Whatever happened to the good ol' days, when hotel bars served as an oasis for road-weary travelers? A place to mingle with your fellow vagrants and meaninglessly converse about the weather? These days, hotel bars are often just impersonal TV viewing rooms serving overpriced Budweisers and poorly-poured Guinnesses.
Well, except for the five hotels listed below. Priding themselves on perfect pints, these ale-loving properties charm guests with decades-old brewing traditions, and a staff of knowledgeable bartenders eager to share the secrets of their craft:
Prague, Czech Republic
Not only is The Augustine Hotel (from $400 per night) a historic 5-story complex, but it’s also a 13th-century monastery with an attached brewery once used by Augustinian monks. Let’s just say you can drink an ale that was served during the Black Plague. While here, guests have the option to taste the classic St. Thomas beer, cleanse at the spa through a beer body ritual, and maybe even exfoliate with a massage and organic beer hops. Umm… Don’t ask questions, just enjoy it.
Portlandia’s depiction of the Portland brew scene happens to be quite accurate. Resting on 74-acres of resort farmland, McMenamin’s Edgefield (from $70 per night) exemplifies the Portland craft-brew culture, with organic Hopworks, and the help of a lil’ Labrador; McMenamin’s rests in the midst of a brewery and ten bars, ensuring the famed Terminator Stout is never out of sight.
French fries, chocolate, and beer. That’s all that exists in Belgium, right? Since 1471, Het Anker Brewery has served ales that have titillated the taste buds of Flems — and everybody else lucky enough to get their hands on a Golden Carolus. Today, the brewery hides Hotel Carolus (from $150 per night), a resort for Belgian beer enthusiasts that offers distillery excursions and samples to maintain a healthy buzz for days.
Lake Arenal, Costa Rica
Most known for its eco-tourism activities like rafting, kayaking, and the occasional volcano climb, Costa Rica’s highlands, set against Arenal Volcano, actually feature some of the world’s best brews. Who would’ve guessed, right? Inside of the Lakeview Hotel (from $60 per night), Volcano Brewing serves up their flagship Witch’s Rock Pale Ale, probably the only ale that pairs with an, er...VOLCANO!
Ensconced in medieval lore and Bavarian culture, Bamberg is probably the most beer-tastic city in the world. Known for its Rauchbier (smoked beer), the city’s loaded with cheap, top-notch beer on every block, and famed Fässla (from $60 per night), founded in 1649, just happens to be another brewery on the list. While here, it’s almost required to eat some pork and sip a pint — or five — of Gold Pils, Stock, Zwegla, Bambergator, Weizla, all of it! Just be sure to check out their historic Schwemm courtyard.