It seems like a lifetime ago that I baked chocolate-chip cookies with my kids, letting them “help” with cracking eggs and combining ingredients. The season passed quickly — and I truthfully haven’t baked in years though my appreciation for freshly baked goods hasn’t waned. Why not leave the baking to someone else, after all?
As if eavesdropping, these creative destinations upped their game to include freshly baked treats — a sweet addition to traditional amenities sure to help satisfy your cravings and build solid memories. To quote restaurateur Guy Fieri: “Food is not just eating energy. It’s an experience.”
Grandma Effie’s Cookies at Hotel Effie Sandestin
Miramar Beach, Florida
A newly opened hotel located along Florida’s Emerald Coast, Hotel Effie just recently launched a daily “cookie drop.” A platter of warm, gooey cookies appears daily at 5 a.m. in the elevator banks of each floor. The cookies are made from scratch using the one-and-only secret, 100-year-old family recipe of Effie Burns, the hotel’s namesake, provided by great-granddaughter Sara Becnel. Complimentary to all guests, Grandma Effie’s Cookies reflect her reputation in the community as the hostess with the mostest, the ultimate example of gracious Southern hospitality. This model of service is a guiding light for Hotel Effie, which excels in savvy social grace and authenticity, as evidenced in the culture of welcoming guests like family.
Chocolate Tamale at Playa Viva
More than just a food in Mexico, the tamale is considered a cultural-gastronomical institution, a revered classic referring to a dish wrapped in leaves and steamed, ranging from savory to sweet. This regenerative boutique hotel daily includes a farm-to-table culinary experience, serving three gourmet meals using fresh, seasonal ingredients from either the on-site garden or neighboring farms. An option for dessert each evening, the chocolate tamale has risen to become the signature offering, so popular that couples getting married at the venue often choose it for their wedding dessert. Crafted using organic cocoa grown on a cocoa farm project managed by the hotel, the chocolate tamale is served warm, wrapped in rehydrated cornhusks, a nice prelude to a restorative sleep in your deluxe treehouse suite.
Sweet Treats for Sweet Dreams at Secret Bay
Relais & Châteaux rainforest resort Secret Bay’s turndown service Sweet Treats for Sweet Dreams is — psst! — an open secret. A decadent artistic presentation is comprised of no less than four stacked coconut and cacao cookies on a deconstructed cookie, surrounded by coconut made using cacao, and a slab of cacao embossed with the hotel logo. Executive chef Damith Ranaweera explains that the cacao and coconut are locally sourced, and adds: “The recipe is vegan, vegetarian and gluten free, which means pretty much every guest can indulge.” Consistently earning its Green Global Certification, the hotel’s sustainable approach to cuisine is reflected in the choice of cacao and coconut because these two ingredients embody island flavors, intimately connecting guests with the spirit of the land.
Byrd Dewey Sugar Cookie at The Ben
West Palm Beach, Florida
Attention all book (and cookie) lovers: At The Ben, experience the spirit of author Byrd Dewey, best known for Bruno, who was an early settler in South Florida in the late 1800s, where she was beloved for her storytelling and cinnamon sugar cookies. The Ben stands within steps of Dewey’s original home and seeks to channel her warmth and love for books through the Book Butler Program. Intrigued? Order a complimentary book from a list of titles such as Bruno, naturally, as well as To Kill a Mockingbird. Using white glove service, it will arrive at your room by a Book Butler on a silver platter — along with Book Bites, a preselected dessert from a menu that includes Dewey’s cinnamon sugar cookies made using her original recipe.
Macho Chocolate Cake at Sanará
If you are celebrating a special occasion, Sanará wants to hear about it and bring cake to the party. The 19-room eco-friendly hotel operates a popular restaurant Real Coconut Kitchen under the creative direction of property owner, health advocate and self-taught chef Daniella Hunter. Channeling lessons learned during her own childhood illness, Hunter champions healthy, gut-friendly cooking — and Macho Chocolate Cake is no exception. Alert the resort in advance that you’re feting a milestone moment. Voilà! This cake made with plantain flour and served with coconut cream will be in your room to greet you upon arrival to aid your festivities. If you can’t get to the resort to experience the cake and other resort favorites, then while you are sure to be missed, you can find Hunter’s secrets in her cookbook, Nourish Yourself, Nurture Our World.
Southernmost Afternoon Delights at The Guesthouses at Southernmost Beach Resort
Key West, Florida
One compelling reason to stay at this property’s guesthouses on the quieter southern end of the famed Duval Street is to experience the fresh-baked cookies emerging from the oven each day around 1p.m. The complimentary amenity explains, in part, why guests have continued returning over the years to the historic turn-of-the-century Victorian structure — a laid-back and welcoming enclave awash with Southern charm within steps of the buzzy nightlife. Evoking nostalgic, old-time feels of visiting grandma’s house and being met with an indulgent sweet surprise, the featured cookie changes from day to day. Will you get White Chocolate Macadamia? Oatmeal Raisin? Red Velvet? Wait and see.
Which of the destinations above would you most like to visit? Let us know in the comments below.