Onsite farms and gardens are the future.
Have you ever plucked a juicy tomato straight off the vine and popped its tart-sweet flavors between your teeth? It’s heavenly. Fresh produce is one of life’s simplest pleasures—and one that many of us don’t get to experience often enough—so, it’s no wonder that hotels around the world are choosing to plant farms and gardens on-property to nourish their guests and employees with.
Living off the land is a fantastic way to embrace seasonal produce (and stop importing from distant suppliers) as well as celebrate a region’s culinary identity. This year when you’re planning a vacation, why not choose a destination that grows its own goods? Beyond the plate, many of these properties also offer classes and tours for guests to experience all the ways they’re working with the land. Better for the earth and better for your belly. Ahead, 17 ideas to inspire your next food-focused trip.
Volcanic Views in Chile
Photo: Courtesy of andBeyond
Every morning as the sun rises over Chile’s scenic lake district, guests at andBeyond Vira Vira wake up to spectacular views of the Villarrica Volcano, one of the country’s most active. The lodge is set on a 54-acre estate and is the setting of a working farm, organic vegetable garden, and in-house cheese factory (known locally as quesería). As you might expect, freshly grown produce is foraged from the farm and used to create the hotel’s Chilean-inspired menus, a highlight of the lodge. But adding to the experience, visitors can also partake in gardening and cooking classes, which culminate at the bank of the Liucura River accompanied by their choice of over 1,000 different Chilean wines.
Foraging Wild Herbs and Veggies in Thailand
Photo: Courtesy of Trisara Resort
Thailand is one of the few Asian countries currently open to travelers and no visit there is complete without a stay at Trisara Resort. Pru Jampa is the property’s working farm and there, the chefs work with ingredients like shoots of bok choy, dill seeds, and nasturtium petals from raised garden beds while also foraging the nearby wildlands. Additionally, Trisara raises chickens and bees and grows traditional Thai and European herbs and vegetables. On the forested hillsides of the farm, the team forages for wild herbs and mushrooms, which is a longstanding culinary tradition on the island.
Commune With Nature in Bali
Photo: Courtesy of Banyan Tree Group
Escape to the jungles of Bali this spring when Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape finally greets its inaugural guests. The long anticipated opening of this resort with its no-walls, no-doors villas concept is what they call the ‘Naked Experience’—in complete and total communion with nature. Expanding on that sentiment, Buahan will incorporate freshly picked ingredients sourced from the property’s on-site garden throughout all of its restaurant menus, including The Botanist Bar and The Open Kitchen. Sip on a cocktail (or mocktail) crafted from house-made kombuchas, sodas, local ciders, and beers that tie in foraged herbs and botanicals from the garden. Afterward, gear up for a memorable meal with wild jungle views at The Open Kitchen, which will offer a plant-based and zero-waste menu concept with a focus on local flavors.
Sip Botanical Refreshments in Cannes
Photo: Courtesy of Le Majestic
While a farm-to-table hotel program is most closely associated with food, the beverage category enjoys foraged produce, too. Down in the south of France at Le Majestic in Cannes, botanist, part alchemist, and part bartender Emanuele Balestra's is mixing up something refreshing. After his studies at the Maison Robertet (the world’s leading natural perfumer in Grasse), the Italian bartender formulated his own scientific methods for inventing aromatic cocktails including the use of an ultrasound machine and a Buchi rotavapor. With this know-how, Balestra creates unique bitters, infusions, extracts, and jellies with the 70-plus herbs grown in his two onsite gardens. Also, these edible plants are nourished with an eco-responsible house full of insects and beehives.
Take a Vegan Masterclass in England
Photo: Courtesy of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire, England
During its first year of operation, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire earned two Michelin stars—and has held them ever since (the only hotel of its kind in England to sustain this accolade for over 30 years). Founder Raymond Blanc OBE is a champion of sourcing seasonal, organic produce and has cultivated an onsite two-acre vegetable garden that grows over 90 types of vegetables. There’s also a flourishing mushroom garden that sprouts over 20 edible species plus an orchard of apple and pear trees. Guests of the hotel can participate in gardening school classes or attend Vegan Masterclasses; the latter highlighting topics such as sustainability, zero-waste, as well as fresh, seasonal produce.
