Sip In Style At The World’s Best Wine Hotels

The Yeatman
The Yeatman

Photo Credit: The Yeatman



Hotel Marques de RiscalPhoto Credit: Hotel Marques de RiscalIn the Basque Country’s Rioja wine region of Spain, with the Sierra de Cantabria’s snow-capped peaks protecting the region’s vineyards from the cold north winds, is one of the most visually remarkable hotels in the world. I actually defy you to see it and think otherwise. Hotel Marqués de Riscal was built by none other than world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, who conceived his avant-garde idea after opening a 1929 vintage (his year of birth) at the Cathedral — the historic cellar with a unique collection of over 130 vintages treasured by the Marqués de Riscal winery since 1862. Gehry imagined the hotel as the epicenter of a “City of Wine,” with the hotel as a “chateau of the 21st century.” And he wasn’t far off. From a distance, the building resembles a silvery bauble wrapped in shimmering titanium strips in metallic tones of deep pink, gold, and silver — the colors found on Marqués de Riscal bottle caps — and in the ripe, pinkish red of the wine itself (which guests are treated to a bottle of upon arrival). Elsewhere, visually, the hotel continues to be a marvel. Cushioned window seats and headboards are upholstered in soft maroon leather according to Gehry’s specifications, while bathrooms are lined with mottled dark grey-green marble. The interiors are highlighted best in the Gehry suite, which features a unique, intricate shape and a magnificent terrace overlooking the village of Elciego. Amenities in all rooms are courtesy of Caudalie, whose products are derived from grapes and vines; the brand oversees the spa as well. As can be expected from the City of Wine, absolutely everything here is exquisite, from the spa treatments to spectacular epicurean experiences. In fact, its Restaurante Marqués de Riscal was awarded with a Michelin star. Be sure to make time for a full guided tour of Herederos del Marqués de Riscal winery, which ends with — you guessed it — a wine tasting, for total immersion into the winemaking process.
Calle Torrea, 1, Elciego, Spain 01340


Montage HealdsburgPhoto Credit: Montage Healdsburg

At Montage Healdsburg, located at the north edge of Healdsburg in California’s Sonoma County, emphasis is placed on the local landscape — in particular, the 22,000 carefully preserved oak trees that surround the stunning 258-acre property. Its exterior can be likened to camouflage, with its “skin” purposefully selected to match the bark of its trees. This haute hotel clearly plays to its location, from lobby centerpiece Scout Field Bar — an indoor-outdoor watering hole that hosts wine tastings by day and a full bar by night — to signature eatery Hazel Hill, which celebrates the best of French-influenced California fare with varietals to match. (Hazel Hill’s semi-private Oak Room, designed in the image of a modern, whimsical treehouse, is encased in glass and suspended above the earth to create the feeling of dining in the trees.) An 11,500-square-foot spa elevated 20 feet above the grapevines offers treatments that play up the rituals and seasons of wine country. The 130 rooms (all of which offer expansive views of either the surrounding mountains, forests, or vineyards) follow suit: authentically inspired by the land, their design references the property’s grapevines and oak and manzanita trees, with custom art pieces cast from tree bark and an earthy and natural color palette meant to complement the surrounding vineyards and the nearby Russian River. 
100 Montage Way, Healdsburg, CA 95448


Villa La CostePhoto Credit: Richard Haughton
Those who venture to Provence are in for a treat, especially when staying at the luxurious, sun-dappled Villa La Coste. Here, halfway between Aix-en-Provence — the birthplace of Cézanne — and the Luberon Regional Natural Park, is the home of the Château La Coste and its beautiful range of biodynamic wines. But first, a bit about the picture-perfect property. Its location is the stuff of legend: it is perched on a hillside, on the edge of a forest, and set among surrounding vineyards with views of the Luberon Valley beyond and lavender fields for days. The hotel is laid out around a shaded cobblestone pathway, locally known as a “calade,” with 28 suites named after the mountains of Provence. Each suite features four-poster beds surrounded by sheer curtains, lending a dreamy effect to each accommodation. But it is the wine and food (not the other way around here!) that define this mesmerizing hotel. Hélène Darroze — she of the 3 Michelin starred Hélène Darroze at The Connaught in London and 2 Michelin starred Marsan par Hélène Darroze in Paris — is helming the entire food and beverage program for Villa La Coste, so naturally, you should expect great things. When you aren’t wining and dining, make sure to check out the five-star art offerings —including sculptures and paintings by Damien Hirst, Tom Shannon, Sean Scully, and Le Corbusier and eye-capturing visuals from six Pritzker Prize-winning architects like Renzo Piano and Frank Gehry; the jaw-droppingly beautiful spa, complete with hammams, flotation beds, Vichy showers, a sauna, and treatments that utilize local products such as lavender from those Provençal fields; and last but certainly not least, the wine cellar — a beautiful and breathtaking winemaking area conceived by French architect Jean Nouvel.
2750 Route de la Cride, 13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France


