Luxurious libation space? You might think this is a fancy way of saying 'a nice bar' but what we're about to show you will definitely change your mind. Hotels across the country have noticed the popularity of and demand for specialty cocktails and are taking their in-house food and beverage establishments to the next level to meet these needs. A seemingly huge draw for guests, these lobby bars and fine dining restaurants are now producing only the best beverages from creating their own infused vodkas to having a distillery on-site, the concoctions are endless. Check out our recommendations for your top notch taste!
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
One of a select number of bars in Florida that pour Pappy Van Winkle (including exclusive batches that cost upwards of $300 per shot), The Lobby Bar at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island takes bourbon drinking quite seriously. The newly opened bar, which also happens to have a sushi chef on hand for guest’s sashimi cravings, allows bourbon lovers to get in on the action. First Call is the limited small-batch bourbon infused on site. See what we mean? Each day, the mixologist creates a new blend (with spices and fruits, etc.), and guests can see the four-foot-tall infuser (situated at The Lobby Bar) as it distills. Guests can drink the latest creation alone or in cocktails until it runs out or if they can even reserve a seat at the Legend’s Table to sample bourbon flights, sourced by the bar lead, from Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail, as well as rare sakes.
Royal Hideaway Playacar
While everyone knows the best tequila is made in Mexico, few people realize that some of the best batches never make it to market. It’s typical for tequila makers to share their creations with friends and family, while the big brands get the glory. At Royal Hideaway Playacar, a resort on the Riviera Maya for adults only, they’re shaking things up a bit with an in-house tequileria. We need to try this! The resort invited a group of five “master tequileros" to taste more than 5,000 brands, and they narrowed the batch down to 50 craft choices served to guests at the tequileria. Because the production is so small (2,000 to 3,000 liters per month), guests would never get the opportunity to try many of these small-batch local brands elsewhere. And to further hone the tequila knowledge, Royal Hideaway also hosts a daily tequila master class. We need where to plan our next vacation. Did we mention, we love tequila?
Virgin Hotels Chicago
At Virgin Hotels Chicago, the hotel’s bar, The Commons Club, offers Upside Down Tea Party, its take on high tea service every Saturday and Sunday. Bartenders pour boozy tea cocktails served in teapots and tea cups with a new theme rotating in each month. It'll have you feeling a little Alice-in-Wonderland-esque. For January, New Year’s resolutions inspired notable drinks like the Cheat Day (a hot tea cocktail made with mocha chai tea, mint tea, chocolate syrup and crème de menthe) and the health-inspired An Apple a Day (a cold tea cocktail made with green juice, Hendrick’s gin and Champagne). These luxurious libations sound right up our alley! Reservations are required for the tea service, as it is also open to non-guests.
Ace Hotel New Orleans
Finding a drink in the Big Easy is exactly that—easy. But the new Ace Hotel New Orleans is allowing guests to participate in drink making with DIY cocktail-making tools available in every room. Guest rooms are outfitted with an in-room minibar stocked with all of the ingredients for mixing. The full-size SMEG refrigerator is filled with mixers and spirits (including Valdespino Manzanilla sherry), along with a cutting board, a shaker, locally produced kombucha and bitters (including Underberg). Now this is a mini-bar we'd actually use. Did we mention we're heading to NOLA at the end of the month? See you soon Bourbon Street!
W Los Angeles-West Beverly Hills
In West Beverly Hills, the newly launched W hotel offers guests the personal treatment in the best possible way: a bartender in an elevator. Available to guests on Saturday evenings, upon entering a specific elevator, patrons can choose from cocktails (served in a nifty caddy) from the drink menu at STK and Living Room Bar (both a lift ride away). This gives new meaning to “one for the road,” and there’s no doubt guest will linger a little longer on their journey between floors. What a unique experience! We love this idea and it's breadth of elegance. A charming touch!
These five fabulous in-house accommodations are starting to make us think that everyone needs a luxurious libation space! Get your fix and devour the details of these lobby bars and fine dining restaurants that have changed the cocktail game for good. Cheers!