Hotels Above Par is an expertly curated online guide to articles under two minutes designed for accomplished travelers. Its founder, former pro-PR founder-turned-travel specialist and entrepreneur Brandon Berkson, recently launched Hotels Above Par Concierge.
This is a new type of travel agency with a special focus on customized planning of hotels and boutique-style experiences through a hand-picked team of Travel Scholars Who are the experts on what’s cool and where. All flights, hotels, activities and meals are taken care of. Furthermore, Hotels Above Par’s unparalleled relationships in the travel industry allow members to have VIP-style privileges and privileges in a range of hotels.
“I feel like there’s nothing else in the travel agency world like it,” Berkson says. “We position ourselves as a modern travel agency that focuses on planning boutique-style trips. This concept is very relevant to the times, as in addition to the current trend of travelers wanting a very authentic stay that smells of the destination they are visiting, nowadays, more than ever, people care about Supporting local businesses and boutique hotels when on vacation, as a result of the pandemic that has wiped out the tourism industry.”
Unlike the majority of travel agencies that book franchised tour operators and mega-resort-like accommodations for their clients, HAP Concierge prioritizes what is out of the ordinary.
“On your itinerary, rather than overly commercial resorts, you’ll find intimate hotels that connect you to the heart of the destination through elements such as curating local artwork or a unique backdrop.”
We chatted with Brandon Berkson, founder of Hotels Above Par and HAP Concierge about what he thinks are the coolest and most unique restaurants and boutique bars. That’s what he said!
the hotel: Matilda Hotel
Location: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Everyone who knows me will tell you that I never cease to speak of San Miguel de Allende; It is my favorite city in Mexico. I often love staying at the beautiful 35-room Hotel Matilda. Their collection of contemporary art is impeccable. When you are in San Miguel de Allende, even if you are not staying at Hotel Matilda, definitely try their great restaurant, Moxy. Chef Paul Bentley’s menu options are very diverse, ranging from roasted octopus and duck carnitas to barbacoa tortellini (the last dish is my favorite on the menu).
Resturant: Riggs Café
the hotel: Riggs Washington DC
Location: Washington DC
Located in the nation’s capital, this hotel was once a bank where several presidents handled their finances. The interior design preserves Riggs’ former life: the lobby’s bronze door frames, marble floors, barrel-vaulted ceilings, and a scented L-shaped front desk from the cashier counter deserve thanks. It also hosts the great Riggs Café, which looks like a great European restaurant, you’d expect to see in Paris or Vienna. Its high ceilings and clean design create a welcoming atmosphere, whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. I always play for lunch, so it’s only natural for me to recommend the French toast, which comes with maple syrup, bacon, and pecans.
Restaurant / Bar: Yannis
the hotel: sea containers london
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Sea Containers London is a stylish hotel located in the South Bank district of the British capital. Constantly receiving awards, a must-visit Lyaness bar. The design is ultra-fine and cool—expect a color palette of pale blues and soft greys, from banquettes to walls; Green marble bar plus blue and bronze cocktail tables. Brilliant mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr. Lyan, is the mastermind behind the roster. You must try their spirited tea, which includes creative cocktails (you’ll love Orchard Spritz: vegan honey, reduce apple, Roku Gin, and soda); A selection of teas from all over the world; And a selection of English treats is perfect for anyone who likes sweets (like me).
Resturant: plane in the sky
the hotel: Angelina’s house
Location: Praiano, Italy
It is one of my favorite hotels in the world. It is located right on the Amalfi Coast in Italy – imagine a whitewashed facade, ultra-modern décor, and breathtaking sea views you’ve ever seen. The menu of the restaurant Un Piano Nel Cielo upstairs is superb, with many dishes that pay homage to the region’s locality, and the rich cultural traditions of Campania (think local produce, meat and fish – to sum it up, the culinary offerings here are very fresh and farm-to-table oriented). In addition to hearty food, dinner here is a dream: the sound of the raging Tyrrhenian sea; A starlit sky, with not a single ounce of light pollution; And a selection of wines curated by the sommelier help enhance the already amazing experience.
Resturant: oak room
the hotel: run manor
Location: Adare village, Ireland
Located in the village of Adare, in County Limerick, Ireland, this 842-acre country castle hotel exudes luxury, from its manicured gardens to its 19th-century furnishings and splendor. The hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, The Oak Room, serves contemporary Irish cuisine led by chef Michael Tweedy. Inside, the oak-panelled design of this fine dining establishment is elegant and well-appointed, the perfect pairing with its views of the winding Maigue River.
Restaurant / Bar: A piece of cake
the hotel: The Siren Hotel
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA
In addition to having a great cocktail menu, The Candy Bar at The Siren Hotel in Detroit draws attention to its core. The bar has Old Hollywood glamor in its veins: the setting is a dazzling glass chandelier, plush furnishings, and walls covered in Jayne Mansfield pink paint. Plus, a shimmering disco ball from a 70’s Paris nightclub adds the perfect dose of sparkle to your night.
