Tempting food and stunning sunshine are among the most important factors for travellers choosing their next holiday destination, according to a survey by Booking.com.
In fact, almost six in 10 global travellers indicate that the quality of the food is a key factor in deciding their next holiday destination, and more than half give major consideration to the weather.
For all types of tastes and budgets, alfresco dining is a perfect pastime. Booking.com reveals five of the best alfresco dining hotspots, from rooftop wonders with panoramic city views and waterside restaurant gems to hidden eateries nestled in sun-trapped courtyards.
The enchanting Grotta Palazzese definitely holds a place on every foodie’s bucket list. This breathtaking restaurant is built inside a cave on the Italian coast, a perfect spot for alfresco dining with the warm breeze.
Arguably one of the world’s most unique dining experiences, this enchanting restaurant was built centuries ago. Enjoy dramatic sea views as you sit at dimly lit tables and watch the waves lap the shores beneath you. The top endorsements for Monopoli are old towns, seaside and food and the top nationalities visiting are French, German and British.
Where to stay: The quaint B&B Relais del Senatore is only a two-minute stroll along the charming medieval streets of Polignano a Mare, where you will find the Grotto Palazzese, perfect for reserving the best seat in the house (or cave).
Set in an 18th-century watchtower, this charming B&B offers its own alfresco dining from the summer terrace, complete with fitted tables and loungers.
Bangkok is a city of contrasts, from the hedonistic nightlife scene along Khao San Road to the entrancing temples and shrines. Along with sightseeing and shopping, food is a top endorsement for Bangkok by Booking.com travellers.
Sirocco is the world’s highest alfresco restaurant and is a must-visit for foodie thrill seekers. The rooftop restaurant boasts unrivalled views of bustling Bangkok, and you can indulge your senses with the jazz band and the chef’s tasting menu. The top endorsements of Bangkok are shopping, food and temples and the top nationalities visiting are Chinese, German and British.
Where to stay: Why not treat yourself and stay in the very home of the Sirocco restaurant. The lebua at State Tower has a range of glamorous suites with impressive views of the spectacular city skyline.
PORT DOUGLAS, AUSTRALIA
With the famous Aussie sunshine and warm temperatures in Port Douglas year-round, travellers are spoilt for choice with alfresco dining options. Flames of the Forest is Australia’s only rainforest dining experience in the heart of tropical North Queensland.
This unique restaurant combines local produce with the stunning beauty of the surrounding forest. You can choose between the Aboriginal Cultural Experience (includes a seven-dish banquet and an Aboriginal cultural performance) or the Rainforest Dining Experience (includes a six-course tropical tasting menu).
The top endorsements for Port Douglas are relaxation, restaurants and beach. Perfect for choosing an alfresco diving venue by the beach. The top nationalities who booked a trip outside of Australians are British, Kiwi and American.
Where to stay: Port Douglas is a haven for travellers looking to embrace natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes, from the Daintree Rainforest and Bloomfield Falls to the pristine beach. This tropical town is also known for its boutique, beach-lined cafes, restaurants and bars – perfect for soaking up the rays whilst tucking into delicious food.
The Martinique on Macrossan apartments is a great place to stay – only 50 metres from the beach and a 15-minute drive to the Flames of the Forest restaurant. The spacious self-contained apartments each has a private balcony and is surrounded by lush tropical gardens.
CEDERBERG, SOUTH AFRICA
A trip to South Africa is incomplete without trying the famous Cape cuisine and the best place to try this is at the Embers at Bushmans Kloof restaurant.
Dine under the African skies in the natural sandstone amphitheatre. Embers is perched on a dramatic cliff and overlooks the spectacular valley below. It is lit by a roaring fire, and a myriad of candles and lanterns create a truly magical atmosphere – it’s a truly fairy-tale alfresco experience like no other.
Where to stay: Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat is located at the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains and boasts a spa, wellness centre, heated outdoor swimming pool and lush surrounding gardens.
Even with its nickname “the big smoke”, London is not one to be disregarded when daydreaming of alfresco dining. The Coq d’Argent is a must for outdoor dining, serving delicious French cuisine, and customers will love the stunning rooftop garden boasting mesmerising views of the capitals skyline.
The top endorsements for London by Booking.com travellers are sightseeing, shopping and museums and the top nationalities who visited apart from British include, French, Italian and German.
Where to stay: Stay in the heart of London at the exquisite and beautifully designed Ham Yard Hotel. Dine at the on-site restaurant and enjoy the frequently updated menu and rooftop terrace. Relax on the large, leafy rooftop garden and enjoy sweeping views of London’s skyline.