These days, the best hotels go well beyond a place to sleep. In addition to offering a wealth of activities, exceptional spas, and award-winning restaurants, the latest resort amenity is none other than an on-site distillery. Such distillery hotels offer tours of the facilities, the opportunity to learn about the history and production process, and, arguably the best part, the chance to taste craft spirits that you may not find at your local liquor store. Whether it’s Pisco in Peru, mezcal and tequila in Mexico, or whisky in Scotland, you’ll find properties around the world — and even some closer to home — that cater to those who love to imbibe. Here, we’ve rounded up 11 of the best distillery hotels where you can sip and stay for your next vacation. By Christina Liao
Casa Silencio, Oaxaca, Mexico
At the recently opened Casa Silencio, you’ll find an impeccably designed boutique hotel that also happens to be home to Mezcal El Silencio, the largest supplier of mezcal in the USA. The heart of this luxurious 16-acre property is imbued with sustainability: the walls are made of rammed soil; ceilings were built with recycled Oaxacan wood; much of it is powered via solar energy; and they’ve implemented a no-waste policy. There are just six suites in total, all of which are individually appointed and feature sumptuous touches like distressed leather accents, hand-woven wool rugs, and spa-like bathrooms with monolith stone sinks. But as spectacular as the accommodations are, it’s the immersive experience the hotel provides that really makes it exemplary. Here, you’ll have the chance to really dive deep into mezcal, chopping up the agave that the spirit is made from; touring the distillery; and, of course, tasting the liquor alongside bites that have been prepared by Top Chef Mexico winner Rodolfo Castellanos. Once nightfall sets in, grab a seat at the restaurant’s 53-foot-long communal table hand-carved from a single slab of basalt and savour classic Oaxacan fare by executive chef Daniel Robles Sumano followed by a nightcap at their secret after-hours lounge.
The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Following a four-year renovation, the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club reopened in 2018 and unveiled an on-site distillery. All of the equipment at Tarnished Truth was made in America by Vendome Copper and Brass Works, and they distil bourbon, rye, vodka, gin, and more at the facility. Tours and tasting are available from Thursday through Sunday and they also have a private room for events and special pairing dinners. While you’re at Virginia Beach’s grande dame, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, unwind at their full-service spa, take a dive in the indoor pool, or relax by the ocean at the new beach club.
Distillery Inn, Carbondale, Colorado
About 30 miles (48 kilometres) northwest of Aspen, you’ll find the small town of Carbondale, Colorado, where the aptly named Distillery Inn is located. The intimate property features just five suites, all of which are outfitted with a fireplace, balcony or patio, and a personalised minibar. The on-site Marble Distilling Co. — which is the world’s first zero-waste distillery thanks to a Water Energy Thermal System that captures and reuses the water and heat that’s generated during the distilling process — makes vodka, whiskey, and coffee and “gingercello” liqueurs, all of which can be enjoyed in their tasting room, at Marble Bar alongside live entertainment, or delivered straight to your accommodation.
Bowmore Cottages, Isle of Islay, Scotland
The first licensed distillery on Islay, Bowmore has been making Scotch whisky since 1779. They pride themselves in utilising traditional methods like floor-malting, paying homage to the spirit’s origins. While tours are currently on hold due to COVID-19 precautions, tastings and gift shop visits are available by reservation only. And for those who want to stay, Bowmore Cottages offers five unique accommodations ranging from one- to four-bedroom units that were once home to Bowmore’s distillery workers and date back to the 1840s. Otherwise, the company also operates Harbour Inn right across the street, where you’ll find seven modern rooms as well as a restaurant and bar that often serves up fresh seafood caught by local fishermen.
The Distillery, London, United Kingdom
There’s a bit of a checkered history when it comes to gin and England, but there’s no doubt that the juniper-based spirit is synonymous with the UK. And it’s on London’s famed Portobello Road where you’ll find the United Kingdom’s first distillery hotel of its kind. Fittingly dubbed The Distillery, the “Ginstitute” team blends their gin in the basement with nine botanicals sourced from all around the world, including juniper berries and orris from Tuscany, Italy; lemon peels from Spain; bitter orange peels from Haiti or Morocco; and nutmeg from Indonesia. Patrons have the opportunity to make their own blend with the help of an expert or join in on a masterclass on how to make the perfect gin cocktail. The hotel also has a store that sells their Portobello Road Gin; a bar that serves quintessential British dishes; and a cocktail lounge for highballs and mixed tipples with a menu of small bites. Rest your head at night in one of their three rooms upstairs, all of which are furnished with a record player and a stocked minibar. And if you find yourself wanting a break from gin, the property also offers classes that use agave-based spirits and whiskey.
