Going local is a thing that just about every traveler hopes, but doesn’t always really get the chance to encounter. Having a local friend helps, but if you can’t make one appear, asking your hotel might be the best way to go. Recently hotels have hopped on the local train and have teamed up with some of their city’s best brands, bars and chefs to make your stay feel unique. Here are five hotels that have made it their duty to put some of their city’s best local experience right at your fingertips.
1—The US Grant San Diego, California
Sunshine and good Mexican may now politely move over because craft beer has completely taken over San Diego. With over 50 craft breweries in the area and bus-tour-brewery-crawls to navigate them, San Diego is on its way to becoming California’s hops-y Napa Valley. You should hit up at least one of these fine establishments, so stay at the US Grant because if for some reason you don’t have the time, at least you’ll have the chance to sample what you missed. It is one of the city’s most iconic hotels, named after the president, and they just switched out every beer in their mini-bar and replaced them with brews from local favorite, Stone and Mission Brewery. And mark this on your calendar for later—Stone is in the process of building it’s own beer hotel in San Diego.
2—The Alexander Indianapolis, Indiana
Indy is the racing and amateur sports capitol of the world, so it’s completely understandable that you might pass over some of the city’s other world-class offerings. Namely—art. And that’s a shame, since the city’s teeming with it. As Kurt Vonnegut’s hometown and the location of the original LOVE sculpture, locals—even sports fans—are keen to point out the city’s often overlooked relationship to the arts. So consider a stay at The Alexander. Located right on top of the city’s bike path (which doubles as the art-laden “culture trail”), The Alexander is a veritable art museum filled with surprisingly progressive art from Indianapolis locals.
3—The Palomar San Francisco, California
Ok, so you might have to leave your room to partake in The Palomar’s local offering, but as far as we know, they’re the only hotel on Earth to offer up a local tattoo package that gets you one-on-one with the city’s hottest up and coming tattoo artists. They’ve teamed up with Inked Magazine’s Creative Director, Todd Weinberger and Contributing Writer Jennifer Goldstein, to create a “tattoo getaway” package, featuring Dave Robinson of Everlasting Tattoo (Neo-Traditional and Black & Grey Work), Mary Joy of Tattoo City (Traditional American Work) and CATS of 2Spirit Tattoo (Neo-Tribal and Black & Grey Work). It includes two nights, one consultation, one tattoo session and a souvenir book about the tattoos of San Francisco. That may sound kinda strange, but going through the hotel gets you in front of the line with the city’s most sought after rising tattoo stars and, maybe even more importantly, discounts at the bar, which just so happens to be called “Dirty Habit”.
4—The Surrey New York, New York
Problem: New York City nightlife crowds. Solution: The Surrey’s in-room mixologist. Don’t feel like pushing and shoving to pay for a drink? Want to enjoy the company of others rather than yelling over everyone else? If you stay at The Surrey, you can bring the party to you. On your request, they’ll send up an expert bartender with an old fashioned bar car stocked with locally made spirits like Hudson Baby Bourbon from Hudson, Valley New York and Due North Rum from Red Hook, Brooklyn. The mixologist can either make your drinks and scurry away or you can have him stay, show you how to create the cocktails and then leave you with the instructions to master on your own.
5—St. Julien Boulder, Colorado
Boulder has been floating around in the top five healthiest American cities list for years, a fact which the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in downtown Boulder has made a point to highlight. In their Bon Vivant package. It starts off with a five course tasting menu from the hotel’s Jill Restaurant followed up by a trip to the Boulder Farmer’s Market the next day with the restaurant’s executive chef, Laurent Mechin. There, he teaches you how to shop a farmer’s market and gives you a basket to fill, which is then turned into a cooking and meal planning class back at the hotel. That’s your dinner and the next morning the experience is topped off with a juicing demonstration in the garden along with the optional yoga class.
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