Napa Luxury at Carneros Inn
For our one-year anniversary celebration, my boyfriend Phillip and I decided to splurge and stay at Napa's lovely Carneros Inn. From start to finish, this resort was the perfect locale for a special occasion experience !
Upon checkin, we were given chocolate truffles and glasses of wine we were free to drink while driving around the property, as well as a private escort to our cottage. Grounds are meticulously maintained, with water baths, trellises, and flowers abloom.
When splurging on a luxury vacation, I think it's important to figure out what elements are *really* of utmost importance to you. As much as we love stunning views and incredible interior design, what's really worth the splurge for us is - fire and hot tubs. We picked the "harvest cottage," which was short on vineyard views but featured an outdoor bath tub surrounded by flowers, and a toasty firepit for keeping warm and roasting marshmallows in the evening !
For daytime activities (beyond the many neighboring wineries to visit), Carneros offers free cruiser bike and helmet rentals to explore. Concierge services will show you multiple routes around the property, including a beautiful 4 mile loop nearby that takes you through gentle sloping hills with vineyard and lake views.
Carneros Inn was definitely special-occasion territory for us in terms of pricing, so we were determined to budget in other ways. With such a gorgeous private garden, we figured - why not picnic in our own backyard ? I baked a decadent ham, leek, three-cheese quiche (from Yountville's delicious Bistro Jeanty can be found HERE), picked up some baguette and cheese from Carneros Inn's local market, and brought along a bottle of 1982 St. Emilion. OK, I guess that last one isn't quite a bargain (but the occasion certainly warranted its opening.) Other onsite dining options include elegant, renowned restaurant The Farm, and rustic yet casual fare from The Boon Fly Cafe.
Carneros Inn certainly falls more on the luxe side than bargain, but you can save money by booking through Jetsetter when they offer deals, or booking in the offseason. I personally prefer Napa and Sonoma outside of summer months, when wineries are far less crowded and temperatures are less scorching. Our anniversary also happened to fall on a Wednesday this year - booking midweek instead of on the weekend saved us more than $300/night.