You've enjoyed wine-tasting weekends in Napa, learned about the très magnifique terroir of Bordeaux, and sipped your way through the bodegas of Rioja. So what's next? How about a wine lovers' vacation at a beach resort or a city hotel that takes its cellars seriously? You don't have to be surrounded by vineyards to enjoy complimentary tastings, wine-paired degustation menus, vineyard-centric spa treatments, and more. Check out the wine-inspired offerings at these 15 properties, which include a Mexican all-inclusive, a Maldivian private island, and a Moroccan luxury hotel.
by Donna Heiderstadt
Secrets the Vine Cancun
WHERE: Cancun, Mexico
Don't let the location or its all-inclusive pricing fool you: this 495-room adults-only resort is all about the wine, from free sommelier-led tastings in the sleek lobby that seems plucked straight from South Beach, to vinotherapy treatments in the modern Secrets Spa by Pevonia. There's also a 3,000-bottle wine wall, six restaurants and six bars serving a dozen complimentary premium wines, nightly wine-pairing events at an added cost, and special gourmet experience packages.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Cancun Guide
WHERE: Porto, Portugal
Grapes aren’t grown in Porto (the vineyards are two hours away in the Douro Valley), but great Portuguese wine is plentiful here—including the 20,000 bottles in the cellars of this elegant hotel with its sweeping Douro River views. At The Yeatman, you’ll enjoy a Michelin-starred restaurant, gourmet wine dinners, handpicked wine flights in convivial Dick’s Bar, and a Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa. Each of The Yeatman’s 82 rooms has a wine sponsor (with artifacts and pictures), while Master Suite 008 has a dramatic wine-barrel bed.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Portugal Guide
WHERE: Marrakesh, Morocco
The wine list at this legendary 210-room hotel (it opened in 1923 and was lavishly refurbished in 2009) in exotic Marrakesh is exceptional and international in scope, with an emphasis on French producers. There are 3,500 bottles in the cellar, rare and pricy Petrus and Cheval Blanc vintages among them, but it's also a very sexy place to try Moroccan wines, such as the subtle S De Siroua Chardonnay and the spicy Tandem Syrah—especially when dining in Le Marocain, the hotel's splendid Moroccan restaurant.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Morocco Guide
Ponta Dos Ganchos
WHERE: Santa Catarina, Brazil
Brazil may be known for its caipirinhas, not its Cabernets, but this luxurious 25-room property set on an emerald bay on the southern coast near Florianopolis has a food-and-wine focus that pleases the palate in unexpected ways. Look for daily menus featuring organic produce and local seafood complemented by an Old-meets-New-World wine list, personalized wine-pairing dinners on the beach, and an exquisite 10-course breakfast. All bungalows are stocked with a selection of wines.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Brazil Guide
Eden Roc at Cap Cana
WHERE: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
As the first Relais & Chateaux property in the DR, two-year-old Eden Roc delivers a rare on-island epicurean experience—plus 34 European-style suite accommodations and a stunning Jack Nicklaus-designed oceanfront golf course. French Chef Jerome Bondaz pulls out all the stops in three restaurants and two bars, creating Mediterranean-Caribbean dishes (sautéed baby lobster with Carnaroli rice) that pair perfectly with the resort's list of mostly European and South American wines.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Dominican Republic Guide
The nightly complimentary wine tasting in the intimate lobby—with a dozen Washington state winery partners, for which the boutique hotel's 125 rooms are also named—is even more enjoyable after a major multimillion-dollar redesign that gave the property a chic new ambience. It's now a sophisticated base for a city escape that mixes day trips to the tasting rooms in Woodinville and nights sampling of the flavorful Pacific Northwest and fusion cuisine of Seattle's red-hot culinary scene.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Seattle Guide
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
WHERE: The Maldives
Among the 1,200 white-sand isles that make up this Indian Ocean nation, this 150-room private-island resort is a standout with an incredibly unique feature: the Maldives' first subterranean wine cellar. It holds 20,000 bottles and is the setting for special five-course dégustation dinners featuring up to eight handpicked wines and an interactive, sommelier-led “journey” via personal video screens.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Maldives Guide
