Finally a break from the Tuscan-Provençal style that seems to dominate the California wine country. Carneros Resort and Spa, at the south end of Napa, close to the town’s center, is rather more modern, its style a sort of rustic chic minimalism, its inspiration seemingly drawn not from Europe but from the American Midwest and Northeast.
The Carneros Resort stands out from the other luxury properties in the area, the corrugated metal roofs of the cottages are striking and unassuming at the same time, and fit well into the landscape of rolling hills and wide-open farmland. Once inside, you feel immediately at home. While not as over-the-top as some wine country accommodations, the cottages are simple, tasteful, and more than comfortable, with fireplaces, heated bathroom floors, private indoor-outdoor showers, outdoor soaking tubs, and secluded garden patios, complete with lounges under gas heaters for cooler Californian nights.
Add to this a long outdoor pool with an idyllic view of the vineyards, a spa to compete with any in the wine country, and Farm, a restaurant serving locally sourced California cuisine, and it’s clear Carneros is a real contender for must-stay Napa Valley hotels.
I had the pleasure of visiting the hotel over the New Year holiday. I fell in love with the property’s modest decor, friendly staff, and convenient location. Alongside the acclaimed Farm restaurant, the hotel also boasts BoonFly Cafe, which is a must-visit while there. The donuts are to die for. See photos from my vacation on my Instagram.