Il BorroPhoto Credit: Francesca PagliaiA visit to Il Borro is essential to your health and happiness, especially if you’re an oenophile. This pedigreed 13th-century property, located in the heart of a medieval Tuscan village in the upper Arno valley (a wide, natural basin formed by the course of its eponymous river and bordered by the Pratomagno massif and the Chianti hills), had fallen into disrepair until it was purchased by the Ferragamo family in 1993. The Ferragamos’ mission: to lovingly and carefully restore the property to its former glory, thereby preserving its history and traditions. Oh, how they’ve succeeded! Today, Il Borro is a zero-carbon estate that produces more energy that it uses. It is highlighted by a lush, three-hectare “cultivated garden” in which seasonal vegetables are grown, as well as a cutting-edge farm that has been entirely organic since 2015. The estate, which is part of the Relais & Châteaux association, includes a historic residence, a villa set among merlot vineyards, 58 exclusive suites, a spa, a wine and art gallery, a centuries-old wine cellar, and two restaurants in the superb Osteria del Borro and Il Borro Tuscan Bistro (both overseen by executive chef Andrea Campani). Best of all, Il Borro is home to 210 acres of vineyards from which 12 wines are produced, including the Alessandro dal Borro IGT Toscana Syrah (100% syrah), Il Borro IGT Toscana Rosso (50% merlot, 35% cabernet sauvignon, 15% syrah), and Petruna in Anfora IGT Toscana Sangiovese (100% sangiovese). Ten of the 12 wines are entirely organic — so I think that means you can have your wine and drink it too (in the same place, no less). And if you hadn’t gathered this already, the wine theme is sprinkled around the property like fairy dust, from rooms surrounded by grapevines to a slew of vino-specific experiences, from wine tours to wine-pairing cooking classes, as well as golf and artisan workshops — a love letter from the Ferragamo family to those who define the local area.
Località Il Borro 1, 52024 San Giustino, Arezzo, Italy


Les Sources de CaudaliePhoto Credit: Les Sources de CaudalieThere is no other way for me to describe Les Sources de Caudalie than “magical.” This beautiful resort that peeks out from the vineyards of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, a Graves great growth, at the gateway to Bordeaux — just northwest of Sauternes and Médoc — resembles an Old World-style country retreat, which is apt given that it has existed since the 16th century. Here, there are vines for days, a pond where ducks swim lazily, a watermill, and, of course, Château Smith Haut Lafitte — its cooperage and cellars, where 1,000 barrels are kept. This timeless vibe continues on in carefully decorated rooms (each having an evocative name, like Claret and Archipelago) and in the Spa Vinotherapie, which features Caudalie, a beauty line made from the skin of grapes; a hammam and natural hot spring round out that earthy feel. Les Sources de Caudalie is also home to a 2 Michelin starred restaurant courtesy of chef Nicolas Masse, who highlights fruits and vegetables from an on-site vegetable garden and meat and dairy from the property’s own farms. The newly redecorated restaurant has been completely painted in a deep carbon color to create an enveloping box, with decorative elements, lighting, and tableware all in pure, mineral shades to put exquisite, beautifully presented meals center stage. As could be expected, wine pairings — presented by Head Sommelier Aurélien Farrouil — are exceptional.
Chemin de Smith Haut Lafitte, 33650 Bordeaux-Martillac, France


La ResidencePhoto Credit: La Residence

If you’re searching for the absolute best wine hotel in South Africa, let me assure you, La Residence is it. This stunning property is a slice of heaven. It is located on a private, 30-acre estate surrounded by mountains and vineyards in the heart of the country’s predominant wine region, the Franschhoek Valley in Cape Winelands, an hour’s drive from Cape Town. It is an ideal place for cabernet sauvignon and shiraz to thrive, surrounded by plum orchards with peacocks weaving colorfully among the vines. With just 11 rooms, privacy is a key selling point at this idyllic escape that can accommodate up to 22 people. As such, every room is unique, with its own color scheme and design references — all over-the-top opulence. Think marbled floors, grand chandeliers, and Persian rugs. (My favorite rooms are the two-bedroom vineyard suites, which feature their own private pools.) The dining here is as exquisite as the rooms: the hotel features a lavish breakfast buffet made with local ingredients and produce hand-picked from on-site vegetable and herb gardens; a loggia for sunset aperitifs; and a dining hall reminiscent of an old English manor (replete with dazzling chandeliers, black-and-white flooring, and vast fireplaces), where local wines are always a fixture of the menu. That in-house spa therapists are on call, that the property offers sightseeing tours via helicopter, or that wine tasting by vehicle, Harley-Davidson, horseback, bicycle, or tram are all on offer is actually, once you’ve visited La Residence, no surprise at all.
Elandskloof Private Road, Elandskloof Farm, Franschhoek, South Africa