Resturant: meat grill
the hotel: The Singular Hotel
Location: Puerto Boris, Patagonia, Chile
A repurposed refrigerator factory, the now family-owned Singular Hotel, Patagonia in Chile, masterfully preserves its past life from corridor to corridor. This includes the on-site restaurant, El Asador, which has a 19th-century facade. Inside, a rustic-style space serves up a variety of wood-fired meats: skirt steak, lamb steak, and rib-eye, among other cuts, make carnivores’ mouths water.
Resturant: Nomi Park
the hotel: The Wavender Hotel
Location: Newport, RI, USA
Located in Newport, RI, Wayfinder’s Nomi Park Restaurant offers a relaxed retro aesthetic. You can’t go wrong with having breakfast, lunch or dinner here. When it comes to dinner, my favorite dish is spicy calamari: butter nougat and short rib mafaldi pasta with grana padano, plus cured chicken yolks.
Restaurant / Bar: Bar Elysian
the hotel: Peter and Paul Hotel
Location: New Orleans, Los Angeles, USA
Located in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans, the modern Peter and Paul Hotel occupies a historic rectory, church, and convent. Located on the ground floor of the parsonage, the hotel’s Elysian Bar has a unique décor with thoughtful nods to both its New World location and Old World roots. The yellow walls (I’m biased because that’s my favorite color), the red bar stools, and the framing of the auburn-side bar make for an inviting ambiance. try the Boulevard: bourbon, campari, sweet vermouth, orange bitterness.
the hotel: beach club
Location: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
The Shore Club is a wonderful oasis right on the beach in Turks & Caicos. Their restaurant, SUI-REN, hosts a well-stocked outdoor setting that celebrates warm Caribbean nights. The menu combines Japanese cuisine with Peruvian flair — try chicken katsuWhich contains organic chicken breast with spicy lemon curry sauce and fried rice. Also, ordering their sushi specials is always a good idea.
the hotel: Sita Mani Anchor
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Creative genius Bill Bensley heads up the brightly designed Cambodian Shinta Mani Angkor Hotel. Inside, Kroya Restaurant is designed to the finish, with many eye-catching styles. Their menu focuses heavily on regional cuisine. In any new country, I always love to try the local cuisine – when you’re here, try Khmer tasting menu of 7 groupsIt is an excellent experience in Cambodia’s traditional culinary offerings.
Restaurant / Bar: Pulitzer Bar
the hotel: Pulitzer Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
I keep coming back to Amsterdam. There is something very charming about the city, from the canals to the gingerbread style architecture. I love staying at Pulitzer Amsterdam, a luxury hotel for 25 people Canal houses built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The hotel’s signature Pulitzer Bar is exciting: the Art Deco-style bar, the club feel of old members, and rich, massive velvet furnishings make it as classy as it comes. Going to this eye-catching bar is Patchouli mojitoIt consists of a mixture of rum, pine, mint, patchouli, lime and soda.
the hotel: Le Sereno Beach House
Location: Troncones, Mexico
Located in the Mexican state of Guerrero, in the sleepy seaside town of Troncones, Lo Sereno Casa de Playa is a dreamy 10-suite beach getaway. Their restaurant, La Terraza, is perfect: contemporary furnishings, a soundtrack of crashing waves in the background, and a menu of farm-to-table Mexican and Spanish dishes delight everyone who dines here.
Restaurant: Pasquinel Bistro
Hotel: Banyan Tree Puebla
Location: Puebla, Mexico
In my opinion, Puebla is one of the most underappreciated Mexican destinations. This Spanish colonial-style city is filled with endless cobbled streets, authentic restaurants, and cathedrals. When you’re here, stay at Banyan Tree Puebla, a boutique hotel with stunning design that masterfully blends past and present in every corridor. Pasquinel Bistrot is their signature restaurant, which blends Mexican and French cuisine. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, they have a range of traditional Puebla dishes. I love sitting by the huge restaurant window that overlooks the green hotel gardens. If you’re here for lunch, grab a cocktail after your meal at the hotel’s amazing rooftop bar – you can see the whole city and the most famous Puebla volcano from afar.
Resturant: Atacama Land
the hotel: Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa
Location: Atacama Desert, Chile
Chile is incredible. If you get the chance, you should definitely go. When you’re here, stay at the Tierra Atacama, a boutique hotel located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Tierra Atacama’s design features beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding landscape. The menu features touches of northern Chilean cuisine, with most ingredients sourced locally. Authentic traditions are incorporated into the menu: what you can expect are fresh, colorful salads, Peruvian corn and quinoa, and an array of delicious meats and vegetarian dishes.