Some people choose their hotels based on distance from an intended location (like when we stayed at the Goldener Hirsch when we visited all the places in Salzburg where they filmed The Sound of Music). Others decide based on the cost, either in cash or points. Still others look for a specific niche thing, such as the comfort of Hyatt’s beds or the best reception desk worker EVER (look down at the very bottom of the post to learn about her).
With “niche” in mind, for all you foodies out there, heads up – Chef Charlie Parker (he of 20 Michelin stars and multiple James Beard awards) is teaming up with Christopher Hunsberger (you know, the Four Seasons veteran. NBD) to create Appellation, the first hotel brand that will focus on food.
Appellation means “to give a name to a place” (and now you have your word of the day!). The brand will “cultivate community around food and the role it plays in bringing people together, while exuding ‘approachable luxury’ in accommodations and service”
Three Appellation hotels are currently in the works: one in Sun Valley, Idaho (scheduled to open in 2023), and two in California (Healdsburg in 2023 and Pacific Grove in 2024). According to Food & Wine, there are also plans for further locations in the more distant future, including Napa, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and others).
Food and beverage will purposely be built into the core of Appellation, from lobbies with interactive prep stations to pantries on each guest floor filled with local artisan products and curated cookbook libraries.
The hotels will vary in size and the initially planned properties will range from 72 to 225 rooms. All will feature a signature Charlie Palmer restaurant and bar, interactive culinary demonstrations, robust experiential programming, meetings and event space, pool, spa and fitness centers. Select hotels, such as Appellation Sun Valley, will also offer residences.
Chief Executive Officer Charlie Palmer practically created the successful hotel restaurant model. According to his website, he became interested in pursuing a career in food after growing up around his family’s vegetable garden. Since then, he has authored several cookbooks, and won 13 (of his 20!) Michelin stars and two James Beard awards while his restaurant Aureole was open as a brick-and-mortar location (it closed in June, 2020, after 32 years in business). Parker has also opened several other restaurants, including Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar in Napa, The Patio and Spyglass Rooftop Bar in New York City, and several Charlie Palmer Steak locations throughout the country.
“Appellations were created as a promise of authenticity – an earned designation that could exist nowhere else but here,” said Parker. “The first appellations centered on food, just as we do today. That name felt appropriate as we create what we saw lacking for today’s luxury traveler – hotels specifically built around a destination’s distinct culinary experiences,” he continued.
“We’re flipping the traditional ‘hotel first, restaurant second’ notion on its head and setting a new standard for immersion in local culture and community through food. With Appellation, the intersection of culinary and hospitality is seamless. It is the hotel experience both of us have always wanted,” added Chief Operating Officer Christopher Hunsberger.
Parker and Hunsberger originally met more than twenty years ago. That’s when Palmer became the first celebrity chef to enter a licensing agreement with Four Seasons Resorts and Hotels. That program was led by Hunsberger as global head of product. Hunsberger, who spent more than thirty years in strategic leadership roles with Four Seasons, left after holding positions as President of the Americas and Global Chief Human Resources Officer.
From a press release:
Comfort will be found in Appellation’s take on luxury without formality, brought to life by immersive culinary experiences, thoughtful design touchpoints and unique service interactions. “Appellation is about an experience that is impressive, but unpretentious. When people are comfortable at every level the food tastes better, the laughter is louder and the memories are stronger,” Palmer notes. Hyperlocal food and beverage and dozens of local characteristics are woven into each guest experience, from architecture and furnishings to immersive, educational programming, entrées and cocktails. Hunsberger explains, “guests and locals can watch live-fire cooking as they sip wine with a renowned local winemaker in Healdsburg, enjoy a perfectly crafted cocktail adjacent to the observatory at the rooftop bar in Sun Valley, or learn the art of perfectly prepared artichoke in Pacific Grove, just a few miles from the ‘Artichoke Capitol of The World.'”
More information about the brand can be found at https://appellationhotels.com/.
All images: Appellation
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