Hotel Meurice, Paris
Hotel Meurice, Paris
The interior of the dining room at Le Meurice is enough to feast on in its own right - an orgy of marble, frescoes, mosaics and gilt. But the restaurant is also home to one of the most talked-about chefs in Parisian gourmet circles. Since taking over in September 2003, Yannick Alléno has earned two Michelin stars for his cooking, which includes signature dishes such as turbot and truffles in a clay crust. It seems no detail is too small, and even extends to specially designed Hermès stools for diners to rest their handbags on during their meal.
Le Meurice, Hotel Meurice, 228 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France (00 33 1 44 58 10 10; www.meuricehotel.com)
The Peninsula, Hong Kong
The Peninsula on the tip of Kowloon is one of Hong Kong's iconic hotels, with sweeping views of the skyline of Hong Kong island. Fittingly enough for a hotel of its stature, "The Pen" has several acclaimed restaurants, including the Philippe Starck-designed Felix located at the top of its 28-storey tower. But its Spring Moon restaurant is where you will find some of the city's best Cantonese banquet cuisine and dim sum, served in a room that evokes 1920s Shanghai.
Spring Moon, The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong (00 852 29 20 2888; www.peninsula.com). Reservations: 00 852 2315 3160
Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, London
Since it opened in 2001 under the steerage of head chef Mark Sargeant, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's has attracted a loyal following of diners eager to sample Ramsay classics in stylish Art Deco surroundings. This Michelin-starred restaurant offers dishes such as braised Gloucester pork belly and roast loin of venison. If you feel you want more behind-the-scenes action, reserve the chef's table, seating up to six, in the middle of the kitchen.
Claridge's Hotel, Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1 (020-7629 8860; www.claridges.co.uk) Reservations: 020-7499 0099
Hesperia Hotel, Madrid
A couple of years ago the interior of the five-star Hesperia Madrid was given a complete make-over by Spanish designer Pascua Ortega. But the Hesperia's modish redesign is not the only reason to visit - the hotel's Santceloni restaurant has recently secured its second Michelin star, despite only being in its third year of operation. The restaurant is run by chef Santi Santamar, who is also responsible for El Rac de Can Fabes restaurant near Barcelona, which has three of the coveted stars. Each day resident chef Oscar Velasco uses the freshest natural ingredients to create dishes drawing on Spain's rich gastronomic heritage, such as grouper marinated with mashed smoked apples.
Santceloni, Hesperia Madrid, Paseo de la Castellana 57 (00 34 91 210 8800; www.hoteles-hesperia.es). Reservations: 00 34 91 210 8840
Hôtel de Paris, Monaco
Alain Ducasse is one of France's most famous chefs, with an empire that now stretches around the world, and his three Michelin stars speak for themselves when it comes to the gastronomic pedigree of his Le Louis XV restaurant at the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco. True to its name, the interior of this opulent dining room, which overlooks the Place du Casino, is redolent of Versailles. The wine cellar extends to a staggering 400,000 bottles, but it's the food that really shines with the very best of seasonal Mediterranean produce prepared for an exhaustive menu that changes with the seasons.
Restaurant Le Louis XV, Hôtel de Paris, Place du Casino, Monaco (00 377 92 16 29 76; www.alain-ducasse.com)