carneros resort and spa

Carneros Resort & Spa

Carneros Resort & Spa, which is nestled in Napa Valley’s famed Los Carneros growing region, makes it all too easy to get lost in the romance of wine country.

How much amour abounds, you ask?

Remember Sweet Home Alabama? In it, Reese “as the peak of her adorableness” Witherspoon must decide between a city boy played by Patrick “Dr. McDreamy” Dempsey or hometown country boy Josh “young Kevin Costner in Yellowstone” Lucas. Not that there is a wrong choice, but after she chooses Lucas’ character, we learn the country gentleman started his own custom furniture shop and is freaking loaded.

I am making you remember all of that (and also want to remind you Candice “Murphy Brown” Bergen plays Dempsey’s hardcore politician mom in it to perfection, just because credit is due for a great performance) to say this: though they do not show it; you know the chic home that two fictional lovebirds likely built and settled down in after their imaginary “happily ever after” was beyond your wildest farmhouse-chic dreams.

Or was it?

Situated on 28 acres, Carneros Resort is – to me – that imaginary contemporary-yet-rural palace in our dreams.

Wholly inspired by the local countryside and agrarian lifestyle of Napa, there is sun-washed farmhouse aesthetic to spare, not to mention all the comforts of a luxury resort.

Dining

There are three on-site dining destinations – FARM at Carneros, Boon Fly Café and the Hilltop Dining Room – on property to start.

All culinary operations are led by the resort’s Executive Chef Jeffrey Jake. The Napa Valley native began his career at Domaine Chandon as a sous chef before attaining national acclaim (and a slew of famous fans) as executive chef at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, where he played an integral role in organizing and executing prestigious, high-profile events that include the AT&T Pro Am Golf Tournament and the Concours d’ Elegance. Prior, he also served as executive chef at The Old Bath House Restaurant, which was named “Outstanding Restaurant” by the California Writers Association during his tenure.

Jake and his team develop many of the food and beverage recipes using ingredients sourced right on property at the resort’s new culinary garden. In total, the garden features 50 varieties of organic herbs and vegetables as well as an on-site chicken coop provided farm-fresh eggs daily. (Note for when you book: there are private gardening and cooking demonstration programs available with a quick call to the concierge.)

Though all three outlets are well worth a visit, FARM is the fine dining option, and it is oh-so-fine. Inside, it is meant to feel like what I assume it feels like to be in Diane Keaton’s living room, cozy yet dripping with elegant features and with a booming cathedral ceiling. If feels very Nancy Meyers too, and I mean that as a compliment as I dream of living in a Nancy Meyers’ movie one day.

The menu changes seasonally as the garden does, but there is always a caviar option on the menu as well as a homemade bread and butter offering that cannot be ignored. Pay special attention to the “garden provisions” section of the menu and be sure to order a few of those to share. And any main dish with a specialty sauce? Order it. Order two. You will thank me.

After dinner, saunter over to The Pavilion at FARM, an al fresco lounge off the restaurant tailor made to enjoy craft beer and wine under the stars (and with a toasty fireplace) or with lawn games.

Boon Fly Café is also a kick. Think rustic and filling favorites, but elevated to near art. A meal there is the perfect base before a day of wine tasting, in fact. (Their cocktail staff is also top-notch; just tell them flavors you like and they can dream something up or make recommendations from specialty option on their impressive seasonal menus.)

Finally, the Hilltop Dining Room is only available to guests staying at the resort and offers panoramic views of nearby vineyards and the Napa Valley countryside. It is a best bet for a romantic or ladies brunch; one of the best options in Napa, in fact.

Amenities

Beyond the food and beverage hotspots, Carneros boasts its own an upscale general store, high-end fashion boutique and a newly refreshed Spa at Carneros. Among the most notable additions to the spa are two new signature programs allowing guests to choose their own intention and experience a balancing wellness scrub, massage and finally a soak with nourishing blend of botanicals handpicked based on one’s intention. Prior or post-treatment, guests may now savor the experience on the spa’s panoramic private outdoor deck while enjoying specially tea meant awaken the mind, body and spirit.

Accomodations

Ready to experience it all? Let’s talk lodging.

Ensuring the ultimate in intimacy, Carneros features just 100 cottages, suites and private vacation homes combined, with the cottages of particular note. Each cottage has 420 square feet or more of living space, and up to 800 square feet of outdoor living space as well as a fireplace, indoor-outdoor shower and floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading to the landscaped gardens. Inside, the cottages feature modernized furnishings and lighter color palettes to match the resort’s distinctive architecture. Now through the close of spring, Carneros is offering a “Love is in the Air” package to enjoy these cottages with someone special. The package, which varies in price based on date and enhancements, includes two nights in the cottage of your choice, a welcome bottle of local sparkling wine, daily breakfast for two at the Hilltop Dining Room and resort credit starting at $100 toward spa expenses, curated picnic baskets, dinner, cocktails and more.

For those looking for a bit more space, perhaps for an engagement party, anniversary gathering, couples’ trip or wedding, the resort is also offering guests the opportunity to buyout one of its idyllic neighborhoods. With 100 individual standalone cottages located throughout 17 distinct neighborhoods, the exclusive experience allows up to 20 guests to gather in one of Napa’s most pristine settings for a multi-day neighborhood harvest block party. Families and friends can enjoy their own private neighborhood for nightly live music, decadent front yard picnics curated by the resort’s chef, backyard movie screenings, game nights, stargazing and more.

For more information, visit www.carnerosresort.com.


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