We can't think of a better way to while away time between bottle tastings than at the newest (or newly remodeled) sleeps in town. These charming hotels have us itching for a Cali wine country vacation.
By Lindsey Olander
Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer
Star chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer has caught the hotel bug. First, he co-partnered with Sonoma's Hotel Healdsburg in 2001, debuting signature restaurant Dry Creek Kitchen to much acclaim. Then came Mystic Hotel in San Francisco, where he revamped the restaurant into a speakeasy-style tavern. Next up: Harvest Inn, housed in a series of old manor houses a mile outside St. Helena. Here, you'll find 78 rooms including four new loft-style suites, five gardens tended by an on-site horticulturist, and, of course, a standout destination restaurant, where foodies can enjoy fresh-picked ingredients (artichoke, herbs, citrus) on a patio overlooking the property's eight green acres.
Napa Valley, the heart and soul of American winemaking, certainly doesn't lack for bucolic vineyard stays--but under-the-radar Carneros Inn is making one of the bigger statements this year. Just off a $6.5 million renovation, its 86 individual cottages on 27 rolling acres are decidedly more minimalist than the Tuscan-style digs of surrounding competitors--and a welcome breath of fresh air. Our favorite perks: the lengthy outdoor adults-only pool just 10 feet from the vines and a fireside butler for all your fire pit and outdoor soaking tub needs. S'mores, anyone?
This cottage-style retreat is a destination unto itself. Eight standalone cedar-shingled buildings--connected by trellised walkways and terraces--incorporate materials like stone and hewn wood and feature floor-to-ceiling windows that put the forest setting on full display. The romance here is palpable: there's a beautiful (if tiny) cabernet vineyard, a candlelit wine cave, a lakeside restaurant, and winding hiking trails that crisscross through 127 acres of private, secluded woodland. This year, the resort debuted an all-new adult pool enhanced by a stone fireplace and lush olive trees--as if one needed another reason to reconnect with nature.
Meadowood Napa Valley
This iconic Napa mainstay is everything you'd expect from a five-star Relais & Chateaux property: there's a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, 250 sprawling acres, and beautiful interior details like Tibetan silk rugs, global antiques, and ceramics by local artist Emil Yanos. Meadowood recently emerged from a $60 million re-do, which involved a refresh of the guest rooms and golf course as well as the opening of a standalone spa by Napa architect (and landscape guru) Howard Backen. The exterior wraps around an aging oak tree; inside, guests can choose from a treatment menu heavy on vinotherapy (think grape seed and black walnut scrubs) and detox-inducing bites like beets with Santa Rosa plum, purple carrots, and arugula.
Single Thread Farms Restaurant & Inn
California's most anticipated opening of the year -- equal parts restaurant, spa, and inn -- is a game-changer for Sonoma, singlehandedly throwing the county back in the fine-dining spotlight. What's the hype about? Ticketed dinners for those willing to shell out, during which chef Kyle Connaughton and wife/farmer Katina prepare an ambitious 11-course, kaiseki-style meal using ingredients grown right in their rooftop garden, greenhouse, and local farm. Wine pairings and greenhouse tours are also on offer for those looking to dig a little deeper, while five luxe suites designed by AvroKO are the icing on the proverbial cake.
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