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Crema de la Crema

Hotels for the Coffee Obsessive
  • Ace Hotel Portland

    Ace Hotel, Portland

  • Palihouse Holloway

    Palihouse Holloway, West Hollywood

  • Carlisle Bay

    Carlisle Bay, Antigua

  • El Silencio Lodge

    El Silencio Lodge, Costa Rica

  • Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa

    Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa, Thailand

  • AYANA Resort and Spa

    AYANA Resort & Spa, Bali

  • Strawberry Hill

    Strawberry Hill, Jamaica

  • Tribe Hotel

    Tribe Hotel, Nairobi

  • PUBLIC Chicago

    PUBLIC, Chicago

  • Le Petit Hotel

    Le Petit Hotel, Montreal

  • Fazenda Catuçaba

    Fazenda Catuçaba, Brazil

December, 2012

For a certain sort of coffee-obsessed traveler, a well-sealed bag of fresh-roasted beans — and all the home-brewing paraphernalia — is every bit as essential as a toothbrush and a clean pair of socks. More and more hotels, however, are finally pouring a cup that’s something more than merely acceptable. Here are a few of the best.

1.

Ace Hotel Portland
Portland, Oregon — Like croissants and cappuccinos, Portland’s Ace Hotel and the hometown favorite Stumptown Roasters just seem made for each other. The on-site café is a worthy place of pilgrimage for any visiting buzz-hound, while guests of the hotel can have a world-class latte made by Stumptown baristas delivered to the room. For a fittingly quirky Portland coffee experience, head to room 215 between 7 and 11 AM, and you’ll find it’s been converted into a lovely barista-manned breakfast nook.
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2.

Palihouse Holloway
West Hollywood, California — With its fully fitted, marble-decked in-suite kitchens and its enormous apartment-style rooms, Palihouse virtually invites a lengthening of one’s stay. An invitation which might ring somewhat hollow if proper coffee weren’t on hand, in the form of a gorgeous French-style espresso bar, the sort of place that calls for a long, leisurely morning with the newspaper.
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3.

Carlisle Bay
St. Mary’s, Antigua — Leave the Keurig cups to the masses. The sort of old-school, DIY-minded coffee connoisseur who brings their own bag of beans wherever they travel should have no trouble with Carlisle Bay’s in-suite espresso machines. They’re made by Gaggia, whose founder patented the first modern espresso machine in the ‘40s and, in the process, introduced crema — the milky, sometimes elusive head at the top of a shot — to the espresso-drinking world.
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4.

El Silencio Lodge
Bajos del Toro, Costa Rica — The excellent coffee at El Silencio tastes even better when taken on a private deck overlooking the mountain valley, accompanied by a breath of cloud-forest air. For a reminder of how deep Costa Rica’s coffee roots go, guests can visit the nearby town of Sarchí, where since the 1800s craftspeople have been making the elaborately painted oxcarts that traditionally carried coffee down from the highlands.
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5.

Anantara Golden Triangle
Chiang Rai, Thailand — What sort of coffee do you get for $1,100 a kilogram? At Anantara, you get Black Ivory, which has been pre-digested, shall we say, by elephants at the hotel’s rehabilitation center. The resident mahouts (elephant handlers) pick, scrupulously clean, and sun-dry the beans before a barista grinds them and serves the coffee to guests. It’s said to be quite aromatic.
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6.

AYANA
Bali, Indonesia — You didn’t think we’d have just one pre-digested coffee on our list, did you? At AYANA, it’s the civets that go to work on your beans before they’re used for a cup of Bali’s famous Kopi Luwa coffee. The elephants’ work produces a pricier cup, but civets were the first — ahem — movers in the genre.
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7.

Strawberry Hill
Irish Town, Jamaica — It’s named for a different fruit altogether, but the hotel’s Blue Mountain home has long been famous for its sought-after coffee. Here, you can drink a cup at the source, in a setting that — with its four-poster beds shrouded in muslin and its airy mountain views — looks like something straight out of a particularly idyllic coffee commercial.
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8.

Tribe Hotel
Nairobi, Kenya — French-press Kenyan coffee is a good start, especially when enjoyed in one of Tribe’s many welcoming public spaces — but for fuller immersion, try the spa’s ninety-minute coffee-based detox body polish and massage.
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9.

PUBLIC Chicago
Chicago, Illinois — Even if they served the usual instant stuff, you might be tempted to hang out by the roaring limestone fireplace at PUBLIC’s library and coffee bar. But they take their coffee as seriously as their design, using La Colombe beans — including a blend made specially for the hotel — in all their espresso drinks. All the better with homemade baked goods and snacks by Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
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10.

Le Petit Hôtel
Montreal, Canada — The full name, technically, is Le Petit Hôtel & Café, a promising sign if you care as much about a good morning buzz as a good night’s rest. With a café that also serves as the front desk, Le Petit greets guests with the scent of fine brew from the moment they walk through the door, and can pull a perfect shot at any hour, day or night.
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11.

Fazenda Catuçaba
São Luiz do Paraitinga, Brazil — For the locavore coffee geek, you can’t get any closer to the source of your beans than Fazenda Catuçaba, an 1850s farmhouse set on an organic farm that grows the hotel’s coffee — not to mention cachaça, veggies, meats and cheeses to have between cups.
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