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In early March, my mother and I headed to Napa Valley to check out some of the hotels and experiences that our clients were starting to request more. Being two California girls, you would think we both had spent lots of time in Napa but the truth is I had only been once and my mother had not been since before I was born! Needless to say, we were long overdue for a trip.

Contrary to popular belief, Napa Valley is not all about wine either. There’s hiking and biking for the adventurous, culinary experiences and some of the nation’s best restaurants for the foodies, and award-winning spas and resorts for those looking to relax.

From romantic couples retreats to girls weekend getaways to family time, Napa Valley is the perfect destination for everyone!


WHERE TO STAY


Carneros Resort & Spa

Located in the Carneros region of Napa Valley, Carneros Resort & Spa feels like your own little world yet is close to many great wineries and downtown Napa. This uniquely styled retreat has 94 individual guest cottages and suites and six luxurious homes, three full-service restaurants, two swimming pools and a top-rated spa. The cottages themselves are heaven-sent, with cozy fireplaces, spacious patios (morning coffee on the rocking chairs, please!), and private outdoor spaces. Start the day with donuts at Boon Fly Cafe, then spend an afternoon at pool or at the spa – treatments are based on local flavors, from rosemary and olive to quince and honey. Ride one of the complimentary bikes to a nearby winery for an afternoon tasting, and then cap off a memorable day with a dinner of fresh local ingredients at FARM.

BOOK YOUR NEXT STAY AT CARNEROS WITH PASSPORT TO FRIDAY & RECEIVE:
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (Upgrade not available with all room types)
  • Full American breakfast for two daily at Hilltop Dining Room
  • A $100 USD Spa Services credit to be utilized during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Fairly new to the Napa Valley scene, this Luxury Collection Hotel’s St. Helena location and vineyard views is enough to make you want to stay awhile. Las Alcobas has roots dating back to the early 1900s with the Georgian-style main house, which features 6 of the 68 guest rooms, while the remaining 62 are located near the vineyard with private balconies. Indulge in a spa treatment and mix your own therapeutic oil at Atrio Spa’s aromatherapy bar, then head outside where summer days can be spent at the pool and winter nights by the fire pit. The on-site restaurant, Acacia House, is stunning in its own right with a wrap-around front porch and Top Chef winner Chris Cosentino’s creations. The location cannot be beat either – we walked into town for shopping, drinks, and dinner!

BOOK YOUR NEXT STAY AT LAS ALCOBAS WITH PASSPORT TO FRIDAY & RECEIVE:
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Full American À La Carte Breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD Hotel Credit
  • Welcome Amenity & Bottle of Wine
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Meadowood Resort & Spa

There’s something special about Meadowood, and it goes even beyond being a Forbes 5-star hotel, restaurant & spa, a member of Relais & Châteaux, having a three-Michelin-star restaurant, and being Napa Valley’s ultimate luxury destination resort. Set within the 250-acre estate in St. Helena, Meadowood features 85 exquisitely appointed guest cottages, suites and lodges complete with fireplaces and terraces, offering guests the utmost privacy and serenity. Embrace your inner epicurean at three-Michelin-star Restaurant at Meadowood. Or why not indulge in a spa treatment at the award-winning spa (in fact, I could spend an entire day there)? For the active traveler, Meadowood features golf, tennis, swimming, hiking and croquet. For the wine connoisseur, Meadowood also offers complimentary tastings at a curated list of local wineries and has a complimentary house car that will take you into St. Helena or Yountville. Now that’s luxury service!

BOOK YOUR NEXT STAY AT MEADOWOOD WITH PASSPORT TO FRIDAY & RECEIVE:
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • A $50.00 credit towards daily breakfast in The Grill or via room service for up to 2 in-room guests
  • $100 USD Equivalent Spa Services credit, to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Welcome amenity of a box of handcrafted Napa Valley Chocolates

 


WHERE TO WINE


Arguably the wine tasting capitol of the USA, a trip to Napa Valley is not complete without exquisite wine tasting. We spent a day wine tasting with Beau Wine Tours, and I could not recommend them enough! We were picked up in a luxurious BMW 740Li by Hoss (request him – he was wonderful), and taken all over Napa Valley for the entire day. Our itinerary was curated just for us, with wineries chosen based on our wine preferences as well as overall wine tasting experience style (we love local, family-owned, non-crowded wineries!) The itinerary was PERFECT, including wineries that we had previously not even heard of but quickly became our new favorites. Our day with Beau Wine Tours made our entire trip!