Belmond La Samanna
WHERE: St. Martin
The French love fine wine, so it's no surprise that the French half of this Caribbean island adores it, too. One of the best spots to savor a really great bottle of Sancerre, Chateauneuf du Pape or Bordeaux is this 83-room luxury resort, home to La Cave, an atmospheric wine cellar stocked with 12,000 bottles from 13 countries (so you'll find New World varietals as well). Guests can partake in sommelier-led wine tastings or book private pairing dinners for up to 15 people.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's St. Martin Guide
Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris
What more could the serious connoisseur ask for than a legendary hotel in Paris with a two-Michelin-star restaurant? How about a secret wine cellar that holds 50,000 bottles? Built 45 feet below ground in 1928 and reinforced to protect its precious stock in World War II, the cellar was reinvigorated in 1998 to service Le Cinq diners and now houses rare (such as a 1792 Madeira and a magnum of 1964 Petrus) and carefully chosen newer vintages, with 20 new selections added annually.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Paris Guide
WHERE: Santa Barbara, California
There's no need to get in a car to see the vineyards scattered over northern California when you can hop on a shiny yellow bike and pedal a few blocks to two dozen downtown tasting rooms located along Santa Barbara's Urban Wine Trail. The bikes are complimentary, as are nightly sommelier-hosted wine hours in the Spanish Colonial lobby at this pet-friendly, 97-room property with its rooftop pool, central location one mile from the beach, and décor inspired by Spain’s Canary Islands.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Santa Barbara Guide
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
WHERE: Las Vegas
If you think the most Italian bar in Las Vegas is inside The Venetian or Bellagio, think again. To enjoy the best silky Super Tuscans and ripe-cherry Barolos head for D.O.C.G Enoteca at this four-year-old, 2,995-room property, where the list features 500 Italian wines priced from $30 to $3,000 a bottle, with 20 available by the glass. Owned by celebrated chef Scott Conant and named for the highest level of Italian wine origin, the bar also serves small plates, pizza, pasta and more.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Las Vegas Guide
The Stafford London
London is home to a lot of exceptionally old and distinguished things, and certainly the 380-year-old vaulted wine cellar at this elegant 105-room luxury hotel ranks among them. Located beneath a stone courtyard, it houses a highly select 6,000 bottles representing about 800 labels from around the world—one of the most complete wine collections in London. Master Sommelier Gino Nardella leads guests on candlelit tours of the historic cellar and its prized inventory.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's London Guide
Park Hotel Vitznau
WHERE: Vitznau, Switzerland
Why have just one wine cellar when you can have six? It helps to have them when you need to store 30,000 bottles (worth about $26 million), so this 111-year-old, 47-room hotel on Lake Lucerne has subdivided its collection museum-style, with French vintages stored on stone shelves, other European wines stacked in hexagonal wood racks, New World imports kept in a massive blue shopping container, and the oldest wine (an 1811 Chateau d'Yquem) is stored in golden casket.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Switzerland Guide
Sheen Falls Lodge
WHERE: Kenmare, Ireland
Guinness may be good for you and Jameson certainly has its place on a cold winter night, but nothing warms the soul of an epicurean—even an Irish one—like a complex Bordeaux or a vintage port. You'll find both in abundance at this 66-room luxury lodge, where the wine cellar holds 10,000 bottles from 18 countries, one of Ireland's largest public collections. The sommelier leads daily tours and diners are invited to wander its candlelit arched brick alcoves in search of the perfect bottle.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Ireland Guide
WHERE: Nassau, The Bahamas
If someone asked you to guess where an independent hotelier had secreted away 250,000 bottles of rare and fine wine would you ever think, “The Bahamas”? This historic 20-room inn and restaurant in Nassau owns the distinction of having the Caribbean's most prestigious wine cellar, comprised of 250,000 bottles. You can peruse your options on the 109-page wine list (perhaps your celebration calls for a $26,400 bottle of 1890 Chateau Lafite Rothschild), while more modern vintages start at $39.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Nassau Guide