The perfect accommodations can transform the average vacation into the experience of a lifetime.Whether you’re searching for breathtaking scenic vistas or world-class restaurants, check out our top picks for amazing places to stay in the world’s most famous wine country regions.
The Four Seasons Hotel, Firenze
Where else can you enjoy all of the comforts of modern life within the restored edifice of a 15th century palazzo and convent? Glorious gardens and frescoes greet guests at every turn, while an on-site winery openly displays nearly 400 bottles as well as an eclectic menu of gastronomical delights. Creamy and delicious ice cream made on-site will satisfy both the young and the young at heart. The concierge can arrange tastings in the nearby Chianti region, while Florence is just minutes away for those looking for an urban fix.
Grand Hotel Timeo, Taormina
From magnificent Mount Etna to stunning seaside views, the Grand Hotel Timeo offers the best of natural scenery. Combined with the building’s extravagant baroque design, and it’s easy to understand why the resort has long been one of Italy’s most glittering destinations. Located in a region celebrated for its intriguing wines, the hotel restaurant features a delectable menu inspired by both Mediterranean and Sicilian influences. Enjoy a chauffeured half-hour excursion to the nearby Etna vineyards, or just relax with a glass of wine at the terrace bar. A trip to the hotel’s popular spa delivers the ultimate in pampering thanks to luxurious treatments that incorporate locally grown products, such as fragrant Neroli oil. Guests also enjoy private beach access at the hotel’s nearby sister resort.
Hotel Crillon le Brave, Crillon le Brave
This medieval stone hilltop hotel may be small, but it delivers massive views of the groves and vineyards below. Restaurant Jérôme Blanchet showcases the region’s best local produce with four-course and seven-course tasting menus, as well as a la carte dining. The wine list is full of treasures from Provence and the Rhône Valley in addition to other popular French regions. Guests looking for a more casual culinary adventure can enjoy a blackboard set price fix menu at Hotel Crillon le Brave’s popular Bistro 40K. Select your own bottle from the Reboul wine cellar below, which exclusively features wines grown and produced within 40 kilometers of the tiny town.
After a day of playing amid the sun-soaked grounds, enjoy a healing olive oil massage at the mini-spa, or watch the glorious sunset from the terrace. And be sure to check in with the concierge, who can arrange tours of local wineries or offer info about special events, such as weekends with the hotel’s “trufficulteur extraordinaire.”
L’Oustau de Baumaniere, Les Baux-de-Provence
The same magnificent vistas that inspired Cézanne and Van Gogh await guests of this tranquil retreat and French institution set amid the quaint villages and vineyards of Provence. When you can tear yourself away from the view, enjoy a meal at the world-famous, two Michelin star restaurant, Oustau de Baumanière, where the wine list boasts a jaw-dropping 60,000 bottles. Don’t miss sampling the estate’s own wine, L’Affectif, personally produced by Jean-Andre Charial, the hotel’s proprietor. Or try one of the region’s standout organic, biodynamic Syrahs or Grenaches.
Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley
With the mantra “Pleasure is Healing,” who wouldn’t want to embrace life’s earthly delights in this sybaritic setting? Helmed by executive chef Robert Curry, the resort’s eponymously titled restaurant has garnered back-to-back Michelin stars as well as a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. Credited as Napa’s first fine dining establishment, Auberge du Soleil offers an innovative menu inspired by local produce. Wine Director Kris Magerum’s complementary pairings, which are culled from the region’s most extensive wine list, deliver the ultimate wine country cuisine experience, while a knowledgeable staff is at the ready for wine tours and tastings. While you’re there, enjoy a warm grapeseed oil massage or Calistoga mud body mask.
Auberge du Soleil overlooks Rutherford’s stunning vineyards and olive groves as well as the breathtaking Mayacamas mountains. Take in the sweeping views from the magnificent terrace while enjoying one of more than 40 wines by the glass. When you’re ready to venture from this solitudinous scenery, stop by the revered hotel’s concierge, who can arrange a winery visit along the famed Silverado Trail.
Meadowood, Napa Valley
This sought-after Napa destination may be just 90 minutes north of San Francisco, but it feels like it’s worlds away. Nestled into the densely forested hills above St. Helena, Meadowood is a 200-acre wooded wonderland that smoothly integrates rusticity with refinery.
Under the inspired direction of three-time Michelin star recipient Christopher Kostow, Meadowood’s prix fixe menu is sourced from local farmers as well as the estate’s own gardens. The wine list, with its 950 selections, has earned a coveted Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. Don’t miss the chance to participate in one of Meadowood’s premiere wine classes or winery excursions led by Master Sommelier Gilles de Chambure himself. When you’re not reveling in bacchanalia, other activities abound thanks to seven tennis courts, a golf course and golf performance studio, two outdoor pools and a spa.
A South African national monument, this hotel offers a vibrant location within walking distance of the city’s arts and nightlife. Guests enjoy meals at the hotel’s popular Jans Cats Restaurant, which features both local and international menus with options for seating in the dining room or bustling sidewalk terrace. The town of Stellenbosch itself is located within South Africa’s second-oldest wine producing region and home to the award-winning Stellenbosch Wine Route. Here, more than 200 grape producers offer traditional tours and tastings as well as more exotic adventures, such as wildlife experiences and carriage rides.
The Franschhoek, Franschhoek
Located in South Africa’s food and wine capital, this charming boutique hotel is centrally located to the Cape Winelands. Enjoy a meal at one of the hotel’s two restaurants: Le Verger, charmingly housed within a working fruit orchard, and Dish Restaurant, which features an award-winning wine list of the country’s finest bottles. Visit the luxurious spa, swim in the solar-heated pool, or venture off grounds for world-class golf or internationally renowned vineyard tours. Those looking for a change of pace can venture to Cape Town, which is just an hour away.
Marqués de Riscal, Rioja
Designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, this landmark hotel—a visual rollercoaster ride of whirling curving titanium, sandstone and steel—has been described as a “City of Wine.” Constructed in shades of pink and gold in homage to wine itself, the futuristic structure stands in stark contrast to its medieval village surroundings. Under the visionary direction of José Ramón Piñeiro, the in-house restaurant offers Riohan specialties. The hotel is also home to the unique Caudalie Vinotherapie “wine spa,” which features grape-themed treatments, such as the Red Vine bath and Winemakers Massage.
Finca de los Arandinos, Rioja, Spain
Credited as Rioja’s first “wine tourism project,” Finca de los Arandinos is all about creating an experience, and it does exactly that thanks to the integration of winery and hotel into one contemporary space. Guests enjoy up close and personal access to the wine-making process in this boutique hotel, which is riotous blend of the unexpected thanks to its design by renowned Madrid fashion designer David Delfin. The family-owned Finca de los Arandinos is also home to a slow food restaurant and spa, in addition to offering a unique range of vineyard experiences from horseback riding to paragliding above the vineyards.
Where ever you decide to stay…just remember to come back and share with us!
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