Free use of a Mercedes for driving around (limited time allowed)
Isolated location; a car is necessary
Kids under 16 not allowed (a pro for many)
One of the snazziest places to stay in Napa Valley, Auberge du Soleil is a five-pearl boutique resort spread out over a beautiful hillside with fantastic views out over the surrounding countryside and vineyards. The 50 elegant rooms and suites are romantic, with fireplaces and deep soaking tubs (some with second tubs on their terraces). The facilities are equally fantastic, with a gorgeous luxury spa and a Michelin-star restaurant serving Mediterranean-inspired fare. There's also a chic outdoor pool with a hot tub, a fitness center with indoor and outdoor facilities, and free use of a Mercedes to borrow. But families with kids under 16 aren't allowed. Travelers with kids or those wanting luxury a bit closer to the action of Napa should consider Carneros Resort and Spa, a larger luxury property right in Napa.
High-end adult-only boutique resort with Mediterranean aesthetic
This five-pearl resort is spread out over a 33-acre olive grove on Rutherford Hill in Napa Valley and features a Mediterranean-inspired look and feel. The lobby and common areas share a consistent California rustic chic aesthetic with wood beamed ceilings, recessed lighting, and stucco walls. Rooms are spread out over a terraced hilltop, and are connected by meandering pathways lined with all sorts off foliage, with a vineyard and a collection of sculpture gardens in the back. It's pretty quiet during the day, since most guests are either hidden away in the fancy spa or out exploring Napa. Things pick up around happy hour, with pre-dinner drinks at the bar and loads of visitors enjoying dinner at The Restaurant, or in the more casual Bistro & Bar.
The property attracts spendy tourists and Silicon Valley types, plus it gets plenty of domestic guests along with European, Japanese, and Chinese tourists. Note that nobody under age 16 is allowed.
In the heart of Napa Valley's wine country, surrounded by beautiful hills and valleys
Auberge du Soleil is located off of the Silverado Trail, one of California's most scenic drives, in the heart of California's Napa Valley, a seven-minute drive to the heart of Rutherford and 10 minutes by car to St. Helena. The area is known for its wineries, cuisine, and picturesque rolling hills, and the hotel itself is secluded, with beautiful views. The only downside is that you'll have to drive everywhere, as there's not much public transportation in the area, though travelers wanting to go wine tasting without the risk of driving under the influence can organize tours and drivers.
From the hotel, it's a 15-minute drive to Yountville, a 23-minute drive to Calistoga, and a 26-minute drive to Napa. The Napa County Airport is about 35 minutes from the hotel. The Sonoma County Airport takes 50 minutes to reach. It's generally cheaper to fly into either the Oakland Airport, a 90-minute drive from the hotel, or the San Francisco International Airport, which can take up to an hour and 40 minutes to reach, depending on traffic.
California rustic chic rooms and suites with deep soaking tubs, fireplaces, and gardens or terraces
This property offers a mix of 520-square-foot Classic and Deluxe Rooms and 1,254-square-foot Classic and Deluxe Suites, along with two villas (billed as Private Mansions) that measure 1,800-square-feet and sleep up to four guests in two bedrooms. Rooms across categories are elegant and bright, in a California farmhouse chic kind of way. They feature beautiful marble-framed or contemporary built-in gas fireplaces, high ceilings with beamed accents, off-white walls, and French doors with wooden shutters that lead out to private terraces or gardens. Private Mansions and Private Garden Suites have outdoor soaking tubs and rainfall showers. All units are furnished with plush decor in either simple muted shades or a mix of earth tones with rich pops of saffron and feature ample use of light wood and natural fibers, plus decorative pottery and simple framed prints on the walls. Standard amenities across room types include large flat-screen TVs with DVD players, Bose sound systems, wet bars with free minibars and Nespresso coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms are gorgeous, with off-white stone tiling and skylit beige marble showers, plus deep soaking tubs and marble vanities with lots of counter space. Bathrooms are well stocked with candles, bubble bath, and other toiletries from the hotel's spa.
Elegant spa, Michelin-star restaurant, fitness center with classes, tennis courts, and wedding facilities
Amenities at this property are geared toward relaxation, wellness, and generally living the good life in California. Along with the hotel's Michelin-star restaurant, the gorgeous indoor/outdoor spa (only open to people staying at the hotel) is arguably its highlight feature. It features two hammams and multiple treatment rooms, and offers all sorts of facials, massages, and water-based purification treatments, using the resort's own signature products (available for purchase at the on-site spa). Treatment rooms are completely private and include huge showers and dressing areas. Staff customizes each treatment with an essential oil for the shower and post-treatment juice.
Right outside the spa is a small courtyard with a whirlpool hot tub, a quiet alternative to the main lap pool, which features lots of lounge chairs, a few cabanas, and a second whirlpool hot tub. The 24-hour fitness center is large and pretty, with wooden walls and ceilings and lots of cardio equipment along with free weights and kettle balls. There's also a small outdoor section overlooking the woods with a few weight machines and TRX equipment. There's also a tennis court. Pilates, yoga, and free general group fitness classes offered daily in La Pagode, a gazebo-like structure designed for group wellness.
The Michelin-star, The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil, draws hotel guests and outside visitors alike, with its huge wine cellar featuring over 15,000 domestic and international bottles and elegantly plated Mediterranean-style food crafted with locally sourced farms when possible. Breakfast is also served here, with classic items such as pancakes and waffles along with pastries and breakfast specialties familiar to Japanese and Chinese visitors, such as miso and congee. Light meals and drinks are available at the Bistro & Bar, which offers soups, sandwiches, and grilled dishes along with a 40-strong wine-by-the-glass menu. Room service is available 24 hours.
The property also hosts weddings and meetings, with indoor and outdoor spaces for rent. Audiovisual equipment and catering services are available and Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel. Guests also get free use of a Mercedes for driving around Napa, though the time allowed is limited.
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