It took three years for The Francis House (thefrancishouse.com) owners Dina and Richard Dwyer to bring the gracious, 1886 stone mansion in Calistoga to its now spectacular, French chateau–style glory. With just five rooms, it feels like a private castle, complete with manicured gardens, a pool, intimate spa, and living room. Located in town but overlooking expanses of vineyards, St. Helena’s Las Alcobas (marriott.com) offers convenience and privacy—as well as contemporary, chic rooms and a spa specializing in ancient Asian healing treatments. Pioneering Napa Valley luxury hotel Auberge du Soleil (aubergedusoleil.com) which opened in 1986, just introduced two newly redesigned maisons. Two-bedroom, 1,800-square-foot, freestanding accommodations, designed by Suzanne Tucker, complement the 33-acre property’s 48 rooms and suites. Book now at the Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley (fourseasons.com) in Calistoga, slated for a mid-2020 opening with 85 luxury resort rooms and suites, on-site vineyard, and vine-to-table restaurant.
Ten Things Not to Miss
Ashes & Diamonds Winery A zigzag roof and porthole windows hint of the hip style within; the retro Palm Springs midcentury décor, wood-fired food pairings, and music on the “Quad” lawn attract the cool kids. ashesdiamonds.com
The CIA at Copia This Culinary Institute of America destination offers cooking classes and demonstrations, as well as outdoor movies, art exhibits, and more. Check out the new, 3-D interactive dining experience and late-night outdoor dining venue with bocce ball. ciaatcopia.com
Ca’Toga Art Gallery Marvel at (and enjoy the rare opportunity to buy some of) world-renowned, Italian-born artist Carlo Marchiori’s fantastical Venetian paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, and ceramics—Renaissance-Seussian animals and elaborate commedia dell’arte masks are favorite themes. catoga.com
Tom Eddy Winery Savor exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon ($175, just 125 cases made) in a gorgeous 4,000-square-foot cave of exposed, striated andesite bedrock and rhyolite ash rock on this steep mountain property. The owner/winemaker Tom Eddy has a fine-tuned understanding of Napa Valley’s geology and was directly involved in digging the cave. tomeddywinery.com
Kenzo Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto also own the elegantly understated, $100M Kenzo Estate winery nearby, and take the same pristine-perfect approach to this 27-seat kaiseki restaurant ($225pp). kenzonapa.com
Blue Note A glamorous extension of New York’s famous indie jazz club, the hot spot seats less than 150 guests, for up-close interaction with internationally famous performers. bluenotenapa.com
Napastäk Co-owners Lusine and Arthur Hartunian also own Napa Valley Distillery (napadistillery.com) with gorgeous handcrafted spirits, so it makes sense that they have launched this new epicurean boutique/wine bar/coffee bar. Stock up on locally made passion fruit white balsamic vinegar, arugula-spelt pasta, Tahitian lime olive oil, white truffle honey mustard, quince butter, and cute gifts like a logo apron sporting a retro bunny. napastak.net
Crush Lounge at Meritage Resort & Spa An upscale adult playground, Crush combines craft cocktails, boozy milkshakes, sports entertainment, burgers, pool tables and six lanes of bowling. Frolic until midnight Fridays and Saturdays. meritageresort.com
Senses by JCB Winery maven and bon vivant Jean-Charles Boisset lives large, and this new fashion, fragrance, and beauty boutique and medi-spa showcases his glamorous style. A onetime train depot, it’s now a treasure chest of luxury fashion from international designers, vintage and high-end modern handbags, Rodial Bee Venom Super Serum skin revitalizer, an osmologue for blending custom perfumes, and a spa for facials and other pampering. sensesbyjcb.com
Cliff Lede Vineyards Established in 2002, Lede named each block of his eponymous vineyards—planted on volcanic rock—after favorite classic rock songs and albums (cliffledevineyards.com). Each year, the team crafts a Rock Block blend from two or more “blocks” and features it in a tasting at the “Backstage” tasting area, which appropriately plays classic rock. The space also features an art gallery and is a stone’s throw from the family’s acclaimed five-bedroom Poetry Inn (poetryinn.com), designed by Howard Backen.
Napa is about 70 miles north of SFO, which receives flights nearly every hour from LAX. The smaller Sonoma County Airport (STS) is about 30 miles west of Napa and receives a handful of daily flights on Alaska and American, as well as by private charter. Once you’ve arrived, fully enjoy the region by hiring a driver. Pure Luxury (pureluxury.com) has been offering a range of chauffeured vehicles in the area since 1991 and is a Certified Green ground transportation company.