  • Artesa: We did not get a chance to actually visit here while staying at Carneros, but we had their Pinot Noir at dinner one night and it was incredible! If you are staying at Carneros Resort, you can bike ride here!
  • Bouchaine: We cannot stop talking about our experience here. We did the Barrel Tasting & Vineyard Tour, in which we were taken to this beautiful outlook (you can see San Francisco on a clear day!) and then a tour with a tasting of a few different Pinot Noirs straight from the barrel ($50 per person for this experience, $20 per person Estate tasting).
  • Chateau Boswell: Owned by a mother/daughter team, Chateau Boswell is a small winery with impressive caves producing some of the best fine wines we have tasted. This is by appointment only, so make sure to plan ahead.
  • Clos Pegase: With an impressive architectural history, Clos Pegase offers a unique Napa Valley experience. We did the Connoisseur Cave Tour & Tasting which is an experience not to miss ($60 per person).  My mother loved their Cab Franc so much that she joined the wine club!
  • Domaine Carneros: Start your day off with some bubbly in a stunning chateau-style property, also a bike ride away from Carneros (tastings starting at $30 per person).
  • Far Niente: Far Niente is a Napa Valley original, and the perfect way to kick off our trip. We drove straight here and were greeted by an impressive facade (one of the prettiest wineries I have seen), and enjoyed a tour followed by tasting including their famous Chardonnay.
  • Frank Family Vineyards: This gorgeous winery was founded by former president of Disney, Rich Frank, and you will see some of the history throughout the tasting rooms. We did the reserve tasting which I highly recommend.
  • Joseph Phelps: Our experience at Joseph Phelps has made me forever view and taste wine differently – we learned so much! We did the Insignia Blending Experience, which is a 90-minute experience where you smell, taste, and experiment with blending the different components that make up the famous Joseph Phelps Insignia red wine ($100 per person).
  • Taylor Family Estate: If you are looking for a family experience with exquisite wines, look no further than Taylor Family Estate. Beau Wine Tours had recommended it, and it was one of our favorite stops! We tasted with the family outside at their home, cheese pairings included!

 


WHERE TO DINE


It’s no secret that Napa Valley is known for its cuisine, and these are a few of my favorite spots!

  • Acacia House: If the all-white, wrap-around front porch doesn’t draw you in, the innovative cocktails and fresh cuisine will. We stopped in for cocktails and snacks on our way out one evening and had their infamous Margarita Las Alcobas. The breakfast is not to be missed either (favorites include the herbtonic juice, bananas & almonds, and chilaquiles)!
  • Boon Fly Cafe: We stopped in here a couple times while staying at Carneros – once for a pre-dinner drink and appetizer (Aperol Spritz & Mussels!) and again on to grab donuts to-go. They are known for their brunch and those famous Boon Fly Donuts, so make reservations on the weekend!
  • The Charter Oak: Chef Christopher Kostow is a three Michelin star chef who came from The Restaurant at Meadowood, so you know it will be good. We came in for a late dinner and ate at the bar, where the bartender surprised us with a fun mezcal cocktail he was trying out. We ordered the raw vegetables with fermented soy dip (SO good – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it) and quite possibly one of the best burgers I have ever had.
  • Clif Family Bruschetteria: Pair great wine with bruschetta at Clif Family Winery with their own Bruschetteria food truck. My favorites were the Porchetta, Cured, and Funghi! (Bruschetta & Wine Tasting Trio = $50 per person)
  • FARM: Located at Carneros Resort, FARM embodies its name by offering approachable farm-to-table cuisine. This meal was one of our favorites with its fresh take on local ingredients and each dish we had was extremely flavorful.
  • Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch: This place had been on my list for awhile now, and it lived up to the hype. While the drinks and dinner were amazing (order the Wood Grilled Artichoke!), I would love to spend time outside on a gorgeous day drinking their wine and enjoying the farm-to-table cuisine.
  • Oakville Grocery: A must while in Napa Valley! Stop into Oakville Grocery for picnic food to-go (sandwiches, salads, snacks, and more) or hang out and stay awhile while enjoying some wine tasting. I love the cooler you receive when you order a picnic basket of items to go!
  • Redd Wood: Sister restaurant to the fame Redd, Redd Wood offers a more laid-back yet still sophisticated and chic menu featuring wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, and distinctive main courses. The cocktails were wonderful (a nice break from the wine!) and we especially loved the asparagus starter, ravioli, and proscuitto pizza.
  • The Restaurant at Meadowood: The three-Michelin-star restaurant is a destination in itself and books up in advance so be sure to plan ahead. While we did not personally dine here, it is on our list!

 

 

Safe travels y’all!

Chelsea Rose Martin