The tequila barrel hotel: stay too long and you'll age. The tequila barrel hotel: stay too long and you'll age.

Fancy tequila? How about a few nights in a tequila ‘barrel?’

Like a tequila reposado, guests leave rested

Visitors who spend a few nights in the unique rooms at the Matices boutique hotel in Tequila, Jalisco, leave well rested.

But one assumes if they stay too long they’ll go home aged.

The hotel’s unique rooms are designed to look like the barrels in which the distilled agave product is left to rest — and become reposado — or to age — to become añejo.

The idea is for guests to sleep inside the barrels and become like tequila, joked general manager Lorena Rosales, and the next day they’re like a tequila reposado.

The idea of an agave barrel hotel surfaced 10 years ago when the owner of the La Cofradía distillery first opened a regular, brick-and-mortar hotel. After experiencing some success, the owner decided to offer an “innovative concept” that went beyond the luxury of a five-star hotel and that would attract national and international tourists.

And so the barrel-shaped hotel rooms decorated in a rustic style were born. Naturally, the hotel, located near the distillery and surrounded by agave, offers its guests tequila samplings, tours to the magic town of Tequila, outdoor activities and the chance to make their own clay bottle.

Visitors can also adopt an agave plant. Once the plant matures after some eight years, they can be part of the distillation process and receive a bottle of the resulting tequila.

The tequila barrel hotel rooms opened to guests a year ago and due to their success more are expected to open soon. The goal is to offer 50 rooms and to continue expanding the activities on offer to attract families with small children.

Just as the hotel is growing, so is tequila production and demand.

Total production last year was 271 million liters of which 213.3 million were exported to 120 countries, according to figures compiled by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT).

Exports were up 7.8% compared to 2016 figures, according to the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry.

The positive trend is continuing this year. Production between January and March was up 10.2% compared to the same period last year.

Tequila producers can expect a good year because there are 79.6 million agave plants older than five years, 15% more than the number of plants counted in January 2017.

Source: Debate (sp)

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