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WHISKY JOURNAL

WHISKY JOURNAL

Whisky Hotels that are a travellers’ paradise

Whisky Hotels that are a travellers’ paradise

When travelling, either for business or pleasure, nothing says relaxation more to a whisky lover than kicking back whilst perusing the drinks menu for a new dram (or an old favourite) to enjoy.  So why waste half your time looking for a suitable venue, when you could combine the two.

We’ve come up with a list of destinations boasting either amazing whisky stocked hotels, or distilleries with their own accommodation and some of them are surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

Naturally, our starting spot has to be home of Scotch Whisky.

Scotland

Isle of Raasay Distillery – Hebrides

The only distillery in Scotland where you can stay overnight in the same building as a working distillery The Isle of Raasay Distillery promises dramatic landscape, fresh sea air, Scottish hospitality and single malt – need we say more.

If lightly peated whisky boasting rich, dark flavours is your thing, then a visit to the stunning Isle of Raasay Distillery could be just what you need. Borodale House, a former Victorian Villa on the distillery’s site has been transformed into a six en-suite double bedroom whisky hotel.

The hotel restaurant provides a traditional Scottish breakfast and locally sourced venison and seafood for dinner, all with breathtaking views across the water to the Isle of Skye’s Cuillin mountains.

Craigellachie Hotel – Speyside

The place where beautiful Speyside countryside and an abundance of whisky combine to form a whisky holiday heaven.  The Craigellachie Hotel is a historic hotel bursting with character.  Set beside the River Spey, the almost gothic looking building boasts 26 bedrooms, oozing with traditional touches set amongst modern facilities.  But the best room as far as we’re concerned is the Quaich bar.

Founded over 120 years ago, there are an astonishing 1,000 different single malts from around the world on offer, making this one of the world’s most famous whisky bars. In fact, Condé Nast Traveler described Craigellachie as “the oldest and greatest whisky hotel in the world.”

However, should you want to stretch your legs (or the car engine) and venture a little farther out into the wild surroundings of Speyside, you will find no fewer than 14 whisky distilleries within a 19-minute drive, including huge brands such as The Macallan, Aberlour, Glen Grant and John Dewars, the latter can be reached on foot in just seven minutes!

USA

Bush Creek Ranch – Saratoga, Wyoming

From the great outdoors of the Highlands in Scotland to the much, much, larger outdoors of Wyoming.  Bush Creek Ranch offers the traveller, well just about everything really!

Set amongst 15,000 acres of spectacular wilderness, between the Sierra Mountain Range and Medicine Bow National Forest, the ranch offers a variety of accommodation, from rustic cabins and lodges, luxury glamping and a pampering spa lodge.

Relax and unwind while you do a spot of flyfishing, hike some of the beautiful trails, indulge in a treatment at the spa or go all out American and go horseback riding.  The activities and facilities on offer are absolutely incredible, and don’t forget there is also the working Bush Creek Distillery which offers tours and tastings.

And when the day is done you can venture through the secret door to the Spirit Vault – we’re talking whisky not ancestors!

Kept behind lock and key, but in a dazzling wall lined display is a collection of extremely rare and small batch whiskeys and bourbons. Enjoy a selection of whiskey flights from over 100 whiskeys on offer or, sample something from the prized collection: –

  • The Macallan Exceptional Single Cask – 2018/ASB-1683/13 (1 of 336 Bottles) Distilled in 1950
  • The Macallan 1950 52-Year-Old Cask No. 598
  • Glenfiddich 50-Year-Old Rare Collection
  • Dalmore Constellation Collection 1969 and 1973
  • Dalmore 45 Year

21c Museum Hotel – Louisville, Kentucky

For some, the great outdoors is not a holiday to be relished, so in complete contrast to Bush Creek Ranch, 21c Museum Hotel Louisville is a boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and home to the applauded restaurant – Proof on Main.

With just 91 artistically modern and minimalist rooms, the hotel is the result of transformed 19th century warehouses, with some of the rooms still bearing a nod to their former selves via exposed brick walls. But with ever changing art displays, the hotel is a feast for the senses.

