10 Beach Restaurants Perfecting the Art of Sea-to-Table Dining
From a private island dinner in Bora Bora to a restaurant perched on the Mediterranean coast, these waterfront dining experiences will please any palate.
Something physiological happens when bare feet touch sand, when eyes rest on water and when lungs breathe sea air. Nineteenth-century doctors knew it well enough and routinely prescribed beach trips; contemporary medicine has, more or less, followed suit. A study released in 2012 revealed that stress levels decrease and overall well-being improves the closer we get to the coast. Sunburns and jellyfish stings aside, beaches bring out the best in us.
When we’re at our best, we want to eat the best. Fortunately, the world’s most beautiful beaches are culturally and ecologically diverse, with thriving culinary scenes based on sustainably sourced seafood.
In Nevis, for example, Executive Sous-Chef Kai Autenrieth, a diving enthusiast, dots his menu with lionfish, a delicious but invasive and predatory species that wreaks havoc on the local reef system. In Casablanca, Executive Chef Thierry Papillier works directly with local fishermen who bring in fresh catch daily.
We’ve rounded up 10 of the most exceptional beach restaurants and dining experiences at Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world. From the romantic to the cultural to the family-friendly, these culinary adventures capture and elevate the joyful spirit of a day at the beach.
Club Dauphin on the French Riviera
It’s perfectly acceptable to spend the entire day soaking in the sun at Club Dauphin, a poolside restaurant perched on the Mediterranean cliffs at Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel.
But after lunch, you could retire to one of Club Dauphin’s luxury cabanas, or call on famed swim instructor Pierre Gruneberg for a private lesson. (Gruneberg’s past students include Somerset Maugham, Elton John and the children of Paul McCartney.) Cooler months bring opportunities for dolphin and whale watching, while warmer weather calls for poolside parties and evening firework shows.
Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons HotelBook Now
Fish House in Oahu
A line-to-table menu and a casual, family-style atmosphere make Fish House at Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina a destination for seaside dining. “Our seafood comes straight from the ocean into the kitchen,” says Executive Chef Martin Knaubert.
Dine with your toes in the sand and sample fish prepared on the outdoor wood-fired grill, or join friends for sunset cocktails on the beach before venturing indoors for an intimate dinner. Wherever you sit, the ocean view is magnificent.
Four Seasons Oahu at Ko OlinaBook Now
Private island dining in Bora Bora
A romantic occasion is made magical when you board a canoe and cruise to your own private island, or motu, during the Private Island Dinner Experience at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.
Surrounded by lagoon waters and views of Mount Otemanu, you’ll enjoy Champagne, canapés and a customised menu of fresh fish and local produce. Island flowers, local musicians and a telescope for stargazing create an authentically Polynesian setting for an unforgettable evening.
Four Seasons Resort Bora BoraBook Now
Bleu in Casablanca
Lunch and dinner are complemented by ocean views at Bleu, a modern Mediterranean brasserie at Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca. Overlooking the Atlantic coastline and the grand El Hank lighthouse, the restaurant celebrates local seafood with a menu of fresh fish handpicked daily by Executive Chef Thierry Papillier, who visits the seaside fish markets himself.
Gather around the outdoor firepit on the restaurant’s terrace to watch the sunset before dining on Dakhla oysters, sea bass tartare or sea bream sashimi – all specialties of Bleu’s raw bar. If you prefer your fish cooked, look to Papillier’s menu of grilled fish options, which changes regularly but always adds well-paired, locally sourced vegetables.
Four Seasons Hotel CasablancaBook Now
Bambou in Mauritius
Taste the diverse cuisine of Mauritius at Bambou, a beachfront restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita. The restaurant’s Zilwa Night is a highlight. Zilwa means “of the island,” says Executive Chef Nicolas Vienne.
“This evening is the best opportunity to sample some of the most popular local food found across Mauritius.”
— Executive Chef Nicolas Vienne
On these nights, he recommends the heart-of-palm salad with smoked marlin and the chicken-and-prawn curry. In addition to live cooking stations, where chefs and diners share culinary techniques, the evening showcases local entertainment.
Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at AnahitaBook Now
Beach tent dining in Sharm El Sheikh
Step onto the sandy shore of the Red Sea for a traditional Bedouin Dinner at Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh. Though Bedouins traditionally dwell in deserts, their culture inspired this seaside dining experience, which features authentic Egyptian cuisine and entertainment.
Start with sweet hibiscus tea before visiting the bread-making station. Hot and cold meze and Arabian sweets offer tastes of the region’s rich flavours, while belly dancers, musicians, fire performers and oceanside camel rides create a cultural experience even young travellers can enjoy.
Four Seasons Resort Sharm El SheikhBook Now
Dining on the water in the Maldives
In preparation for the Mid-Ocean Dinner at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, you’ll sail from the island shore of Landaa to a floating platform in a quiet lagoon. Surrounded by water, sip Champagne and savour locally caught reef fish such as tuna, barramundi, grouper and jackfish.
“[This] takes romantic dining to a whole new level.”
— Public Relations Director Juliana Ang
As for the ambience, there’s nothing in the world quite like it. The experience “takes romantic dining to a whole new level,” says Public Relations Director Juliana Ang. Dining on the water has inspired many proposals of marriage, she says. One groom popped the question in a message in a bottle, which was delivered by ocean waves. “How did we do it? It’s a trade secret,” says Ang. “But let’s just say we had to get wet. Very wet!”
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa GiraavaruBook Now
Sunrise breakfast in Bali
In Bali, the Sunrise Gazebo Breakfast is a romantic start to the day. Meet in the beachfront gazebo at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay as the sun rises, sip Champagne, and dine on local, seasonal dishes customised for you by the Chef.
The romantic breakfast is a favourite offering of Executive Chef Pasquo King, who enjoys the serenity of the early morning hours.
“Often in the mornings you can see the silhouette of central Bali’s sacred Mount Agung in the distance.”
— Executive Chef Pasquo King
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran BayBook Now
A private cove in Koh Samui
Once in a blue moon, you find a destination so peaceful, so beautiful and so romantic that you want to make it yours, if only for a night. The Private Cove at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui is that place; and during the Once in a Blue Moon Dinner, it’s all yours.
On a beach set beneath a lantern-lit tree and the starry sky, taste exquisite Thai dishes, each paired with wine.
Four Seasons Resort Koh SamuiBook Now
Underwater dining in Nevis
Dinner begins underwater during the Dive and Dine Extraordinary Experience at Four Seasons Resort Nevis. Accompanied by a chef and dive master, venture below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, where you’ll swim with reef fish, sea turtles, rays and gentle nurse sharks. The object of your quest is the Caribbean spiny lobster, which you’ll catch the local way – using a handmade lasso.
“Seafood deserves the freshest ingredients.”
— Executive Chef Kai Autenrieth
Back on shore, shed your wetsuit and sip cocktails in a private cabana while Autenrieth prepares your catch beach-side using herbs from the Resort’s garden. “Seafood deserves the freshest ingredients,” he says. “I never have a menu planned; it always depends on what we catch – besides the lobster, of course.