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“Loved it” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Carneros Inn

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The Carneros Inn
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   4048 Sonoma Hwy., Napa, CA 94559   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 27 Hotels in Napa
A TripAdvisor Member
“Loved it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2004

This is a great place. Its expensive but worth it. My husband and I spent 2 nights at Carneros for Thanksgiving. We stayed in a room overlooking the vineyard - the views were fantastic and it was very romantic.We loved the decor of the rooms and the spacious bathrooms , not forgetting the outside shower! The rooms are small but decorated well.
We had Thanksgiving dinner in the Hill top restaurant and the food and service were good. We also had a spa treatment each - both of us felt very relaxed and the facilities were great.
We have stayed at a number of great hotels around the world and often say "why go back to the same place again?" However, we may just make an excpetion here for another "romantic get away from it break"

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660 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2004

My husband and I recently spent 2 nights at The Carneros Inn to celebrate his birthday. I learned of the resort in a magazine but had no idea of the real treat we had lying ahead of us. The concept is called "Agricultural Chic" and it is just that. For anyone who would like a spa getaway and has an appreciation for Ian Shrager meets the outdoors, this is truly it. It is simple elegance with a modern style interior. The cottages are warm and inviting, and the views of the vineyards are wonderful. There are many cottages, my experience is the DiRosa 1 cottage has the best view. The beds are lush, the flat screen a treat for the men (plus you can rent for free any movie they have in their collection for as long as you want), the fireplace is wood burning, the outdoor patio with heater is wonderful, and the shower with all of the heads? Heavenly.

Tips: we brought along a small portable sound system and a few edibles with us which turned out to be perfect, we could store the edibles in the refridgerator. Also, be ready to request from them an extra round of wood for the fireplace as it burns very quickly and one round is not enough for a night. Also book your spa treatments before you arrive.

The grounds are rustic and you truly feel connected with the outdoors. The smells of the rosemary and gardens and vineyards is in the air. The hot tub facing the vineyards up by the pool is heavenly! The Boon Fly was delicious for dinner (and casual) and the Hill Top for breakfast is easy to get to with wonderful views. (Try the green eggs and ham-yum!) The food is so incredibly fresh. The spa is the best part, however. It was the best facial my husband and I have ever had-ask for Marcia. Also, my massage was ranked right up there-ask for Sherrie.

The spa is located very close to many fantastic wineries, and the consierge lead us in the right direction with VIP tasting passes to boot. Don't forget to visit Artesa Winery, the best views in Napa. I recommend autumn in Napa, it is gorgeous with the colors!

We will definitely go back to this resort. The only down side is I agree with some of the previous reviews that mention the staff is "young and unpolished". That does not go for all of them, but you can tell it is a new resort and they are still ironing out some kinks. Make sure if you have a package, for instance, that you inquire upon check in on all of the treatments and items you should be receiving. But I think the fact that the resort is only 1 year old allows a little room for polishing.

Regardless, the privacy and amenities were more then worth it for us. This is a true secret that is quickly circulating through many travel magazines and even the tabloids, as many celebrities are attracted to it. So get there before it becomes impossible to reserve a cottage!

  • Stayed November 2004
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Portland, OR
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
250 helpful votes 250 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2004

We visited the inn in mid september on the "escape" package. Simply put, this property is outstanding. I've read the reviews posted here before we went and since we've been back and am honestly astounded at the criticism levied against the inn.

Agreed, the architecture takes some getting used to, and the vineyard cottages are a bit view challenged, but the overall feel is so unique and luxurious that I am honestly hard pressed to identify a better property that offered so much. I suppose being in a cottage far away from the pool area could be disappointing (we were adjacent), but other than that this place is the perfect escape.

The rooms were the ultimate in self indulgent luxury. The beds, the plasma television, the bathroom, and of course the shower are as good a framework for relaxation as you are going to find. I suppose one could complain that it was difficult to hear the ocean.

Our experience with the conceirge was more than adequate. I would just view it as more of a country inn with friendly staff, than a major metropolitan 5 star. The most difficult part of our stay was deciding where to hang out. The pool, the room, the spa and private courtyard were each idyllic in their own ways. It would have been very easy to ignore the wineries and never leave the property during the day.

