It’s no secret that many of the world’s best bars can be found in the lobbies and lounges of the world’s best hotels. Libations in the literal lap of luxury, as it were. While that’s never going to go out of style, good ideas can always be tweaked and improved upon. Why simply be host to a great lobby bar, when you could design an entire booze hotel from the ground up?
Take the new Hotel Bodega Tío Pepe, located right in the heart of Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain. It’s not just named for the world’s top selling sherry — it’s located directly on the grounds of the hallowed González Byass bodegas where it’s long been made. The hotel was once actually worker housing, and retains some of that charm and history while being entirely refurbished into a high-end boutique. The property offers views of the 17th-century Jerez Cathedral and the Moorish Alcázar de Jerez from its 27 stylish rooms, as well as a beautiful garden courtyard and a swanky rooftop plunge pool and bar.
Any trip to Jerez is a magical one, particularly for those who love sherry, but a stay at the Hotel Bodega Tío Pepe is a true imbiber’s pilgrimage, close enough to the bodegas to smell their enchanting aromas as you gaze down upon its vine-covered trestles and cobblestone alleys from your balcony. The property opened in summer 2020, then shut down through fall and winter due to pandemic restrictions, before making its full debut in April of this year. Book a room and include a package for a tour and tasting next door for an immersive sherry experience like none other. Then retreat to the pool for another tipple or two before getting purposefully lost wandering through Jerez’s ancient, winding streets.
Suffice it to say that, yeah, of course, we love a good lobby bar. But a spirit- or wine-centric hotel can be on an entirely different level. Here are some of our other favorite boozy stays all around the world.
Matices Hotel de Barricas
The Matices Hotel de Barricas showcases 30 tequila barrel-shaped hotel rooms located on the grounds of Tequila La Cofradía. You’ll be staying amid rows of the spiky blue Weber agave the distillery will one day harvest and turn into its tequila, and sleeping in a tequila barrel in the town of Tequila, probably with a glass of tequila in hand, and a few already under your belt, no doubt. There is perhaps no finer way to explore the spirit’s breeding ground than that.
Wine & Beer Barrel Bedrooms
You didn’t think tequila would corner the market on barrel-shaped hotel stays, did you? Far from it.
Head to the north coast of the Netherlands, along the shores of Lake IJssel for a stay at the Hotel Vrouwe van Stavoren. These aren’t just rooms shaped like wine barrels — they are actual wine barrels turned into hotel rooms. The property converted eight 23,000-liter barrels and four 15,000-liter barrels into guest accommodations, and has turned another into a makeshift spa replete with jacuzzi and steam room.
Meanwhile, at Coup 2 Foudres in France, you’ll stay in the wine wonderland that is the vineyards of Bordeaux at the Château Bonhoste in St. Jean de Blaignac. The two rooms here are actual foudres — large wooden vinification vats — built by expert cooper Seguin Moreau, and we hear you’ll age like fine wine yourself while sleeping in them, emerging renewed and ready for another hard day spent tasting and touring Bordeaux from your home away from home near St. Emilion.
There’s more where that came from. Visit the Cava Colchagua in Chile, which converted century-old wine barrels — clocking in at a gigantic 45,000-liters in size — into guest rooms. There are eight of these big boy barrels on-site, each of which actually houses a two-story suite within.
In Portugal, there’s Quinta de Pacheca, with 10 huge barrels on offer amid its 140-acre vineyard. The barrel rooms are new, debuting in 2017, but the winery is far from it, with a history stretching back to the early 1900s. And in Germany, there’s the Wilde Weingut, where 8,000-liter wine barrels have been outfitted as hotel rooms on a beautiful farm and vineyard in the village of Sasbachwalden, at the base of Hornisgrinde mountain in the Rhine Valley.
Fear not, beer lovers, we haven’t forgotten about you either. Stay put in Germany and head to Ostbevern for a sudsy stay at the Landhotel Beverland. The hotel has 60+ wacky and wild themed rooms, ranging from James Bond and medieval themed suites, to yes, a converted beer barrel. The 19th-century barrel is a real one which was used by Pott’s, a noted neighboring brewery, until 1995.
The Distillery London
Notting Hill is one of London’s most iconic neighborhoods, and perhaps the most logical way to make the already very-London experience of strolling down Portobello Road is to stay on-site at Portobello Road Gin’s The Distillery.
The four-story space is home to a bar and restaurant, and in the basement, The Ginstitute, a hands-on gin emporium where visitors can blend their own gins and learn about the spirit’s history. They’ll even keep your recipe for you so you can order your signature botanical blend whenever you please. The top floor of the building, though, is where you’ll find three guest rooms which you can book for a stay, replete with stocked minibars and record players to keep the gin-stimulated vibes going.
The Distillery threads the needle between boutique hotel, your new favorite Airbnb and crashing in the extra bedroom of your buddy’s house to sleep things off until the morning.
Mezcal El Silencio has long sought to convey a lifestyle in addition to merely proffering a beverage, and its new Casa Silencio luxury hotel is the culmination of that. The nine-acre property is located at El Silencio’s distillery, near the ruins of Mitla, and is inspired by Oaxaca’s history and natural landscape. With just six guest suites, stays at Casa Silencio are sultry and chic thanks to a plunge pool and fire pits, with rooms showcasing local artisans and designs, and experiences built around the traditional mythology of the region.
Of course, there’s plenty of mezcal, with an on-site restaurant and bar playing host to an ongoing series of pop-ups and collaborations, and stays include tours of the distillery. The property was built with a no-waste approach, harvesting rainwater and powered by solar panels, with traditional rammed earth walls topped by ceilings made from recycled wood. Once on-site, it’s easy to explore the nature and culture in and around Xaaga, and the rest of Oaxaca.
The Citizen Hotel
Tucson is known for its beautiful desert landscape, as a jumping-off point to Saguaro National Park, and also … for its wine? If you didn’t know, you do now, with the Willcox and Sonoita regions near Tucson serving as trendy wine destinations. The Citizen Hotel, which just opened this fall after an extensive renovation of a historic downtown building, celebrates that by joining forces with Sand Reckoner Vineyards, a winery which takes over the 5,000-square-foot. cellar to use as a tasting room and barrel-aging warehouse.
The project is a collaboration between Moniqua Lane, who also owns and operates the Downtown Clifton Hotel, and Sand Reckoner’s Sarah Fox Hammelman, and basically started with a why not type of conversation between the two. “The big-name resorts have not been very receptive or supportive of the Arizona wine scene,” Hammelman says. Now her wines and Lane’s hotel guests will be happy commingling in one place.
“I think it’s going to open up a lot of people’s eyes,” Lane says. “We’re trying to bring the high Sonoran desert to Tucson, and give the expression of the terroir of the region in the architecture, the programming, the design.” Expect plans for plenty of wine events and collaboration with other doers and makers across Tucson’s creative and culinary landscapes.
Long before Dogfish Head became a nationally renowned brewer, they were a mid-Atlantic summertime staple, and their Dogfish Inn bills itself as a laidback base camp to partake in all the coastal Delaware region has to offer. There are 15 rooms and a separate cottage on the property located along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal.
Rooms are equipped with some of that signature Dogfish style and flair, and the Inn offers a kayak launch and bike trail. They encourage you to make use of the latter and head out down a short six-mile stretch of path to reach the original Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach. And from the inn there’s a wide assortment of walkable bars and restaurants serving all the Dogfish you can handle.
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