8 Excellent U.S. Hotels for Wine Lovers
Delicious drinks are just part of the fun when you visit these wine-focused hotels. From treasure hunting for Civil War-era artifacts hidden deep in the Texas Hill Country, to private iPhone photography lessons at hotspots around Miami, these establishments are finding ways to entertain guests far beyond the glass.
Owned by Bill Harlan, of Harlan Estate, and Stan Kroenke of Screaming Eagle, this prime Napa property is a must-visit for serious wine lovers (it plays host to Auction Napa Valley each year). In addition to exquisite meals at The Restaurant at Meadowood, recipient of three Michelin stars, guests can hike, golf, swim, play tennis and croquet on the hotel’s gorgeous, forested grounds. You can also indulge in thematic, in-depth wine tastings like the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon experience for $150 per person, conceptualize unique specialty drinks at a custom-cocktail class, or book a half-day wine excursion with a Meadowood sommelier. Bonus: Don’t miss a spa treatment at the hotel’s new 8,000-square-foot facility, debuting this fall.
Miami’s sparkling skyline serves as a stunning backdrop for first-rate wine and food experiences at this upscale resort on Brickell Key. At the hotel’s trendy Peruvian-themed La Mar eatery, snack on creative bites like alligator anticuchos and sip on six Pisco Sour variations, or reserve a private beachside cabana and enjoy a wine lunch designed by chef Diego Oka (each course can be matched with selections chosen by the wine director, Todd Phillips). The tranquil, three-floored spa serves up indulgent, waterfront-facing treatments that can start with a glass of Charles Heidsieck Champagne. The hotel boasts creative offerings like the #MiamiMyWay Travel Photography Package, featuring personal instruction from top Instagram photographers Brian Ladder and Jose Narvaez. The package includes two nights, photo and editing lessons and a chauffeured tour of Miami’s most picture-perfect vistas for $1,287, based on double occupancy.
Located 50 miles west of Houston, this breathtaking 313-acre property offers wine-focused travelers an idyllic setting to explore the terroir of Texas Hill Country. Count on Southern hospitality in spades, plus a five-star restaurant with a 7,000-bottle wine cellar overseen by the beverage director, Thomas Perez. He also teaches classes on wine, touching on topics as diverse as soil variety and wine serving temperatures. Guests can explore a 42-acre organic garden, a world-class equestrian center that offers riding lessons for all skill levels, and attend farm-to-fork classes taught by head farmer Lisa Roese, where guests can harvest and cook local produce. Archery, clay shooting, fishing and geocaching are just a few other activities visitors can also book. You may even unearth a Civil War-era treasure, as Dos Brisas served as a Confederate camp during the Civil War.
Looking for a wine escape that’s off the beaten path? Situated on Lake Erie, this 109-room property is set in an under-the-radar wine region that can trace its grape-growing history back to the early 1800s. In addition to onsite tastings of local wines, the Lodge’s shuttle runs year-round to nearly 20 nearby wineries. In the winter, travelers can snowshoe or cross-country ski along the property’s lakeside trail, then make s’mores in the Great Outdoors. When the mercury rises, take out mountain bikes for challenging trail rides or opt for guided nature tours through Geneva State Park with the hotel’s dedicated guide. Kids will be easily entertained while parents indulge, especially at the outdoor pool complex outfitted with crayon- and pencil- inspired water jets and a pool-side snack bar.
Dorado, Puerto Rico
Wowing travelers at every turn, this secluded sanctuary was both a former plantation and Rockefeller estate. Today, it’s a lush 1,400-acre resort set on a private beach with one of the region’s best beverage collections (the resort’s three restaurants share a combined 3,000 bottles). Guests can while away the hours sipping on one of 20 wines by the glass at Positivo Sand Bar or splurge on a private beachside wine picnic packed by personal butlers called embajadores. Those seeking adventure can golf on one of the property’s three art-studded 18-hole courses, play tennis on one of five courts or enjoy a private yoga or surf session on the beach. At night, informal cocktail demonstrations get interactive with mixologists at the bar at Mi Casa, the hotel’s signature restaurant conceptualized by celebrity chef José Andrés. Alongside a host of Spanish wines, expect an avant-garde take on cocktails, like the margarita, composed of Tequila, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice and “salt air.”
Showcasing one of the largest wine collections in the region with 14,000 bottles in its restaurant’s renowned cellar—reservations are often made a year in advance—this 24-room inn is set on 26 scenic acres, complete with formal gardens, greenhouses and a flock of sheep (keep an eye peeled for two cute resident llamas). In addition to exploring the pastoral environs on self-guided walking tours or by bicycle, guests can also book specialty tours like the Tour de Antiquarian, guiding travelers through quaint antique shops and Virginia’s bucolic countryside. The excursion comes complete with a picnic lunch. Want to keep shopping? Check out the hotel’s Tavern Shops. Built in 1740, the Shops house five decorated period rooms with tableware, furnishings, gifts, jewelry, kitchenware and edibles from the resort’s famous kitchen.
Though ideally situated near many superb vineyards like Artesa Winery and CADE, guests of the 27-acre Carneros Inn often remain on the property, taking advantage of complimentary amenities that include Bianchi Parco bikes that can be equipped with picnic lunches packed with local wine and snacks. Three full-service restaurants highlight the bounty of the region—FARM, The Boon Fly Café and the Hilltop Dining Room—and guests can arrange for their own fireside butler to make s’mores following a day spent swimming, playing bocce or jogging in the vineyards. Yoga classes, nighttime star-viewing packages (complete with telescopes and sparkling wine pours) and Saturday Moonlight Movie screenings are just a few additional activities to keep guests entertained.
Watch Hill, RI
Yachting, croquet and squash are just a few of the outdoor activities enjoyed at this exquisite oceanfront resort known for its compelling wine cellar and top-notch culinary education program. At the monthly “Farm + Vine” series, talented New England chefs whip up hors d’oeuvres and a three-course dinner with ingredients sourced from local farms, not to mention wines paired by the Ocean House’s sommelier. The 1868-era hotel features 49 rooms and 22 private villas with updated amenities following a multimillion-dollar renovation, making it a glamorous choice for a wine-filled Rhode Island getaway. When not studying up local wines or enjoying a cooking class at the onsite Center for Wine and Culinary Arts, guests can simply take in fresh sea breezes or solve handcrafted wooden puzzles by a roaring fire.
- 2Mandarin Oriental Miami
- 3The Inn at Dos Brisas
- 4The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake
- 5Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
- 6Inn at Little Washington
- 7Carneros Inn
- 8Ocean House