No. 9IDW Esperanza Resort
Elegant boutique hotel IDW Esperanza Resort, which belongs to the network of exclusive independent hotels Small Luxury Hotels of the World, blends with nature in Trakai district, close to Lake Ungurys. This place boasts not only a Five Star Alliance appreciation as the best hotel in Lithuania, but also a Certificate of Excellence from the Trip Advisor portal for six consecutive years and as many as three restaurants which have been given excellent assessment for a second consecutive year in the framework of this project.
Certainly, most attention is given to the restaurant La Esperanza together with La Costa, which is open during the warm season and floats on the lake. Both restaurants have become open since last year. Thus it has been more than a year as not only members of IDW Esperanza Resort are always welcome here to spend their time pleasantly. Thus a place which is absolutely exceptional in the context of Lithuania has become more open and even more attractive to the ones looking for peace and pleasures of life.
As soon as you arrive at an oasis located in Lithuanian forests, on a hill, you are greeted by wild deer and a small modest sign. This place is favoured by those who value privacy, high-level service and top-class food. And now we will tell you about everything in succession.
Following his appointment as the chef-in-chief, the new chef of IDW Esperanza Resort Justinas Kapkovičius first of all changed the menu of all three restaurants. As a result, for instance, the menu of La Esperanza has been expanded by 30% in terms of the number of dishes.
La Esperanza is the most luxurious restaurant out of all three in this complex. Here, you will find more art on the plate than in the other two restaurants. While the menu of La Costa, which floats on the lake, has been inspired by the tastes of the Mediterranean Sea region. Here, more dishes reach the table from a grill. The third restaurant La Terazza has remained open only to members of the club, however, it only serves breakfast and sometimes holds private events.
The distinctive style of the new chef of IDW Esperanza Resort – highlighting the main top-quality product. Justinas does not favour one particular cuisine and rather combines different schools. For instance, J. Kapkovičius serves tataki of yellow-fin tuna from the Far East with Lithuanian cabbage and, to make this dish, uses the techniques of excellence of both cuisines.
Nowadays that the access to top-quality products has become easier, according to Justinas, the final result mostly depends on the kitchen’s creative abilities and experience. As for the latter features, the team of the restaurants of IDW Esperanza Resort does not lack them. By the way, a part of the team has been working here for much longer than chef Justinas.
During the warm season, the majority of vegetables, herbs and berries used in the restaurant comes from the neighbouring garden of IDW Esperanza Resort. As you walk around the territory, you can observe the kitchen staff picking berries and vegetables and going back to the kitchen with these fragrant organic goods in their hands.
On the hill, there is a new project of chef Justinas – a greenhouse with at least 25 different varieties of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and many potherbs. The kitchen freezes at least 100 kilograms of berries for the cold season. Here, they also marinate and pickle vegetables. Thus the local garden supplies certain products to the restaurants even in winter.
Justinas found his vocation for the kitchen 10 years ago, when he left for Scotland where he studied IT-related sciences but, at the same time, was learning culinary secrets from the masters of classical French cuisine. While abroad, he decided to work in the area of food, and not computers. When he returned to Lithuania, for many years he worked in Arūnas Oželis’ restaurant La Provence, when it was at its peak.
Later on, he worked in the team of the former chef of IDW Esperanza Resort, then left for a while to gain experience elsewhere, travelled a lot, until finally returned and became the chef-in-chief of the restaurants of IDW Esperanza Resort. By the way, this is a place where quite a number of currently well-known chefs started and pursued their career, and now their restaurants are included into the list of the best compiled in the context of this project.
Still, according to Justinas, without his delta squad, he would not be able to achieve what he achieves now. His purpose is to reveal all talents of his kitchen team of as many as 20 people. In his opinion, only teamwork helps you to enjoy excellent results.
By the way, the major hobby of the chef, for a while, has been a collection of tattoos on his arms. While we were talking, we counted as many as 24 of them! However, his plan is to have even more. Actually, all tattoos of Justinas are related to the kitchen and food.
IDW Esperanza Resort has a world-class wine cellar where you can find special wines from France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Israel, Chile, California and many other countries.
In total, the cellar contains more than just a wide selection of the best vintage wines. After all, this is one of the largest private wine cellars in the Baltic countries! This place even has an authorised person who “hunts” for collector’s items, vintage wines in the auctions around the world.
IDW Esperanza Resort organises tastings of wine and cognac. They can be held together with dinner as well as separately, according to a special order. Lovers of champagne will also find many options to choose from here. By the way, here you will also find the most expensive bottle of champagne in Lithuania, a collector’s item.
Since last year, two restaurants of IDW Esperanza Resort – La Esperanza and La Costa – became more open and now welcome not only members of the IDW Esperanza Resort club wishing to spend their time pleasantly here. Still, before you come, you must telephone and book a table in the restaurant as well as tell the staff your car number who will pass this information to the guards at the entrance so that you have no problems with entering the territory.
We would like to remind you that before, the restaurant was open only to hotel guests or members of the closed club. Now, a table can be booked by anyone wishing to taste exclusive dishes of IDW Esperanza Resort, while members of the club have been granted additional privileges.
IDW Esperanza Resort, located close to Trakai, a few years ago left behind more than 118,000 hotels and was the only one from Eastern Europe to be included in Europe’s TOP 25 – a list of the best hotels. This list is compiled every year by the world’s largest trip portal Trip Advisor.