Why five-star hotels are embracing chef residences

As far as I’m concerned, destination hotels and destination restaurants are one and the same thing.

What we talk about Gourmet at the Bistro in Paris, The Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri at the Waldorf Astoria, or The hand and the flowers at the inn synonymous with Tom Kerridge, no truly phenomenal hotel experience is complete without phenomenal food.

Only, the latter is beginning to take on a different shape as the industry tackles post-pandemic hospitality.

Take Cyprus’s newest luxury resort, Cap St Georges. Traditionally, the hotel (which has a private yacht for guest use) would have been one to spend a small fortune hiring a multi-Michelin-starred chef and letting them create their dream restaurant, attracting hordes of wealthy Europeans to relax and dine with a pillar of culinary excellence.

Only, when it opened in July 2022, they took a very different path.

instead of hiring any chef at its main restaurant, the hotel hosted a four-month “epicurean festival” – Sky 7 Stars – with a number of Michelin-starred chefs from around the world.

For a few days each, the chefs brought their respective menus from one to three Michelin stars to the Mediterranean, not only giving guests a reason to stay at the hotel, but a dining experience they wouldn’t find anywhere else on the island.

And, with chefs such as Nicolas Isnard, Rui Silvestre, Pieter Riedijk, Thomas Bühner, Kiko Moya, Erik Van Loo, Henrique Sa Passoa and Jordi Artal, culinary experiences many in the region might never have dreamed of.

This is perhaps one of the main reasons why five-star hotels embrace chef residences. These events attract locals and tourists alike and, in uncertain times, provide an exciting new source of income.

You know, if its Japanese teppanyaki, secret beach, Italian trattoria, and in-room pools weren’t enough to attract guests alone.

Cap St Georges is not the only one to try residences either.

Siyam World, Maldives opened a dedicated chef’s table restaurant, The Cube, this year with an inaugural residency of culinary legend, Claude Bosi (chef-patron of Bibendum) followed by Sebastian Frank (chef-patron of Horvath).

For a month in April History of the restaurant and Tom Sellers brought their progressive culinary delights to flutes also at the National Museum of Singapore, the first of its kind in the region.

And with countless five-star reviews for each one, it might just be that Michelin-starred mainstays are no longer a recipe for success.

Just last week, Hampton Manor in Solihull announced it would be closing its beloved Michelin-starred restaurant, Peelat the end of the year, replacing it with a more casual dining option.

For now, the jury is out on who will perform best, but I have the highest hopes for the chef’s residencies.

They have the power to take the boredom out of business travel, add even more to luxury travel, and allow talented chefs to share their creations with the world.

What’s not to like?

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