Northern California’s famous wine-producing idyll has long drawn romance-seekers and honeymooners. Take a look at the intimate inns, stunning winery properties, and truly special retreats that we named the most romantic places to stay in Napa Valley.
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.
Meadowood Napa Valley is a luxurious and cozy resort set amid 250 acres of hilly oak forest. It was founded as a private country club in 1964 and bought by two vintners in 1979, when it became a place for connoisseurs to celebrate Napa Valley wines. The destination hotel retains its country club atmosphere -- leisure features include tennis courts, two outdoor pools, a nine-hole golf course, a championship croquet lawn, and free daily classes at the fitness center, plus extensive hiking trails. For food and drink, there are daily wine tastings and exceptional dining choices, including a Michelin three-star restaurant. Meadowood's renovated spa offers a full wellness experience, one with a steam room, sauna, and mineral baths. Scattered about the rolling hills, the hotel’s 85 cottages, suites, and lodges feature modern but cozy cottage decor that looks chic rather than generic. Rooms may feature beam-and-plank vaulted ceilings, stone wood-burning fireplaces, French doors, white bedding, refrigerated wine bars, and Illy espresso-makers. Wooden cottages have private decks and terraces. In all, this property is geared toward leisure travelers, especially couples celebrating special events.
The luxurious Calistoga Ranch is a destination unto itself. Here, the 50 rooms are exceptional private homes (called lodges), set across the forested, 157-acre property. All modules for the lodges were flown in by helicopter to minimize impact on surrounding trees and to maximize privacy. Calistoga Ranch's restaurant and spa are both top of the line (though the restaurant doesn't have the Michelin stars of Auberge du Soleil and Meadowood), and the secluded property offers plenty of activities, including hiking, outdoor yoga, a beautiful heated outdoor pool, a bocce court, a fitness center, and wine-tasting seminars. Guests pay good money for the privacy the resort provides, but Calistoga Ranch, located on the northern ridge of Napa Valley, is still within easy driving distance of downtown Calistoga, other Napa Valley towns, and plenty of wineries.
Expect pampering to the highest degree at this eco-friendly luxury resort. Bardessono has an industrial-chic feel, thanks to its interesting mix of brick, steel, reclaimed wood, and stone. Its edgy construction is balanced by its grounds, aesthetically landscaped with driftwood sculptures, tall grasses, and native trees. The 62 modern, plush rooms feature private balconies and spa-like bathrooms, complete with deep soaking tubs and pullout massage tables. Some rooms have private outdoor showers and steam showers. After a day of biking and visiting vineyards (there are several within walking distance), guests can lounge by the rooftop pool, visit the spa, or enjoy a farm-to-table meal. Just note that these features don't have quite the same wow factor as the ones at the top two Auberge properties or Meadowood.
Set in northern Napa Valley, Solage, an Auberge Resort is an ultra-chic property featuring 89 separate bungalow homes with semi-private patios. Studios and suites all have high-vaulted ceilings and bathrooms with large soaking tubs and separate rainfall showers. Some units feature gas fireplaces, which add a warm touch to what some might consider cold decor. The on-site restaurant, Solbar, has a Michelin star and features outdoor lounge seating shaded by trees. There are two large pools (one for adults only), plus a spa with a steam room, whirlpool, and yet another pool. One drawback is that the hotel can experience noise during on-site events such as weddings. Also note that some rooms face each other, so privacy can be compromised; those concerned about that might prefer Bardessono, where all rooms have private and furnished balconies or patios.
Located on Yountville's main street, just minutes from world-class restaurants, this four-pearl boutique hotel is a classic wine country retreat. Its airy great room doubles as the lobby, and gives the initial impression of an oversized, elegant vacation house. The 80 casual-chic guest rooms -- equipped with fieldstone fireplaces, 55-inch 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 Solage, an Auberge Resort instead.
Sitting on the banks of the Napa River, Milliken Creek Inn & Spa is one of the most luxurious options in the area. The luxury inn does have limited amenities (no restaurant, for example), but all 12 rooms are excellent, from the four-poster canopy beds and working fireplaces (in all rooms but one) to two-person jetted tubs to the the stunning views. This is a great pick for a couple looking for romance -- they'll return to their room 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. A free wine-and-cheese happy hour occurs in the afternoons and free port wine is offered at night. 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.
Fronting a leafy, largely residential street, 1801 First Luxury Inn is an elegant yet homey heritage inn for well-heeled adults. Its eight spacious and individually decorated suites are located in the historic main house, the adjacent carriage house, or one of two garden cottages; all come with fireplaces, soak-worthy bathtubs, and king or queen beds layered with high-quality white linens. The inn’s two top features -- the chef’s breakfast and a convivial afternoon “wine hour” -- both come at no cost. Breakfast is served in a sunny dining room, while the sociable afternoon event, hosted indoors or out, pairs Napa Valley wines with local charcuterie and other tasty nibbles. Cookies, tea, and coffee are offered throughout the day; lunch and dinner aren’t options, however, as there is no full restaurant here. Nor is there a fitness center, pool, or spa, although in-room couples' massages are offered. Other in-room add-ons (like floral bouquets or decadent goody baskets) may appeal to guests on romantic getaways. For a similar ambience and slightly more features, consider Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, which has a high-end spa and will serve breakfast in bed or anywhere throughout the property.