The VinesPhoto Credit: The Vines

The Vines of Mendoza is an extraordinary place, and one that’s in one of the world’s most exciting wine regions to boot. Imagine sipping a glass of syrah, tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, bonarda, or malbec — all of which the area is defined by — at the base of the Andes, within Mendoza’s prestigious Uco Valley. It’s pretty dang awe-inspiring. Life-changing, one might say (as one just did). It’s a small but mighty property, with 21 villas ranging in size from 1,000 to 2,700 square feet, all of which are beautiful places to sip a glass, watch the sun rise and set, and just enjoy life. (The two-bedroom deluxe villas also have a private deck, a gas fireplace, an outdoor handmade clay tub with Andes mountain views, and spa-inspired bathrooms, so life, needless to say, is enjoyed best here.) But you won’t be sitting around simply sipping unless you want to be;there is much to be enjoyed here. At the root of The Vines is a private ownership experience, where guests have the chance to work side by side with world-renowned consulting winemaker Santiago Achaval to make a custom, small-batch wine. There’s an adventure called “Play in the Vineyard,” where guests can actually harvest grapes in wine camp during harvest season. There’s also a restaurant from famous Argentine chef Francis Mallmann, who creates inspired regional dishes showcasing Argentina’s famous beef using his “Siete Fuegos,” or “seven fires,” open-flame cooking techniques. And there’s much to explore off-property, too. With hundreds of wineries and limitless outdoor activities — including heli-skiing straight from The Vines — in a place where there are 300 days of sunshine a year, the possibilities are truly endless.
Ruta Provincial 94, km 11, Tunuyán, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina


Six Senses Douro ValleyPhoto Credit: Six Senses Douro ValleySix Senses Douro Valley, located in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro Valley in Portugal, offers a heady combination of romantic 19th-century architecture and contemporary interiors, with the River Douro winding through the oldest wine-producing region in the world. The resort’s estate covers 19 acres, with 60 guest accommodations in what was once a historic manor house. The rooms, which feature a necessary blend of modern tech and vintage styling, truly have some of the most glorious views one could imagine — all of which showcase the vines and the river. The always-important dining options are a celebration of the region here, with much of the produce coming from the verdant valley and surrounding countryside, including an on-site organic vegetable and herb garden, and used at the Vale de Abraão Restaurant Open Kitchen and Terrace. There’s also a dining pop-up experience with dinner tables tucked into the woods by the river — the location and the menu are kept secret until the last minute — as well as a wine library featuring vintages from the valley. Don’t miss the behemoth 23,700-square-foot Six Senses Spa — one of the benchmarks of the brand — which highlights a range of locally inspired therapies in the Douro Valley. Naturally, grapes are incorporated. To maximize the wine-themed experience, Six Senses provides wine-and-dine river cruises, interactive oenology courses, visits to nearby wineries — where you will meet the winemakers — and even the opportunity to play winemaker for the day. And although it only comes once a year, harvest time in the fall (specifically September and October) is a great time to visit for a barefooted grape-stomping experience.
Quinta de Vale Abraão, Samodães, 5100-758 Lamego, Portugal


