Napa Valley is one of the world’s best wine-growing regions, and also one of its smallest. Though the northern California region is rather small in size, it still has several thousand hotel rooms available. Boutique hotels, luxury inns, and upscale bed-and-breakfasts are the norm, and chain hotels few. To that end, here are the area’s top boutique hotels.
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 its location in the heart of Napa Valley is off of the Silverado Trail -- one of California's most scenic drives.
Swank yet eco-friendly, this 62-room resort beautifully combines sustainability and luxury. The hotel is proud of its LEED Platinum certification, and rightfully so -- the property is solar-powered, sources its water from geothermal wells, and uses organic cleaning products. The modern rooms are plush and the bathrooms are spa-like, complete with a pullout massage table in each one. After a day of biking and vineyard visits, guests can lounge in covered sun beds by the rooftop pool, visit the spa, or enjoy a farm-to-table meal at the restaurant/bar. The professional staff can arrange everything from hot air-balloon rides to pedicures on the guest room balconies.
Nestled among acres of hilly oak forest in the St. Helena area of Napa Valley, the Meadowood Napa Valley resort could be a destination unto itself. The luxury property has 85 rooms, including cottages and suites, with wood-burning stone fireplaces in most, private balconies, and terraces, and high-end amenities like an in-room wine bars and Illy espresso-makers in some. Guests are encouraged to use the property’s four miles of hiking trails, two outdoor pools, tennis courts, nine-hole golf course, championship croquet lawn, extensive spa, and fitness center with free daily classes. The hotel also has a variety of dining choices, including its own Michelin three-star restaurant. Staff is extremely attentive, with a “your wish is my command” attitude. But travelers could also check out Auberge du Soleil or Bardessono, which are more intimately sized.
Solage, an Auberge Resort is an ultra-chic property with 89 separate bungalows and an upscale, contemporary atmosphere. 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 and the modern, well-sized fitness center with outdoor equipment. The hotel can experience noise from on-site events, but Solage is ultimately an understated, peaceful getaway.
It's no wonder royalty, A-listers, and athletes keep returning to the luxury Calistoga Ranch: It's in a class all by itself. Guests rent exquisite private lodges, set on a private 157-acre park-like property complete with hiking trails and a top-of-the-line restaurant and spa. Attention to detail carries over from room design to landscape planning -- all modules for the lodges were flown in by helicopter to minimize impact on surrounding trees and to maximize privacy. The property boasts plenty of activities, including outdoor yoga, a beautiful heated outdoor pool, a bocce court, a fabulous fitness center, and wine tasting seminars. If guests decide to venture out for some reason, they can easily access downtown Calistoga and other towns with not only loaner bikes, but, like the other Auberge properties, loaner Mercedes-Benzes.
The Harvest Inn is an upscale stay one mile outside St. Helena, a Napa Valley gem known for its beautiful 19th-century-style architecture and A-plus dining. The eight-acre hotel is full of rustic chic charm and luxe amenities, but the biggest draw just might be the spectacular views, especially from the Vineyard View Collection rooms with terraces overlooking the winery. All 78 rooms and suites are spacious, and come with huge bathrooms, minibars stocked with free drinks, and free Wi-Fi. The Inn has a full-service celebrity-chef restaurant that makes use of the property's gardens, a cozy lobby with an exceptionally well-stocked bar, and two outdoor heated pools and whirlpools. There are no spa facilities here other than the private treatment rooms; for a fuller spa experience, stick to the Auberge properties or Meadowood, whose luxury spas feature steam rooms, saunas, soaking pools, and whirlpools.
The Milliken Creek Inn and Spa is a swanky hotel option located along the peaceful Napa River. The 12-room luxury inn has few amenities (no restaurant or pool, for example -- compare this to Harvest Inn's celeb-chef restaurant and two heated pools), but all 12 rooms are great across the board, from the four-poster canopy beds and large flat-screen TVs to the working fireplaces and the stunning views. Guests return to their rooms in the evening to lit tea candles and soft music, and they can opt to have free breakfast served every morning in bed, on their 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.
From the stone-clad exterior of the hotel’s main building to the fountain-dotted grounds and cypress-lined pool, this property exudes a vintage Tuscan vibe. But while its exteriors are Old World elegant, interiors are more Wine Country-casual. (Take, for example, the gorgeous great room with a fireplace, vaulted ceiling, and floor-to-ceiling windows.) The 80 casual-chic guest rooms -- equipped with fieldstone fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, and, in most cases, four-poster beds and jetted tubs -- further enhance the homey vibe. The property also offers a full-service spa, a courtyard pool, event spaces, and assorted freebies (Wi-Fi, wine tastings, and loaner bikes among them); however, there’s neither a fitness center nor all-day eatery here. If you’re looking for a comparably sized alternative with more on-site amenities, consider Harvest Inn instead.
