People all over the world celebrate Easter, albeit with a wide variety of traditions — Norwegians, for example, read mystery books or watch crime dramas; some countries in Northwestern Europe set Easter fires, bonfires that are thought to help chase the winter away; and, of course, many celebrate the holiday’s religious nature as well. Children in the United States usually wake up on Easter morning expecting an egg hunt or a basket of goodies from the Easter Bunny, but guests at luxury hotels opt for a more secular treat: an extravagant brunch. Here are seven of our favorite Easter brunches across the country.
For well-heeled New Yorkers, brunch at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Waldorf Astoria New York is an institution, and its Easter edition is a spectacle that must be seen to be believed. Presented in Peacock Alley, this year’s brunch focuses on seasonal products (incorporating, among other things, honey from the hotel’s 20th-floor rooftop garden and apiary) but also pays homage to famed dishes invented by the hotel, such as eggs Benedict, Waldorf salad and red velvet cake. The buffet includes a full raw bar (think caviar and lobster tails), a made-to-order eggs Benedict station, carving areas, plus a lavish dessert spread with a chocolate fountain.
It’s hard to imagine a location more beautiful than Maui for your Easter, and Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua dishes up an expansive holiday brunch as impressive as the setting. Popular with locals and guests alike, the brunch is held in the hotel’s ocean-view dining area, and features locally sourced items — some from the resort’s own organic garden — Hawaiian-themed dishes and traditional brunch items. The buffet even features a station focused on foods sourced from the Maui Upcountry.
Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond, St. Michaels, Maryland
The beautiful D.C.-area property made headlines at the beginning of March when it was sold for nearly $40 million to the same owner behind Cape Cod’s Four-Star Chatham Bars Inn Resort and Spa, CAP Acquisitions LLC. But not to worry — Belmond (formerly known as Orient-Express) will continue to manage the hotel, which will remain a luxury escape (the hotel is expanding the spa and adding tennis courts), with the much-loved Easter brunch at its Sherwood’s Landing restaurant still firmly in place. Enjoy a traditional brunch spread featuring favorites such as quiche Lorraine and Belgian waffles, plus Maryland crab cakes, fresh shucked local oysters, roasted leg of lamb and assorted sweets.
Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Inn on Biltmore Estate is one of the country’s most picturesque places to visit during the holiday, as it coincides with the stately home’s Biltmore Blooms spring event, when more than 1,000 orchids, 96,000 tulips and countless daffodils, forsythias, azaleas and roses begin to shower the property in multicolored splendor. On Easter Sunday, the Biltmore House holds an annual egg hunt for children, while Inn on Biltmore Estate guests can enjoy an indulgent brunch in the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Dining Room at Inn on Biltmore Estate with choices ranging from orange-and-bourbon-glazed ham to housemade granola with yogurt and fresh berries.
Meadowood Napa Valley, St. Helena, California
Set on 250 acres in the heart of Napa, Four-Star Meadowood is a private, refreshingly casual escape. Choose to have the signature Easter Brunch in the Vintners’ Room or The Grill, both of which offer rolling fairway views and fragrant whiffs of the grounds’ dogwood trees. The Vintners’ Room offers a more elegant, buffet-style approach, while The Grill’s à la carte menu dishes up a few surprise Easter additions, such as a fried green tomato Benedict or a black truffle scramble with wild mushrooms, Gruyère and herbs from Meadowood’s garden.
The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Coast, California
Take in Pacific Ocean panoramas, an egg hunt for the little ones, bunny visits, face painting and balloon shaping on this Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star resort’s Rotunda Lawn on Easter morning, and you’re sure to work up an appetite. Head to the Mar Vista grand ballroom to savor a special brunch of traditional buffet staples (think hot, cold, savory and sweet dishes) with Californian and Tuscan flair.
Gourmands will be overwhelmed with the brunch buffet choices at the Four-Star hotel’s Jasmine restaurant. As you watch the Fountains of Bellagio shoot water into the air, nosh on banana and Nutella brioche French toast, mini red velvet waffles, lobster pot pie, crepes filled with crab and artichokes, and braised Kobe short ribs. Even better, there’s an entire room devoted to desserts such as carrot cake, praline silver eggs, berry mascarpone gold eggs and the hotel’s own version of Peeps — lemon and strawberry bunny-shaped marshmallows.
Photos Courtesy of Belmond The Inn At Perry Cabin, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC and Meadowood