Brunch just might be the perfect meal. Combining the best elements of breakfast and lunch, the ritual calls for gathering with friends over eggs Benedict smothered in hollandaise during a leisurely late morning and sipping mimosas into the afternoon.
But the below brunches do one better: they put you in the water. Whether you want to have your pancakes in a boat or in a pool, test the waters at these hotels.
Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake
Meander past pagodas, mountains and thick willow trees in tranquil West Lake when you book a breakfast cruise at this Five-Star hotel. Climb aboard the Four Seasons’ traditional wooden boat to take in the UNESCO site while sipping the region’s famed steaming Longjing tea and noshing on Hangzhou-style egg noodle soup, steamed meat dumplings and deep-fried Chinese fritters.
The scenic, reservations-only voyages start at 45 minutes and set off from the hotel’s private dock.
At 11 a.m. Sunday, board the open-air Wauwinet Lady from the docks of White Elephant for an easygoing boat ride across picturesque Nantucket Harbor to its more secluded sister property, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Wauwinet. You’ll make it in time for the noontime brunch at Four-Star Topper’s.
The seasonal cruise is complimentary if you reserve the three-course meal — be sure to get the lobster roll with Meyer lemon mayonnaise when it’s on offer. Don’t overdo it on the white peach bellinis; you have to make the 1:30 p.m. boat back.
The Villas at Ayana Resort Bali
Get the ultimate room service meal when you stay in a villa at this Five-Star stunner. Order the floating breakfast for two, a favorite among honeymooners. Your butler will bring a large floatable tray of scrambled or poached eggs; smoked salmon; English muffins; fresh strawberries; orange juice; coffee, tea or hot chocolate; and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin champagne and set it down directly in your private pool.
As you enjoy your coffee in the water, you’ll soak up the surrounding tropical gardens and the Indian Ocean beyond.
RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO
Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Glide through the placid canals of Mayakoba when you embark on a tapas cruise at this Four-Star hotel. Reserve your own boat (up to six people) for an open-air journey through the verdant mangroves and scenic lagoons and keep an eye out for wildlife.
Select a Mexican menu for bites like seared shrimp with chipotle alioil, grilled beef brochettes with platano mint mousse, and tomato and panela cheese skewers. Or opt for Thai tapas like chicken satay, tuna spring rolls with lemon soya sauce, and alioli beef kebabs with massaman curry.
Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa
You won’t find a floating brunch on the menu at this Seven Mile Beach hotel. But there is a secret one among in-the-know guests. Kimpton Seafire prides itself on personalized service, so you can order from the room service or poolside bar menu and have it delivered to your oversized flamingo or pineapple pool float. Try the jerk chicken scramble studded with peppers, onion, spinach and mozzarella, or the Spanish omelet with local peppers, manchego, caramelized onions, ham and scallions.
NEW YORK CITY
The Kimberly Hotel
Hop aboard the hotel’s 75-foot Kimberly Yacht (which it shares with New York Health and Racquet Club) for a relaxed two-hour cruise that sails from East 23rd Street around lower Manhattan and circles the Statue of Liberty.
The popular Saturday brunch, which typically runs from mid-May through early October, serves bagels, wraps and salads and desserts, and a cash bar lets you imbibe. The cruises are for those 18 and older, but The Kimberly usually allows children over 3 years old on one kid-friendly ride per month.
A private charter through this Four-Star hotel launches its 70-foot sailboat from North Cove Yacht Harbor in lower Tribeca into New York Harbor. As you take in sights like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Freedom Tower, savor light bites like tuna tartare crostini along with mini smoked salmon or cucumber sandwiches from noted chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.