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At some forward-thinking hotels, staff don’t have to travel very far to get ingredients for the kitchen anymore. Instead, they can step outside, or up to the roof, to grab some herbs or veggies from their on-site gardens. From long-standing methods to innovative concepts, the philosophy of “farm to table” stays true, and even guests can get hands-on lessons about where their meal originated. Feast your eyes on these locations that grow their own food for meals.

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The Chablé Resort & Spa, Mexico
This Mexican resort turns to the area’s Yucatán heritage when it comes to providing food for its restaurants. A traditional Mayan garden is tended and harvested using hands-on, ancient techniques–just as the Mayans would have done it. Overseen by a Mayan horticulturalist, trees produce avocados and tamarinds, as well as chilies, radishes, cucumber, Chaya leaves and lettuce that are served in salads. Meanwhile, multi-floral organic honey is harvested at Chablé’s Apiary. At Ixi’im, one of the resort’s restaurants, all the quintoniles (wild leaves) used in the dishes come from the Ka’anche’s (raised beds growing herbs ranging from mint and rosemary to ruda, epazote, and quintonil).

Buttermilk Falls Inn, New York
In upstate New York, this inn really gives guests a sense of country living with its own garden and farm. Its restaurant, Henry’s, adjoins Millstone Farm, which provides the inn with fresh produce, eggs and honey. And guests at the inn are encouraged to explore the farm, stroll along the its orchards and kitchen garden, and visit the livestock barn and aviary house. Then head back to Henry’s to taste some of the agricultural bounty.

Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Florida
An idea planted by executive chef Daven Wardynski, the resort’s The Sprouting Project is blossoming into an eco-friendly source that guests can see as part of monthly dinners and a resulting state-of-the-art aquaponic greenhouse, expansive organic garden, many beehives and barrel room. The greenhouse’s aquaponic systems are fed by two 500-gallon fish tanks filled with species whose nutrients provide extra TLC to tomatoes, herbs and multiple varieties of organic lettuce. Also, 27 bee colonies supply honey with bees native to the area’s population.

Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Jamaica
Based in Montego Bay, this resort’s “See, Touch and Taste” program and weekly farm-to-table menu really gives guests a feast for the senses. The program has visitors picking vegetables directly from Round Hill’s on-property garden. In turn, guests will enjoy the fruits—or should we say, veggies—of their labor as the picked produce is then prepared in the resort kitchen and included in their next meal. As a second helping, the resort’s farm-to-table centered menu is offered on Thursday and Sunday evenings, with every serving incorporating ingredients directly from the resort’s garden.

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Grande Lakes Orlando, Florida
In January 2017, this hotel saw the planting of the seeds of a new experiential program for guests called “Whisper Creek Fables,” a series of epicurean events at the resort’s Whisper Creek Farm. After showing a “from meadow to mouth” demo, guests then take a tour of the grounds of this 18,000-square-foot farm and then dig into a guided farming lesson led by the resort’s farmers. Along with what’s eaten, guests will also see how farm-fresh ingredients apply to what they drink. The resort’s brewmaster presents a “farm to foam” lesson on how the farm’s bounty supports on-site suds production at The Brewery at JW Marriott Orlando.

The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection, Colorado
What’s harvested at this iconic Denver property goes in part to your room, specifically your bathroom. As an in-room amenity, the hotel has put out a Rooftop Honey Amenity Line of toiletries made from honey produced on the rooftop. Back in 2010, The Brown Palace began to host a colony of bees on their rooftop, to use their sweet nectar in beauty products. Find it in facial and bath soap or a bottle of bath gel, shampoo, conditioner or hand and body lotion, which also can be bought from the hotel spa. And of course, guests can sample this honey via the hotel’s afternoon tea and a specialty craft beer offered within the hotel’s Ship’s Tavern.

Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, South Carolina

The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, South Carolina
At this hotel, produce isn’t the only type of food grown and harvested. In fact, the employees center on finding, roasting, and even slurping oysters and making sure guests can partake in this seafood bliss with a little guidance. The hotel holds an oyster class conducted by a Southern etiquette expert, Suzanne Pollak, dean of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits. She provides an insider’s guide to choosing the best seasonal oysters in Charleston, then teaches participants how to make a world class Oyster Pan Roast in a 1740s South of Broad house. Guests will take home recipes from the Dean and their own oyster knife for future “Southern style” oyster roasts.

Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Peru
Built in the heart of Urubamba Valley, this contemporary yet colonial inspired property in Cusco draws upon Peru’s history in giving guests not only native cuisine but also an understanding of traditional farming techniques. Known as an “Earth to Table” concept, guests are welcome to pick their own produce at a 10-acre organic plantation. And what they pick goes really local. Crops include quinoa, Urubamba giant corn, and medicinal herbs—all farmed on property with traditional hand tools and oxen, as done centuries ago.

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Tagged: Caribbean, Colorado, Florida, Jamaica, Mexico, New York

Michele Herrmann

Michele Herrmann

Michele writes about women's travel, destinations, culinary, and cultural topics for various outlets and has ventured as far as Fiji, to date. She also muses her tales on She Is Going Places.

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