WharekauhauPhoto Credit: WharekauhauIf it feels like New Zealand is already at the ends of the earth, you haven’t seen anything yet. This is what it feels like the moment you arrive at Wharekauhau, which is set in the spectacular foothills of the Remutaka Mountain Range and the clifftops of Palliser Bay, located within the Kiwi country’s Wairarapa wine region, just outside of Wellington. In my opinion, Wharekauhau is distinctive and incredible for several things (one not being how difficult it is to pronounce). One: it is owned by Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley. Two: it is where Prince William and his princess, Kate Middleton, chose to vacation. Three: it is a place best accessed by helicopter. (How many hotels can you say that about?) Four: its house dog is named Merlot. Five: oh, the wines! You did know that this is a wine region, but did you know that Bill Foley also has his own wine labels? In New Zealand, those include Clifford Bay, Dashwood, Grove Mill, Roaring Meg, Mt. Difficulty, Martinborough Vineyard, Te Kairanga, and Vavasour — and a visit to most can be accommodated on what the hotel refers to as the “Signature Foley Wine Flight.” It’s an exclusive experience for hotel guests to venture to three Foley family vineyards in wine regions that span both the South and North islands by helicopter. It really is as baller as it sounds. And when you’re back at Wharekauhau, shoot for the stars and book the Foley Villa — a 4,500-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-level lodge with heated marble floors, an outdoor terrace, and complete privacy. Homemade cookies are included nightly (and yes, they are essential to your health).
4132 Wharekauhau Road, RD3 Featherston, Palliser Bay, 5773, New Zealand


The YeatmanPhoto Credit: The YeatmanThe Yeatman Hotel has a swimming pool shaped like a decanter, and this illustrates how I felt when visiting the property: I wanted to dive right in. This property, in my opinion, is the one to beat in Porto, the city that gave its name to its signature drink: port. Set among the protected historic center of the cellars of the famous port wine houses in Vila Nova de Gaia, The Yeatman offers guests panoramic views over the Douro River, a magical respite from day-to-day life, and complete immersion into the world of port. Its proximity to WOW — the neighboring cultural district of seven museums including the Instagram-friendly Pink Palace, Planet Cork, and Porto Fashion and Fabric Museum; shops; over a dozen restaurants and bars; and even a wine school, all created by Adrian Bridge, the inventor of rosé port, CEO of port brand Taylor Fladgate, and owner of The Yeatman —a truly comprehensive destination. But back to the hotel. Why is this the one to beat? I’ll list the ways. Each room has authentic and original details, such as the use of traditional Portuguese tiles, with themed corridors that highlight the history of the city. Each room highlights a specific brand of Portuguese wine as well, with thoughtful details to match. My personal favorite, however, is the Bacchus suite ­­— one of the hotel’s iconic master suites — which is appropriately named after the Roman god of wine. It extends onto a furnished conservatory with a fireplace and a private exterior terrace and includes a glorious round copper bathtub, a freestanding fireplace feature, and a large, rotating bed. (Arguably, one might prefer the Presidential suite, which features a wine barrel-shaped bed as well as its own swimming pool and garden.) But this hotel isn’t just impressive for its rooms alone: its signature eatery, The Yeatman Gastronomic Restaurant, led by chef Ricardo Costa, has held 2 Michelin stars since 2017; its grape-inspired spa, the Vinothérapie Spa by Caudalie (yes, another one!), is the first of its kind in Portugal; there are two infinity pools — one indoor, one outdoor — with spectacular views over Porto and the Douro River; there are weekly wine dinners, which always feature wines from a different producer; numerous wine tastings; and its cellars and award-winning wine list offer one of the most comprehensive collections of Portuguese wines in the world. See what I mean?
Rua do Choupelo, (Santa Marinha) 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto, Portugal


La Caserne Chanzy Hôtel & SpaPhoto Credit: The Autograph Collection/La Caserne Chanzy Hôtel & Spa
Those looking for a sparkling place to stay in the heart of Reims, the unofficial capital of the Champagne region, need look no farther than the luxurious, super central La Caserne Chanzy Hotel & Spa. Located in a former fire station, the Autograph Collection’s first-ever regional hotel offers postcard-perfect views of Reims Cathedral — the traditional coronation site for French kings — and a stellar location central to many of the area’s best attractions, including the Palais du Tau, Beaux-Arts Museum and Reims Opera House. Its 89 rooms and suites echo the ethos of Champagne — a carpet with patterns that nod to aerial views of the Champenois hillside, light fixtures in the shape of champagne bottles, and photos courtesy of visual artist Pierre-Elie de Pibrac that represent the successive steps of champagne production: harvesting, fermentation, clarification, blending, ridding, disgorging and tasting. As created by Julie Fuillet Studio, the interior showcases a refined meeting between the Champagne vineyards and the effervescence of the drink, through a palette balancing neutral tones, raw materials and organic textures.The bubbly vibe carries on through the property’s cork-covered lobby walls, whose mineral tones are inspired by crayères, the underground chalk quarries where champagne is kept. While the property’s on-site restaurant, La Grande Georgette, does not play to the region per se, it does pay tribute to the building’s past via industrial décor, ladder fittings and bright-red splashes typically found in the fireman’s world.
18 Rue Tronsson Ducoudray, 51100 Reims, France