Planning a romantic trip to Napa Valley? We share with you the Top 10 best hotels and resorts to rest your head while you are in town. Sweet dreams.
“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” William Penn seems to understand the importance of a good night’s sleep. I have to add that while you are on vacation or a business trip, resting becomes even more important. And sometimes the down time is the best part of the vacation! t is well known that good sleep enables us to make better decisions and be more engaged with our activities. While you are staying in the beautiful Napa Valley, make every waking and sleeping moment count. Drum roll, please! We share with you, our list of Top 10 Napa Valley hotels and resorts that must book to make up the ultimate Napa weekend getaway.
You probably don’t know, but Napa Valley is one of the smallest wine regions, being about 22 miles long and 6 miles widest part. There are two main roads that you’ll travel on, Highway 29 being the most well-travelled because most of the towns are anchored on it. Four of the six towns have great accommodations (Napa, Yountville, St Helena, Calistoga), ranging from the low-end to well over $2000/night. While the town of Napa offers the most options and things to do after the wineries close for the day, it is certainly not the most luxurious or the most centrally-located place to stay. What you will want to do is determine what parts of Napa Valley you plan on spending the most time in.
That’s because at the end of the day, traffic heading south (from upper valley to Napa) can get heavy as the wineries and tasting rooms close. It can easily take you three times as long to get back as it did to get you there in the morning. To avoid the traffic, you can consider staying in St. Helena or Calistoga, or what we recommend, if your budget doesn’t support it, is to stay in Napa and be sure to make your reservations for wine tastings starting in the morning in the upper valley (Calistoga and St. Helena) and work your way down the valley. If you plan your day right, you’ll be south of Oakville before 3:30PM. And yep, us locals used to enjoy speeding along the Silverado Trail on the east side of the valley and that too gets backed up. Take your time while creating your itinerary and you’ll look like a seasoned pro!
Our list provides at least one option in each town so you can see the quality and variety of hotels and resorts that await to meet your every whim. While it’s common knowledge that for the best hotel rates, it’s better to wait to the last minute. However, in Napa Valley where we have a steady steam of visitors (5 million+ a year), many well-attended events and festivals and metropolitan cities can easily swallow up the lesser expensive rooms. So, booking as soon as you have your travel dates is the only way to guarantee availability on your selected dates for the best rates. Also note that some hotels will have a two to three night minimum during peak season, so also put that into the equation.
10. The Westin Verasa (Downtown Napa) - The Westin Verasa boasts a great location, just next to the world-famous Oxbow Market. On the fringe of downtown Napa, but away from the noise and activity makes this property close enough to walk to town, but feel like you are out in the country as this is situated right on the Napa River with a beautiful walking path that services a few other hotels in the area. The hotel has valet parking that is very efficient and the valets are friendly and professional (even when its gets busy). Free wine-down tasting every day at 5:00PM usually hosted by a local winery will take the edge off your day of travel. If you are a member of Marriott Rewards, you will receive a free breakfast every morning.
The maid service is excellent. What puts the Westin Verasa on my list however, is the exceptional concierge service, who will plan a wine tour and suggest interesting activities (how about kayaking on the Napa River with a winetasting?) for you while you are in town. You will love the Westin Verasa Napa for its contemporary décor, comfortable rooms and no doubt return again and again.
9. Napa Valley Marriott Hotel is located north of downtown Napa right off of valley’s main artery, Highway 29. The Marriott Napa Valley is situated in an area of Napa that offers easy access to wineries, world-class restaurants and regional state parks. The accommodations and common areas are clean, functional and comfortable. The rooms have been recently renovated, are spacious and well-appointed with in room refrigerators, comfy bedding and high thread count sheets- yeah! The Hotel is fully equipped with an on-site restaurant that is actually really delicious, a bar, outdoor pool, spa, fire pits and extensive lounge and garden area.
Most importantly however, is the exceptional client service that caters to the needs of every guest. For a stay with room rates that won’t break the bank (and garner you points if you are a Marriott member), stay at the Marriott Napa Valley as you’ll enjoy it.
8. River Terrace Inn is located just a few doors down from the Westin Verasa, but definitely more laid back, but chic. With a convenient walking path connecting to the excitement of the vibrant Oxbow Market, the River Terrace Inn has just the right balance between tranquil and tantalizing. Under the umbrella of the Noble House properties, (they own the Wine Train and Napa River Inn) the River Terrace Inn typically offers some attractive weekend getaway packages. The rooms are fancy, yet functional and newly decorated. You can choose from a standard suite or several other larger ones. I find that the larger suites are of great value and offer the extra space and luxury that is desired while on vacation.
