Tag: Napa Valley HotelsView All Tags
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.
Every so often we feature a hotel review from one of our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you dear hotel guests. These reviews are highlighted because they are timely, about cool hotels in cool places and are relatively level-headed. Think you can submit one just like this? Send it in.
The other day, a couple very near and dear to us took our recommendation and spent the night at the new-ish, LEED-certified Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa in American Canyon, Calif. While a romantic inn in Yountville was a more desired lodging option, the price was right for our friends at this hotel--$92 a night on Expedia.
So how did this green hotel turn out? Eh. Our friend writes:
It was "green" and won the coveted LEED award, but it really was not too special--somewhere between a Motel Six and a Holiday Inn. We had a good night's sleep but we wouldn't recommend it.
While they also sent us room photos, the snapshots were too blurry to post so we just have some exterior shots to show you. We can tell you that the beds do look comfortable but the rest of the room lacks warmth.
On the plus side, there was a pretty little pond out front and some swans to look at. And our friend assured us the place was clean, unlike most Motel 6s and Holiday Inns. Sigh, at least the price was right.
Some more photos of Gaia Napa Valley Hotel after the jump.
Want to do wine country on the cheap? Expedia.com is offering a special package at the Vino Bello Resort in Napa with air and three nights’ accommodation starting at $674 per person, or just book the hotel room for $236 per night. The deal is advertised for a stay from May 25-29, but you can get room rates as low as $167 for a mid-week stay throughout May.
Since Solage Calistoga set up shop in Napa Valley more than a year ago, the reviews have been a decidedly mixed bag. Take TA reviews, for starters, where some folks love the relaxing and hip vibe while others still complain of opening kinks that haven't quite worked themselves out yet. This past weekend, the New York Times joined the fray with an official review.
Run by the operators of Napa Valley grande dame Auberge du Soleil, Solage Calistoga is intended for a younger, more design-forward wine-swilling crowd. (NYT points to the Verve Remixed soundtrack in the pool area as proof.) The "New Urbanist's boutique hotel" has simple cottages linked by landscaped paths leading to the mammoth pool, restaurant, spa, and sunken bocce court.
The “Ultimate California Wine Country Getaway” from BeautifulPlaces is the ultimate getaway, because after paying for it, you won’t be able to go on any other trips…ever.
BeautifulPlaces, a luxury travel agency that specializes in villa rentals in Napa and Sonoma, has created the Ultimate Culinary Getaway Package for a “once-in-a-lifetime wine country experience.”
You and up to nine of your nearest and dearest will stay for three days/four nights at Villa Carneros, a five-bedroom Sonoma estate surrounded by vineyards, and just minutes from the town of Sonoma itself. And just in case you were wondering, it is not related to the Carneros Inn.
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.
Hotel Video Tours / Napa Valley Hotels / Inns / HotelChatter Reviews / Paso Robles Hotels / → All Tags
When most people imagine California's wine country, they think Napa and Sonoma. But just three hours south of San Francisco and less than four hours north of Los Angeles in an area called Paso Robles, we've discovered there's competitive wine, Justin Wines, to taste, and a ridiculously charming getaway, The JUST Inn. If you can slip away for a few nights, JUST Inn is spectacular during the low season when you might have the whole place to yourself. Do note: cell phones get no service, but if you must, you can enjoy free WiFi. (C'mon we're not completely technologically suicidal here.)
Of the other 100+ wineries around Paso (that's what locals call it) like Adelaida Cellars, Chateau De Deighton and Midlife Crisis Winery, Justin is viewed as one of the more posh and luxe.
Truffles, no matter what kind, can usually send foodies into a sort of spasm at first whiff. Truffles have also become status symbols as the rarest kinds can fetch up to $200,000 like one white truffle did last month at an auction.
Thus the cost of truffles means there are no room for mistakes when cooking with them. If you are considering purchasing a truffle, then you might want to also consider Truffle Camp at the Westin Verasa in Napa, Calif.
Executive Chef Ken Frank of the hotel's La Toque restaurant is holding his Ken Frank's Truffle Camps from January 11-14 and from January 18-21.
Truffle Camp will include three days of dinners, wine tastings, luncheons, lodging in Napa’s newest upscale resort and hands on experience preparing truffle dishes.
We know how hard it can be to get exercise while traveling (especially when hotels charge extra for the fitness center!) In fact, the scale tends to tell the truth about vacation dining. Backroads Travel Company has an answer to this problem: Northern California Winery Biking Tour!
That's right. In addition to sipping wine and living the high life, vacationers will get their exercise with 20-30 mile daily rides through Sonoma Country during this weekend tour of Alexander Valley right in the heart of wine country.
At the end of the day, kick back at the Geyserville Inn, a family-run inn with views of mountains and vineyards and a jacuzzi for sore muscles.
Thomas Keller / Yountville Hotels / Napa Valley Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Hype / → All Tags
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]
If you believe that spa treatment is more than just hands on shoulders and should truly get to the heart of how and why we relax, then Honor Mansion, tucked into the heart of Sonoma County's wine country, is the place to immerse yourself in comfort and the quiet bliss of letting go.
Located just 80 miles north of San Francisco in the shopping and dining mecca of Healdsburg, Honor Mansion is a perennial AAA Four Diamond Award winner.
There are just 13 rooms and suites but the amenities galore on-site will keep you busy for your entire stay. There's a 40-foot lap pool, two regulation bocce ball courts, a competition croquet lawn, PGA putting green, quarter mile jogging/walking track, a quarter acre of Zinfandel vines, and on-site massage therapy and spa treatments. It is quite possibly you can do everything on your vacation list and never leave the grounds.
When we were driving on Route 29 yesterday afternoon we couldn't help but see 2 different military helicopters flying through the serene skies of Napa Valley. In any other place this might not inspire such curiosity, but local knowledge told us that helicopters are not allowed in the Valley skies.
After a little sleuth work, we learned that President George W. Bush will be in St Helena this coming weekend to host some of the Republican party's biggest contributors at uber-pretty, but also uber-staunchy Meadowood Resort. Democrats, get out your picket signs!