Posh Hotels For Afternoon Tea, From London To Dubai

Pass the scones and clotted cream.

hotels for afternoon tea

Between Prince Harry's tell-all memoir Spare and the Coronation, this past year has placed all things British in the spotlight. The poshest of epicurean social pastimes from across the pond? Afternoon tea, a traditional treat between lunch and dinner. Whether you prefer English Breakfast, Earl Gray, or bubbly (it’s not just steeped stuff on the beverage menu), it pairs perfectly with beautifully plated finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, and pastries.

The entire experience just feels very upper crust. Obviously, heaps of upscale hotels around London do afternoon tea exceptionally well, but if you can’t make it to merry olde England any time soon, you’re in luck. There are plenty of other ritzy spots to get your fix outside of the U.K., too. Yep, from Beverly Hills to Hong Kong, the globe is chock full of posh establishments to enjoy a cuppa, and many offer special menus that cater to their specific cities or regions. So, wherever you find yourself this summer, be sure to look up one of the hotels below for a lovely afternoon of tea, scones, and so much more. (Just keep in mind that most places recommend reservations and have a dress code, so plan — and pack — accordingly.) Enjoy ... and don’t forget to keep those pinkies up.

The Ritz, London: London, United Kingdom

The Ritz, London reigns as a luxury hospitality legend with a mastery of the finer things. As opulent and indulgent as the Louis XVI-style furnishings and 24-carat gold leaf fountain sculpture in The Palm Court would suggest, afternoon tea is a fancy affair that’s crowned by exquisite pastries, Champagne, and a beverage menu curated by a certified tea master. A splendid accompaniment to the gourmet delights? The music stylings of a pianist or harpist.

The Plaza: New York, New York

Afternoon tea at The Plaza is iconic. It’s classic New York, elaborate with an enduring legacy of glamour. You’ll feel like part of civilized high society when walking into The Palm Court dressed to the nines. The occasion and space — dotted with palm trees that soar toward the ornate stained-glass dome — demand nothing less. Tea by Palais des Thés, Champagne, delicate finger sandwiches, and macaroons embellished with gold leaf are all fabulously on brand.

Hôtel Lutetia: Paris, France

Hôtel Lutetia plays host to bon vivants looking to take a pleasure-filled break from Left Bank exploits for afternoon tea in a setting that echoes Art Deco luxury with a magnificent stained glass ceiling. The artful spread of egg mimosa rolls, buckwheat pie with salmon and asparagus, cocoa scones, and shortbread biscuits, plus teas and Veuve Clicquot, wow even more when presented in such extraordinary environs with panache and history (and, of course, everything tastes delicious).

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong: Hong Kong

The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong gives business and leisure travelers the perfect excuse to cut out for a few hours with daily afternoon tea in the stunning lounge. Besides the immaculate ambiance, the assortment of teas, savories, and sweets is quite impressive. The vegan and gluten-free options, from mango and asparagus sandwiches to soy panna cotta with raspberry crumble, are just another example of the thoughtful care and attention that goes into everything.

The Berkeley: London, United Kingdom

A high-fashion favorite that marries sartorial trends and taste bud-tantalizing bites, Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley changes seasonally based on designer collections such as Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier. The head pastry chef translates the creativity of the catwalk into statement-making sweets. Runway-ready biscuits and sponge cakes steal the show, with canapés and an extensive array of loose-leaf teas as stand-out accessories.

The Peninsula Beverly Hills: Beverly Hills, California

The Peninsula Beverly Hills rolls out the red carpet for the stylish attendees who strut into the Living Room for afternoon tea. The lavish spread includes one-of-a-kind teas and camera-ready towers of house-smoked salmon with caviar, dainty cucumber sandwiches, and raspberry swirl macarons. The graceful strumming of a harpist and white-glove service imbue a classical atmosphere. With free-flowing Champagne by Laurent Perrier, the vibe is anything but stuffy.

The Lowell: New York, New York

The Lowell, a member of LHW that’s just steps from Central Park, celebrates British afternoon tea traditions. Tucked away on the second floor, the Pembroke Room reflects the elegance of European salons with refined furnishings and hand-painted china. English tea sandwiches, homemade scones with Devonshire cream, and petit fours sit on three-tiered stands. Dammann Frères loose leaf teas steep in matching pots. Champagne and caviar add to the decadence.

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Much like Dubai itself, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, a sail-shaped resort that defines Arabian luxury and surpasses star ratings, is synonymous with spare-no-expense extravagance. Afternoon tea very much leans into that over-the-top reputation. Fashionable patrons nibble on almost-too-pretty-to-eat pastries and drink Champagne or exotic teas in a 24-carat-gold-adorned space with grandiose floral arrangements while classical piano music plays in the background.

La Mamounia: Marrakech, Morocco

While there’s certainly no shortage of spots that pour mint tea in Marrakech, we’re partial to La Mamounia, a member of LHW. The grand archways, marble columns, and larger-the-life crystal chandelier in the Pierre Hermé Tea Room set the stage for an exquisite experience that’s available throughout the day. That means travelers don’t have to wait until the afternoon to sip tea and indulge their sweet tooth with macarons, Madeleines, shortbread, and ice cream in sumptuous surroundings.

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans: New Orleans, Louisiana

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is an elegant refuge on the edge of the French Quarter. On weekends, its Davenport Lounge turns into the premier destination for afternoon tea in the city. Bring your appetite because deviled eggs with caviar, foie gras on brioche, mango passionfruit cake, and coffee profiteroles are on the decadent menu. Wash it down with hand-picked teas by Palais des Thés or something a bit stronger — bubbly seems like a fitting choice.

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows: Santa Monica, California

Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows recently debuted a weekend afternoon tea service that brings a taste of England to sunny Santa Monica. Served on a stunning outdoor terrace, the new offering channels pinkies-up sophistication in a fresh way that combines Southern California cheeriness, garden-inspired Bernardaud porcelain, and an exclusive selection of teas. The crab rolls, warm scones, and house-made preserves are bloody good, too.