We loved the breakfast by the pool, and the prix fix dinner in the guests only hilltop dining room added an additional sense of exclusivity.

To summarize, if you want a generic property with shared walls and a view out of the end of the room then the Carneros Inn is not for you. But, if you are looking for something different, something private, something bordering on hedonistic, then you should absolutely give this property a try.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2004

My husband and I visited in March 2004, and had the perfect mini-vacation. The service was outstanding, the rooms were beautiful, and the flat panel TV> makes for great viewing. You really don't have to leave the premises, although we did, to try out all the great restaurants in nearby Yountville. We stayed in a standard room--the <a href=

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A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2004

Vineyard View!
Seems like an easy enough statement to live up to but in the case of the Carneros Inn - if you wanted an unobstructed view of the vineywards you weren't going to get it unless you stood on stilts to look over the tin fence that surrounded your patio.

Driving into the property, my husband and I had a sinking feeling when we saw the "stockade fencing' on either side of the driveway. Why would they block the view of these beautifuly 'cottages' and vineyards?

Leaving the main fencing behind, we drove into the complex of huts - surrounded by their OWN tin fencing. Fencing at least 6' high. As other people have mentioned, the patios are certainly private. I am only thankful that we were there in October rather than in the dead of summer when those fences would prevent any breeze to enter and any air that was inside would be so hot from the reflection of the tin.

My main complaint - we paid top dollar for a Vineyard View Cottage. We've stayed at other places where we've been situated right in the middle of a vineyard. Or, we've walked onto our balcony/patio and have a complete unobstructed view of a vineyard. Those places were private and delivered what they advertised - all without putting us in a hut with tin fencing around it.

I noticed that the pictures on CI website have been changed from what we saw when we made our reservations. Those pictures showed a view from inside a cottage looking outside to the vineyards. Obviously those were taken before all the fences were erected.

Would we go back - no!
Remember - vineyard view room .... where I couldn't see the vineyard as I sat on my patio or anywhere from my room. I could only see a small slice of the vineyard if I went out on the front porch and looked to the right down an alley. Other cottages, that weren't priced as Vineyard View had the same view as we did - they just had to look further down the alley.

Yes, the rooms were ok. But calstraphobic because you had to keep the blinds down for privacy. And looking out any window that wasn't closed up would only let you look at a tin fence. Shudder.

The only reason we didn't change our reservations to another place was because after I indicated how unhappy we were with our room we were told there was another available. Room 10 Lee Section. This is the best vv cottage. The patio overlooked the vineyards (the fence was still 6' high but the lay of the land was slanting downhill and we were able to actually lay in bed and see the sun rise and vineyards. That was luck on our part. If you go, make sure you get this room if you want vineyard view. Otherwise just get a hut, hunker down behind your tin barricades and hope for cool weather and find yourself shaking your head for not paying attention to this review.

The staff seemed inexperienced. It didn't seem that they were very well trained and there didn't seem to be a main person in charge. When we inquired about their making appointments at vineyards that required appointments - they gave us the phone numbers so we could make the calls. Staff coming in and out of the main reception area never made eye contact, said hello or acknowledged any of their guests. Again, inadequate training.

All in all, the only thing that saved the visit was Cottage 10, but even with that - we wouldn't go back.

Not a good value for the money and we felt we were in a shanty town.

  • Stayed October 2004
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Memphis, Tennessee
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2004

My husband and I recently spent six nights at Carneros Inn (thank goodness for the special offer) to celebrate our wedding anniversary and all we can say is…”WOW!!!” The place is absolutely incredible! We both work in the hospitality industry and travel a lot for business (and pleasure) and have stayed at many luxurious hotels but this was truly the best product we’ve ever seen! We fell in love with the cottage and all of its amenities! The heated tile floor and the shower(s) were awesome (especially the outside shower)! I think my husband must have showered three times a day (yes, the shower is THAT good!) Our room was huge and looked exactly as it is pictured on their website. The outside area with the table and chairs (and heater) was a very nice touch as well. It really made you feel at home with all of the great landscaping and it provided total privacy.

