There’s No Place Like Napa

The wine, the restaurants, the lodgings. So much has happened in Napa Valley in the last few years. Here’s our guide for deciding where to go and what to do. Spoiler alert: Everything is pretty great.

Meadowood

Meadowood

This sprawling, canyon-set retreat has been an icon since it first opened in 1979. The fires in 2020 unfortunately claimed a portion of the property, but don’t let that deter you from experiencing what is still the valley’s most idyllic resort. Thirty-six lodge-style rooms and suites designed by Howard Backen continue to welcome guests, while the rest of the property is in the process of being thoughtfully reimagined. Head to the three-pool complex, which was completed in 2019 and will soon be accompanied by Forum, Meadowood’s new restaurant, which will serve three meals a day and also offer a 20-person private dining room. Hike around the 250-acre property, make time for a game of tennis, recharge in the spa, and of course, don’t miss The Wine Center to explore the region’s best wines.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

One of the area’s newer properties, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley settled into the flats of the Calistoga region in November 2021 with 85 rooms on 22.5 acres. First-timers to the Napa region will appreciate its central location and on-site Elusa Winery, featuring small-lot wines by winemaker Jonathan Walden and consulting winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. The array of room options (from 480-square-foot standard rooms to a 3,450-square-foot, four-bedroom Residential Villa with pool) makes it ideal for an array of travelers. The modern farmhouse–style property has also just appointed Rogelio Garcia as executive chef of Truss Restaurant and Bar, and is set to announce a fine-dining concept shortly.

Solage

Solage

When it debuted in 2007, Solage was Auberge Resorts’ answer to a younger, hipper Napa option. But as the region has evolved, so has the property. Located across from the Four Seasons in Calistoga, Solage just underwent a $30 million full renovation, completed in May 2021, that includes a new poolside restaurant, Picobar, newly built suites, and renovated guest rooms and public spaces. This season, guests of the 22-acre, 89-room, bungalow-style property—one of the few in the area that is child friendly—can enjoy an array of new experiences, including poolside cabana packages, margarita carts and Mezcal tastings at Picobar, and a private patio pizza-making experience available to guests booking certain rooms with individual outdoor spaces.

Poetry Inn Napa Valley

Poetry Inn Napa Valley
Photo Credits: Michael Hospelt

There are few places more romantic than Poetry Inn. Perched on a hill overlooking Yountville—as well as the owners’ Cliff Lede Vineyards—the boutique property’s five suites measure 950 to 1,450 square feet and feature wood-burning fireplaces, limestone bathrooms with soaking tubs, and west-facing terraces that are as conducive to morning couples yoga (there’s no gym, but rooms include yoga mats and kettlebells) as they are to watching the sunset with a glass of Cliff Lede Cab. As part of its 2021 design refresh, Poetry Inn worked with a landscape architect to create an on-site private hiking trail, leading 500 feet above the inn, where it connects to the public Rector Reservoir Wildlife Area trail. Those returning from the hike in the morning will particularly enjoy the acclaimed three-course breakfast from chef Lynn Vita, utilizing seasonal ingredients, many sourced from the property’s own garden. 

Stanly Ranch

Stanly Ranch

As the newest property to open in the region—and Auberge Resorts’ third in Napa Valley, not including Calistoga Ranch, which burned down in the fires of 2020—Stanly Ranch makes its mark with 135 cottages on 700 acres at the southern end of the valley, making it ideal for those coming in from the Oakland (50 miles) or San Francisco (58 miles) airports. The modern-industrial resort—expanses of glass, accents of steel, swaths of wood—is prime for discovering the region’s nearby boutique wineries. Taking wellness to a new level, the one-acre, seven-building Halehouse functions as an entire well-being center, designed to help guests achieve customized wellness goals—from training effectively for a marathon to recovering from injuries.

Montage Healdsburg

Montage Healdsburg

Technically in Sonoma (just 13 miles from the Santa Rosa airport), the 258-acre, 130-room Montage Healdsburg opened in January 2021 and was an immediate hit with couples and families alike looking for an escape from the city. On-site, vineyards and 22,000 preserved oak trees complement the expansive pool and provide stunning views from every angle. Dine at the property’s Hazel Hill for terroir-to-table, alfresco fare or enjoy the view from the lobby’s Scout Field Bar, with a mix of cocktails, local craft beers, and of course the region’s wine. However, one of the best things about the property is its location. Hop in the courtesy car for a quick lift to downtown Healdsburg, full of charming shops, cafes, and wine-tasting rooms. Or partake in one of the Montage’s new excursions, like the Wine Country Helicopter Adventure, which includes a tour and private tasting experience that extends all the way out to the Pacific Ocean.

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