Grape escapes: 10 of the best vineyard holidays

Tamara Hinson

Summer's just around the corner, so why not raise a toast to our favourite time of year by spending a weekend (or longer) at one of these fabulous vineyard hotels? Cheers!

1. Six Senses Douro Valley, Lamego, Portugal

Six Senses' first European resort can be found in Portugal's UNESCO-listed Douro Valley. You'll arrive via a winding driveway which weaves through the sprawling vineyards, before pulling up to a stunning courtyard and stepping into a lobby dominated by a chandelier designed to resemble clusters of grapes.

Feeling lazy? Head to the terrace and work your way through the wine menu or sign up for a lesson at the Wine Academy.

For something a little more adventurous, book a helicopter flight over the vineyards. We also recommend a hike to the hilltop port cellar, filled with casks containing some of Portugal's rarest, most expensive port blends—hence its nickname, Port Knox.

 

2. Argos In Cappadocia, Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia might well be famous for its unusual rock formations (known as fairy chimneys) but it's also Turkey's largest wine-producing region.

This particular hotel is surrounded by vineyards, and the property's own cellar is (perhaps unsurprisingly) tucked inside a cave.

Book a stay and you'll learn all about the region's connections with wine and about the 2,000-year-old network of caves, tunnels and ruins which surround the hotel.

It's a magical place any time of year, although wine buffs should consider a stay in September—this is when harvesting begins, and guests can get involved in the winemaking process.

 

3. La Bastide de Marie, Ménerbes, France

One of Europe's most spectacular vineyard hotels, La Bastide de Marie can be found in the gorgeous Luberon National Park, making it a great option for those who fancy a ramble (albeit a wobbly one, depending on how much vino's been consumed) after that all-important wine tasting session.

The hotel feels more like a beautiful family home—there are just 15 suites, all of which are filled with art chosen by the owner. Visit in September, during the harvest, and you'll be able to enjoy lunch with the grape pickers. And there are more than just grapes grown—most of the vegetables served in the restaurant are grown onsite, and one of the most popular dishes is a crème brulée flavoured with lavender plucked from the gardens.

 

4. Shusen no Mori, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan

Now for something completely different. If lush bunches of plump grapes and dusty, barrel-filled cellars don't do it for you, why not head to a hotel at the heart of one of Japan's biggest sake breweries?

Shusen no Mori can be found in the town of Aya, in Japan's Miyazaki Prefecture. Although wine and beer are also made here, the main produce is sake (rice wine).

The sprawling complex incorporates production facilities, a restaurant and a hotel. It's a great way to experience the real Japan—you'll sleep on tatami mats and will be able to soothe those sake headaches with a dip in the hotel's traditional Japanese onsen.


 

5. Meneghetti Wine Hotel, Bale, Croatia

The fertile lands which surround this hotel produce not just wine, but olives too.

Inside the property, a traditional white stone building, you'll find just 12 rooms. They're impossibly cosy—think wooden floors, roaring log fires and gabled roofs.

And if you can drag yourself away from the gorgeous Balinese day beds surrounding the pool, consider a tour of the vineyards or a ramble through the forests which form part of the estate.

 

6. Leeu Estates, Franschhoek, South Africa

Set in a particularly breathtaking chunk of South Africa, Leeu Estates encompasses a boutique hotel, vineyard and spa. It's one of South Africa's most luxurious hotels—inside the rooms, you'll find French oak floors, hand-woven rugs from Tibet and priceless pieces of art by South Africa's top painters.

Venture outside and you'll discover a fragrant rose garden, a herd of antelopes and, of course, the vineyard. This is where some of South Africa's best wines are made, and during the harvest, you'll be able to pick grapes yourself.

If that sounds a little too strenuous, head to the Wine Studio, where you can book a tasting session and learn about the vineyard's history.

 

7. Viña Vik, Millahue, Chile

The owners of this Chilean vineyard hotel were determined to forge their own path, and that's exactly what they've done.

To start with, there's the architecture—the hotel is topped with a gleaming titanium swirl which juts out from the hillside, providing the perfect vantage point from which to admire the vineyards below.

The rooms are minimalist but marvellous. opt for the Vik Suite and you'll get to soak in a hammock-style bath (sounds odd but it works) next to floor-to-ceiling windows, or the H master suite for its table made from an Hermès saddle.

We also love the complimentary mini-bars in each room although whether your liver will be quite as grateful remains to be seen.

 

8. Adler Thermae, Siena, Italy

Wine and relaxation—what's not to love?

The vineyard at this Italian spa hotel isn't just your average vineyard—it's an organic one, in the heart of southern Tuscany's UNESCO-listed Val d'Orcia region.

Opt for a wine tasting session or a tour of the estate, or treat yourself to a massage or facial at the spa. Many of the treatments use grapes—one of the most popular examples being the Adler Facial Lift, which uses stem cells from sour grapes to increase collagen production and enhance elasticity. Who needs botox?

 

9. Bernardus Lodge & Spa, Carmel Valley, California, U.S

Does the thought of pouring your own glass of Sauvignon Blanc sound a bit too much like hard work? If the answer's yes, check yourself into this cool Californian crash pad, where butlers won't just pour your wine, but run your bath (complete with the obligatory sprinkling of rose petals), serve you breakfast and basically fulfil your every whim.

The hotel's surrounded by 28 acres of vineyards which can be explored on guided tours, although we also suggest squeezing in a visit to nearby Carmel-by-the sea—an impossibly quaint town famous for its English architecture.

 

10. Moorilla Estate, Tasmania, Australia

The Moorilla Estate is another vineyard hotel with a spectacular design, and is inspired by both shipping containers and the A-frame homes popular in Australia in the 1960s. But weirdly, it works, and we also love the fact that the quickest way to get there is by catamaran from nearby Hobart.

Rooms are named after famous artists and four of them teeter dramatically over the river below. Roy (despite the unusual name) is our favourite, thanks to the huge outside decking area, complete with spa bath.

We also love the free daily wine tasting sessions, which go some way to offsetting the fact that this is admittedly one of Australia's most expensive vineyard hotels—expect to pay around £382 per room per night.