Especially for a first-time visitor to a country, one of the more daunting tasks can be one of the most important: determining where to stay.
Travel & Leisure magazine provided a big assist to European wine country visitors in its January issue, recommending five exceptional hotels—four in France and one in Italy.
Here’s the list, along with each property’s vinous highlights…
- Hotel Crillon le Brave in Crillon-le-Brave, France, is a Provence property with an 18th century cellar boasting 2,500 bottles of Rhone wines. Imbibers often gather on the hotel’s terrace, soaking in views of olive groves while sipping wine.
- You may feel as if you’re in Napa Valley when staying at Domaine des Hauts de Loire in Onzain, France. Reason: The hotel coordinates hot air balloon rides over Touraine Mesland and Amboise vineyards for its guests.
- For sparkling wine aficionados, Le Chateau Les Crayeres in Reims, France, is the place to stay. Once each month, guests enjoy a private dinner with bubbly pairings. The rest of the month, a cellar holding 60,000 bottles of Champagne beckons.
- Back in Provence, L’Oustau de Baumaniere & Spa in Les-Baux-de-Provence also has 60,000 bottles on hand—more than enough for its 30 guest rooms. One-sixth of those bottles are crafted by the hotel’s owner, Jean-Andre Charial; it’s a tasty Grenache-based blend.
- Finally, Travel & Leisure recommends the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze in Florence, Italy. Described as “over-the-top opulent,” it’s housed in a former palace, and its concierge happily arranges exclusive tastings at Chianti region estates.
Do you have a favorite place to stay in one of the “winelands” of Europe? Share your tips with fellow wine travelers in the Comments box below.