Brunch. It’s not breakfast. It’s not lunch. But you can have dishes normally served at either. Or both. Basically, brunch is everything.
Though the meal has become a venerable institution in the U.S., it is by no means limited to our shores. Here are 13 hotels on six continents with some of the most decadent, over-the-top, luxurious brunch experiences around. Free-flowing champagne? Check. Rare delicacies? Check. The chance to stuff your face while still seeming classy? Check.
1. Belvedere, Peninsula Beverly Hills
The recently reopened Belvedere restaurant at the elegant Belvedere, Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel relaunched with a bang… and a brunch. Available for just $85 per person, guests are treated to the town’s most lavish seafood buffet (locally sourced and sustainably caught, of course) including fresh-shucked oysters on the half shell, traditional lump crab salad on brioche, and various carving stations. There are also à la carte specialties like a Yukon gold and tarragon waffle topped with lobster and béarnaise. For dessert, try the peach profiteroles. Oh yeah, and you can get unlimited Nicolas Feuillatte champagne for an extra $25. So sit back and sip as you wait for famous faces among the hotel’s habitués to make an appearance.
2. Peacock Alley, Waldorf Astoria, New York
Where better to enjoy a fabulous brunch than at the birthplace of eggs benedict? That’s right, the famous dish was invented right here at this landmark hotel right around 1894… to help a notorious playboy get over his hangover. These days, the brunch crowd at Peacock Alley is a bit more refined, and so is the menu, which includes an enormous buffet piled with caviar, clams, oysters, lobster and shrimp, made-to-order egg stations, carving stations for smoked fish and various meats, and dozens of desserts surrounding a chocolate fondue fountain. Basically, this is what the brunch spread in heaven looks like. And you can have it for just $125 per person. But be quick about it: The hotel is planning to close for a complete renovation in spring 2017, so you only have a few months to experience it.
3. La Bauhinia, Shangri-La Paris
Shangri-La Paris used to be one of the city’s grandest private palaces, with ornately gilded banquet rooms that hosted Paris high society. So, yeah, they kind of know what they’re doing when it comes to brunch. This particular meal is served in La Bauhinia, the hotel’s Continental restaurant. With plush nature motifs on the wall and a soothing eau-de-Nil green palette, the hotel resembles a classic winter garden light streaming in from the enormous glass cupola above. On weekends, well-to-do visitors and Parisians alike flock here for the 92-euro brunch that includes an all-access pass to the decadent buffet of small plates, charcuterie and Asian specialties (Shangri-La is an Asia-based brand, after all) as well as made-to-order egg dishes and à la carte selections like sea bass with fennel mousse and mint salad. Bon appétit!
4. Café Gray Deluxe, Upper House, Hong Kong
Swire Hotels’ Upper House has been one of Hong Kong’s toniest addresses since it opened back in 2009, and its main restaurant, Café Gray Deluxe soon became one of the town’s hottest spots to see and be seen. As if the stunning views of the Hong Kong skyline from the 49th floor weren’t reason enough to brunch here on a regular basis, the restaurant revamped its menu last year to offer delectable dishes like quail-egg croque madames, duck shepherd’s pie, short-rib eggs benedict, lobster cobb salad, and a specialty Grand Marnier chocolate mousse with raspberry ganache. They’re also known for their blood orange mimosas, Bloody Marys and an especially strong espresso martini if you need a little pep in your step before a day out shopping in the city.
5. Berners Tavern, London Edition
The celebrity-chef resto at one of London’s swankiest hotels is also home to one of its most delicious brunch menus. Sure, you can do brunch à la carte at Berners Tavern (and definitely order the Quince Spritz cocktail with grapefruit and Prosecco for a fresh start to your meal), but get into the English spirit by ordering a traditional Sunday roast. It comes with a choice of either sirloin of Ruby Red beef or Dingle Dell pork belly with all the trimmings. You can share a few sides like the hazelnut waffles with berries and cream, or prawn cocktail with lobster jelly, avocado and crisp shallots. In between bites, you can peruse the portraits on the wall, or take a break for a game of pool out in the lobby.
6. Sterling Brunch at BLT Steak at Bally’s, Las Vegas
You might be surprised to find Bally’s on this list instead of better-known names like Bellagio or Wynn, but this establishment has a few things going for it: namely, bottomless flutes of Perrier-Jouët champagne, and all-you-can-eat American sturgeon caviar. So don’t fill up on the other delicacies, like Alaskan king crab legs, lobster tails, prime rib, sushi, oysters on the half-shell, and those famous gruyère popovers. Oh, who are we kidding? Go for it all. Because what happens in Vegas might stay in Vegas... even if this is a meal you’ll want to brag about when you get back home.
