California’s Napa Valley is a world-class destination with award winning-wines, superb food and stunning countryside. Notably, some of the most acclaimed wineries and eating establishments in the country are found in this select Northern California enclave.
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Carneros Resort and Spa – Napa Valley’s 28-acre luxe retreat situated on a bucolic landscape with vineyards, rich foliage and rolling hills, makes an idyllic getaway in the heart of wine country. The resort looks like a pastoral paradise; individual landscaped cottages with a country chic aesthetic, set in mini neighborhoods with flower-lined pathways offer the utmost privacy. All have scenic porches with white rocking chairs and French doors leading to private gardens, some with fire pits and outdoor soaking tubs. Inside: the décor is elevated farm-chic. An extensive interior and exterior cottage renovation to be completed in December features light, airy interiors with soothing hues of white and dove, new ceramic gray wood-style flooring and renovated bathrooms.
The resort also recently expanded and redesigned the 5919 square foot Spa creating an outdoor relaxation area, new treatment rooms and a couple’s suite. A reimagined spa menu references wine country and new treatments like the Body Botany Massage use oils inspired by plants and herbs in the garden such as olive leaf, rosemary, hibiscus and lemon. Ivory colored – walls, limestone floors, oak accents, flowers and a water feature create a relaxing sanctuary.
Farm Restaurant which serves farm to table dining offers a new single ingredient tasting menu using vegetables or fruits sourced from the resort’s new culinary garden. You can also opt for their a la carte menu and savor such delights as truffle tagliatelle and duck with cherry sauce. Other dining venues include the very busy Boon Fly Café that is open to the public, Hilltop Dining Room and gourmet general store Market.
In addition to the many nearby wine excursions, the resort provides an array of onsite activities. Guests can play bocce ball, bike, snag a new outfit at high-end fashion boutique COOP and enjoy a glass of Napa wine on their porch or at one of the restaurants on the town square. Or perhaps loll in a lounger by the stunning hilltop pool, kicking back in style and taking in those glorious vineyards views.
If you leave paradise, head to newcomer Miminashi – a little gem in downtown Napa for izakaya Japanese bar-style cuisine. The snazzy design includes a three-sided entrance with myriad wood carvings that represent Mount Fuji and poplar wood ceilings resembling interlocking pagodas. Yellowfin tuna sashimi, hamachi, chicken with ginger and short ribs were all sensational. And the soft serve ice cream is to die for! Not to mention the fantastic sake selection and bevy of creative cocktails such as the Gin Gin Mule with homemade ginger honey crafted by one of Napa’s star mixologists.
Foodies will love another newcomer, The Charter Oak in St. Helena, Napa Valley. Owners James Beard award winner Nathaniel Dorn and 3 Michelin star chef from Meadowood’s Restaurant, Christopher Kostow, deliver outstanding hearth-roasted fare, produce fresh from their farm and fabulous Napa wines. The trendy eatery with buzzy bar and some outdoor tables is designed with rustic wood, exposed brick and tan leather.
All food is sustainably produced and locally sourced. Grilled items such as beef ribs, aged ribeye, buttermilk chicken and black cod plus roasted mushrooms, beets and okra are so flavorful they dance on your palate. Scrumptious salads include delectable produce with melt in your mouth buffalo mozzarella. Even dishes like raw vegetables from their garden with fermented soy dip and crudo of halibut with purslane and vinaigrette are stupendous.
To complement fine food and wine, you must Spa! And the new Meadowood Spa delivers premier Napa Valley pampering with its all suite-spa concept. Guests have their own private treatment suite with glass windows and country views, master therapists and every amenity. The moment I entered this temple of healing with its soothing scents, warm earth tones, rich wood accents and comfy fireplace, I felt the serene energy permeate my body. I was instructed to pick up a stone from a bowl, place it in my hands and imagine an objective for the session. Then I spoke with my therapist, chose oils from their curated selection and my “Essential Journey” treatment started as I drifted off to a tranquil place. Awaking rejuvenated, I proceeded to the calming relaxation gardens where I was surrounded by nature’s beauty. Elevating its fabulous quotient, Meadowood will complete a full renovation of its pools and fitness areas early next year.