Sleeping in a winery is a great experience. You discover yourself opening a window and enjoying a landscape of vineyards on the horizon… a good awakening for the senses! Many years ago, many wineries decided to build small hotels. The main reason, in most cases, was to be able to accommodate special guests of the winery: wine importers from other countries, distributors of their wines or restaurants that buy large quantities of wine could enjoy this service of exceptional accommodation at the winery premises.
This may have been a first eye opener and many of these wineries realized the potential to fill those rooms throughout the year when they were not being utilized. But in doing so many issues could arise, particularly connected with the complexity of hotel management. Wineries are not hotel management companies, but wine producers.
Depending on their investment capacity there are wineries that have opted for small luxury hotels, or others that may have opted for charming but simpler bed & breakfast accommodation. In this post we will focus on some of the most luxurious wine hotels in Europe. We have chosen two hotels in Spain, and three other impressive hotels from Portugal, France and Italy. The common denominator of all these hotels, beyond the fact that they are 5 stars hotels is the beauty of their architecture and the surrounding landscapes.
This is a beautiful hotel in the area of Penedes. What catches the attention about this hotel is its fascinating design. The architects have ensured that the building itself illustrates the world of cava production. Each window at the hotel is similar to the storing areas used at the cellar.
The hotel is surrounded by vineyards and just a few miles from the village of Sant Sadurni Ainhoa. The same care used for the hotel has been put into the design of the hotel’s restaurant.
This modern 5-star hotel has received numerous architecture awards . The hotel premises include a winery, a hotel with 22 suite rooms , a spa centre, and a beautiful pool and gardens full of vines. The views from the pool are spectacular. The spa area is managed by Caudalie (as it is also the case of Marqués de Riscal in Rioja and at Hotel Le Sources de Caudalie in France which also appears in this list).
The winery offers visitors a wide range of high quality experiences. With these experiences the winery aims at dive its customers into wine culture. Other interesting proposals include balloon rides from which to enjoy the landscapes of Alentejo region.
This hotel is part of the business project of a couple who did not come from the world of wine, but from advertising. After purchasing the famous winery Chateau Smith Haut Lafite and its vineyard, the couple decided to build a spa hotel. To do this they took advantage of the poorer quality vineyards and which did also have a water spring.
Caudalie is now a famous brand of aesthetic products and also a brand for wine themed oenological spas. The hotel focuses its proposal on the spa and its treatments and on a fantastic gastronomic offer that range 2 quality restaurants, one with Michelin award and a cooking school.
This 5 star hotel is located in the proximities of Siena. The best proposal of this hotel is definitely the unique setting in which it is located. The views of the Tuscan countryside offered from the top of its location are breathtaking. A lovely decoration and a rural regional style provide the spaces with great personality and comfort.
In this case the hotel does not have a winery on site, but vineyards surround the resort. Swimming in the indoor or outdoor pool is an exceptional experience: the views are those of beautiful Tuscan countryside.
In this case the hotel we introduce is also a 5 star hotel. It also holds a Michelin starred restaurant . The hotel is nestled in a bend of the Duero near Valladolid, in the premises of what was an ancient monastery. The project began as a winery (Abadia Retuerta) and expanded to include a restaurant and a hotel some years ago. The thickness of the rooms´walls is a metaphor of the philosophy of the hotel: tranquility and anonymity to the host.
The hotel is currently working on the expansion of its facilities to offer a spa center. The main focus of the activities proposed include wine tours by Ribera del Duero, but also activities such as helicopter flight over the vineyards, balloon rides or even medieval falconry.
In order to highlight the differences between the philosophies of different projects, we want to add a sixth hotel to the list. This is a well-known hotel in Rioja designed by Frank Gehry and which, before becoming a hotel, was meant to host the headquarters of wineries Marqués de Riscal. Its avant-garde architecture and curved shapes contrast with the sobriety of the Monastery of the Ribera del Duero hotel.
Many more hotels are located among vineyards in these countries, but in this post we have tried to be limited to 5 star among vineyards and which offer a very a particular vision of luxury in their facilities. All these hotels, despite their very different philosophies, aim at a common goal: to delight travelers with fantastic landscapes, wines and gastronomy.
Luis Lechuga is Managing Director at Winetourismspain.