Located in two landmark revival buildings, Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis offers an upscale, art deco-inspired escape in the heart of one of Minneapolis’ most iconic neighborhoods. Having recently opened the new Mercy Restaurant in downtown’s booming dining scene in April, Le Meridien Chambers launched a new package to showcase the in-house restaurant’s diverse menu while simultaneously allowing guests to experience the allure of summer in the city. “Picnic in the Park” provides guests with all the essentials for an upscale picnic rendezvous, and includes a one night’s accommodation with complimentary parking, a picnic backpack/basket packed with delectable bites from a pre-fixed menu from Mercy Restaurant (think your choice of gourmet sandwiches, coleslaw, drinks, and more), coloring books and pencils (to tie in the city’s art culture), as well as Le Meridien’s expert advice on the best parks to enjoy your picnic outing. Bicycles and park maps are also available upon request.
Il Salviatino knows that the best way to experience a hotel’s restaurant is to be part of the sourcing experience. A certified truffle hunter and his shaggy dog lead a truffle hunt around the grounds of Il Salviatino, a hand-restored 15th century villa turned luxury hotel that overlooks the city of Florence. The truffle hunting experience begins with the hunter teaching guests the basics about the coveted ingredient, including the origin of the truffle, the different varieties and the process of training his pup to find them in the wild. After the hunt through the fertile grounds of Il Salviatino, guests enjoy a truffle tasting meal with the day’s finds, courtesy of the chef at La Cucina del Salviatino restaurant. The ricotta chief ravioli with brunoise of vegetables and truffle are a favorite.
It doesn’t get more authentic Mexico than eating fresh ceviche while lounging beachside and watching the waves roll in and surfers in the distance. At the new W Punta de Mita on Mexico’s stunning Riviera Nayarit, guests can grab a barstool at Chevicheria—a vintage 1950’s Chevy truck that’s been converted into a bar from which ceviches are served made to order along with craft beers and locally inspired cocktails. Travelers can select options from the skull-shaped menu that include the Ceviche Punta de Mita, made with green apple, onion, mint, coconut milk and a habanero chile emulsion, or Ceviche Atun Nayarita, made with fresh tuna, soy sauce, avocado, grapefruit, red onion and radish. Cocktails such as the signature Piwiwi, made with tequila, grapefruit syrup, agave, honey, fresh lime juice and worm salt, are the perfect complement along with the ocean breeze, palm trees overhead and that feeling of eating with your toes in the sand.
Guests at Barnsley Resort, in the foothills of Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, just an hour outside of Atlanta, can now experience a Southern safari, complete with gourmet lunch. Those looking for an afternoon of adventure with a touch of luxury can head to the adjacent SpringBank Plantation, an 1,800-acre hunting preserve located less than five miles from the resort. There they will take an open-air jeep ride through the beautiful wooded rolling hills, keeping an eye out for wildlife along the way. The ride ends at a scenic spot, overlooking a lake and forest, where guests can sit down to a beautiful, elevated picnic lunch, expertly prepared by the executive chef. Lunch includes Southern favorites such as a basket of freshly fried chicken, an assortment of coleslaw, pasta and potato salads, and pickled vegetables, accompanied by wine and ending on a sweet note with red velvet cake.
Nothing is bland at Hedonism II—that includes the cocktails, the lively guests, and certainly the food. Located on the white sand beach of Negril, Jamaica, this clothing-optional Caribbean oasis knows how to turn up the heat and turn on the guests. Beginning in August, the steamy, adults-only playground invites guests to an aphrodisiac dinner—a dining experience like none other. Plush floor pillows, soft music and dim lighting sets the mood for a romantic evening, complete with a selection of menus featuring all aphrodisiac-filled recipes, crafted with passion and pleasure in mind. Feed your mate fresh oysters and fruit dipped in assorted chocolates, before feasting on jumbo shrimp and Louis crab cake paired with a calypso sauce. Go ahead, play with your food.