Regenerative Farming in Sonoma
Photo: Courtesy of The Madrona
Arriving this spring in Sonoma wine country, The Madrona is set to open. The Healdsburg boutique hotel by Jay Jeffers has an imaginative culinary program that will be helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Jesse Mallgren. The property is situated on eight acres of land, with a half acre dedicated to gardens that the restaurant will directly source ingredients from for the menu. These gardens were in partnership with Aris Curtis, who is an advocate for the regenerative farming movement. In addition to crafting with local flavors for the hotel’s dishes, Chef Mallgren and Curtis will also take certain custom requests for personalized plantings months in advance prior to a wedding or event held at The Madrona (think: rosemary for a signature cocktail, strawberries for a wedding cake, or delicata squash for a seasonal fall dining menu).
A Celebration of Jamaican Flavors
Photo: Courtesy of Pantrepant
In the center of Jamaica, an 800-acre farm called Pantrepant sits on historic land that was once a sugar plantation. In 1989, Chris Blackwell (founder of Island Records and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer) purchased Pantrepant with the goal of promoting sustainability and providing domestically-grown crops to his Island Outpost properties (GoldenEye, Strawberry Hill, and The Caves). Having grown up on the island for much of his life, Blackwell celebrates and encourages guests to immerse themselves in Jamaica’s rich culinary traditions. Visitors can enjoy the splendor of a farm-to-table dining experience; head chef Mama J prepares authentic dishes with produce freshly-harvested from Pantrepant.
Homemade Organic Garden Classes in Mexico
Photo: Courtesy of Paradero Todos Santos
On the Pacific coast of Mexico’s dreamy Baja California Peninsula, there is a small town called Todos Santos, known to travelers who seek out unique, lesser-known destinations. Here, one of the region’s shining jewels is Paradero Todos Santos. The hotel’s 100,000-square-foot botanical garden lies in the heart of the property, which is an 80 percent landscape project, 20 percent development project. Imagined by Mexico City-based landscape architecture firm, Polen, 80 endemic species (from red sand verbena and Mojave yucca to Shaw’s agave) were chosen for the vast grounds. Perhaps even more impressively, over 20,000 plants are oriented in a manner that promotes maximum growth and vitality. Included in the daily rate, visitors can enjoy a garden experience where they join in on the planting, harvesting, and solid waste management, as well as learn the steps for creating a homemade organic garden. Afterwards, the bounty is culled and used to cook a nourishing farm to table lunch back at the hotel.
Work Alongside Farmers in Japan
Photo: Courtesy of RISONARE Nasu
Nasu is a town located in the northeast of Tokyo that’s home to wild splendor including natural springs, complex volcanoes, and breathtaking hiking trails. Visitors who come here and stay at Hoshino Resorts’ RISONARE Nasu can sign up for the agritourism program where they can learn and work alongside RISONARE farmers. Observe and participate as they harvest, fertilize, and seed produce like tomatoes, eggplants, and red pepper at the onsite chemical-free farm, rice fields, and two greenhouses; this fresh produce is incorporated into the restaurant’s menu, making the educational program all the more rewarding.
Vegetables and Vines in Champagne
Photo: Courtesy of Royal Champagne Hotel
When you're in wine country, the term ‘terroir' comes up a lot. This concept of land is ubiquitous, so it only makes sense that in Champagne at the famed Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, this extends beyond the grape. The luxury retreat in Champillon, France, which was just named one of the top three resorts in all of Europe, overlooks historic valleys, which includes a vegetable garden. Guests can sip on seasonal cocktails that have been crafted using herbs from the garden. Additionally, at fine dining venue Le Bellevue, Chef Rieubland forages vegetables from the garden in his seasonal menu. Two of the signature dishes are a leg of lamb perfumed with hay, peas and onions, and the carpaccio of Heirloom tomatoes and basil are both plucked straight from the garden.
A Certified Organic Garden in Malibu
Photo: Courtesy of The Ranch
If you’ve ever dreamed of attending a wellness retreat, then The Ranch in Malibu is no doubt already on your radar. The results-oriented program leans heavily on the property’s certified organic garden, creating a highly-structured, plant-based nutritional diet. Each day consists of six hours of low impact activity centered around a varied hike each morning, afternoon nap, fitness class, restorative yoga, and daily massage. Meals are crafted from fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, legumes, and seeds and enjoyed in a communal setting both indoors and outdoors. During the retreat, guests (limited to 23 people per program) get to tour The Ranch’s certified organic garden and snack on a few tasty samples along the way.
