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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.

With so many would be travelers at home this past year, we’ve naturally missed some of our favorite hotels—and the delicious treats we’ve come to expect with our stay. But, thankfully, some hotels have unlocked long-secret recipes for some of their most iconic dishes, offering us a taste of the hotel-stay experience without ever leaving our own kitchens. From iconic dishes and drinks that have become part of pop culture to other culinary creations that are now standard on their menus, these hotel recipes will help you re-create your hotel stay while you stay at home.

RELATED: These 8 iconic dishes and drinks were invented at hotels!

DoubleTree By Hilton’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

DoubleTree by Hilton Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’ve ever stayed in a DoubleTree hotel, these chocolate chip cookies—served warm and gooey in the lobby—may well have been the highlight of your visit. It seems no-one can put their finger on what makes them so great—could it be the unexpected squeeze of lemon? The rolled oats?—but tasting is believing, and more than 30 million of them are gobbled up each year. In the wake of coronavirus travel restrictions, the hotel brand finally revealed the recipe for its beloved cookies back in April 2020, and you can find it here to re-create at home

Ingredients: (Makes 26 cookies)

½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks)
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ¼ cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch cinnamon
2  2/3 cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ¾ cups chopped walnuts

Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.

With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t over mix.

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.

Cook’s note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300°F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

Disney Parks’ Dole Whip

Disney Parks’ Dole Whip

Disney holds many secrets, which helps foster its air of delightful enchantment. But the park’s Dole Whip recipe is a secret no more. For those of us who haven’t been able to make it over to Aloha Isle next to the park’s Enchanted Tiki Room thanks to the coronavirus, Disney took mercy, and released the recipe for these beloved  tropical treats in 2020 via the Disney app. Even better, the recipe only requires three ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need to make the recipe. 

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

1/2-3/4 cup pineapple juice, divided
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup dairy-free vanilla ice cream

Place 1/2 cup pineapple juice, frozen pineapple, and dairy-free vanilla ice cream in blender and blend until smooth – do not over blend. If the mixture is too thick to blend, add 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice at a time.

Scoop into bowls and serve immediately.

Caribe Hilton’s Piña Colada

Pina Colada at Caribe Hilton/ Caribe Hilton

Do you like piña coladas? Then you probably have the Caribe Hilton in San Juan to thank. It’s noted as one of two places in Puerto Rico—the other being a restaurant called Barrachina—claiming to be where the Piña Colada was invented. The Hilton property’s claim, however, is backed by a 2004 gubernatorial proclamation, supporting the drink’s 50th anniversary there. As the story goes, bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero created the piña colada there in 1954, and was rewarded for his efforts in 1978 when Puerto Rico named the cocktail its national drink. If you can’t travel to Puerto Rico right now, don’t fret: You’ll find the official recipe here. 


2 oz. rum
1 oz. coconut cream
1 oz. heavy cream
6 oz. fresh pineapple juice
3–4 chucks of fresh pineapple
½ cup crushed ice

Garnish with a pineapple slice and cherry

Mix rum, cream of coconut, heavy cream and pineapple juice in a blender. Add ice and mix for 15 seconds. Serve in a 12-oz. glass.

The Brown Hotel’s Hot Brown

While we’re all experimenting in the kitchen during quarantine, here’s something new to make with turkey leftovers. The Louisville hotel‘s famous open-faced turkey sandwich featuring bacon and a delicate Mornay sauce got its start back in the 1920s. Back then, the hotel hosted popular nightly dances that often attracted about 1,200 guests. As the evening wore on, some of these dance party patrons got the late-night munchies and headed to the hotel’s restaurant. Looking to offer them something more interesting than ham and eggs, chef Fred Schmidt whipped up this filling sandwich, which a century later, remains a Louisville classic. Follow this recipe to make your own delicious Hot Brown.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

2 oz. whole butter
2 oz. all-purpose flour
8 oz. heavy cream
8 oz. whole milk
½ cup of Pecorino Romano cheese
(plus 1 tablespoon for garnish)
pinch of ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast, slice thick
4 slices of Texas toast (crust trimmed)
4 slices of crispy bacon
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half

In a two‑quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium‑low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream and whole milk into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2‑3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast with the crusts cut off in an oven safe dish – one slice is cut in half corner to corner to make two triangles and the other slice is left in a square shape – then cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and two toast points and set them alongside the base of the turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place the entire dish in the oven. Suggested bake time is 20 minutes at 350º. When the cheese begins to brown and bubble, remove from oven, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.

