Thursday, April 02, 2009

Why Off-Resort Dining is Usually the Better Option

Golf Odyssey readers know that my editors and I work hard to identify the best places to dine at each golf vacation destination we visit. Before you roll your eyes, know that we have to endure plenty of bad restaurants in order to find the standouts, and we have the Pepto supply to prove it.

What we've found is that, save for a few exceptions (the Tap Room at Pebble Beach immediately comes to mind), the best dining choices are almost always located off resort grounds. As I recently learned from the CEO of a major hospitality company, the reason for this is pretty simple.

If you run a restaurant (and it doesn't matter if you are a single proprietor or part of a chain), you come to work every day focused on one thing: the restaurant business.

Now, contrast that mindset with that of the hotel manager. He or she needs to worry about filling hotel rooms and booking meetings and events. The accompanying food and beverage operation may consist of several restaurants, plus banquets and room service. And we haven't even touched upon other aspects at larger resorts, such as the golf courses, spas and other amenities that take care, feeding and attention.

So, if you find yourself on a golf vacation and have to make a choice between dining on- or off a resort property, the rule-of-thumb above should prove useful. There are exceptions, of course, and we applaud the recent trend of established restaurateurs setting up shop inside hotels. Continued...

By David Baum of

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