Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wine Wisdom from Small Luxury Hotels of the World



It’s possible to trace the earliest production of wine back to 6000 BC in Georgia. Since then the fermented grape invention has gone through many journeys including complete banishment during several periods of prohibition that touched most continents including APAC, Europe and America. Fortunately its departure was never for long and wine is thoroughly enjoyed globally today. With over 520 hotels around the world, Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) takes pride in the many epicurean experiences we offer across our portfolio. We have rounded up a list for wine aficionados including: the most extraordinary wine offerings from one-of-a-kind cellars, spa treatments incorporating grapes, the opportunity to meet hoteliers turned sommeliers and introducing some of the rarest and most expensive, bottles. Cheers!

Skeletons in the Closet


The storied history of properties and what their wine cellars were used for at one point…
  • Woodbridge on the Derwent – Tasmania, Australia
Built as a grand house for the magistrate on the banks of the Derwent River in 1825, Woodbridge was one of the earliest structures in Australia. The location was ideal for ships sailing up the river to drop anchor and unload their cargo of goods and people, including prisoners. The convict jail under the house has since been converted into a welcoming wine cellar where guests are invited to browse the cellar and to taste a variety of Australian wines.
  • Cour des Loges – Lyon, France
According to legend, during the second half of the 19th century, the wine cellar at Cour Des Loges was the laboratory of the famous thaumaturge, Philippe de Lyon. He used the room to store his medicines and salves. Years later small bottles and little boxes were found before the cellar was converted into a wine cellar in the early 90s. The cellar was used as a plenary hall for the Masonic lodge, where each member would store their bottles in individual lockers, which still exist.
  • Hotel Haven – Helsinki, Finland
Hotel Haven, G. W. Sundmans restaurant is housed in an early 19th-century Empire home adjacent to the hotel with a wine cellar that over the years has served many purposes. The vaulted wine cellar is situated in a room that was used as the old coal cellar for the residential home. In the late 80s and the beginning of the 90s it was a dance floor for a night club until it was rebuilt as a wine cellar that houses an impressive collection of over 2,000 bottles of wine.

Wines is Not Just for Drinking

Using wine to create intoxicating experiences for the senses…

  • Entre Cielos – Mendoza, Argentina
Entre Cielos is home to the first authentic hammam in Latin America. The signature wine treatments invite guests to experience the magic of grapes and harness the revitalizing qualities of the vine with grape based treatments in Argentina´s leading wine producing region. Treatments, such as Bacchus offers the hammam circuit with full body exfoliation using grape seed, a wine bath with grape extracts, vitamins and minerals and nourishing grape extract facials. The Beneath the Grapes experience combines the use of wine not only in the bath treatments and massages, but finishes with a glass of the beloved concoction and light snacks.
  • Thalatta Seaside Hotel – Evia, Greece
The Spa at the Thalatta Seaside features Vinotherapy (wine therapy), which originated from Ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Combining the science of fytocosmetic and tradition, Syrah Grape Therapy is a unique beauty treatment and highly effective as the syrah grape extracts help protect the skin. Suitable for all skin types, the results are immediate and visible from the first session and makes for an ideal anti-aging therapy.
  • The Marmara Bodrum – Bodrum, Turkey
The Marmara Bodrum Spa’s Wine Massage applies consumable white wine to the body for 70 minutes. At the end of the massage, a special glass of wine is offered to each guest. The full-body Wine Massage begins with a special wine peel followed by a full-body wine mud soak and cleanse. The Marmara Bodrum Spa’s exclusive Wine Massages use pure, concentrated wine formula with an aim to harness the antioxidant agents to their full potential to benefit the body.

Coveted Bottles for the Connoisseur

For the most discerning palate…

  • Lainston House Hotel – Winchester, United Kingdom
Wine cellars are also known to house other things, as is the case at this 17th century country manor house that proudly offers its guests a collection of rare Grand Champagne Cognac’s dating back to 1809 and priced at USD20, 271. However, if you are looking for something a little younger, an 1893 E. Normandin is also available for USD2,300.
  • Brandenburger Hof Berlin – Berlin, Germany
Resembling a townhouse on a quiet street in central Berlin, many do not realize that this building is home to a 72-room hotel. What else they probably do not realize is that the hotel’s restaurant, DIE QUADRIGA, has one of only three remaining bottles of an 1897 Steinberger Riesling Cabinet. Curious to see what more than a century tastes like? Priced at USD19,500.

Hoteliers who are Hooked on Grapes

These renaissance men and women do it all…

  • The Levin – London, England
David and Lynne Levin have not only shared their last name with The Levin Hotel in Knightsbridge, London but also their winery, Levin Wines located in the Loire Valley France. What was once a dream—the ability to produce wine to serve to their guests—has now become reality. The organically grown Sauvignon Blanc and Gamay varieties are suitably named Mister L and Madame L, respectively. The Levin’s have even more cause for celebration; they were awarded 2 Gold Medals in the World Sauvignon Blanc Competition held in Blois, France just this week!
  • Villa Spalletti Trivelli – Rome, Italy
The Spalletti Trivelli family has had a life-long passion for wine that was passed down from their ancestors over the years. Produced in Umbria at the farm and vineyard of the Count and Countess Spalletti Trivelli, are two wines referred to as, “Sariano” and “Arale”. The area is known for the quality of their grapes and the old Sangiovese plants are used for the production of Sariano, while white grapes Trebbiano and Malvasia give life to Arale. The hotel will arrange a visit to the family’s vineyards (an hour’s drive from the property) to experience the flavours of a typical trattoria and view the wine-making process.

Unique by Design
 
  • Baros Maldives - Male, Maldives 
Housing over 500 bottles, Baros Maldives’ glass-paneled, walk-in wine cellar hovers over a crystal-blue lagoon, also referred to as the Indian Ocean. The careful design features special panes to guarantee the quality of the wines even when exposed to direct sunshine so that the corking experience is never comprised.
  • Schwarzer Adler Estate Hotel- Vogtsburg - Oberbergen, Germany
This 14-room hotel is part of a 3rd generation family-owned wine estate that stores its bottles in mountain cellars. Guests can tour one or all three of the tunnels that have been carved up to 110 meters into the surrounding mountains in order to create these extraordinary wine cellars. The thick stone ensures that all bottles remain at a constant temperature of 12 degrees Celsius year-round.
  • Santhiya Koh Phangan Resort & Spa - Koh Phangan, Thailand
This above-ground wine cellar housed in a beautiful Thai Teakwood House rests under the shade of tropical trees and lush vegetation. It is not every day that you can find yourself in a jungle paradise with access to more than 80 labels of wine from around the world. Choose your favorite bottle and enjoy at one of the resort’s two restaurants overlooking the sea.

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