Ideal for couples looking for a romantic getaway in Napa Valley, The Senza Hotel is a luxurious retreat surrounded by wineries. The 41 rooms are modern and sophisticated with many amenities including fireplaces, balconies, and free Wi-Fi. (Room decor feels slightly generic, especially when compared to the upscale, classic look found in 1801's eight rooms.) The grounds have luscious trees and greenery plus water fountains and large sculptures. The SENZA Spa uses locally sourced products and the outdoor pool has covered cabanas. A daily continental breakfast is included in the rates and features Bouchon Bakery pastries and bread.
The Wine Country Inn & Cottages is an upscale Napa Valley property with a romantic, couples-friendly atmosphere. The boutique hotel is set in a bucolic landscape just north of St. Helena, and there's no shortage of vineyards to gaze at while strolling the grounds. The 29 rooms vary in size and amenities; some have private balconies or wood-burning fireplaces. All rooms come with Keurig coffeemakers, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. A generous breakfast buffet is included in the room rates, as is an afternoon reception with wine and appetizers. The property features an outdoor pool bordered by lounge chairs and a whirlpool. For more serious relaxation, guests can book a variety of in-room massages, facials, and other body treatments, but the property lacks a dedicated spa. For that, stick with The Senza Hotel.
The historic, family-owned Indian Springs Resort Spa is spread over 16 wine country acres. Olive and palm trees, rosebushes, lavender plants, and ponds are found across the hilly property, and four thermal geysers provide mineral water for the luxurious spa's mud baths and the two pools (the main pool is one of the largest in California). Indian Springs' 115 rooms include charming cottages are available in studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units with kitchenettes and porches (these are the original rooms at Indian Springs, built in the 1940s). The Lodge is a restored 1930s building with a nod to California’s Spanish roots. There are also hotel rooms, bungalows, and private stand-alone houses that offer optimal privacy and space. Some rooms have beautiful views of the geyser. The property has a relaxed vibe, enhanced by the peaceful scenery.
At the luxurious Carneros Resort and Spa, hillside Adirondack chairs overlook the vineyard. Crackling fireplaces warm every room. Private gardens and tree-lined infinity pools invite guests to relax. The entire resort feels like it's set on a farm, with cottages strewn about that house some of the guest rooms. The rooms are very comfy, with private decks and stone patios with fire pits and outdoor tubs and showers, surrounded by overgrown greens. The open bathrooms inside are huge, with walk-in showers and a soaking tub. The property has three restaurants, one of which overlooks the vineyard, a bright and airy yoga studio, a fitness center, a hair salon, and a grocery store. Carneros is very much geared toward high-budget travelers: rates here can more than triple the ones at Indian Springs.
Part of the hip and upscale Andaz chain, this 141-room hotel is a decidedly modern contrast to Napa's often rustic-luxe inns and resorts. In-room amenities like balconies and deep soaking tubs are dependent on category, but all rooms and suites include sleek decor and freebies like snacks and Wi-Fi. A farm-to-table restaurant and access to a nearby gym help make this a lovely option, but travelers wanting to ensconce themselves in a vineyard setting (over Andaz's downtown Napa location) will prefer Carneros.
Housed in a tiny Mediterranean-style complex, North Block Hotel is well suited for a romantic getaway. Its 20 cozy and elegant rooms come with plush beds, espresso machines, and luxurious bathrooms with separate tubs and showers. Hotel features include an intimate and upscale spa with personalized treatments, a pleasant pool with lounge chairs and a whirlpool, and the Italian-inspired Redd Wood restaurant from Michelin-starred Chef Richard Reddington. The excellent location is within walking distance of acclaimed Yountville restaurants such as The French Laundry, and a short drive to wineries.
Built in 1929, the The English Tudor-style Candlelight Inn is a beautiful bed-and-breakfast on a quiet residential street in Napa. The former residence now hosts 10 ornate, yet comfortable and homey rooms with cozy touches, like built-in bookcases, reading nooks, and spa bathtubs. Rooms on the second floor feature high, pitched ceilings. In all rooms are electric fireplaces, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs. Some rooms have private balconies with beautiful views of the lovely backyard pool and garden. No more than two guests are allowed in a room, adding to the romantic ambience. There is a separate cottage with a kitchen that's available for an even more private visit with additional space. Guests are treated to a three-course breakfast daily in a European-style dining area. Free beverages and snacks are available, but no other meals are served on-site.