A lavish dining experience is hardly a new concept. However, “lavish” all depends on one’s interpretation of the word. The ancient Romans’ diet was mainly based on cereals, vegetables, legumes and cheese, while meat and fish were mainly consumed by rich people. The wealthy Romans commonly ate their puls with eggs, cheese and honey, and it was also occasionally served with meat or fish.
In a world where the dining experience has moved beyond eating for sustenance, luxury dining experiences now stand as a testament to human creativity and indulgence. From the vineyards of Argentina to the fjords of Norway, these lavish dining experiences are more than just a meal, but immersive experiences that challenge the palate and capture the imagination.
Dinner Under the Stars
Grand Velas Los Cabos, Mexico
Dinner Under the Stars at Grand Velas Los Cabos offers an over-the-top culinary experience featuring open flame cooking by the hotel’s two Michelin star chef Sidney Schutte. After a three-hour sunset cruise on the resort’s 55-foot Azimut yacht, diners return for a celestial dining experience. Recognized by NASA as one of the top 20 places for night-sky research, Los Cabos Baja Peninsula provides the perfect setting for viewing stars, planets and constellations. Chef Schutte’s contemporary vision, paired with signature cocktails and premium wines, promises a dinner inspired by the surrounding beauty of Baja Sur. The exclusive experience starts at $30,550 USD for up to ten people.
A Chef’s Table Inspired by Art
SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites, Mendoza, Argentina
Experience Argentine luxury at La VidA restaurant at SB Winemaker’s House & Spa Suites, pioneering winemaker Susana Balbo’s first foray into hotels, located in the famed wine region of Mendoza, Argentina. Chef Flavia Amad creates a gastronomic journey inspired by the hotel’s signature art piece, the Tree of Life by Sergio Roggerone. The 14-course dining experience is influenced by the seven main elements of the Tree of Life, including the roots, trunk, flowers, birds, branches, fruits, and insects. Traditional Argentinian cuisine meets high-quality, sustainable, and organic ingredients. Guests of La VidA become interpreters of each dish, embracing free interpretation and concentrating their senses as each course builds. A seven course menu is paired with Susana Balbo wines.
Chef Flavia Amad of La Vida Restaurant says, “In Sergio Roggerone’s piece of art, viewers can appreciate different colors, textures, writings, and Susana’s life story. The artwork inspired us here at La Vida to play with our creativity and translate the work into dishes where the protagonists are the products of Mendoza and Argentina. At the same time the piece of art also allows us to express a little of our own “Tree of Life” as chefs by combining our own personal experiences and traditions.”
Norway’s Floating Expedition Dining Highlight
Sustainable luxury travel curator Up Norway curates itineraries for its clients from beginning to end highlighting culinary hotspots all over the country. These days, Iris, located inside the floating art installation Salmon Eye, is a finite inclusion. The restaurant, heralded as expedition dining, stands as a marvel of modern architecture and culinary expertise nestled in the heart of Norway’s Hardanger fjord. Accessible only by boat, Iris invites guests to explore the challenges and solutions to the global food system through 18 carefully curated courses featuring hyper-local ingredients. Stylish yet informal, the restaurant’s design blends with the surrounding landscape, while huge, curved windows offer mesmerizing views of the mountains.
Torunn Tronsvang of Up Norway says, “Iris is located in Hardanger, which is the new popular Nordic cider destination. This location is a great destination to experience fjords and mountains including two of Norway’s top scenic routes, Scenic Route Hardanger and Hardangervidda, where the activities include experiencing the fjords, tasting world class cider at traditional and modern cider farms, and immersing in local Norwegian culture. In Hardanger travelers can indulge in top class dining at Iris, where the idea behind the restaurant is also to raise awareness about sustainable fish farming and food resources from the sea.”
Fine Dining Overlooking History from the 16th Century
Hotel Excelsior, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Travelers can bask in Croatian culinary heritage at Hotel Excelsior’s fine dining restaurant, Sensus. However, perhaps the true star of this restaurant is the exceptional backdrop of the city’s Old Town. From a perched location above the Adriatic, as guests can watch the deep blues of the Adriatic Sea shimmer while enjoying modern interpretations of Mediterranean classics. Crafted from fresh local delicacies and paired with the finest Croatian wines from the extensive Sensus wine cellar, each dish is a masterful blend of tradition and innovation.
Rooftop Romance Overlooking the Eternal City
Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy
While all travelers to Rome can enjoy panoramic views of the city from the rooftop Settimo restaurant at Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, those looking to indulge in even more romance can take over the birds eye view with its Proposal Package. Starting at $12,000 USD, the Proposal Package includes suite accommodations for one night, private use of the Settimo terrace for a Roman aphrodisiac tasting menu, chauffeured tour of Rome in a vintage Fiat 500, violinist and poetry reading. Crafted by the hotel’s expert concierge, Agostino Sità, former president of the city’s Clefs d’Or, this unique experience promises a timeless memory.