breakfast burritos (and if you have a coupon, bonus!). Pop in the microwave, grab and go. And unlike that pesky, inconvenient cereal, there’s no bowl or spoon to wash.

9. Eat Your Fruit!

Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes. They’re nature’s individually wrapped convenience foods. They’re inexpensive and they’re great alone or paired with one of the above options, or a hard boiled egg, peanut butter – any number of options await you.

10. Cold Pizza – There’s Nothing Wrong With Leftovers!

Have some leftover pot roast? Wrap it in a tortilla with some cheese and you’ve got a quick, protein-rich breakfast taco. Mac and cheese? Why not? Who says breakfast has to be, well, breakfast?

11. Bubble & Squeak

The Brits totally get the concept of using leftovers for breakfast. Toss it all in a pan with some potatoes (you can use eggs if you like), fry it all up and “Bob’s your uncle!”

12. Freeze-Ahead Smoothie Bags

If you want to be an overachiever in the breakfast category, buy some freezer bags and fill them with your favorite fruits, veggies, chia seeds, flax, whatever and freeze. Dump in the blender, add protein powder and the milk or juice of your choice and breakfast is served.

13. Day-Old Pastries

If you live near a decent bakery or grocery with a bakery counter, check out what time they start discounting their pastries. Some places offer them at half-price in the afternoons. You can stock up and freeze ahead your breakfast for several days at a pretty tidy savings.

Remember, saving money can help you pay off your debt, but can also build a good credit score. And a good credit score can help you save on interest when it comes to credit cards, mortgages, auto loans and other financing. (You can check your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com to see where you stand.)

More on Managing Debt:

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