7. La Mamounia, Marrakech
The Moroccan hotel La Mamounia has been a landmark for nearly a century thanks to visits from famous guests like Winston Churchill, Alfred Hitchcock (who used it as the setting for his film, The Man Who Knew Too Much), and Charlie Chaplin, among hundreds of others. Get a little slice of that history, and a lot of other delicious treats, by booking brunch here on your next visit. The sumptuous spread includes dozens of Western and Moroccan dishes, stations preparing made-to-order eggs, fresh-caught seafood, and house-baked pastries that rival the best Paris has to offer. A glass of champagne will arrive at your table unbidden. Don’t fight it. You can even enjoy your meal out by the pool if the weather is nice… and it always is.
8. Pérgula, Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro
Heading to the Olympics this summer? Take time off from spectating to go for glory at this grande dame. Brunch is served poolside at Pérgula. And in addition to a dizzying variety of Brazilian fruits and produce, and an array of tropical juices, you’ll find platters overflowing with fresh seafood, enormous roasted meats just waiting to be carved, and made-to-order pasta. The dessert table is also the best in town with over a dozen kind of cakes alone. Don’t forget to take time out between courses to enjoy the free-flowing champagne.
9. Goya, Hotel Ritz, Madrid
Everything about this restaurant at Madrid’s grandest hotel, Hotel Ritz — from the intricate crown molding to the burnished candelabras to the Belle Époque divans — screams Old World elegance. But in a sophisticated whisper, of course. Moneyed madrileños and the affluent patrons of this hotel gather there every Sunday (or snag a table out on the shaded garden terrace) for the city’s best brunch. Everything imaginable is on offer, including Spain’s incomparable cheeses and charcuterie, fantastical pastries, and even an assortment of sushi. Of course, you have to try the paella, since you’re in Spain and all. The 80 euros you spend will also get you free-flowing cava and Spanish wines.
10. Gioa Restaurante & Terrace, Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires
This porteño palace was originally a private home built in the late 19th century, so eating at Gioa Restaurante & Terrace is like coming to brunch with a Gilded Age robber baron. The experience includes a selection of Argentine wines and all you can eat from the four stations serving everything from cold cuts and cheeses hand-selected by a maître fromager to organic vegetables and seafood from both the Pacific and Atlantic. You can also order eggs any way you like, or enjoy a specialty like the one served “strapaciatto” over smoked salmon bruschetta… along with your choice of pasta, risotto, or gnocchi of the day, a profusion of cuts of the country’s famous beef, and — of course — a dessert buffet that might just send you over the edge.
11. Café Opera, Intercontinental Sydney
One of Sydney’s best brunches also occupies one of its most historic hotels, the Intercontinental, part of which was originally constructed in 1851 as the Treasury Building. These days, though, you don’t have to spend a mint to enjoy the brunch buffet, which is cheekily dubbed a “Weekend Cocktail Lunch.” When do those spread to weekdays as well? The chef here takes his role as a food ambassador seriously and makes sure to include a profusion of fresh, local fruit and vegetables as well as the bounty of the Pacific (definitely stock up on the oysters) and various cuts of that delicious Australian beef. There’s also unlimited sparking line on hand and even a live cocktail station where you can have your drink of choice mixed to order.
12. Qunu, Saxon Hotel, Johannesburg
Johannesburg’s grandest luxury hotel, Saxon Hotel, plays home to celebrities and politicians alike when they visit the city, so the brunch offering here is suitably dignified. Among the hot and cold plates on offer at the buffet are local cheeses and cured meats, a cold bar serving seafood and fish, fresh fruits from all over South Africa, and an à la carte menu with mains like leg of lamb, grilled fish, or all manner of egg dishes served with traditional South African corn fritters.
13. Sundara Beach Club, Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay
Brunch at the beach… what’s not to love? Four Seasons’ beach property on placid Jimbaran Bay in Bali, has just launched “Bali’s Longest Brunch” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays at Sundara Beach Club so that guests can while away the hours enjoying course after course between dips in the beachfront pool. A little less traditional than some of the other entries here, this brunch is about giving guests an assortment of small plates and tapas like babaganhoush, duck terrine, salmon sashimi, salt-and-pepper squid, char-grilled octopus, and more so that they can graze to their heart’s content. Then, when your appetite is sufficiently whetted, you can move on to larger options like roasted leg of lamb served family style, or individual dishes like fish and chips or steak frites. By the time you finish, happy hour will just be getting started... so there’s no need to even move.
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