After a long day of wine tasting, the full bar with 5pm wine down wine tasting and restaurant offer a nice place to relax and recover. The entire team is dedicated to client needs and does a great job of providing any and all information to guests, about Napa Valley. Discover all that Napa has to offer and stay at the casual, yet elegant River Terrace Inn.
7. Carneros Resort & Spa located out on Highway 121 is a long-standing favorite resort destination for locals and visitors alike. What’s not to like about a place with five-star amentias, service, outdoor pool, food and wine? I have zero doubts that the answer is - everything is right about this Napa Valley gem. Oozing with charm and elegance, the resort is located right on the border of Sonoma and Napa County. Wineries, restaurants and activities are close by. Although with the Boon Fly Café and Farm Restaurant on site, you may not need to ever leave the resort as often as you think. Often, we will pick up goodies at the adorable market (also on site) and have a fantastic picnic while wine tasting in the Los Carneros AVA. Check out my blog to Best Places and Wineries to Have a Picnic in Napa Valley for favorite spots. Enjoy a luxurious spa treatment at the top-rated spa and you will soon find all your stress melt away and your spirits renew.
The rooms are all individually standing, posh bungalows. The cottages are decked out with every creature comfort, including indoor and outdoor fireplaces, front and back patios and heated slate flooring. If you want to upgrade, there are suites and houses available. If you have the kiddos with you, they have a Carneros Kids Night every Saturday in Summer (June thru August) where for $50 you can leave your darlings for four hours and have a date night with your sweetheart. Carneros Resort is the ideal place to stay while in Napa Valley, but like many of the top spots, be sure to make your reservations early in Summer months as they do book out fairly quickly.
6. Archer Hotel (Downtown Napa) is the new kid on the block for Napa Valley accommodations. With Charlie Palmer Group at the helm, it’s no wonder that everyone likes to visit the lively Archer Hotel. Palmer has had huge success in everything that he touches and the Napa Valley Archer measures no differently! Besides having top-notch rooms (with all the bells and whistles), this boutique retreat has an awesome lounge in the lobby (with a popular Happy Hour), a rooftop bar and the Charlie Palmer Steak House, led by the very talented Chef Frankie Lopez Jr. The flavor and creativity that goes into the food is nothing short of magic. Be ready to be pampered and treated as though you are the most important person in the world. Nightlife, boutiques and restaurants are all within walking distance. Talk about convenience! Located on the most popular drag of downtown Napa, you can’t go wrong by making the Archer Hotel your home while you are in town.
5. Hotel Villagio(Yountville) went through a massive renovation beginning in 2018 and ending in 2019. From the moment you arrive, your senses are both calmed and heightened in an inviting, modern atmosphere, just steps away from the region’s famous vineyards. Centrally located, Yountville is the perfect town to stay while you visit Napa Valley. Here, you can stroll along the tree-lined sidewalks and visit cute shops, tasting rooms and world-class restaurants. If you are a foodie, you’ll already know that Yountville has more Michelin stars per capita than any other city in the world. Here, you will dine at restaurants owned by famed chefs Thomas Keller, Michael Chiarello, Cindy Pawlson and Richard Reddington- and so many others!
At Villagio you can expect to lose yourself, as the rooms wrap you in decadence and luxurious comfort. The Spa (onsite) is one of the best around and has a long list of soothing and restorative treatments at your beck and call. Their sister property, Vintage House is just a short walk away and offers the same swanky and playful ease. As if that’s not enough, they offer complimentary local wine tastings daily in the hotel lobby. Look for their specials and packages, which are a great value. See you in Yountville, at the Villagio!
4. Silverado Resort & Spa (Napa – Atlas Peak) is a Napa Valley institution. Starting in the 60’s, Silverado Resort has been the ‘go to’ place for the who’s who of Napa Valley and the surrounding area. Its no wonder as the resort is 100,000 square feet, has 340 rooms and suites, 13 meeting rooms, 2 PGA championship golf courses, 10 tennis courts, 10 swimming pools, 5 restaurants, bars and markets and a 16,000 square foot day spa. As a local I book the Silverado Resort when I want to have a “stay-cation’ and always have a marvelous time. Staying at Silverado is a nod to the glory of decades past and nostalgia can be felt in its bones. However, the resort has been completely renovated - restored in a way that makes it shine with the most beautiful glow of understated elegance.
