Few things are associated with luxury and relaxation like cigars. Seen as one of the world’s favorite long-time guilty pleasures, fans of the hobby are often looking for the next fine cigar. Now, hotels and clubs around the world are tailoring experiences just for cigar lovers, inviting them in and treating them to a next-level immersion in their favorite. CELEB takes a look at some of the best cigar-centric experiences in the world.
East Coast Cigars
When people think of fine cigars, most of the uninitiated will think of Cuban Cigars. But true aficionados know that some of the world’s best cigars come not from Cuba, but from Florida – Ybor City in Tampa, to be precise. Now known as Tampa’s National Historic Landmark District, once upon a time Ybor City was a small city unto itself. In the 1880’s, it was a bustling hub, a mixture of Spanish, Cuban, German and Italian immigrants who all brought their own flavor of cigar-making to the burgeoning city on Florida’s west coast.
YborCityOnline shares, “In the history of Ybor City, most early Ybor City residents made their living from cigar making, while the occupations of many other workers revolved around the cigar trade. Known for its unique collection of mutual-aid societies and multiethnic population, Ybor City remained the Cigar Capital of the World until the 1930s.”
With cigar making such an intrinsic part of Ybor City, it’s no wonder that the first stop on our cigar world tour is in Tampa. Nestled among the once-200 cigar factories in downtown Ybor City, Hotel Haya is a haven for those who yearn for a good hand-rolled cigar. Haya is a blend of the old and modern – where one can get custom cigars from J C Newman Cigars. The rooms in Haya are a blend of ’60’s retro with velvet and bold colors, and a modern flair that makes it a cool, eclectic place to unwind.
Another joy on the east coast for cigar lovers is in Sea Island, Georgia. One unique location in Sea Island called The Lodge has a hidden gem: The Oak Room. The Oak Room is an old-fashioned tavern with a gourmet twist. The Oak Room website describes the ambience; “Relaxed tavern setting, unmatched menu. In the Oak Room you’re surrounded by leather ceilings, hand-painted murals, and a cozy ambiance. A rustic fireplace adds the finishing touch. Here you’ll find a broad range of southern favorites and signature dishes, imaginative cocktails and fine single-malt Scotch. The sweet sounds of the bagpiper playing nearby with the setting sun. The perfect place to unwind, fill up, or sit back and take it all in.”
It’s the perfect place to kick back with a cigar and relax. While indulging in the Oak Room’s fine Scotch, you can enjoy mild, medium or full-bodied cigars from Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua and more.
The final stop on our East Coast tour lands in Rhode Island; Richmond, to be precise. At the Preserve Sporting Club & Residences, you can enjoy the first luxury pop-up of its kind; a safari-themed tasting tent. The Preserve website explains, “The first luxury pop-up destination of its kind in North America, this two hour, private scotch and cigar tasting experience allows guests to gather and relax in two finely-appointed luxury tents, each with comfortable seating, rich wood floors, oriental rugs, wood plank ceilings and other rustic touches.
Guests will enjoy a curated assortment of Laphroaig scotches, ranging from Laphroaig 10 Year to Laphroaig 25 Year and a selection of Cohiba cigars, among the finest handcrafted cigars available today, including the highly-rated Cohiba Royale and the Cohiba Black Gigante.”
More American Cigar Destinations
But if you’re a little tired of the sunrise and want to head West, there are a few more options to explore. In Austin, Texas, Hotel Granduca Austin offers an Italian villa right in the heart of Texas. With every detail handpicked to transport guests across the Atlantic to a gorgeous, Mediterranean-side resort, it’s no wonder that they offer some of the best cigars in the US. 15 minutes from downtown Austin, guests can partake of a wide variety of cigar flavors, from brands like Cohiba, Montecristo, Arturo Fuente, Romeo & Julieta and Macanudo.
The hotel accommodations are luxurious, gorgeous, and elegant with rich browns and earth tones, leather and wood. Guests can select a cigar from the on-site humidor and enjoy it on the veranda or in the courtyard, enjoying the property’s stunning, curated views.
And another place you have to stop if you love cigars is in Minneapolis, Minnesota: The Hewing Hotel. Designed to be elegant and sultry, the Hewing offers a popular Smoke Show. Working with one of Minnesota’s premiere cigar stores, Perfect Ash, guests enjoying the Smoke Show will have a number of options to choose from and an expert to help you pick the right one to pair with your alcohol. Light dinner options are also available from their acclaimed restaurant, Tullibee.
Bermuda is for Cigar Lovers
Maybe you’re sick of the hustle and bustle in the US and want to travel a little farther afield. Luckily, there’s a cigar stop in Bermuda. The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club in Bermuda is on the island nation’s breathtaking shores, bottling luxury and convenience in a handy resort package. At the hotel’s lounge, the Crown & Anchor, “… we’ve reimagined the traditional island lounge as a sleek, contemporary venue which honours the traditions of the past. This is where great food, captivating entertainment, exceptional rum, and even a signature selection of cigars come together to celebrate the pleasures of island life.”
While enjoying the lounge’s delectable bites and taking in the stunning views, guests can select from a variety of cigars. It’s the perfect place to let down your hair in paradise, and pick up that cigar you haven’t had time to enjoy.
Whether you’re hitting up the East Coast cigar stops, traveling to the country’s interior, or hopping the ocean to enjoy Bermuda, each of these locations has cigars sure to delight discerning guests.