I left the city lights and sounds of LA and road tripped to the Napa Valley with some hesitation. Generally not a fan of car travel, I was a bit apprehensive to take a drive longer than 2-3 hours and consider it an escape or vacation. I admit I am more of a plane person but I challenged myself to step out of my comfort zone and do things I have not done before.
Looking for sustainable luxury accommodations was the purpose of this getaway. As I venture into new destinations for personal travel I am always conscious of how hotels, inns and spas are becoming more globally aware of their own footprint on mother earth.
First stop was the San Francisco Proper Hotel. Housed in a historic flatiron building in the heart of Mid-Market, San Francisco Proper is a fresh take on the quintessential urban hotel experience; a reimagining of the past, present, and future of the city through the integrated lens of timeless design, intuitive service, and attention to detail. Taking its cue from a range of early Modernist, Cubist and Secessionist eras, the design of the hotel seamlessly joins the romantic warmth of the old world with the graphic vibrancy of the new. Deep colors, rich textures, and natural materials complement the patina of the original building. Some of my top highlights were in room service dining, yes some of the best peasant bread avo toast I have ever had. And speaking of sustainability and less waste, I was appreciative of the full size amenities within the shower which create less waste and can be refilled. Responsible luxury gets my vote.
I was lucky enough to get a private tour of the San Francisco Proper Hotel and what a treat to learn all the details and planning that went into the Propers restoration and revitalization. The collaborations alone will blow your mind. I fully admit I have a girl crush on Kelly Wearstler and her design influences just surround you throughout the property. I was able to start my weekend on a chic and romantic note!
Our next destination was one for the books. To say the Bardessono Resort and Spa, Yountville, Ca is a luxury destination somehow seems shy of not enough accolades. I was more than impressed from arrival to departure with our visit. This property has so much to offer. Right away you feel like a VIP from check in, to being ushered to your suite and then once you arrive you feel as if the staff has really thought of everything. Part of the concept of Bardessono is its integration of the earth’s elements like organic cotton sheets and recycled water throughout the outside of the property, these connect the flow of the old and reclaimed to the new and modern. I really loved the all the water features and ponds surrounding the property and how there was a constant flow of life, yet as a guest you felt you could also have complete privacy if you choose this as an option.
Award winning and Leeds certified Bardessono has stepped up its luxury offerings to include earth friendly touches throughout it’s property. Shades close to keep your room a certain temperature automatically, a real chef’s garden right on property for daily fruit, herb and veggie harvesting when possible. And if you’re like me and unplugging is not entirely something you can manage, the suites and outdoor areas are quite nice to work in.
Our first night we were magically whisked away into Lucy’s Restaurant. I was so appreciative and surprised at two things, one we arrived late to town due to major traffic but somehow Lucy’s staff helped the stress peel right off of us by suggesting wonderful wines and even though we were late to dinner service we never felt stressed or hovered over. Our culinary creations arrived effortlessly and each plate that landed in front of us was an absolute delight. Tasty, fresh and visually pleasing.
The next morning we awoke to pouring rain, but we were so comfortable in our accomodation it did not dampen our spirits or plans. In fact, one of the best features at Bardessono is the in suite spa readiness. What a treat to have a full spa experience within your own suite. I chose the chardonnay grape body scrub and massage option. Made locally, this scrub and oil treatment was amazing. My senses and my soul could not have been happier even with all the rain!
It’s not all about the consumption of wine in Napa and I was happy to take part in the art, culture and education that surrounds wine country. There are so many food and wine experts it is easy to get lost in all the history and science of what really makes this region tick. The best part about each little town is the people who live and work there and the knowledge they are more than happy to share with you. Bardessono Resort and Spa was the sanctuary I needed to kick start my journey thru Yountville.
Our next stop was at the Hotel Yountville, Yountville, Ca where the rain continued but so did our delight of more incredibly cool Napa offerings. Hotel Yountville is a luxury boutique hotel inspired by a quintessential wine country home. Hotel Yountville beckons guests with buildings constructed of stacked Napa river rocks, heavy timber beams and copper accents. Fire pits and ambiance surrounded us and at dusk our suite backed up against a small flowing creek with bullfrogs croaking and singing into the twilight. We lit the fireplace and contemplated eating in because the sensory experience was too special to leave. We ventured out to the town of Yountville to find Bistro Jeanty another culinary delight of an evening well spent. A bustling authentic french bistro with a fantastic seasonal menu and traditional crepe desserts.
If you are interested in spa experiences while you travel Hotel Yountville did not disappoint. Their onsite spa is just lovely, It was one of those facials that just puts you right to sleep which is always a good sign of an experienced facialist. We loved the outdoor pool and hottub setup for both pre spa treatment dip and late night nightcap while staring at the gorgeous raging fire pit eye level with hot tub. A great spot for a girls weekend.
Heritage Oak restaurant was at the top of our list for brunch “Napa style”. The strawberries and cream fruit bowl and eggy breakfast was just what we needed to balance out all the wine we had tasted the day before. It was our last day in Yountville and the staff at Hotel Yountville were so kind as to provide us with an array of suggestions for touring and tasting. One really got the sense their staff listen to what we were looking for and offered up suggestions off the beaten path. You can never go wrong with foodie and farm suggestions like, Boon Fly Cafe and Domaine Carneros. What a way to end our road trip with just the right amount of wine, food, beautiful scenery, and fun. Travel note: plan extra time for photos and selfies, every nook and cranny is a photographic moment.
When to visit? Each season has its charms. Spring’s emerging grape leaves turn hillsides bright brilliant green, plumed with golden swaths of mustard blossoms. Summer warms up with BBQ’s, events and festivals, so plan on packed schedules and longer lines and some of the more popular vineyards. Fall brings the crush, as vineyards and wineries bustle with workers. Winter settles into a cool hush: Insiders know this is a time to snag reservations at Napa Valley’s galaxy of Michelin-starred restaurants, shop for holiday gifts in gaily decorated but quieter towns, and relax in greater intimacy at posh spas.
Destinations: The San Francisco Proper, 1100 Market Street, San Francisco , CA 94102, Bardessono Hotel and Spa, 6526 Yount St, Yountville, CA 94599
Hotel Yountville, 6462 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599