Thanksgiving is the time for family, friends, and delicious food while gathering around the table in gratitude for all that is good. Home is where the heart is. This year, Luxe Lodgings contributors Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno left the traditional homestead to find interesting menus and concepts, in some unexpected destinations, for this American celebration.
To relax off the beaten path, head to the Caribbean’s Cayman Brac’s Le Soleil d’Or, Cayman Island’s only farm-to-table wellness resort. All of the fresh produce comes from the resort’s very own 20-acre organic farm at the top of the property. With limestone as its only natural resource, everything from the soil to the water has to be brought in to grow and maintain this farm, and the results are plentiful. The Caribbean Farm-to-Table Holiday Feast includes accommodations for up to six guests in the new Farm Lodge on the bluff. Guests will be immersed in the fruit, vegetables, and plants that are used in the resort’s cuisine, juices, cocktails, and spa treatments. As part of the experience, guests will tour the farm, and forage for ingredients to be used in their holiday dinner. They can play an active role in preparing the meal with a chef-led cooking class to learn about the ingredients used in the feast. The meal combines traditional family recipes with Caribbean-inspired dishes such as mango turkey, long bean casserole with crispy shallots, and lemon maple pumpkin.
Ready for ski season? You can kick off winter in Stowe, Vermont at this family-owned, down-home New England resort. Aside from Stowe’s downhill skiing, the area offers snowshoe and cross-country ski trails just outside its doors. We chose a ride behind a team of Siberian Huskies throughout the resort grounds. At Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, guests and locals enjoy dining and drinking at Charlie B’s Pub & Restaurant with Baraw family ski memorabilia lining the walls. It serves Vermont fresh cuisine and local craft brews. You can savor the Thanksgiving menu, which includes appetizers such as Pumpkin Parsnip Bisque, Clam and Corn Chowder, Baked Brie, and Lamb Lollipops. Main Course offerings include the traditional fixings, but the Prime Rib Dinner, Crab Stuffed Haddock, Honey Ham Steak, and Local Pumpkin Ravioli are a fun culinary twist.
Take a trip to Asia while in the heart of San Francisco. Hotel Nikko has an expansive health club, including a glass enclosed indoor pool and beautiful views of the city and surrounding bay from the rooftop terrace. On the property, the signature restaurant Anzu blends western and eastern cultures, creating a California cuisine enhanced with the flavors of Asia. You can enjoy Thanksgiving with an Asian flare that includes Edamame Hummus, varied Maki Sushi, and the Bamboo Steamer of Assorted Dim Sum. Click here to view the full menu.
Although Thanksgiving isn’t an Irish tradition, The Lodge at Ashford Castle has fully embraced it, combining American cuisine and tradition with an Irish flair. Within the Ashford Castle’s 350-acre estate, The Lodge invites guests to indulge in a royal Irish Thanksgiving. Chef Jonathan Keane will prepare pumpkin soup, traditional roast turkey, and classic pecan pie. The evening will offer live entertainment, as only the Irish know how to do. Booking an overnight stay will include accommodations, Thanksgiving dinner, and breakfast the following morning overlooking the Lough. Click here for more information about the offer.
Every continent has a form of “thanks giving.” Even in Italy, when the country was a predominantly agricultural society, the time of harvest was recognized, from north to south, with celebrations and fairs. To this day, many cultures celebrate thanks for the blessing of the harvest with a shared feast. Hotel Hassler Roma is inviting guests to start a new Roman holiday tradition with a Thanksgiving Celebration package, including three nights in a Luxury or Grand Deluxe room, a Thanksgiving dinner for two at the hotel’s Salone Eva restaurant, and a dolce surprise sweet homemade treat made by the chef that will be in your room upon your arrival. The menu includes legume soup, pumpkin ravioli with almonds and oranges, turkey with chestnut stuffing in cranberry sauce, and sweet and sour corn. Click here to see the full menu. When in Rome…
The Condado Vanderbilt Hotel is a unique San Juan beach resort. Originally built in 1919, it has been meticulously restored to its rich Spanish Revival architectural heritage. This Thanksgiving, the hotel is putting a tropical spin on the traditional holiday favorites at its restaurants 1919 and Ola Oceanfront Bistro. Michelin-starred Executive Chef Juan José Cuevas is taking his farm-forward philosophy to the table with items like roasted turkey with cornbread longaniza stuffing, lechón asado, “arroz con dulce” truffles, and a variety of holiday paellas. After indulging in the meal, soak up some sun in a private cabana or rejuvenate with a Bamboo Heritage Massage or a traditional Hammam experience in the Condado Spa.
The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman is offering two fun variations on Thanksgiving dining—one family-style under a beach cabana, and one outdoor barbecue under the stars. The Cabana meal served directly on the sand on Seven Mile Beach is for a one-family dinner. The unusual inspiring dishes on the menu include Succotash Kale Salad, Jonah Crab Claws, Argentinian Wild Shrimp Cocktail, and Cayman Conch Fritters. A couple of the non-traditional desserts are Candy Corn Turkey Cupcakes and Praline and Chocolate Verrines. The barbecue event is on Friday, November 25th starting at 6:30 p.m. Under the stars and by the fire, guests can enjoy an evening of BBQ delights including a marshmallow roasting. Live entertainment and activities are also included.
Non-classic California Thanksgiving can be found at Casa del Mar in Santa Monica. For this turkey day, they take the beachfront location seriously, offering a three-course, prix-fixe menu in both of the dining destinations—Catch and Terrazza Lounge. Executive Chef Gemma Gray features fresh seafood options, such as Lobster Cake Benedict with organic egg, kale hollandaise, and tarragon oil, and Grilled Mediterranean Sea Bass with root vegetable succotash and citrus sauce, and Warm Apple Tart with candied pecan ice cream and crisp cinnamon.
For more information about package deals and Thanksgiving dinners, check out:
- Hotel Suites Where You Can Order Thanksgiving Dinner
- Let Someone Else Cook: Family-Friendly Thanksgiving Getaways
- Thanksgiving 2014: Travel Deals & Turkey Dinners
By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for PeterGreenberg.com