It’s not hard to find a hotel in wine country. However, wine lovers can take explorations and tasting getaways to new levels at a growing number of wine-themed resorts. These places feature wines and vines front and center, with decor, spa amenities, recreational and educational opportunities that are equally on point.
Full-on wine hotels are now found from Argentina to Australia and New York, and some of the most creative retreats have turned up in less-expected regions. These wine oases are found at a wide range of price points. Ultra-luxury options are available for those looking to splurge, but others go for $100 per night, perfect for an affordable weekend getaway.
Here are some of the most unique global hotel finds.
The Yeatman | Porto, Portugal
The global capital of Port wine, Porto was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for great reason. The impressive stone-laden medieval city is connected by graceful bridges that span the serene Duoro River.
At The Yeatman, you can soak up the region’s heritage with a dip in an infinity pool shaped like a decanter that overlooks the city. Each room is named for a different notable Portuguese winemaker, while the Presidential Suite and The Taylor’s Suite have beds made from gigantic barrels that once held 27,000 liters of Port.
The hotel offers tastings, master classes, weekly winemaker dinners and sunset wine parties during summer. Chef Ricardo Costa presides over the hotel’s restaurant, Gastronomic, itself a recipient of two Michelin stars. Perhaps the best feature of all? A cellar stocked with what the proprietors say is one of the world’s largest collections of Portuguese wine—up to 30,000 bottles at any given time.
The Louise | Barossa Valley, Australia
Like sunrise picnics with kangaroos, or hot-air balloon rides over vineyards? You’ll love this ultra-luxe pick in South Australia’s Barossa Valley. The hotel boasts sweeping views that overlook thousands of acres of big, bold Shiraz country. Take a wine blending class before dinner at the onsite restaurant, Appellation, where chefs will craft a meal to pair with your creation. There are also immersive tours and personalized tasting experiences offered at Barossa wineries, often led by the winemakers themselves.
The region’s scope ranges from historic family vineyards planted in the 19th century to new boutique biodynamic wineries. Taste Australia’s history by having The Louise arrange a day trip to nearby Seppeltsfield, the only winery known to release a 100-year-old wine annually, currently serving their 1919 vintage. Or take a trip to Hutton Vale Farm, where you can pet lambs raised by sustainable grapegrowers John and Jan Angas, whose estate also produces fine merino wool.
WineBox Hotel | Valparaíso, Chile
Not all wine hotels are about over-the-top indulgence. The edgy new WineBox Hotel in Chile’s colorful port city of Valparaíso is set up in 25 decommissioned shipping containers stacked to create private balconies and a dramatic rooftop bar. The city rolls across more than 40 hills, and its slopes are jammed with both decorative Victorian buildings and ramshackle galvanized-metal homes, all colorfully painted and often covered in graffiti.
In true Valpo style, WineBox’s containers are brightly colored and imparted with the city’s signature clever street art. The hotel also plans to add a hot tub made from a 400-gallon Chilean wine barrel. The hotelier behind the project, winemaker Grant Phelps, often conducts “how-I-built-this” tours and tastings of boutique Chilean wines. You can also help Phelps and his staff crush grapes, as the hotel also serves as an urban winery that produces its own wine.
Hotel Marqués de Riscal | Rioja, Spain
This grand wine hotel in Rioja, Spain, stands out for its bold design and signature wavy metal roof. To date, the Marqués de Riscal is the only hotel designed by architect Frank Gehry, renowned for his world-class museums and dramatic public pavilions. Also housed in the hotel is the Vinothérapie spa, which touts “the health and beauty properties of the grape.” It offers treatments like honey and wine wraps, and a crush Cabernet scrub.
The hotel is surrounded by its own Ciudad de Vino, a complex devoted to the production, study and storage of wine. For guests, complimentary guided tours are available of the bodega, which dates to 1858. Bicycles are also provided to pedal to other nearby wineries and the Museo del Vino Dinastía Vivanco, Europe’s largest wine museum.
The Vines Resort & Spa | Mendoza, Argentina
If you’d like to focus on the finer points of winemaking, this West Argentinean property is for you. The Vines offers harvest Wine Camp experiences, terroir discovery sessions led by agronomists, detailed sensory lessons and guides to grape varieties. There is even a class devoted entirely to wine defects, glassware and temperatures.
Enjoy a sunrise (or cocktail-hour) horseback ride in the Andes, led by local gauchos. Or unwind with a yoga session amid the 1,500 acres of private vineyards. Celebrity chef Francis Mallmann houses his Siete Fuegos restaurant here, so you can pair local wine with the country’s famous grilled steak. Argentina’s best-known winemakers have set up boutique projects in the The Vines of Mendoza’s Winemaker’s Village, too.
Want to become a winemaker yourself? The Vines’ private plots allow guests to purchase their own three- to 10-acre professionally managed vineyard and make custom wine.
Pałac Mierzęcin Wellness & Wine Resort | Mierzęcin, Poland
Poland’s Lubuskie wine country is an idyll of dense beech forests, stunning medieval castles, 500 mirrored lakes and thousands of acres of grapevines.
Mierzęcin Palace is a boutique winemaker, but a high-profile one, helping supply wine to everyone from ordinary drinkers to the Polish president himself. The winery produces around 28,000 bottles annually, most from cool-weather white varieties. The resort’s 76 rooms are part of an estate that includes a stud farm, riding school, and restored botanical gardens in both the English and Japanese styles.
Guests can also kayak on the nearby Mierzęcin River or the estate’s surrounding lakes. And Mierzęcin’s Grape Spa offers decadent treatments like a Burgundy wine bath for two, a facial with Viniferin grapevine-shoot extract, or a scrub with grape seeds from the estate’s own vineyard.
Belhurst Castle and Winery | The Finger Lakes, New York
Even the East Coast of the United States can offer top-quality wine travel, like New York’s Finger Lakes region. The area’s rolling, pastoral countryside, cleaved by nearly a dozen long glacial lakes, has long been known for Rieslings, but lately has received acclaim in other varieties.
Belhurst is home to three properties. White Springs is a 1900’s Georgian Revival farmhouse mansion where antiques abound, while the Vinifera Inn offers guests amenities like an in-room fireplace, Jacuzzi and lake views. Meanwhile, the flagship Castle Chambers Hotel is a historic stone mansion on Seneca Lake with a dramatic history.
Legend has it that 50 men spent four years building the castle for an heiress and her prized golden pheasants, which once roamed the grounds. The estate is located in an emerging farm-to-table foodie destination, the town of Geneva. The castle’s fun perks include monthly pairing dinners and a “wine spigot” in the hallways—a communal, free-flowing tap where guests can pour themselves complimentary red wine during their stay.