The Senza Hotel is a historic property with luxurious interiors popular with vacationing couples. Built in the late 1800s, the hotel has now been transformed into a luxury hotel with a deep connection to the surrounding wine country. The entrance to the hotel has signed vineyard plants, bronze sculptures, large trees, and bubbling fountains. The 41 rooms are modern and sophisticated with many amenities including free Wi-Fi, fireplaces, and balconies. The outdoor pool has covered cabanas and SENZA Spa uses locally sourced products, but it lacks Hotel Yountville's Vichy showers and hydrotherapy tubs. Free continental breakfast is offered featuring Bouchon Bakery pastries and bread. The overall ambience is decidedly romantic, and guests tend to be couples looking for a peaceful wine-country getaway, although on-site conference facilities also attract business travelers.
Housed in a tiny Mediterranean-style complex, North Block Hotel 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 poolwith lounge chairs and a Jacuzzi. Redd Wood, the hotel's restaurant (from Michelin-starred Chef Richard Reddington) offers Italian-inspired cuisine. However, most rooms are small for the price. But the location -- within walking distance of acclaimed restaurants in Yountville such as The French Laundry, and a short drive to wineries, golfing, and boutique -- is excellent.
Guests at this property are almost exclusively couples who appreciate the romantic rooms and convenient location within walking distance of downtown Napa's restaurants and shops. Depending on the category, rooms and suites come with amenities such as balconies, deep soaking tubs, and seating areas, but all 141 units have sleek decor, gorgeous marble bathrooms, and freebies like snacks and Wi-Fi. Unlike many upscale properties in the area, the Andaz is decidedly more modern-luxe than rustic-luxe. The small, sexy lobby features funky leather seating and cool local artwork and the rooftop terrace has a similar vibe, with wooden furniture and fire pits. However, true romantic seeking an on-site spa may consider North Block Hotel, whose intimate and upscale spa offers personalized treatments and a signature lavender saltwater pool.
Fresh from a 2017 revamp, Vintage House (formerly known as Vintage Inn) is certainly chic and upscale, but whether the new look is intentionally eclectic or a bit of a hodgepodge is largely a matter of taste. The hotel is part of The Estate Yountville -- a 22-acre downtown development that includes a shopping/dining complex as well as another hotel with spa/fitness facilities that Vintage House guests are welcome to use. Vintage House itself has landscaped grounds dotted with cottage-y brick and clapboard buildings containing 80 rustic-refined rooms, all of which feature fireplaces, patios or balconies, 65-inch flat-screen TVs, minibars, Nespresso machines, rainfall showers, and free Wi-Fi. Overall, this isn't a truly romantic and special retreat like many of the places on this list, but the redesigned Vintage House is a solid contender in the area's boutique hotel scene.
The Bergson is an inviting boutique property geared towards couples. The 21 guest rooms pair vintage accents with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. The best rooms add hot tubs, fireplaces, and/or furnished patios.Though the rooms are charming, features are limited: the lovely lobby/breakfast room (continental breakfasts are included in room rates) invites guests with sofas and a central fireplace, but this and the patio are the property’s only common spaces. As an alternative, consider Vintage House or Andaz Napa Hotel, which has a farm-to-table restaurant and lovely rooftop terrace with fire pits.
Mount View Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of Calistoga's main drag, steps away from restaurants, bars and shopping. Its 33 rooms, suites, and cottages have a boutique feel thanks to fun Art Deco styling. But beware: The rooms (and bathrooms) are a little on the small side for an upper-middle-range hotel, and lack the fireplaces found in most of The Bergson's rooms. However, there are more common areas here: the connected restaurant and wine bar are always lively, and the hotel's full-service spa offers massages, facials, mud baths, and treatments for two.
Just north of St. Helena, the upscale Wine Country Inn & Cottages is tucked away under towering oak trees on garden grounds that are surrounded by vineyards. The overall vibe is romantic, and the hotel caters to couples visiting Napa's wine country. Features are simple: there's a two-room breakfast area with a wood-burning stove, as well as an adjacent terrace with patio furniture for dining and relaxing on sunny days. The hotel's 29 rooms vary widely in amenities, and some have fireplaces or balconies with gorgeous views, but the country decor is a touch old and the bathrooms could use some modernizing. Rooms intentionally lack TVs in an attempt to create a romantic atmosphere.