Between Redwoods and the Sea
Photo: Courtesy of The Inn At Newport Ranch
What was once a logging community in the 19th century now stands an over 100-year-old farm house that is now known as The Inn at Newport Ranch. Located in the heart of the Mendocino Coastline in Fort Bragg, California, the property benefits from a diverse, rich microclimate oscillating between the rugged sea cliffs and the towering Redwood trees. The inn sources from local fishermen and farmers and also grows produce themselves, dubbing it ‘Ranch Cuisine.’ For the traveler who needs to go off the grid and dive into nature, head here for seasonally-inspired culinary creations and complete immersion with the great outdoors.
Community Gardens On the North Shore
Photo: Courtesy of Turtle Bay
If you’ve ever seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall then you’re likely familiar with Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of O’ahu. The property underwent a renovation all of last year and features 1,400 acres of land including 650 acres of permanently allocated conservation space. Their partnership with Kuilima Farm (Kuilima translates to ‘holding hands with the land’) allows guests to experience the ingredients that make this part of the world so enriching. The farm’s mission is to aid farmers and gardeners in bringing fresh, natural food, agriculture business incubation, food security, and agricultural and cultural education opportunities to local residents as well as visitors of the resort.
Garden With a Master in Tennessee
Photo: Courtesy of Blackberry Farm
With the Great Smoky Mountains serving as a serene backdrop and a verdant surrounding of 4,200 acres of wild beauty, Blackberry Farm is a luxury getaway like no other. The property’s Garden With a Master activity lets guests join Master Gardener John Coykendall and the garden team on an interactive walking tour of Blackberry’s heirloom vegetable, flower, and herb gardens. The produce foraged in these gardens are woven through each meal’s menu and during the experience, guests can hear facts and tall tales about all of the historic varieties that are grown here. Finish up with a stop at the Garden Shed, a structure full of tools that give a glimpse at how the region’s Appalachian ancestors farmed the land.
Cottage Farms in Cape May
Photo: Courtesy of Beach Plum Farm
Less than two miles from Cape May’s historic downtown lies Beach Plum Farm, a magical stretch of land that produces over 100 kinds of fruits and vegetables plus chickens, eggs, and Berkshire Hobs. Awake to the sound of the rooster’s crow by booking one of their five onsite Farm Cottages, located directly on the farm. The property also hosts a dinner series, which lets you dine under the stars immersed in the surrounding bounty’s fresh flavors (FYI: The next event is on Valentine’s Day—reserve your seat here).
Fresh Fruits, Veggies, and Herbs in Puerto Rico
Photo: Courtesy of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort
Located on a former coconut plantation, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico is a fresh food-lover’s paradise. The organic garden sprawls out over more than two acres of land and grows fruits, vegetables, and herbs including five different varieties of mango, passion fruit, bananas, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, avocado, basil, rosemary, cilantro, ginger, romaine, and a variety of peppers. Everything is chemical free and organic and the eggs supplied by hens are used daily in the kitchens. In addition to feasting upon all of this delicious fresh bounty, guests are invited to visit it through chef-led tours and cooking classes. On top of all that, the garden also grows flowers and decorative plants, including orchids, which can be spotted in thoughtful arrangements throughout the resort.
A Bountiful Island in Maine
Photo: Courtesy of Chebeague Island Inn
With just a 10-minute water taxi from Portland, Maine you can arrive at Chebeague Island where a culinary treat awaits. High on a hilltop overlooking Casco Bay, Chebeague Island Inn sits on 2.5 acres of shady trees and open spaces and offers guests a wraparound porch filled with Adirondack chairs and dining tables. The ‘island-to-table’ menu incorporates seasonal vegetables, herbs, and flowers from the Chef’s Garden on property with dishes like a Hen of the Woods Mushroom entree and a Braised Rhubarb and Pickled Cherry Mille-feuille layered with pistachio diplomat and topped with lilac blossoms.
Photo: Courtesy of Beach Plum Farm
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