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Planning a Drinking Trip? These Hotel Spirits Collections Are Worth Checking Into

Travelers have long planned vacations around their favorite beverages—from Mexican tequila and Caribbean rum to Scotch and Irish whiskey—a tourism trend that has grown significantly in recent years.

According to the Scotch Whisky Association, more than two million people visited a Scotch whisky distillery or visitor center in 2022, more than doubling the amount of visitors in 2021. In Ireland, the growth is even more pronounced: Following two years of Covid-related closures, whiskey tourism increased by 425% in 2022, says the Irish Whiskey Association. Growth in spirits tourism is also happening in Mexico, Kentucky and beyond.

For some, accommodations on these sorts of trips are often an afterthought, mainly seen as a place to crash after a long day of tastings. That may not be the case much longer. A growing contingent of hotels have been upping the ante on spirits-fueled trips with rare bottles, record-breaking collections and other unique offerings that could warrant an unforgettable tasting experience in their own right.

From the 160-plus rare Irish whiskey bottles (some of which cannot be found anywhere else on earth) at Adare Manor in Limerick, Ireland, to Hilton Los Cabos’s collection of tequila bottles hand-painted by Mexican artists like Francisco Toledo, these well-stocked bars enable guests to sample a variety of spirits that would require weeks, months or even years of distillery visits in one fell swoop.

Whether you have a penchant for whiskey, tequila, rum or Cognac, there’s a hotel out there that’s sure to knock your spirits-loving socks off.

Whiskey

Adare Manor
Image Courtesy of Jack Hardy / Adare Manor

Adare Manor

Limerick, Ireland

With an award-winning golf course and Michelin-starred restaurant on an 840-acre estate, there’s much to see and do at Ireland’s breathtaking Adare Manor. And, while everything about the hotel screams luxury, its whiskey collection is exceptionally extravagant.

The hotel’s award-winning whiskey bar, The Tack Room, contains more than 160 highly coveted bottles sourced from producers across Scotland, America, Canada, Japan and, of course, Ireland.

The hotel offers pours and tasting flights (priced from €125 to €500) with a variety of bottlings from Midleton Very Rare, the highest-end brand from Irish Distillers, which owns Redbreast, Jameson and most of the Irish whiskey brands well known outside of the Emerald Isle. Some are impossible to get anywhere else.

“The most unique whiskey is the collaboration we have between Midleton Distillery and ourselves,” says Aodhan O'Farrell, Adare Manor's resort beverages manager, referring to the fifth edition of the collaboration, which goes for €3,000 a bottle.

The Balmoral
Image Courtesy of The Balmoral

The Balmoral Hotel

Edinburgh, Scotland

Located in the heart of Edinburgh since 1902, Balmoral Hotel offers 167 rooms and 20 suites that have played host to stars like Oprah and was where author J. K. Rowling finished writing the Harry Potter series. Even so, its whisky collection might be the biggest draw.

Balmoral’s world-class whisky bar, SCOTCH—named Hotel Bar of the Year in 2021 at Whisky Magazine’s Icon of Whisky Awards—features over 500 varieties of Scottish whisky displayed in its handmade, oak-paneled cabinet.

Hailing from the Highlands, Lowlands, Islands, Islay and Speyside, the comprehensive collection includes incredibly rare bottlings with some picks from ghost distilleries that have shuttered. Visitors can take a seat on the tartan sofa or leather armchairs to participate in a variety of tastings, such as ones dedicated to limited releases from closed distilleries or other hard-to-find selections.

The Stanley Hotel
Image Courtesy of the Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel

Estes Park, Colorado

Most people know The Stanley Hotel as the inspiration for The Shining. But even paranormal activity can’t keep people away from the historic Colonial Revival hotel’s spirits—the drinking kind.

Many cinephiles remember the dimly-lit Whiskey Bar, as it’s known, due to the role it played in the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film. But the private, curated and limited collection found at The Vault at The Stanley Hotel is where they keep the good stuff.

The liquor menu includes numerous bottles that are exclusively available at the hotel, including single-barrel Elijah Craig and Woodford Reserve selections and many others. Those interested in the impressive collection can book a curated tasting to learn everything there is to know about the bottlings and how best to enjoy them.

Zuma at the Cosmopolitan
Image Courtesy of MGM Resorts

The Cosmopolitan

Las Vegas, Nevada

Fans of Japanese whisky may want to consider a trip (or at least a detour) to Sin City. That’s because The Cosmopolitan's Japanese eatery Zuma Las Vegas is home to one of the rarest Japanese whisky collections in the entire West.

The sleek, wood- and stone-filled restaurant offers a collection of extraordinary bottlings, including some no longer made or sold anywhere else in the U.S.

The 2022 Yamazaki limited edition “Tsukuriwake” selection is a particularly noteworthy splurge. It features four flights, including Puncheon Single Malt, Spanish Oak Single Malt, Peated Malt Single Malt and the Mizunara Single Malt, all of which retail for upwards of $200 and $300 per glass.

Tequila

HIlton Los Cabos Beach Golf Resort
Image Courtesy of Hilton

Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort

Los Cabos, Mexico

Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, perched right between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo on Tequila Cove Beach, boasts its own Biblioteca de Agave to help guests explore Mexico’s most iconic drinks through highly limited offerings.

