By Laura Winzeler
If you’ve ever longed to lay your head in a tequila barrel — and really, who hasn’t? — wish no more. This eclectic boutique hotel on the outskirts of downtown Tequila offers comfortable accommodations inside a fleet of barrel-shaped rooms. Each room is named for a specific tequila that is bottled right next door in the distillery. The barrel rooms at Matices Hotel de Barricas look like a road-side attraction nestled in a sea of blue-green agave plants, and the interiors are picture-perfect.
The rooms boast beautifully curved windows from which to survey the sunset-lit mountains as you say ¡Salud! and toast your good fortune. Start your morning with coffee on the quaint front porch with seating for two. The hacienda is about 10 minutes from the bustling downtown area, which makes for serenely quiet nights and blissfully peaceful dawns.
Tantalize with the Tequila Tour
Stroll the flagstone path that leads from your barrel pod to the tequila distillery. La Cofradia (“Brotherhood”) was founded in 1991 and it makes some of the best 100% agave elixir in the world.
The guided tour is small and intimate, ensuring you absorb every detail of the alchemical tequila-making process. It walks you through each phase, starting with a trek through the agave-growing fields, past the ovens and fermentation area, and into the ceramics room. Here the company crafts its signature pottery and blown-glass bottles.
Naturally, there’s plenty of tequila tasting involved, and you’ll learn how to properly imbibe the magical brew without burning your throat. The tour concludes — as it should — with a margarita in the cellar-like restaurant, La Taberna.
Pull Up a Seat at the Bar
This magnificent restaurant and bar lies 13 feet underground, recreating the clandestine ambiance of a prohibited tavern. It’s an architectural wonder with its high ceilings and massive arches.
The ambitious menu contains fare representative of the
five tequila-producing states in Mexico. Expect to find liberal use of tequila,
agave juice and mango in the dishes and sauces.
Don’t miss the on-site museum at this
dog-friendly property. There’s a 24-hour shuttle to take you into town, but you
might not want to leave your cozy barrel and the gorgeous grounds.