Awakening to the sounds of rustling leaves and distant ocean surf, you stretch out in bed, enjoying your first few moments of the day. Around you, your treehouse suite at California’s Post Ranch Inn — set on stilts among branches high above the Pacific coastline — seems to bend and stretch, too.
There’s a knock at the door; staffers enter bearing a morning bounty of orange-brioche cinnamon rolls, braised slab bacon with local chanterelles, and a sparkling Bellini — all to enjoy without leaving your comfy mattress.
Is there anything more decadent than having breakfast — never mind a sumptuous one — brought straight to your bedside? Something about being able to stay in your pajamas, without even having to roust yourself from under the blankets, transforms the simple pleasure of a morning meal into a rare sensory treat. And experiencing it at a fine hotel, where in-house chefs whip up breakfast dishes made with local, traditional ingredients, only heightens the pleasure.
Many hotel chefs use breakfast as a way to give their guests a literal taste of local culture. At Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa in Oman, for instance, chef Beat Enderli’s Omani breakfast — which can be enjoyed bedside in a breezy, sea-facing room — includes locally caught lobster (a staple for which Oman’s waters are famous), and a saffron-tinged pancake, made with spices that have been brought in on trade routes from Iraq and Iran for centuries.
Enderli’s breakfast menus also make good use of local dates, an ingredient that is perhaps more reflective of Oman’s landscape than any other. “When you drive in the countryside,” Endlerli says, “wherever there is a wabi — an old riverbed that’s dried up — if there is a spring at the end there is someone who is growing date trees and harvesting dates, making date syrup or dried dates, or desserts with date syrup and date paste.”
Similarly, Josh Feathers, the chef at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn., grew up connected to the land — where the start of winter signified fried-squirrel-and-biscuit season — and it deeply influenced his cooking.
These days, the southern-inflected dishes he serves at his farmstead inn highlight ingredients harvested right on the property — including Tennessee truffles, black-eyed peas, and indigenous heirloom beans. A wakeup call at Blackberry Farm often brings a feast of just-cooked griddle cakes and raspberry turnovers, aged charcuterie, and fresh eggs, accompanied by flowers and champagne—a delicious beginning to the day.
The only challenge to indulging in such a heavenly meal while still propped up on your pillows? Trying not to sink back under the blankets afterward for a nap.