The Ohio River is just a block away with the Louisville Riverwalk so there is an opportunity for a scenic walk in the fresh air, and naturally, we are in Kentucky, there are numerous bars all serving plenty of whisky and bourbon.  Plus, there is the Kentucky Peerless Distilling company just an 8 minute stroll away, where you can embark on both a tour and a tasting session.

For the lovers of contemporary art this is obviously a great venue, but it also satisfies the whisky passion too. Proof on Main restaurant in the hotel offers more than 120 Kentucky Bourbons, rare releases and their own collection of private barrels.  With Scotch, Japanese American Rye whiskies, and tasting flights also available you’re sure to find plenty to your taste. Plus, they hold special whisky experiences such as their ‘A month with’ Bourbon Distillery where they host 3 hourly sessions each afternoon, in which they highlight new distilleries and create special cocktails and tasting flights for your enjoyment.

Asia

Quaich Bar – Maylasia, Singapore

Three bars actually make up the Quaich Bar group, with each one a dedicated whisky boutique bar offering 500 varieties.

Quaich Bar Avant Guard is ideally situated for business travellers as it sits in the centre of the Central Business District.

Quaich Bar Wanderlust has the party vibe, making it a great place to go when on holiday and is apparently the place to go for lovers of a whisky cocktail!

Quaich Bar Collector is the last of the trio and again as the name would suggest, Collector is the place to visit for an impressive selection of vintage whiskies.  A favourite stop over for world renowned whisky distillers to conduct tastings and masterclasses; the Collector could be the perfect choice for the whisky enthusiast visiting Singapore.

Park Hyatt, Tokyo

As we are all too aware, stocks of vintage Japanese whisky have been severely depleted over the past few years. However, should you find yourself visiting Tokyo to absorb the unique amalgamation of traditional Japanese culture of temples and gardens with modern technology and a big street scene, then you’ll want to stay somewhere that has a decent selection of whisky on offer. 

The Park Hyatt doesn’t come cheap, but the hotel, whose skyline backdrop was made famous in the 2003 film Lost in Translation has views that make the price worthwhile.  And those views can be found from the New York Bar, perched at a lofty 52 floors up! Offering a wide range of premium whiskies and cocktails, there can surely be no better place to sit and enjoy your chosen dram.

Europe

Waldorf Astoria Hotel and the Vault Bar – Amsterdam

Amsterdam, a vibrant, cosmopolitan city filled with beautiful canals, stunning waterside properties and, well, a lot of bicycles! 

The hotel building itself is stunning, spanning six 17th and 18th century former palaces along the Herengracht Canal. And its location is perfect for visiting the city.  However, whisky lovers will want to head down to the basement.  There, tucked away in the depths of the building, housed in a former bank (hence the name) is a treasure trove of whisky delights.

The Vault bar lays claim to housing some of the rarest whiskies, including Port Ellen 39 year old and the exclusive Dalmore 40 year old.  The most prestigious of these are kept under dual lock in the old bank vaults.  A truly unique experience for the whisky aficionado.

Adare Manor – Limerick, Ireland

Like something out of a fairytale, the statuesque Adare Manor sits on the banks of the River Maigue surrounded by lush tended lawns and topiary clipped to perfection. Resembling a stunning neo gothic chateau, the hotel looks out across rolling countryside which forms part of its 840-acre estate and includes the championship golf course designed by celebrated golf architect Tom Fazio and which will, as it happens play host to the Ryder Cup in 2027.  While we could write a whole lot more about this incredible place, it would take far too long so instead we’ll jump to the best part – the whisky!

The hotel boasts a whiskey collection in excess of 160 rare bottles from around the globe.  While Irish whiskey is undoubtedly the main focus, you can also enjoy premium brands from Canada, Japan and the USA.

With a variety of whiskey tasting experiences available, the Adare Manor Midleton Very Rare collaboration whiskeys will feature in each one.

A truly breathtaking place to enjoy some incredible whiskies.

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