Auberge Du Soleil Rating: 5.0 Pearls
This 50-room luxury inn is one of the most exclusive (and expensive) destinations in California wine country. Despite its intimate size, it has all the amenities of a larger resort: a 7,000-square-foot luxury spa, a lovely pool, and a Michelin-star restaurant. Views of the surrounding countryside are phenomenal, the grounds are lush and peaceful, and the homey rooms all come with huge terraces (and, in most, fireplaces and soaking tubs). It's a truly special, romantic retreat, and it's location in Rutherford is convenient for exploring Napa Valley.
Milliken Creek Inn and Spa Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Located right on the banks of the Napa River, the Milliken Creek Inn is one of the swankier hotel options in Napa. The luxury inn does have limited amenities (no restaurant, for example), but all 12 rooms are supreme, from the four-poster canopy beds, to the working fireplaces, to the 42-inch plasma TVs, to the stunning views. This is a great pick for a couple looking for romance -- you'll return to your room in the evening to lit tea candles and soft music, and you can opt to have free breakfast served every morning in bed, on your patio, or anywhere on the grounds. There is no fitness center, but guests receive free passes to a high-end wellness center two miles down the road. There is an amazing full-service spa on-site that makes this tranquil, secluded retreat even more relaxing.
The Westin Verasa, Napa Rating: 4.5 Pearls
The 180-room Westin Verasa looks more like an upscale boutique hotel than major chain. From the comfy beds to the sleek furniture and artwork, to the unique bocce ball court outside, everything feels modern and trendy. Right in the heart of downtown Napa, the hotels' rooms offer impressive views of the Napa River and city -- and a spacious outdoor patio and pool with private cabanas make it a nice place to kick back. Guests checking in with kids might want to request a larger Deluxe room or Suite for even more space.
The Meritage Resort and Spa Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This luxurious 158-room property has everything the quaint Wine Country boutique hotels offer (but at a larger scale), plus a long list of outstanding extras that make the stay ultra-convenient. Despite not being in the most attractive part of Napa Valley, the resort manages to make you see past that with large, elegant rooms featuring classic decor, plush beds and modern amenities, and a long list of great freebies (an evening shuttle to Napa, Wi-Fi, and parking -- all included in the inexpensive resort fee). The upscale 22,000 square-foot spa, the intimate wine tasting room, the beautiful on-site vineyards, and the solid farm-to-table restaurant make it possible for guests to have a real Wine Country experience without leaving the property.
Solage Calistoga Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Located in the picturesque area of Northern Napa Valley, Solage Calistoga is an ultra-chic, modern property featuring 89 separate bungalow homes with semi-private patios. The upscale, contemporary atmosphere exists throughout the hotel: Studios and suites all have high-vaulted ceilings and polished cement floors, and some -- such as the Capella Suite -- even have gas fireplaces, which add a warm touch to what some might consider cold decor. Bathrooms are clean, with sleek finishes, large soaking tubs, and walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads. The on-site restaurant, Solbar, is Michelin-starred, and features outdoor lounge seating shaded by trees and centered around a long water feature with a fire pit. There are two pools, as well as private cabanas and a poolside foosball table. Other perks include use of a loaner Mercedes-Benz SUV, or the modern, well-sized fitness center that has outdoor equipment. The hotel can experience noise from on-site events, but Solage Calistoga is ultimately an understated, peaceful getaway.
Harvest Inn Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Harvest Inn is a great choice if you're daydreaming of a luxury stay in the heart of wine country -- complete with impressive views, Old World rustic charm, and luxe amenities. It may be a bit pricey (and has no full restaurant), but it certainly doesn't skimp on the pampering, offering fireplaces, private terraces, designer furnishings, two pools, a spa, and more. Numerous freebies -- including a bottle of wine for new guests, water and juice in the mini-fridges, Wi-Fi, and self-parking -- ensure that guests feel cared for rather than nickel-and-dimed, and the location one mile from St. Helena is superb. But the biggest draw just might be the spectacular views, especially from the Vineyard View Rooms with terraces.
North Block Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Housed in a tiny Mediterranean-style complex, Hotel Luca is well suited for a romantic getaway, with 20 cozy, elegant rooms with wonderful beds, espresso machines, and luxurious bathrooms with a separate six-foot bathtub and walk-in shower; an intimate and upscale spa with personalized treatments; and a pleasant swimming pool with lounge chairs and a Jacuzzi. Some rooms are small for the price, but the location, within walking distance to acclaimed restaurants in Yountville such as The French Laundry, and a short drive to wineries, golfing, and boutiques, is excellent.