Here’s one hotel trend we love: free wine. Often billed as a chance to meet your fellow guests and say hello to hotel management, these informal mixers let you grab a drink before you head out to dinner, and save a few dollars. Here are some hotels, and hotel chains, that are looking to make their guests happy by providing a happy hour:
It was the Kimpton Hotels group, who have properties across the United States — from New York to Savannah, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, and more — who kicked off the hosted wine hour trend. Founder Bill Kimpton was way ahead of the curve, personally hosting a wine hour every day to welcome guests at his first hotel back in 1981. Every evening, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., guests are invited to discover a new wine hand-selected by the hotel’s master sommelier. Across the country, Kimpton offers two different wine hour programs. In the Pacific Northwest, you’ll exclusively find local wines on offer, with bottles mostly from Washington and Oregon. In the rest of the country, the wine hour features the “Wines That Care” program. Every wine chosen has a backstory about how it’s contributed to the community or to the planet. Some winemakers, for example, donate part of their proceeds to environmental or public health projects.
Affinia Hotels launched a wine hour at their five New York City hotels last spring. In a welcome twist on the concept, each hotel’s wine hour is open to any guest staying at an Affinia hotel in the city. For example, someone staying at Affinia 50 can enjoy wine and snacks at the Shelburne, Manhattan, Gardens, and Dumont hotels, and create something of a bar crawl between all five. Sadly, though the wine program does not run at Affinia’s Washington D.C. hotel, the Liason Capital Hill.
Library Hotel Collection
A wine hour is great, but a wine hour that actually lasts for three hours is so much better. Enter New York City’s Library Hotel where every evening from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Reading Room, a selection of Prosecco, fine wines, imported and domestic cheeses, fresh bread, crackers, and crudités are there for the taking. The same program runs in the Library Hotels’ sister properties: Hotel Giraffe, Hotel Elysee, and the Casablanca Hotel, all in New York City, as well as the hotel group’s properties Budapest, Prague, and Toronto.
Hotel Angeleno, Los Angeles
At Hotel Angeleno, in the Santa Monica mountains, close to The Getty and UCLA, wine hour is held each night in the lobby from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.. The hotel serves its Sycamore Lane House Cabernet and House Chardonnay, and the chef prepares a small plate of appetizers.
The Roger, New York City
On weekdays from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., it’s wine hour at Madison Avenue’s The Roger. The Roger’s program features a selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio from several Napa Valley vineyards.