Yountville Travel Guide
The New York Times recently reviewed Hotel Luca in Yountville, California, and while it did give the Napa Valley hotel props for its prime location and great staff, the paper didn't exactly give the Tuscan-like spot a ringing endorsement.
On the plus side, the 20-room hotel is off of a road filled with vineyards, offers quick access to the wineries along the Silverado Trail and is a short stroll from restaurants and shops. But even more important, the staff came to the rescue of the reviewer who was hitting some dud wineries. The reporter called the hotel concierge from the road to ask for recommendations, and within a half hour she had made him an appointment at a private winery.
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It’s been a while since we hit the Valley. Napa Valley, that is. But we had a hankering for great wine and fine food last month, so we headed up to NorCal for a little bit of epicurean living, and while there, happened to stay at the newest hotel in the Valley: the Hotel Yountville.
Of course you're invited in to take a look at our exclusive photo gallery and walk-through video of our Premium Suite, but hands off the wine...
Can’t afford even the low-season $300 a night rate at Yountville’s new eco-resort, Bardessono Hotel? Fear not. The exclusive resort opens up its guests-only rooftop pool to non-guests on Wednesday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm for its punny Dive Bar, so even Napa townies can enjoy the stunning mountain and vineyard views while enjoying a dip and a drink while DJ's spin tunes near the bar.
The secluded pool is usually open only to resort guests, who come to lie in piece and quiet in one of the screened off day-bed cabanas. Come Wednesday evening, though, anyone can stop by the rooftop cement pond, and they're encouraged to come in their bathing suits to take a dip between bar rounds, with drinks going for just $8 each. The resort even throws in complimentary valet parking. That way, everyone can enjoy the privileges of being a hotel guest without having to spend a night.
Last week, we had the good fortune to spend a glorious fall day amongst the sun-warmed vines and valleys of Napa. Between wine-tasting rendezvous, we managed to invoke the tiniest bit of professionalism and took a tour of MTM Luxury Lodging’s new Bardessono Hotel in Yountville, which aims to be the greenest hotel in America. By the looks of it, they’re well on their way, but judge for yourself based on our video tour of one of their rooms.
Besides conventional eco-resort initiatives like LEED certification, controls that turn off the electrical systems when guests leave a room, and an organic garden that provides produce for the restaurant, the resort has also forged ahead with several distinct environmental practices that set it apart from other hotels.
We apologize in advance for any hurt feelings. Living on the Monterey Peninsula (aptly dubbed the land of the newlywed and nearly dead) seemed like a grand idea, but was ultimately a mind-numbingly boring exercise nwhich we ended up enduring for nearly five years in the name of love. (Visiting is a whole different scenario.) We despise golf, dig live music and culture, appreciate diversity and don’t have a trust fund.
We also like to eat out past 9 p.m., which was a difficult feat until restaurateur/hotelier David Fink opened instant restaurant hit, Cantinetta Luca. That single smart business decision played a major part in making our social life on the Monterey Peninsula more tolerable.
No, we’re not suggesting you become a hobo, riding the rails cross-country, stopping in a Podunk town every now and then to take in the view and scrounge for scraps. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find your bliss by sleeping in a converted train car at the Napa Valley Railway Inn in Napa.
This unusual lodging establishment is located within a couple miles of the Stag’s Leap, Oakville, Oak Knoll and Rutherford districts, in the almost oppressively manicured hamlet of Yountville, ground zero for foodies and oenophiles alike.
The hotel itself is a breath of fresh air with converted railway cars for guest rooms that sit along actual railway ties from the now defunct Napa Valley Railway. That means the accommodations are narrow. Very narrow.
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Foodies and lovers of Thomas Keller's culinary skills rejoice!
A luxury hotel across the street from Keller's French Laundry restaurant has been approved by the city of Yountville, Calif., reports Eater SF. The inn is a Keller project and would be run in conjunction with the foodie mecca. From the Napa Valley Address:
The general look of the new inn will be flat roofed buildings with a minimalist, geometric form, built of simple, humble materials said John Frame, the architect. The inn's name was originally submitted as the Aloysius Inn and should break ground next spring.
The inn will have only 20 rooms and a dining/lounge area, although no details are out on that yet. Keller will also have some sort of burger stand opening in Yountville sometime soon so it's safe to say that Yountville can also be known as Kellerville.
Until all these things open however, you will have to settle for just a dinner at French Laundry. Unless you have a Bucket List or just loads of money, then consider the Poetry Inn's birthday bash cooked by Keller himself.
[Photo: Eater SF]
It's not quite easy for the folks living in NorCal to hop on a plane and head to the south of France but luckily for them, a Napa Valley hotel is attempting to bring a little "Old World charm" to the area.
At the first read of Stacey Finz's review of Maison Fleurie in Yountville, we thought this place was perfect for grandma.
Appointments include floral or toile duvet covers with matching curtains and wallpaper, with a sprinkling of antique furnishings and throw pillows. There's ample lighting for reading in bed.
The common areas have plenty of room for reading, crosswords, and knitting, plus Grammy would enjoy some of the sherry they offer there.
But we perked up when we read that this 13-room inn is a quick walk to the area's best gourmet restaurants like Thomas Keller's Bouchon and French Laundry restaurants, along with Bistro Jeanty. A few blocks down is the Silverado Trail with views of the area's famous vineyards and there's a Dean & Deluca nearby too.
Even better, this inn is one of the few places in the area that doesn't require a two-night minimum. Rooms start range from $130 to $300. There are three separate lodging houses--the Main House, the Bakery Building and the Carriage House--and a garden and swimming pool. Some rooms have small sitting areas overlooking the grounds and all have private baths. But like Grandma's house, Finz says the rooms are a bit "lived in" and the furniture is worn.
· Europe in Yountville [SF Gate]