“The spirits that the property selects for our private collection are unique pieces that range from hand-painted bottles by Mexican artists like Francisco Toledo, to limited edition and small production bottles,” says Ana Martinez, the hotel’s resident tequila master.

With more than 200 varieties—plus lesser-known distillations like sotol and raicilla—visitors can delve as deep as they’d like into the agave spirits landscape. Rare offerings available for purchase include Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario ($190 per pour), Herradura 150 Aniversario ($105 per pour) and Clase Azul Ultra ($180 per pour).

The property also offers master classes, agave-pairing dinners and a $1,000 Beyond The Top Shelf Tasting featuring four hard-to-find tequilas, including Gran Patron Burdeos as well as Gran Centenario Gallardo.

Plaza Hotel El Paso Tequila Flight
Image Courtesy of The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park

The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park

El Paso, Texas

Set in a 1930s Art Deco-style building in the heart of Downtown El Paso, The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park offers pure Gilded Age luxury. The rooms boast marble bathrooms and works by local and regional artists. On site, there’s a refined woodfired Mexican restaurant, Ámbar, as well as a stunning rooftop bar with gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape.

However, the lobby-level Bar at Ámbar, adjacent to the restaurant of the same name, is pure decadence for tequila fanatics. It plays host to the largest and rarest collection of agave spirits in Texas, from more than 600 tequilas and mezcals to sotols and beyond.

There, guests can dig into multiple flight options, starting at $50 per person, including overviews of celeb-owned brands, Texas-owned selections, high proof bottlings and more.

Rum

Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne
Image Courtesy of Ritz Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

Miami, Florida

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, located right on the shores of the exclusive barrier island, offers a wide array of luxurious amenities and three distinct restaurants. Its Cuban-style RUMBAR, in the lobby, is a must-visit for tropical spirits lovers.

The Old Havana-inspired space is home to a menu of more than 70 rums, piscos and cachaças from 18 countries, which guests can explore in a variety of ways.

Rum tastings start at $28 for a three-flight South American Rum Feast with one-ounce pours of Cartavio XO and Cartavio 12 from Peru, along with Diplomatico from Venezuela, and go up to $42 for two one-ounce pours of Mount Gay XO and Black Barrel.

While sipping, visitors can also enjoy the Cuban-inspired menu of light bites, cigar collection and live music Thursday through Saturday.

Zemi Beach House
Image Courtesy of Zemi Beach House

Zemi Beach House

Shoal Bay East, Anguilla

Located along Shoal Bay Beach in Anguilla, Zemi Beach House offers beautiful ocean views, plush rooms and four pools. More importantly, for those who want to drink well, it’s also home to the island’s famous Rhum Room, which features a selection of 140 small-batch, single-estate rums.

Guests can pair any rum with a full-bodied cigar, discover the history of various brands or try signature rum cocktails served by their very own Rummelier (rum sommelier).

If you’re looking to go all out, consider sampling one (or several) of its collection of rare rums that cost more than $100 per pour, such as Neisson XO ($190), Brugal Papa Andres ($310) and Appleton 50 yr ($650).

The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman
Image Courtesy of The Ritz Carlton

The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

This hotel on Seven Mile Beach has everything you need: six restaurants and bars, including one run by famed chef Eric Ripert, shops, movie theater, two pools, golf course, helipad (just in case) and, last but certainly not least, a daily rum ritual.

Every day at 6 p.m., a certified rum expert sets up shop in the Silver Palm bar to offer a selection of curated rums paired with a complementary cacao or cigar. And, even if you don’t make it in for ritual, the luxe, palm frond-inspired bar is still worth a visit. Its noteworthy rum collection features hard-to-score selections such as the Black Tot 50th Anniversary, Oloroso Cask Finish from local Cayman Spirits Co, the El Dorado 50 Years Grand Special Reserve from Guyana and the Damoiseau 1953, from Guadeloupe, aged for an impressive 31 years.

Cognac

The Dorchester
Image Courtesy of The Dorchester

The Dorchester

London, England

Located on the east side of Hyde Park in posh Mayfair, The Dorchester is one of the world’s most prestigious and expensive hotels. It’s home to Alain Ducasse's eponymous three-Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as a variety of other high-end restaurants and bars that offer enviable collections of dark spirits and wines.

“The uniqueness of the hotel's spirit collection is that the different bars have their own selections and special bottles,” says Simon Rowe, head of bars at The Dorchester. “Both bars have rare pieces that are not found on any other back bar in the country and in the case of the Vesper Bar—the world.”

The rare “pieces” he’s referring to at the wood- and green velvet-clad, James Bond-inspired Vesper Bar include all three incredibly limited releases of Remy Martin’s Louis XIII Rare Cask Collection Cognacs, made from a blend of 1,200 eaux de vie aged from 40 to 100 years. The £12,000 flight—which is available nowhere else on the planet—includes a side-by-side tasting of those three expressions, paired with bespoke canapés from culinary director Martyn Nail, as well as personally engraved Louis XIII glass and an invitation for two to visit the family estate Cognac for a private tour and a meal.

But, for those who can’t throw down five figures on a flight, the bar still offers some impressive Cognacs and Armagnacs by the glass, such as Louis XIII and Domaine de Lasgraves 1978, that’ll rack up bragging rights.


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