The Knickerbocker Hotel’s Knickerbocker Martini

Throughout the pandemic, many of us have sharpened not only our cooking skills, but our cocktail skills, as well. If you’re looking to re-create a true classic, look to this sophisticated NYC hotel that lays claim to serving the very first martini and, of course, offers an accompanying recipe to boot. The tale goes that a Knickerbocker bartender named Martini di Arma di Taggia served John D. Rockefeller this unheard-of concoction in 1906. Allegedly, Rockefeller loved the drink so much that he dubbed it the “martini” after its creator. Find the original martini recipe right here to make your own.


2 ounces Tanqueray 10
¾ ounce of dry vermouth
½ ounce of sweet vermouth
dash orange bitters
dash citrus bitters
lemon peel, for garnish

Combine Tanqueray 10, dry and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass. Add two dashes of orange and citrus bitters; add ice and stir. Garnish with lemon and serve.

The St. Regis New York’s Red Snapper (aka Bloody Mary)

This tomato juice and vodka beverage created at the St. Regis in 1934 might look and taste like a Bloody Mary, but at the landmark New York hotel where it was perfected, it’s known as the Red Snapper: The drink’s more common name, the Bloody Mary, was deemed inappropriate for the elegant clientele of the St. Regis. It remains the signature cocktail of the St. Regis’ King Cole Bar. Until you’re ready to start traveling again, fix yourself a tall one of these using this recipe.


1 oz. vodka
2 oz. Tomato juice
1 dash lemon juice
2 dashes celery salt
2 dashes black pepper
2 dashes cayenne pepper
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain over ice cubes. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

The Beverly Hills Hotel’s McCarthy Salad

The Beverly Hills Hotel, McCarthy Salad

The salad’s namesake, Neil McCarthy, was a regular guest at The Beverly Hills Hotel and captain of a local polo team in the 1940s. One day at the hotel’s Polo Lounge, McCarthy asked his server for a very specific list of ingredients to go in a salad. Loaded with eggs, beets, chicken and other fresh ingredients, the resulting recipe remains the same today and has been a signature dish there ever since. If you’re California dreaming but can’t travel out West just yet, here’s how to fix this healthy dish for yourself.


For the salad
¼ head iceberg lettuce
½ head romaine lettuce
½ cup diced, grilled free-range chicken
½ cup diced, roasted red beets
¼ cup free-range egg yolk
¼ cup free-range egg white
½ cup finely diced aged cheddar cheese
½ cup applewood-smoked bacon
¼ cup diced tomato
¼ cup diced avocado

For the dressing
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 shallot
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 cloves roasted garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and black pepper to season
canola oil

Artfully arrange the salad ingredients in a bowl. Place the dressing ingredients in a blender and drizzle in the canola oil to emulsify. Add the dressing and enjoy!

The Palmer House Hotel’s Palmer House Brownie

Fun fact: The brownie was invented in the Palmer House Hotel‘s kitchen specifically for the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Natch, it’s been a continued fixture on the menu and a favorite among guests, with its crunchy top layer of crushed walnuts. Need a sweet treat but can’t make it to Chicago right now? Here’s the recipe!


14 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 lbbutter
12 oz. granulated sugar
4 oz. flour
8 eggs
12 oz. crushed walnuts
vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Mix the sugar and flour together in a bowl. Combine chocolate and flour mixtures. Stir 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs and continue mixing. Pour mixture into a 9×12 baking sheet. Sprinkle walnuts on top, pressing down slightly into the mixture with your hand. Bake 30-40 minutes. Brownies are done when the edges begin to crisp and has risen about 1/4 of an inch.

Note: When the brownie is properly baked, it will remain “gooey” with a toothpick in the middle due to the richness of the mixture.

Glaze: Mix together 1 c. water, 1 c. apricot preserves, and 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin in sauce pan. Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil for two minutes. Brush hot glaze on brownies while still warm.

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Mai Tai

For the time being, Hawaii is still out of reach for most of us. The original mai tai cocktail, however, is not. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel openly shares its famed run-drink recipe, first created by “Trader Vic” Bergeron in 1944 and brought to Hawaii in 1953, where it was first served at this hotel. Today, it is the signature cocktail at The Royal Hawaiian’s oceanfront Mai Tai Bar. Mix one up for yourself and dream of swaying palms with this recipe.

Ingredients (Build in shaker with ice):

1 oz. Bacardi rum
1 tsp. cherry vanilla puree
½ oz. amaretto Disaronno
½ oz. Cointreau
1 oz. fresh Govinda’s orange juice
2 oz. fresh Govinda’s pineapple Juice
½ oz. Whaler’s Dark Rum float

Roll the shaker, pour in a large “bucket” glass. Float with Whaler’s Dark Rum, garnish with a parasol with cherry, pineapple and lime wedge.

Tagged: Caribbean, Chicago, New York, Puerto Rico

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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.
Michele Herrmann

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