13 Great Hotels With Free Happy Hour Or Drinks on Arrival in Northeast US

Coffee? Tea? Wine? Hotels, inns, and B&B’s that offer free drinks are becoming more and more prevalent these days, and the practice is just one way that the lodging industry is winning fans in this age of Culinary Tourism.

Some hotel chains have instituted complimentary happy hours nationally. Kimpton, which opened its first hotel in San Francisco in 1981 (and now, as part of the IHG Group with properties from New York to Los Angeles) pioneered the hosted wine hour. Hilton followed up at its mid-list Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites brands.

Inn owners and hotel managers understand that a glass of bubbly can perk up a tired new arrival and turn an ordinary afternoon into a celebration. The following lodgings in the Northeast US, offer a glass, or several, of wine, beer, or harder stuff, on the house, to each and every guest over 21. So, if you’re looking for hotels with complimentary happy hours (or drinks on arrival), check out our favorites below.

(And when those drinks put you in an amorous mood, start planning one of these Romantic Getaways in the USA).

Maine Hotels: Free Drinks

250 Main, Rockland ME

In Rockland ME, a mid-coast Maine town known for its artists, art galleries, the Farnsworth Art Museum, and masterful shipbuilders, it was only a matter of time until a boutique hotel showcasing these talents would be built. The nautical-chic lobby and mid-century cool guest rooms of 250 Main are testament to those who live and create in Rockland. If you book direct, hotel staff will pour the first round of wine on the house – which you can enjoy while checking out the beauty and workmanship all around you. It’s like an art gallery opening reception, except you get to spend the night here.

Holidae House B&B, Bethel ME

In the afternoon, guests of this sweet, homey inn – the Holidae House B&B –  right on the main street of this Boarding School (Gould Academy) and Ski Resort (Sunday River) town of Bethel ME will find a table stocked with variety of liquor, liqueurs, and aperitifs, along with incredible baked goods, in a cozy common-area living room. Far from an “honor bar,” you can pour any amount that pleases you, at no cost. Owners John and Jeannette Poole just want visitors to feel right at home.

Vermont Hotels: Free Drinks

Made Inn Vermont, Burlington VT

Made Inn Vermont, in Burlington VT, has got to be one of the coolest Victorian-Mod mashups of a B&B ever. But one caveat: Bathrooms, though private, are not en-suite, and down a long hall. However, each super-stylish guest room features blackboard walls and mid-century modern furnishings…. and a small refrigerator stocked with two uber-popular cans of beer – one, a Heady Topper and the other, a Focal Banger – both by local brewer The Alchemist. In addition, you’re invited to enjoy a drink or three each evening with the owner on the backyard patio. What say you now about those down the hall bathrooms?

The Taconic, Manchester VT

This Kimpton Hotel offers a complimentary wine and nibbles hour from 5-6 every night in a stylish common area. Generally, the wine is free-flowing, but here in Manchester Vermont, the Law dictates that The Taconic can serve only one glass of wine per person per night. Just be aware.

New York

Reception at Crowne Plaza HY36 NYC

Crowne Plaza HY36 – NYC

It’s not even a minute before Front Desk staff offers you a glass of bubbly at Crowne Plaza HY36 – near Hudson Yards. If you decline, it seems to confuse. “Are you sure?” Well, OK.  But can I have a bottle of water, too? “Yes, of course.” Attentive, friendly service in a town where you least expect it? Well, that’s a perk, too.

Prosecco at Check In The Bernic Hotel NY NY

The Bernic Hotel, Tapestry By Hilton, NYC

The main floor reception area in the artsy boutique Bernic Hotel might be snug (an understatement) but who cares that the lobby is no larger than a vestibule once you’ve got a stem of Prosecco in hand. It’s a check-in perk that puts you in a good mood immediately – a mood that expands even more once you get a load of your fantastically cute guest room and its actual, rare-for-NYC outdoor balcony – all just a few minute walk from Grand Central Station.

James Nomad NYC

The funky-cool lobby of the renovated downtown James NoMad, visible through sidewalk windows, has become a chic meeting place for media and fashion types. Perhaps you’ll catch someone on a job interview or tete-a-tete-ing with a reporter while you sip on Pinots and Chardonnays during the civilly quiet Happy Hour that occurs nightly here.

Pennsylvania Hotels Free Drinks

Silver Birches Resort, Hawley PA

Late afternoon, your Silver Birches Resort host pours each and every guest a nice glass of Champagne with which to toast the sublime sunset over Hawley PA‘s Lake Wallenpaupack – one of the largest lakes in Pennsylvania – right outside the door. It’s an evening ritual for all guests to enjoy, either inside a pretty sun porch in Winter or outside on the waterfront when it’s warm.

Wedgewood Inn, New Hope PA

Carl and Nadine (Dinie) Glassman are well schooled in the art of Bed and Breakfast management. So well schooled, they wrote the book, “How to Start and Run Your Own Inn.” The 1870 Wedgewood Inn is a classic. Some of the magic has to do with Carl’s own home-brewed Almond Liqueur, that awaits you at bedside, along with two shot glasses and chocolates.

Reception at Hotel Monaco Philly

Kimpton Monaco and Kimpton Palomar in Philadelphia

It’s been said that Kimpton invented the “Boutique Hotel” concept. Whether or not that’s true – it certainly instituted the complimentary early evening wine and nibbles perk in all of its hotels, catching the Millennial wave on its way up. Both Kimpton Monaco and Kimpton Palomar were early brand arrivals in the Northeast, and have been hits ever since.

Virginia Hotels With Free Drinks

Red Fox Tavern Middleburg VA

Red Fox Inn and Tavern, Middleburg VA

Established in 1728 in Middleburg VA, an area of Virginia renowned for fox hunting, the Red Fox Inn drew celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy who would stay here every year during hunting season. How has the Red Fox stayed in business for nearly 300 years? Most likely by treating guests like beloved family. And handing out a glass of bubbly on arrival (or a coupon for a specialty cocktail in the Tavern later).

The Martha Washington Inn and Spa Abingdon VA

Sometimes, you find tranquility in a generously poured glass of port sipped in The Martha’s baronial living room right before bedtime. This ritual is even more relaxing after a few laps in the indoor heated saltwater pool. Or following a rollicking stage production across the street at the famous 1933 Barter Theatre in Abingdon VA.


  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine, Shape.com, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.

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1 thought on “13 Great Hotels With Free Happy Hour Or Drinks on Arrival in Northeast US”

  1. At The Forsyth B&B in Kingston, NY which I own (and which you recommended briefly in a story on the Hudson Valley) we have a fully stocked bar cart in the living room that is available to our guests for free. The cart is stocked with brand name alcohol, mixers, glasses, shakers, etc. We put ice out every day around 5 but guests can take what they wish anytime. It’s a nice gathering point for guests as well (and I like to join in for a cocktail sometimes!)

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