Part of me didn’t want to post this because I don’t want the secret to get out but I felt the need to dispel the negative remarks that have been previously posted. As for the comments regarding it looking like a trailer park, that is entirely not true. Yes, it does have different architecture than what many people are used to but that was the vision when it was built. Call me crazy but I think their originality adds to their charm. The majority of the other inns/hotels in the area all look the same and although offer really nice accommodations, they all appear to be relatively standard. Rooms at Carneros are definitely not standard and its so nice to have your own cottage (no worries about how loud your neighbors are)!

For the most part, the service we experienced was great. Christy (Concierge) was fabulous! She got us into some wonderful restaurants and let us know that one of the wineries we had hoped to visit required reservations. She was very proactive and ensured everything was taken care of prior to our arrival. The service we received at the Spa was also incredible and the massages ranked right up there with the best we’ve had. The only poor service we had came from one individual and was by no means indicative of the overall service we received.

Our lunch at the Hilltop Restaurant was really good and we especially enjoyed eating outside looking over the pool and vineyards (the landscape is really incredible). We also ate breakfast at the Boon Fly Café on two mornings and really enjoyed that as well (everything tasted so fresh!) We met a couple that had eaten dinner there one night and raved about it also.

I’m sorry to write so much but wanted to give everyone who’s interested in Carneros Inn a full account of our fabulous stay. Although it is a bit expensive for many of us (but not by Napa/Sonoma standards), it is worth EVERY penny! ENJOY!!

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Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
163 hotel reviews
Reviews in 108 cities Reviews in 108 cities
568 helpful votes 568 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2004

We spent three nights here last August. I completely agree with the reviewer from Plano, Texas, who said that the product was good but the service was a problem. It's not that the service is bad, only that it's wildly inconsistent. One of the waiters at the poolside restaurant was fantastic, but the front desk when we checked in was hopeless. There is room service, but we became so skeptical about the staff's competence that we never tried it. Management needs to train their staff to operate at a consistent level. Right now, it's left to the individual staff member -- if they're smart and on the ball, you get great service; if they're witless (and we came across more than one of these), you're out of luck.

As for the "product" -- the cottages are outstanding, everything done to a high standard. I'm not an expert on these things, but the finishes and materials struck me as expensive. The tin fences and walls that some reviewers complained about are actually an interesting choice; according to the brochure, they're meant to echo the traditional workers' buildings of the past. The pool was the highlight. It was so beautiful out there that we spent one day doing nothing but lounging on the deck, reading. It's glorious. (I did notice, though, that some of the hardscaping and steps were already chipped and cracked. Not a good sign for such a new hotel.)

In conclusion -- go! There are problems, but the beauty of the surroundings, and the great cottages, more than make up for it. Another plus (for us, anyway) is that Carneros is quieter than much of Napa Valley.

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Additional Information about The Carneros Inn

Address: 4048 Sonoma Hwy., Napa, CA 94559
Location: United States > California > Napa Valley > Napa
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Napa
#3 Spa Hotel in Napa
#5 Romantic Hotel in Napa
#7 Business Hotel in Napa
#9 Family Hotel in Napa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Carneros Inn 4.5*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the midst of the beautiful Carneros winegrowing region is The Carneros Inn, a luxurious Napa Valley retreat designed to make absolutely everything feel better. The Carneros Inn, a PlumpJack Resort, was created to provide an intimate atmosphere of Napa Valley hospitality reminiscent of its unique surroundings. Nestled among 27 acres of seemingly endless rows of grape vines, bucolic Napa farmland and scenic apple orchards, The Carneros Inn's design was based on cues from the local countryside - including barns, silos and ranchers' cottages - combined with stylish resort accommodations and modern interiors to capture the region's distinct charm as well as the needs of our sophisticated guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Carneros Hotel Napa
Carneros Hotel Napa
Carneros Inn
The Carneros Inn Napa, Napa Valley, CA

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