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Top 10 Brunch Hotels 2005

Given the non-stop demands of the working world, sometimes the best we can do is slip out of town for a much needed weekend break. Fortunately, we know of many great destinations filled with wonderful hotels. But when Sunday rolls around, the last thing you want to do is go home. That’s why we think you should stay a little bit longer … for brunch, at least. What better way to wind up a fabulous weekend than with a lavish, all-inclusive, mid-morning meal? Here are some of our favorite hotels where you can unwind and then find the sustenance you need to face the real world.

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BOSTON, MA

LANGHAM HOTEL BOSTON: Café Fleuri


In Boston, gourmet Sunday brunch and Café Fleuri are virtually synonymous. Dishes at this pretty restaurant in the Langham Hotel Boston range from brown-sugar- and mustard-glazed country ham to Atlantic seafood bouillabaisse. You may find yourself battling locals—who have been heaping raves on this place for years—for spots at the eight buffet stations, which include a Provençal station with patés and Swiss chard tart and a seafood station with sushi, shrimp cocktail and crab claws. There’s even a kid’s buffet with chicken fingers and mac and cheese. The Mediterranean-style setting is bright and airy, and a jazz trio adds to the already festive mood.

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DENVER, CO

THE BROWN PALACE:
Ellyngton’s

It’s a safe bet to say that any meal called the “Dom Perignon Sunday Brunch” is going to be memorable. Best known during the weekdays as the place in Denver for power brokering, the ornate, Victorian-style Ellyngton’s in the landmark The Brown Palace hotel is also the site of a Sunday brunch that puts its brethren to shame. Grab hold of your wallet and make your choice: Domaine Chandon, Moët et Chandon or Dom Perignon. Then, once the bubbly starts flowing, fill your plate with all your favorites, from eggs benedict to treats from the hotel’s own bakery. And if you think this is decadent, reserve your spot for the annual November Champagne Cascade.

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HONOLULU
, HI
THE KAHALA HOTEL & RESORT: Hoku’s

Many luxury hotels offer notable Sunday brunches, so we’re always on the lookout for something a little different. Enter Hoku’s, at the The Kahala Hotel & Resort. First there’s the setting. The multi-level dining room is anchored by a fantastic open kitchen, and there are views of the Pacific from every table. As for the cuisine, move over bacon and eggs and make room for island influences. A king crab omelet or dim sum, perhaps. You’ll find all your favorites here, too, from Sunday roast to Champagne. But it’s the use of regional ingredients, such as yummy macadamia nuts, that give this place its edge.

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LAS VEGAS, NV

MANDALAY BAY RESORT & CASINO: House of Blues

Vegas, baby. This town defines the buffet experience. But on Sunday mornings, we suggest you skip those greasy $2.99 all-you-can-eat extravaganzas and try the heavenly Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues (Music Hall) in the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. This meal ranks on the top of our “most fun” list, and invites an “amen” every time. Where else can you get Cajun and Creole inspired foods accompanied by gospel music from the likes of Al Green or the Blind Boys of Alabama? This brunch for the soul features treats like cheddar cheese grits, southern deep fried chicken and bourbon glazed ham. As for lighter offerings, such as salads, we prefer ours under a layer of tasty remoulade sauce.

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NEW YORK, NY
HOTEL PLAZA ATHENEE: Arabelle

On Manhattan’s stylish East Side, Hotel Plaza Athénée’s Arabelle restaurant is a quiet, refined place. Murano glass and brass chandeliers, faux conservatory windows and chiffon colored walls graced with murals of pagodas provide a soothing backdrop for a Sunday brunch that is as tasteful as the surroundings. This isn’t a destination for your typical Sunday morning free-for-all. Instead, the small but elegant menu shows off the seasonally driven cuisine of executive chef Arvin Dhansew. From the buffet you can sample blueberry yogurt pancakes, vanilla spiked brioche French toast, Eggs Benedict, seared salmon filet and a rainbow of fresh fruit tarts.

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PALM BEACH, FL
THE BREAKERS PALM BEACH: The Circle

If you yearn for more with your Sunday brunch than just a great omelet station, you’ll love the air of tradition and the dramatic setting that surrounds this weekend meal. The elegant, domed Circle at The Breakers Palm Beach is downright majestic, with its thirty-foot frescoed ceilings and octet of murals depicting Renaissance landscapes, including the Villa Medici outside Florence and Tivoli Gardens south of Rome. Along with over thirty desserts, highlights include eggs Benedict topped with slivers of black truffle and the bartender’s special list, featuring a signature seafood Bloody Mary.

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SAN DIEGO, CA
HOTEL DEL CORONADO: The Crown Room

Forget home … on Sunday mornings, there’s no place like The Crown Room at the historic Hotel del Coronado. This space was designed by L. Frank Baum, the author of Wizard of Oz. Some say it was the inspiration for the Emerald City, and we wouldn’t be surprised—it’s quite magical, with its arced ceiling, crown-shaped drop chandeliers and pretty views. It was one of the settings for the Marilyn Monroe-Tony Curtis-Jack Lemmon flick, “Some Like it Hot,” and it provides a memorable backdrop for a great buffet offering all the expected treats, including roasts, pastries and delectable desserts.


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SAN FRANCISCO, CA
THE RITZ-CARLTON SAN FRANCISCO: The Terrace

Given San Francisco’s temperamental weather, outdoor dining can be tricky. But as the saying goes: when she’s good, she’s very, very good. And on a good day in the City by the Bay, there’s no finer place to be than the red brick courtyard of The Terrace at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. Home to the city’s only hotel al fresco brunch, this setting is beautiful. Villeroy & Boch china, Frette linens, a two-tier fountain and tunes from Bay area jazz musicians make it all the better. Between sets you can cruise the stations for caviar, freshly prepared blinis, sushi, rack of lamb, imported cheese and mouth-watering desserts.

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ

THE FAIRMONT SCOTTSDALE PRINCESS: Marquesa

At the picturesque Marquesa restaurant, at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the region’s expected (and now somewhat commonplace) ode to desert chic is replaced with a fresh European marketplace concept. Served on a cobblestone patio, brunch here is presented in the style of the open-air markets of Italy, France and Spain. Among the to-die-for offerings are grilled-to-order foie gras, cheeses from the Mediterranean Riviera and tons of seafood, including shrimp, crab, salmon, mussels and scallops. Of note: lobster crepes. We also suggest you make room for treats from the tapas table, paella and complimentary pours of Taittinger.

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SEATTLE, WA

SALISH LODGE & SPA: The Dining Room

The Salish Lodge & Spa enjoys one of the most spectacular settings in the Pacific Northwest, on the rim of a cliff, surrounded by evergreens, overlooking the spectacular Snoqualmie Falls. It is a place steeped in local tradition, which includes The Salish Lodge Country Breakfast, dating back to 1916. Served in The Dining Room, which was built around its original 1907 fireplace, this hearty meal features such treats as pork-apple sausage and buttermilk pancakes. Sunday morning diners can also enjoy à la carte dishes such as the Pike Place Omelet with Pacific shrimp and Dungeness crab, a northwestern wild mushroom frittata and Yakima Valley style waffles.


Current Top 10 Brunch Hotels in the U.S.


(Updated: 02/23/11 NW)


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