Next stop: Napa Valley. If you want to savor the ultimate trip to California Wine Country, you’ve got to stay in this city: surrounded by nearly 7,000 acres (2,833 ha) of the American Viticultural Area, it is, essentially, Napa Valley’s Main Street. The best way to experience the galleries, local cuisine, boutique shops and wine is by staying at one of these full-bodied hotels in St Helena.
Experience wine country living at its finest at Napa Farmhouse Inn, possibly the subtlest, palest slice of real estate around. It’s a renovated 1860s farmhouse of tranquil, slumber-inducing rooms: custom French-style beds with Belgian linens, fireplaces and private patios or decks in some. Fruits and vegetables picked directly from the organic garden are used in every fresh brunch. And, of course, the finest Napa Valley wines are never outside of arm’s reach.
With only three wonderfully homespun rooms, St Helena’s delightful Shady Oaks Country Inn is an intimate bed and breakfast with definite liquid assets: you’ll be treated to a complimentary champagne breakfast and a complimentary evening bottle of wine. It was one of the first places to stay in the city to ensure first-class amenities for all guests – among them stylish in-room fireplaces. You’ll also receive discounts to nearby wineries during your stay so you can drink your way through Napa Valley to your heart’s desire.
Always dreamed of living the life of a wine-grower? Here’s your chance, at Harvest Inn: an indulgent, storybook experience. Redwood trees tower above as you gaze out at the vineyards. Why not spend all day in your luxe bathrobe? Encourage the concierge to bring you glass after glass of wine in the hot tub on your private patio? You’ll soon have that “let’s never leave” feeling as your limbs are massaged at the spa. Return to your suite before dinner – and stay in if you like: it’s easy to summon an amazing prix fixe meal of local flavors to eat by the fireplace.
How do you plan the perfect stay at Southbridge Napa Valley? First, accept nothing less than vaulted ceilings and fireplaces in your king suite. Insist on maximum time immersed in the tranquility of the steam room. Make the most of the lap pool and massage table at the health spa; and at the end of the day, order a delivery from local favorite Pizzeria Tra Vigne and eat on your suite’s juliet balcony overlooking the undulating landscapes of St Helena all around.
Up-to-the-minute boutique good looks and the age-old pleasures of wine-tasting can mix – and this slick affair is the proof. It’s an intimate 68-room resort hotel in relaxing, understated, natural tones designed by Yabu Pushelberg (Four Seasons New York, Miami Beach Edition). You’ll have direct access to Beringer Estate Winery, located next door. Las Alcobas is also the only boutique hotel in the Valley with its own master sommelier, meaning you can take advantage of private wine classes without leaving the resort. The same applies to dining at the Acacia House restaurant.
A homely cottage with vineyard views, soaking tubs and a fireplace built for intimate cuddling – it all adds up to a very romantic experience at Wine Country Inn & Cottages Napa Valley. The hot tub is the place to recline with your complimentary half bottle of wine. Fancy a game of golf or a relaxed hike? The concierge desk here literally leaps to oblige guests’ requests. They’re among the best when it comes to local dining tips. And if you want a late check-out they’ll fix it, so you can spend a few extra moments in the luxury swaddling of your king-size bed sheets.
The tastemaker, the epicure and the professional will each find a curated experience at Wydown Hotel. Those on business can mix a little pleasure into their work trip by enjoying a fresh local breakfast in their king-size bed; the tastemaker will find treasures at the Wydown Mercantile pop-up shops in the Living Room; and the epicurean will savor being walking distance to chef classes at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. No matter whether you’re all or none of the above, Wydown Hotel is ready to cater their service to your personal lifestyle.
Wellness pairs exceptionally well with wine at this Jay Gatsby-like affair amid rambling green grounds. The spa has an exceptional men’s grooming facial among its treatments and there’s a unique spa boutique selling leather goods and cashmere throws. Finish your wellness journey with the spa’s culinary menu of healthy fare from the vine, earth, air and field. Holding three Michelin stars, Meadowood Napa Valley is culinary heaven, with poolside dining, a restaurant and a grill doing delicious things with scallops and wraps. A true luxury hotel to call home during your stay.
Once the home of a member of the Morton Salt family, there’s nothing salty about Rancho Caymus Inn (except, of course, your followers after they see your Instagram feed). Exclusive partnerships with local wineries give you access to one-of-a-kind tastings – although the plunge pool and spa are as good a place as any to sample the vino. Your boutique room with exposed wood beams and wrought-iron accents will tempt you to sleep in, but it’s recommended that you wake up early to enjoy a hearty breakfast before touring the vineyards right around the corner.
Imagine the luxury of a resort with the convenience and comfort of residence-style rooms – that’s the essence of the Napa Valley’s adult getaway, Auberge du Soleil. You can’t fail to enjoy the perfect vacation at this immaculate check-in, with its rarefied modern-classic furnishings and its world-class spa retreat. Picnics in Parc du Soleil, custom-tailored wine tasting from more than 450 world-class wineries… Auberge du Soleil has the power to uncork it all for you.