The spa facilities are second to none in Napa and offer a wide array of treatments. Silverado hosts the PGA event called the Safeway Open the last week of September and it’s a great event to attend. Getting a room that week may be a challenge unless you book well in advance. If you are a golfer, tennis player or just love the classic feel of a country club, then Silverado Resort & Spa is the place for you. Oh, I almost forgot, the rates are fairly reasonable for Napa Valley. Silverado is a great value for what you get and my favorite place to stay.
3. The Francis House (Calistoga) is my personal favorite place to stay in Napa Valley. Located in quaint town of Calistoga, the historical restoration project that Dina and Richard Dwyer stumbled upon online and purchased has proven to be a labor of love. As a result (and sparing no expense, I might add), the Francis House has (after three years of renovation) resumed its glory and become one of the most revered spaces to grace the Napa Valley. For years (52 to be exact), the dilapidated French Second Empire stone building of this historic site, stood empty. Rumored by locals to be haunted, no one was brave enough to take the property on. Presently, the renewed space boasts ultra-luxurious suites, a spa, an estate pool, a billiards room, a library and fire pits to make for your ultimate weekend retreat.
The Francis House is anything but pedestrian (or haunted) and glorious in every way known to man or demi-god. Hats off to the vision, love and dedication of the Dwyers, who made their dream a reality. If you want to set your stay in Napa Valley above the rest, book immediately at the esteemed Francis House in Calistoga.
2. Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel owned by Marriott (St. Helena) opened in 2017 and has been well received by all. The farmhouse, originally constructed in 1907, has been fully restored and makes its home next door to the historical Beringer Vineyards. Everything at Los Alcobas is crisp and new and after three years, the hotel has settled into its new space with grace and charm. The luxurious hotel rooms are styled by designer Yabu Pushelberg. Plush bedding and Rivolta linens ensure that you will sleep like a baby and awake renewed. Each room has soaking tubs and separate showers that create a spa-like atmosphere. Indulge in the finer things of life and stay at Los Alcobas. Also a treat is the on-site restaurant (and bar) called The Acacia House. Locals love to go to the bar for some of the best signature cocktails in Napa Valley. The Margaritas are simply divine! Its relaxing to sit on the patio and enjoy the sunset and colorful views.
Downtown St. Helena is a short walk away. Lined with boutique shops, tasting rooms, galleries, award-winning restaurants and the home of the oldest, continuously-running, single screen movie theater in the country. You’ll want to grab coffee at Model Bakery and take some of their world-famous English Muffins how with you. Main Street in St. Helena has much to offer to the entire family. Guys, you’ll want to walk the aisles of Steve’s Hardware store or take turns throwing axes at New West Knifeworks while the chef in the family gazes at the $1000 hand-forged knives. If you want to stay up valley close to the wineries in style, make your way to Los Alcobas and you will be happy you made such a great choice.
1. Auberge du Soleil (St. Helena) made its first mark in the Napa Valley in 1986. Under the careful watch of legendary hotelier, Claude Rouas, Auberge du Soleil Napa Valley found its footing and evolved into the most luxurious resort our valley has ever seen. Here, on the slopes of the foothills, looking out onto the Napa Valley floor, a true romance between southern France and the spirit of Napa Valley become one. You will pay top dollar, but you will want for nothing when you stay at Auberge.
Auberge offers Deluxe or Classic rooms and suites OR Private Maisons. Whatever you choose, each room will offer luxurious residential interiors with a separate living space, French doors and a private terrace or patio. Every room has a soaking tub and delicious spa products to pamper, even the faint of heart. With 13 consecutive Michelin Star awards, The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil always delivers creative and beautiful food. You can dine indoors or outside on the expansive patio. The menu is Mediterranean-inspired and changes seasonally, based on what is locally available. If you want a robust wine list, you are in the right place as the Restaurant at Auberge has an impressive 15,000-bottle cellar. Also iconic are cocktails and nibbles at sunset, on the patio. You can just pop in and find a seat inside or out. The view is so stunning that it looks like a movie backdrop.
With a commitment to excellence, quality and customer service Auberge went through a major renovation in 2019 allowing it to maintain its coveted crown. If you are in the mood to splurge and submit to the shining light of Napa Valley, stay at Auberge du Soleil and live your best life. Auberge is the place where memories to last a lifetime are made.