When Hyundai chose the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata media launch in Montgomery, I bet they had no idea Oprah was staying there too. Since they always treat journalists like rock stars and celebrities, it makes sense we’d stay where the rich and famous sleep in the capital of Alabama. I say sleep, because that’s what hotel rooms are for, right?
Actually, press trips like this one are so busy: running from breakfast to product presentations, to getting behind the wheel, to sitting down to grab a bite of food, and then more drive time, that sleep, is almost an after thought. I always feel a little guilty about not spending much time in my gorgeous hotel room. I don’t think I turned on the 32″ HDTV for more than 10 minutes. Nor, did I actually see Oprah or Niecy Nash.
I have no idea where Oprah was spending her time when not filming “Selma”, maybe she was soaking in her tub or enjoying the amazing spa. I can tell you, with absolute certainty, she was not sipping on blackberry moonshine cocktails in The Exchange. I know this for a fact, because when we weren’t stuffing our faces with Dreamland BBQ, or driving the Sonata on Bama’s backroads, I was sipping Alabama shine in the hotel bar. The only celebrities there, were my colleagues.
Now, I started writing this to tell you about the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel, but really, I think the fact that Oprah stays there says it all. Besides, other than the amazing shower, and beautiful city views, I don’t know what else to say. Instead, I think I need to tell you about how much fun we had in The Exchange. The hotel bar was the perfect place for us to decompress after the day, and enjoy live music.
On our first evening in Montgomery, The Exchange was hosting a 27 Springs gin tasting. I’m not a gin drinker, and had no intention of trying a sample until our server talked me into it. She was absolutely right, the citrus finish of the 27 Springs makes it appealing even for non-gin drinkers. This is when my evening took an interesting turn. One of the distillers, Bubba Hall, was in the house talking about gin and moonshine. We were both tired, but the next thing you know, we were talking Auburn football, and how Alabama shine was born.
Bubba is a character. His passion for creating craft spirits is contagious. After our lively conversation, I caught my second wind. I couldn’t stop sippin’ on the blackberry moonshine cocktail..soooooo good. Stay tuned, because I’ll be sharing the recipe soon. Speaking of recipes, when Bubba told us about the restaurant’s pork chop made with Stills Crossroads apple pie moonshine, Jason Sasaki decided to order the mouth watering treat.
He shared the pork chop, served with collard greens and mac ‘n cheese, with us, and even on a full stomach, I wanted more. I tell you, the folks at The Exchange and the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa, know the way to this southern girls’ heart! Craft cocktails, amazing food, and southern hospitality with a location that can’t be beat. Hopefully, I can return to the Renaissance MGM soon, and spend a little more time in my room, or at least experience the world class spa!
My room and expenses were covered by Hyundai. All opinions are my own.