“A book of verses underneath the bough, a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou” defined romance for the Persian poet Omar Khayyam some 900 years ago. While the book of poetry might be optional now, modern romance seekers will find Napa Valley well-stocked on the bread and wine front, and equally so on discreet bowers for romantic getaways. Here are some of the best romantic hotels in Napa.
Featured Photo: Hotel Yountville
Alila Napa Valley
Called Las Alcobas when it debuted in 2017, this unique property at the northern end of St. Helena’s Main Street includes a renovated 1907 farmhouse with restaurant and a half-dozen rooms plus a modern wing with spacious rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass windows to soak in the vineyard views. Most offer large balconies or decks with sofas and fire pits; some even come with outdoor soaking tubs. Bathrooms provide rain-forest showers and separate tubs.
TIP: While Chris Cosentino’s ambitious Acacia House restaurant is temporarily closed (check website for reopening), the location next to Beringer Vineyards and within a half-mile of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone remains ideal for oenophiles and gourmets. For more R&R, lounge by the heated pool or book a treatment in serene Alila Spa.
Auberge du Soleil
The originator of romantic Napa getaways began life as an acclaimed California-French restaurant in 1981. Cottages added in 1985 took advantage of its hilltop location in Rutherford — the heart of Wine Country — with dazzling vistas seemingly all the way to San Francisco. Lavish Mediterranean landscaping and olive groves on its 33 acres continue the South of France ambiance found in its recently redesigned 50 rooms and suites. Fountains and courtyards also create a tranquil oasis for the Auberge du Soleil Spa, reserved for guests of the resort.
TIP: Couples seeking romance will appreciate the adults-only policy. Dining at Auberge du Soleil’s frequently Michelin-starred restaurant is still a must-do, while its Bistro and Bar also provides delicious, locally inspired fare in a more informal setting; you can also order food at La Plage, the sunny pool deck with canopied lounge chairs. The spa also offers soaking pools and hammam steam rooms.
If you venture out of your lodgings, you may brush shoulders with Hollywood stars, BottleRock Napa Valley performers and other luminaries who gravitate to this paragon of eco-luxury in Yountville, close to the French Laundry, Bouchon and other premier dining destinations. But the 62 rooms feature built-in massage tables, gas fireplaces, soaking tubs and private outdoor enclaves that promote cocooning. Head to the rooftop pool and open-air fitness deck provide sweeping valley views. Lucy Restaurant & Bar celebrates “field to fork” California cuisine, sourced in part from the onsite gardens; guests can also dine poolside June through October.
TIP: The expert treatments of B Spa are available in your room or the softly lit Spa Center. Use one of the hotel bikes (included in the $68 nightly resort fee, along with a bottle of Napa wine, daily breakfast bites and other perks) to tour Yountville’s tasting rooms, cafes and boutiques.The extensive green initiatives include a guest garden where you can plant herbs to offset the carbon impact of your stay.
Carneros Resort and Spa
Free-standing cottages, some with outdoor soaking tubs and fire pits, and all with private, fenced backyards create a sense of romantic privacy amid vineyards and gardens on this 28-acre resort. The recently renovated lodgings offer contemporary chic decor, plus cozy luxuries like fireplaces and heated bathroom floors, good for taking the chill off on cool evenings or mornings in the Carneros district. Outdoor showers and two pools will hep you cool off on sunny days. Dining is always first-rate, with new culinary gardens surrounding the indoor-outdoor restaurant and market.
TIP: The adults-only, infinity pool and hot tub on a hilltop overlooking vineyards and mountains are always appealing, but absolutely magical at sunset. Exclusive to guests of the resort, the Spa at Carneros provides exquisite treatments inspired by the Wine Country. Hop on a complimentary bike to raise a glass to romance at nearby wineries such as Domaine Carneros and Artesa Vineyards & Winery.
Four-poster beds, oversized sunken spa tubs, fieldstone fireplaces — the plush yet airy rooms at Hotel Yountville tick all the boxes for a romantic getaway. When it’s time to explore, enjoy the easy access to downtown Yountville’s fine dining and shops, not to mention the myriad of wineries. Its spa, exclusive to guests, and Heritage Oak restaurant are also destinations in their own right.
TIP: Dine poolside on the Heritage Oak terrace, or sample cocktails and artisan bites in the stylish lobby bar. In the spa, try the new Tara “well bar” to create a customized body product based on Ayurvedic principles and sip Naturopathica tea after one a treatment in one of its six rooms, including Swiss showers and hydrotherapy tubs.
Romance doesn’t have to cost a fortune, as this charming, light-filled 13-room hotel in the heart of walkable Yountville proves. The oldest hotel in Napa Valley (with an extensively renovated main building dating to 1873), it’s now part of Four Sisters Inns, an attractive and well-managed California boutique hotel brand that includes Yountville’s similarly intimate Lavender bed-and-breakfast hotel. A former carriage house and bakery complete the compound, whose gardens contain a discreetly placed hot tub and compact pool.
TIP: Complimentary bikes make all of Yountville’s attractions even more accessible. Choose the coziest rooms for the best values; all rates include delicious breakfast (Grand Marnier french toast, anyone?) and provisions for an afternoon picnic of wine and cheese.