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Summer in Napa

May 4, 2011 By: Meagan Drillinger Travel Agent

Villagio Inn & Spa
Mayacamas, one of five spa suites at Villagio Inn & Spa.

California’s rich wine country is uncorking a wealth of new travel experiences this summer season, from restaurant anniversaries to sunset cruises on the Napa River to historical walking tours. Amidst some of Northern California’s most scenic locales and enhanced by gourmet dining and exquisite wines, what better way is there to relax than an afternoon or evening session at one of the region’s luxurious spas? Here are some of Travel Agent’s top picks.

What to See

This summer, Kayak Napa Valley will introduce sunset cruises to Downtown Napa for guests to enjoy the city’s Summer Nights concert series from the water. Cruises will be available on select Friday evenings throughout July and August. Stay tuned for Saturday moonlight sailings, which will be available on July 16 and August 13.

For your clients who enjoy a jaunt, we recommend the Napa Walking Tour, which is led by historian, actor and wine/beer expert George Webber. The three-hour experience includes a stroll along the Napa River, stops at Victorian mansions, an overview of Napa and a microbrewery tour and tasting. This summer, Webber has added a humorous wine lecture and tasting.

What is wine without the “dine”? The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone will be expanding its weekend classes to provide visitors with more opportunities to learn from expert chefs. Among the class topics are artisan breads at home, cake decorating, and food and wine pairing.

Where to Stay

For a taste of Tuscany, we recommend sending your clients to Villagio Inn & Spa in Yountville, one of California’s best-known wine-growing regions. The property is part of the 23-acre Vintage Estate and is modeled after vineyard homes in the Tuscan countryside.

The elegant inn has 112 guest rooms and 26 mini suites all clustered in the style of a Tuscan village. Relaxation begins upon arrival with a complimentary bottle of wine in each guest room. The property provides 24-hour room service, nightly turndown, poolside cabanas for lounging next to the 40-foot outdoor heated pool, champagne, buffet breakfast, bicycle rentals and more. Of particular note is the Vintage Estate Cellar Collection, which is a personal in-room wine selection offered to guests.

Tuscan Countryside
Villagio Inn & Spa is modeled after vineyard homes in the Tuscan countryside.

Before an evening out in Yountville visiting top restaurants like The French Laundry (within walking distance of the property), guests can indulge at the 13,000-square-foot full-service Spa, which houses 16 treatment rooms and five personal spa suites, ranging from 300 to 852 square feet. The spa is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The menu is stocked with upscale treatments, including body polishes, scrubs, wraps, specialty massages, facials and signature mani/pedi treatments.

Other spa facilities include steam saunas, dry saunas, outdoor Swiss showers, outdoor thermal soaking tubs and exclusive Club-level service in the spa suites. Travel agents can reach out to Leslie Wolski (707-948-5061, [email protected]), spa director, with questions. All other questions can be directed to Stephen Andrews (707-948-5084, [email protected]), director of sales and marketing.

A top spot for epicureans is The Meritage Resort and Spa, which sits in Napa proper. This 158-room resort comes with three suites and 116 guest rooms at an adjacent vacation ownership resort. This getaway is a one-stop shop for everything that travelers love about the destination. Onsite amenities include a private vineyard, wine tasting in the Estate Cave, gourmet dining, a full-service spa, heated pool, fitness center, bocce ball and fire pits. Clients can expect oversized terraces and granite counters. There is also a private wing with guest rooms and suites, which can be booked for group getaways.

The property’s Siena restaurant serves rustic food, highlighted with local ingredients, in both indoor and alfresco settings. The Estate Wine Cave, a 22,000-square-foot space, is one of the major draws. It is set into the hillside underneath the resort’s private vineyard and houses the Spa Terra, tasting room and an entertainment room that can hold up to 200 guests.

The Spa Terra is an underground oasis with 10 treatment rooms, including a couples’ room, relaxation lounge, whirlpools, steam grottos and water walls. Among the recommended treatments are the Terra Massage, European Facial and the Forever Friends, which comes with a body scrub of choice, a Terra Massage or a European Facial, as well as a shared fruit and cheese platter and glass of champagne.

Agents should contact Victoria Boscarino (707-251-3000, [email protected], spa director. All other resort queries should be put to Sheri Thomas (707-251-1900, [email protected]), director of sales and marketing.

On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, Michelin-starred restaurant and luxury resort Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford has launched a special prix fixe two-course lunch menu for $30 and a new 30-Year Journey through Wine list with 30 consecutive vintages from around the world and the Napa Valley beginning with 1981.

Guests can stay in one of 50 one- and two-bedroom suites, each with its own terrace overlooking the vineyards. Every room also has a wood-burning fireplace, plasma TVs, and a refrigerator with regional wines and cheeses. Bathrooms come with skylights, stall showers, soaking tubs (ask for one with a Jacuzzi), double sinks and 15-inch LCD TVs.

Tip: For your VIP clients, ask about the two private hillside cottages, one of which has a private fitness studio.

The 7,000-square-foot Auberge Spa has eight treatment rooms that surround the central courtyard, including three for couples. The top suite at the spa is the Mélisse Suite, with views of the valley, a fireplace and outdoor space with a soaking tub. The spa facilities include a free-standing La Pagode, an Asian-style pavilion.

Ask about a Spa Wine Pairing, in which the sommelier and spa director match up the wine with the fragrances of spa treatments. Queries can be directed to Spa Director Amy Wilson-Moghina (707-967-3161, [email protected]). All resort questions should be addressed to Kara Adamson (707-967-3105), director of marketing.

Meritage Resort
The Estate Wine Cave at the Meritage Resort and Spa is built into the hillside beneath the resort’s private vineyard.


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About the Author

Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger has been with Luxury Travel Advisor and Travel Agent since 2009, covering both Asia and Mexico. A fan of both fabulous hotels and culturally immersive...

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By Meagan Drillinger | May 4, 2011
The luxury of a spa vacation in California’s wine country extends to the scenic locale, gourmet dining and choicest wines.