California’s Napa Valley has long been the ultimate destination for hedonistic oenotourists, with some accommodation options reaching US$6,000 a night. While there are still mind-blowing, luxurious stays that cost more than a month’s salary, there are also many more places to choose from, each offering something a little different – and not all of them will blow the budget.
Busy times tend to be around harvest, from August to November, so be sure to book in advance if you want to travel then (and be prepared for the inevitable eye-watering price hikes). Quieter times are between March and May. You may not see grapes on the vines, but crowds are smaller, it’s sunny, and the vine flowers will be out in all their glory.
Food is a huge focus in the region, with gorgeously fresh and simple farm-to-fork restaurants on almost every corner, as well as a plethora of Michelin-starred dining rooms, many in the hotels themselves.
For those seeking to pamper, the spa scene has exploded in a similar way to the food scene, with even budget-priced guest houses and hotels offering vinotherapy as well as upmarket spa experiences.
The issue of wine tasting and getting around has been well addressed in recent years, with many locations offering complimentary drivers and shuttles to nearby activities. The most convenient way to see Napa is still with your own car, but if no one on your team wants to be the designated driver (it’s a wine destination after all!), there are several chauffeur companies that will transport you from tasting room to tasting room. Many hotels have solved this problem for some of their customers by hosting their own regular tastings at sundown, often with winemakers present.
Family-friendly wine tourism has improved too, with children more welcome in some guest houses and hotels than perhaps they used to be. And dogs are well received in a great many places. Welcome to Napa!
Best for vineyard views
A relative newcomer to the luxury resort scene in Napa, Las Alcobas in St Helena is the new go-to, blow-out location for those seeking vineyard views. Situated in an old Georgian house, it feels more like a private estate than a hotel – an estate with a rather famous neighbour. The historic Beringer Vineyards sit adjacent to Las Alcobas, and a good number of the 68 rooms and suites look out onto those very special vines. You can dine sitting on your own private terrace overlooking the vines, and the hotel’s outdoor pool and fire pit are just moments away. If it’s a splurge-worthy occasion, ask for a corner suite with one of the huge wraparound terraces looking straight onto the vineyards.
While you’re there, make sure you take the time to try the modern Californian cuisine at the hotel’s Acacia House, headed up by top chef Chris Cosentino. If it’s warm enough, book a table outside on the veranda, where wine lovers will want time to peruse the extensive wine list. The cocktails are worth trying too.
St Helena is also a great location to explore many famous vineyards and wineries, such as Freemark Abbey and the wonderfully bonkers Raymond Vineyards just down the road. The hotel’s concierge can help organise your winery visits, including transport, which may or may not include a hot air balloon ride over the vines.
- Address: 1915 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
- Tel: +1 (707) 963 7000
- Rates: from $625 (£485) a night
With panoramic views from many of the 81 rooms and suites of vineyards as well as botanical gardens and tall redwood trees, the Harvest Inn is surrounded by nature. Seek out one of its enormous Vineyard View Collection Suites, with private terraces looking onto the vines, or splurge on a Vineyard View Collection Spa room, with unobstructed vineyard views from your private, outdoor hot tub.
- Address: 1 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
- Tel: +1 (707) 963 9463
- Rates: from $299 (£232) in low season
Best for romance
Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-travel/where-to-stay-napa-for-every-budget-430144/