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Help with planning a Trip to Sonoma/Napa

New York
3 posts
1 review
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Help with planning a Trip to Sonoma/Napa

I am planning a trip to Sonoma/Napa with some girlfriends. We all love wine, beautiful scenery and great food. We want to stay at a spa resort to do a little pampering. We would like to be centrally located to keep our driving trips options open. I have read mixed reviews of MacArthur, Fairmont, The Lodge, Villagio and Carneros. We don't want to be in the middle of nowhere but still like to appreciate the scenry. Can anyone comment on any of the above resorts or suggest someplace else?

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324 posts
44 reviews
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1. Re: Help with planning a Trip to Sonoma/Napa

I stayed at Carneros Inn in October and really liked it, but it may not be for everyone. The decor is contemporary/high-tech, which I love, but others see it as "trailer park". If you go there, negotiate for a good price. The entrance to the property is still under contruction and they are making some good deals. Get a room at the top if you can - we were in the DiRosa complex and our king view room was fabulous. Very comfortable. Eating dinner on their patio was spectacular, and we thought the meal was every bit as good (if not better) than the previous night's at Martini House in St. Helena. It's a little out of the way - about a 5-min. drive to highway 29 and then north to the main wineries, but you're not walking anywhere in Napa anyway, so I don't think this matters. One other tip: stay off of 29 and do most of your driving on the parallel Silverado Trail. Much more scenic and less traffic, fewer cops (there are lots of cops - drive carefully).

Here's another idea: my absolute favorite place for pampering - and I go every year with my sister for the mudbaths - is Indian Springs in Calistoga. It's not as "lux" as the traditional spa resorts, but I love the retro feel of the cottages and the gigantic hot springs pool and the authentic mudbaths. Once we're completely relaxed, we cruise the main street, find a place to eat from among the many choices, and walk back to our room. It's heaven, and a fraction of the price of the trendier spas. Check it out. They also have a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house with a deck that might work for you. It's lovely!

San Francisco, CA
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379 posts
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2. Re: Help with planning a Trip to Sonoma/Napa

My wife stayed at MacArthur and really liked it. Nice property, close to all the wineries and you can walk into town for dinner and back home. The spa is nice as well.

Another option is to stay in the town of Healdsburg. The Hotel Healdsburg is nice, cool and right on the square. The town itself is great and lots of wonerful wineries nearby. I believe they also have a spa. Note that this is not a "resort" but more of a cool, hip hotel. The NYT just wrote an article on Healdsburg recently. I love this area as it is beuatiful, great restaurants, wineries but more laid back than Napa.

If you really want high-end, then Auberge de Soliel or Calisotga Ranch, both in Napa, are great but very expensive. These are true resorts.

I wrote an article for my wedding on wineries, restaurants, hotels etc...for wine country and SF. Happy to forward it to you...just send me an email to paulfriedland@hotmail.com.