Casa Salles Hotel Boutique, Jalisco, Mexico
Located in the town of Tequila is Casa Salles Hotel Boutique, a property with 25 modern accommodations, a tranquil spa, a refreshing outdoor pool, and a restaurant that serves regional Mexican cuisine. And right next to it is El Tequileño Tequila’s La Guarreña distillery. The brand was founded in 1959 and sources their agave from the Los Altos region of Jalisco, an area that’s regarded for blue agave. Private tours of the facilities are offered every morning from Monday through Saturday and guests will be able to learn about the production process on top of tasting the company’s range of tequilas, ranging from blanco to añejo.
Glenora Inn & Distillery, Nova Scotia, Canada
When the Scottish landed on Cape Breton Island in the early 1880s, the verdant landscape reminded the immigrants of their homeland and dubbed this part of Canada as Nova Scotia, meaning “New Scotland” in Latin. It’s here that you’ll find Glenora Inn & Distillery, which aptly makes Scottish-style whisky. Originally founded by Bruce Jardin, he called on Bowmore Distillers to aid in production training and sourcing authentic Scottish copper pot stills and a mash tun for his facility and in 1990 became North America’s first single malt whisky distillery. The property is open seasonally from mid-May to late October and offers daily tours during this time along with tastings of various expressions. You’ll have a wide range of rustic accommodations to choose from, including rooms in the historic inn and private log chalets, as well as a pub and restaurant to imbibe and dine at while listening to live music.
Brush Creek Ranch, Saratoga, Wyoming
Nestled within 30,000 acres of rolling hills in Saratoga, Wyoming, Brush Creek Ranch offers guests a myriad of activities to choose from, including horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, skiing and snowboarding in the winter. In addition to all of these adventures, the resort also has a fairly new on-site distillery that opened in 2019 where they make several spirits that include bourbon, rye, gin, and vodka. During your stay, you’ll have the opportunity to tour the facility, sample their entire range, and possibly even experience a barrel tasting when available. Guests are also spoiled with choice when it comes to overnight accommodations with three all-inclusive properties to choose from: The Lodge & Spa where you’ll find standalone cabins as well as traditional hotel rooms in the main building; the adults-only Magee Homestead with residential-style cabins; and the more secluded and private French Creek.
Hacienda La Caravedo, Ica, Peru
Producing Pisco since 1684, Hacienda La Caravedo is the oldest, continuously operating distillery in the Americas. Caravedo Pisco is handcrafted in small batches, made with estate-grown grapes, and follows the guidelines set by Peru’s Denomination of Origin for the spirit. Attached to the distillery is a boutique hotel with just five accommodations. While you’re on the property, enjoy the scenic views of the leafy vineyards, indulge in a Pisco tasting, and sit poolside with a tipple in hand as you take in the Ica Valley.
The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection, Wanship, Utah
Fans of Napa Valley wine country will certainly know the Auberge Resorts Collection name, but for those who want something a little harder, head over to Wanship, Utah, to enjoy some whiskey at The Lodge at Blue Sky and the luxury chain’s signature five-star hospitality. Opened in 2019, the resort is just north of Park City and the 3,500-acre enclave in the Wasatch Mountain Range is split up into three distinct accommodations: the adults-only Creek Houses suites; the spacious Sky Lodge Suites; and the family-friendly Earth Suites. Just down the road from the hotel, you’ll find High West Distillery — it’s not technically part of the property, but because it’s stumbling distance, it still made the list. Here, they make their namesake bourbon, rye whiskey, and barrel-finished cocktails. Tours are offered Thursday through Sunday, and there’s also a restaurant where you can enjoy High West Whiskey craft cocktails with dishes utilising locally sourced ingredients. Once you head back down to the hotel, make sure to pay a visit to the Edge Spa and ask for the High West Whiskey Rubdown, a treatment that begins with a foot soak utilising whiskey, salt, and sage, followed by a massage to ease any tension away. For the rest of your stay, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy, including wellness journeys, equine adventures, and skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
Cantilever Distillery & Hotel, Ranier, Minnesota
During Prohibition, the fishing village of Ranier, Minnesota, was a popular site for smuggling alcohol from Canada to the United States of America via a cantilever bridge. Inspired by the destination’s history, Cantilever Distillery & Hotel was born and the property distils bourbon, rye, gin, and vodka using local grains. Tour the distillery and sample their range of spirits in the Cocktail Room restaurant and bar. Once you’re ready to get some shut-eye, the boutique hotel offers industrial-style rooms with high ceilings, clawfoot tubs or walk-in showers, and luxurious bedding for a good night’s rest.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com