These 10 hotels are like heaven for chocoholics

  • The Peninsula Chicago

    Every Friday and Saturday night is chocolate night at The Peninsula Chicago. Chocolate at the The Pen features an unlimited buffet of more than 40 chocolate cakes, tarts, candies, bonbons, marshmallows, hot chocolate and cookies. Executive pastry chef Dimitri Fayard changes nearly half the menu every week, so there are always new treats to sample. Honestly, it's a little overwhelming. Fayard is also working closely with Cacao Barry to develop his own signature raw chocolate that will be unique to the hotel. For Valentine's Day, there will be a special four-course dinner and chocolate bar for dessert accompanied by live music from a pianist and string trio.

    Photo courtesy of The Peninsula Chicago

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

    To get to the Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo's Michelin-starred French restaurant, Azure 45, you must first pass through the temptations of La Boutique, a sleek little chocolate shop and cafe selling chocolate pralines and gateau de voyage – perfect for the long flight home. This Valentine's Day, chocolatier Takashi Iida debuts five new flavors made from premium Vietnamese chocolate blended with Nakazawa cream from Hokkaido. You can even watch the pastry team at work through a glass window. These exclusive treats are only available for purchase at the hotel.

    Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

  • SLS Beverly Hills

    The Patisserie at SLS Beverly Hills may be the hotel's best-kept secret. You enter as though you're headed to The Bazaar by José Andrés, but swing a right to the land of sweet goodness behind the Spanish restaurant. The Patisserie is only open in the evenings, but you can always have dessert for dinner. Pastry chef Mitzi Reyes is a high-energy chocolate magician, making dozens of different bonbons, pastries, ice cream and entremets each day. The macaroche is a signature treat – a Ferrero Rocher-inspired chocolate-covered coffee macaron delight that's soft and crunchy, sweet and nutty all at once. Book the hotels' Be Epicurean package for a private bonbon-making class plus dinner at Somni's 10-seat chef's counter.

    Photo courtesy of SLS Beverly Hills

  • Copal Tree Lodge

    More than 120 acres of organic criollo cacao have been planted on Copal Tree Lodge's 3,000-acre farm, making it the largest organic cacao plantation in Belize and the largest criollo plantation in Central America. Guests can make their own bean-to-bar chocolate while staying in this rainforest preserve within the Maya Mountains of Punta Gorda. The day begins with a visit to the cacao nursery, tasting the sweet raw cacao pulp and learning about the fermenting and drying process. Then, roll up your sleeves and learn to roast and temper chocolate by hand and machine before molding a chocolate bar to take home.

    Photo courtesy of Copal Tree Lodge

  • Bvglari Hotel Shanghai

    The new Bvlgari Hotel Shanghai is upping the chocolate game with Il Cioccolato. These are undoubtedly the most expensive bonbons in town, ranging from $12-$17 apiece and requiring five days to assemble. Each is painstakingly constructed and enrobed in the atelier next door, where a team of chocolatiers working around the clock creates just 200 bonbons each day. Each piece is hand-trimmed by knife and brushed off like the most precious of jewels to create a perfect disk stamped with the Bvlgari logo. Ginger and red date is Shanghai's signature flavor, while Gorgonzola and orange is the chef's personal favorite.

    Photo courtesy of Bvglari Hotel Shanghai

  • Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

    Chocolate bonbons await around every corner at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. They're given in takeaway boxes at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills after a decadent dinner, and left as turndown amenities along with travel-size La Prairie skincare products bedside each night. Pastry chef Deden Putra uses Valrhona chocolate couverture (he trained with Valrhona in France and Brooklyn) and his bonbon flavors change often. There might be matcha green tea bonbons in the relaxation lounge at the La Prairie spa or rich passion fruit ganache and nutty pralines for a midnight snack after dinner. You can even book a private chocolate making class for two with the master himself.

    Photo courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

  • Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

    Experience the antioxidant properties of cacao from head to toe at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat in St Lucia. The Rabot estate was established in 1745 and is now a model for ethical and sustainable cacao farming, with stunning views of the Piton Mountains. Guests can tour cacao groves, munch on crunchy cacao beans and learn how to temper chocolate for the perfect snap when grinding and mixing their own individual bar. Then, visit the luxe spa for a massage with silky whipped cacao mousse after exfoliating with ground estate-grown cocoa beans, or opt for a facial with a fresh local cacao and banana face mask.

    Photo courtesy of Peter Doggart

  • The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva

    This 74-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva is the smallest Ritz-Carlton in the world. Grace Kelly used to stay in the presidential suite, now named in honor of the Princess of Monaco. One of Switzerland's most respected chocolatiers, Philippe Pascoët, has a shop adjacent to the lobby, and all guests are offered a complimentary chocolate and wine pairing during their stay. Not to mention, you also receive your choice from a treasure trove of bonbons at check-in and a nightly chocolate fix at turndown. The concierge can arrange a private chocolate-making workshop with Pascoët at his Carouge boutique, although be warned that the Frenchman doesn't speak English.

    Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva

  • The Driskill

    The secret recipe for the rich glaze on The Driskill's signature fudgy chocolate cake dates back to the 1970s and current executive pastry chef Tony Sansalone remembers making the unusual cake on his first day working at The Driskill 11 years ago. "There is no creaming method," he says. "There are no high ratio shortenings. Inspecting the batter after mixing it the first time, I had doubts that it was going to work. It didn’t appear to look like batter but looked more like a melted chocolate milkshake, runny and wet. My new team assured me it would bake fine...and it did!" For this cake and many more recipes at 1886 Cafe & Bakery, Sansalone relies on 100% cocoa powder by Valrhona.

    Photo courtesy of The Driskill

  • The Broadmoor

    The sweet smell of chocolate will lead you right to Cafe Julie's, the new chocolate shop at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Watch chocolatier Amanda Houdek at work crafting delicate bonbons, like The Colorado, chocolate-dipped walnut nougat with a layer of honey orange ganache and topped with edible gold leaf. All the chocolate is from Valrhona in France, and the Broadmoor team has its own private dark chocolate blend. Signature hot chocolate at Julie's is served with a golden spoon and fanciful chocolate sculptures change with the seasons. You can even book a two-day chocolate culinary package and spend a full day with pastry chef Adam Thomas, working with chocolate in all its forms.

    Photo courtesy of The Broadmoor


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