Fall Preview 2014: 7 Food-Obsessed Hotels Opening Soon

Long gone are the days when hotels could skate by with offering only insipid room-service BLTs. Nowadays, food and beverage is as much of a priority as designer guestrooms, inevitably drawing in locals to boot. Many a new property is slated to open this fall, promising some intriguing culinary amentities as part of the package. Here are seven of the most tantalizing among them:

The Knickerbocker: New York

Although Aureole remains a bastion of fine dining in Midtown, Charlie Palmer's kept a low profile the past several years. That's all about to change. On the heels of the legendary chef opening Crimson & Rye, in the lobby of the Lipstick Building, the 330-room Knickerbocker will bear his culinary imprint when it opens before year's end. The luxurious revamp of John Jacob Astor IV's circa-1906 hotel — a rarity in gimmicky Times Square — will feature both Palmer's ground-level, casual cafe Jake's @ The Knick and a fancier fourth-floor full-service restaurant Charlie Palmer at The Knick. When milder weather beckons, the scenic rooftop bar, St. Cloud, will inevitably become the choice roost. 6 Times Square, theknickerbocker.com

Virgin Hotel Chicago

Impatiently we've all waited for Virgin guru Sir Richard Branson to make his first foray into the hotel realm with this much-delayed 250-room property in the Windy City's Old Dearborn Bank Building. Rumor has it this highly anticipated day will finally come in December. Rick Gresh, who spent years at David Burke's Primehouse, at the James Hotel, has been named the executive chef. Other than knowing he has his work cut out for him overseeing six different concepts, the details, like the rest of the hotel's plans, are drenched in mystery. 203 N. Wabash Ave., virgin.com

Gates of Key West, FL

Come November, kitschy Key West is making way for the stylish, Cuban-inspired Gates of Key West hotel. Along with the private poolside cabanas and cypress platform beds in each of the 100 rooms, Rum Row keeps the swank vibe going. A partnership with Key West Legal Rum Distillery, it will be a non-touristy tapas hideaway for mai tais and ceviche. 3824 North Roosevelt Blvd., gateshotelkeywest.com

Delano Las Vegas

Perhaps no other Miami hotel is as fabled as the Delano. And, on Sept. 2, the sexy urban resort officially gets the Las Vegas Strip treatment, having slithered into a former Mandalay Bay property in alluring all-suite form. Alain Ducasse's lively miX is a holdover on the 64th floor, offering French-influenced fare in an elegant setting (the interior is by noted Parisian designer Patrick Jouin). Guests can also tear into carne asada huevos rancheros at Della's Kitchen — where herbs are plucked straight from the restaurant's own greenhouse — and sipping well-made basil Palomas alongside fried pig ears to the sounds of DJs in the lobby lounge, the Franklin. 3940 Las Vegas Blvd. South, delanolasvegas.com

Martha Washington: New York

This Chelsea newcomer has gone through a revolving door of different names (Hotel Thirty-Thirty, Lola, King & Grove) in record time, but history gets the last word: it's now the Martha Washington, which was the property's original name when it opened back in 1903 as all-women lodging. The slate-tiled bathrooms are nice and all, but the real draw is about-to-open Marta—the newest venture from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group. Here, chef Nick Anderer, of Maialino fame, plans to crank out rabbit meatballs with charred scallions and ricotta and, proving Neapolitan pizza isn't the only game in town, crackling-thin pies that channel Rome. 29 East 29th St., chelseahotels.com

JW Marriott Houston Downtown

For more than a century, the Samuel F. Carter Building has stood sentinel in Houston, and it's now been painstakingly renovated to make way for this 328-room outpost of the acclaimed hotel chain. When it opens in September, Erin Smith, formerly of popular bar/restaurant group the Clumsy Butcher, will preside over Main Kitchen, featuring a stone hearth oven, local meats from Black Hill Ranch and an impressive array of housemade breads. 806 Main St., jwmarriott.com

Miami Edition

Edgy Edition hotels is scheduled to make its mark on South Beach on Dec. 1, with 294 airy guestrooms, suites and bungalows. The details remain vague, but guests can look forward to a restaurant from acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and a lobby bar with ocean views that makes imbibing an even more seductive pastime. 2901 Collins Ave., edition-hotels.marriott.com

Read more Fall Previews on Food Republic:

  • 21 Major Restaurants Opening In New York City
  • 12 Major Restaurants Opening In Los Angeles
  • 9 Major Restaurant And Bar Openings In Chicago