You can tell a lot about a hotel’s clientele by the hours its restaurant keeps. If breakfast ends mid-morning, then you’re probably there with the business crowd, the achievers who just want a few gulps of coffee and a simple bite before heading off to their work.
Brunch, on the other hand, is the province of leisure travelers, particularly those who know the pleasure of long, lazy mornings in bed followed by a rich, drawn-out meal.
Here we present some of the best city hotels for a warm-weather brunch — the sort with free-flowing drinks and good hearty food, plus an open-air setting that calls for lingering well into the afternoon.
Breakfast Spots to Check Out
1. Hotel München Palace
Munich — There’s far more to Munich’s outdoor dining and drinking culture than the biergartens. At Hotel München Palace, a sumptuous brunch is best enjoyed in the hotel’s quiet, leafy courtyard. Or for the truly lazy, there’s always the option of sampling the selection of cured meats and craft cheeses from the comfort of your room’s own balcony, that much closer to bed.
2. The Zetter Hotel
London — The Zetter’s brunch menu includes no fewer than five hair-of-the-dog cocktails, from the classic Bloody Mary to a delicate concoction of elderflower, verjus and lemongrass. For something to eat, you can’t go wrong with the royal eggs Benedict, pheasant casserole or beetroot ravioli, enjoyed in front of a row of yellow-brick houses lining the cobbled square.
3. Gramercy Park Hotel
New York — Brunch at the Gramercy Park’s Maialino restaurant starts with a simple selection of pastries, but get to the secondi and suddenly you’re looking at choices like olive oil–poached trout or lamb chops with salsa verde and a sunny-side-up egg. If you want to make it a full-on event with Nonna and all the bambini, opt for the hotel’s garden-like private terrace.
4. Bertrams Guldsmeden
Copenhagen — Like any good modern-day Copenhagener, Bertrams Guldsmeden keeps things healthy, even at brunch. The menu includes delicious, light options like muesli topped with dried fruits, toasted nuts and organic yoghurt. A simple slice of fresh, warm bread, slathered with some lightly salted butter, feels luxurious even in its simplicity — a perfect meal for the hotel’s relaxed but elegant courtyard.
5. Saint James Paris
Paris — Yes, they’ll let you eat cake. And macarons. And then you can wash it all down with a flute or two of champagne. Really, anything you want from a Parisian brunch can be had at the Saint James. The garden alone is worth getting out of bed for, and that’s before you’ve even tasted the light, crisp croissants — freshly baked by someone who probably got up before you even went to bed.
6. The PuLi
Shanghai — Not that Shanghai’s status as one of the world’s truly cosmopolitan cities was ever really in doubt, but the PuLi’s brunch reminds us just how high the bar is for a Western-style meal in Shanghai. Their spread of cured meats, fine cheeses, pastries and pickles, plus an extensive à la carte menu, puts the typical Western brunch buffet to shame — and bottomless champagne helps, too.
7. Georges Hotel Galata
Istanbul — Galata is known for its nightlife, so perhaps it’s no surprise that brunch at the Georges doesn’t start until noon — and kicks off with a DJ spinning music for diners. Whether you’re looking to take the edge off after a late night or just want to start the party early, there’s an outstanding selection of brunch cocktails to choose from, and views over the Bosphorous to drink in as well.
8. Hotel Daniel Vienna
Vienna — Even by Austrian standards, the fresh-baked breads and pastries at Hotel Daniel are outstanding. To make brunch even sweeter, the hotel uses honey produced in their own rooftop apiary. After spreading some super-local honey on a slice of warm sourdough, you can sit back with a cup of coffee in the hotel’s lovely garden and watch the bees do their work.