I’d never expected to be able to stay at Meadowood, but fortuitously received the opportunity for an overnight there in mid-November, a quieter but still very beautiful time of year. After making my reservations by phone (a pleasant and effortless transaction) there was attentive, personalized followup via e-mail by a Guest Service representative. Since we had also made dinner reservations at the stellar fine dining restaurant there, I was also contacted by a representative of The Restaurant in order to determine what types of foods we preferred, as there is no set menu. Each guest’s dinner courses are customized based upon the diner’s preferences. This preliminary “interview process” was unique, fascinating and fun!
Upon arrival at Meadowood I was immediately impressed by the feeling of seclusion one has even though the entrance to the resort is just a short distance from the Silverado Trail. Meadowood’s sprawling acreage reminded me of a woodland estate. Venerable old oak trees were as integral a part of the property as were the developments. It’s impossible to adequately convey the peaceful natural beauty of the grounds, but it exceeded all my expectations.
We were greeted warmly at the Reception Lodge and went thru a smooth, congenial check-in process. The reception/lobby area is spacious and has a surprisingly casual environment--not a hint of stiff formality. There’s comfortable seating around a Bay window and near a large stone fireplace. Later that evening we returned to the Reception Lodge for their wine reception which takes place between 4:30pm-5:30pm. Wine selections were limited but of a good quality and it was an enjoyable prelude to dinner.
After check-in we were escorted to our room by a member of the bell staff who also provided a brief explanation of amenities and services. Having someone show us the way to our building was quite helpful since there are many different complexes accessed by various roads. Meadowood offers numerous types of lodging arrangements varying in size, ambiance and location. I’d carefully chosen one of the “Treeline Lodges” because these units have separate bedroom and sitting room areas rather than an open floorplan. We stayed in #401 which was situated up a hillside with parking conveniently located at the bottom (altho’ one walks up 3 sets of stairs before entering the room). Our unit had about 500 sq. ft. plus a good-size covered front porch (private) that looked out over the lush foliage and across the access road to one of the resort’s pools. Altho’ the view we had wasn’t exactly striking, it was still quite attractive and serene. But I have to add that we live on forested property, so might be somewhat jaded when it comes to tree-filled views!
The decor and style of our room could be described as “contemporary cottage” with its white walls, high ceiling and large beams. The space was bright and airy feeling and everything was immaculate. The bedroom and sitting areas were divided by a small foyer and honor bar area and the bedroom could be completely closed off. Contemporary furnishings in the sitting room included a sofa that could be converted into a bed, a small dining/game table with 2 wicker chairs and matching coffee table and end table. I was surprised that there was no desk, but perhaps the whole point of staying at Meadowood is to leave the office far behind! Our sitting area had a large stone fireplace (wood-burning) with a long hearth that took up 2/3 of one wall. There was a nice stack of wood and kindling provided on the hearth.
The bedroom had a window seat that was long enough for an adult to stretch out on, but was also a very convenient location to place our bags. The King bed was supremely comfortable and in fact, helped lessen my sciatica in just one night! The bedroom had a built-in chest of drawers and the closet area offered adequate space. The sitting room also had its own closet and built-in storage cabinet.
The foyer had stone tile flooring and the sitting room and bedroom were carpeted.
Lighting was limited with a single table top lamp in the sitting room and muted overhead lighting above the sofa. It was good thing that only one of us wanted to read that night. A couple of electrical outlets were accessible near the sofa.
The weather was mild for November and the fireplace provided more than adequate heat to keep things comfortable. We didn’t adjust the thermostat or use the ceiling fan. All the windows were openable, so I would imagine they offer some nice cross ventilation during warmer days.
In-room amenities included: (2) phones, an iPod dock, (2) LG flat panel TV’s, a small coffeemaker, ceramic tea pot/tea cups, 3 sets of wine glasses (it’s Napa Valley!), in-room safe, iron/ironing board, hairdryer, and free Wi-Fi. The small frig and honor bar/pantry contained a nice array of drinkables and eatables inc. some Dean and Deluca items and a selection of Napa Valley wines. There was also a flashlight, and a USB cable--the latter being a very practical item that I’ve never seen offered before in a room.
Our bathroom had white ceramic tile flooring and tub surround, pedestal sink, marble-topped cabinet, and shower/deep tub combination. Lighting was good, as was the water pressure and temperature controls. There was no fan, but the openable window did a decent job of keeping the steam down. There were plenty of towels provided inc. oversized ones, bathrobes and slippers, Molton Brown lotions, soaps and other toiletry items. One negative in the bathroom: a drippy sink faucet.
Surprisingly, the artwork in our room was unremarkable. I’d thought there would be some interesting original art, but instead there were predictable framed wine labels, a vineyard print and a wildflower poster. We had also expected to see outdoor sculpture and eye-catching art in the public areas of Meadowood, but found very little. I have to think this is by design (no pun intended) and the lack of embellishments allowed the natural setting to be the focus.
During our stay there were some surprising slips in service. Before arrival I had ordered a split of wine for the room, but received a full bottle and was billed for the same. Turndown service included opening/making up the sofa bed which not only wasn’t needed, but in its “ready for bed” state, the opened sofa took up most of the space in our sitting area. Lastly, a breakfast credit that should have been applied wasn’t factored into the final statement. (These lapses prevented me from giving Meadowood a full “5” rating. I do wish that TripAdvisor allowed reviewers to post half points since mine should have been “4.5”).
Since the roadways and paths are dark after sunset (keeping the setting more natural), we decided to drive rather than walk to dinner. Guests also have the option of being shuttled to and from dinner. The restaurant building is situated close to the Reception Lodge and is entered via an attractive atrium with an octagonal skylight and an array of lighted candles. Our dinner at The Restaurant at Meadowood was truly the apex of our stay. Dinner unfolded as a fabulous culinary event unlike any I’ve previously experienced. The dining room was pleasantly understated with comfortable space between tables. The noise level was so low that one never needed to raise their voice to be heard. We felt very relaxed and at home within the setting. The serving staff was excellent--very attentive, knowledgeable and professional without being the least bit obtrusive or pretentious. Our primary server was warm and personable and completely focused on providing us with a perfect dining experience. And it was perfect. Each course (I believe there were more than 12 different dishes for each of us) was a beautifully presented work of art. The ingredients were chosen and prepared to bring out the essence of flavor and freshness. The infusion of herbs and spices was magic! Timing of the courses was leisurely without being overly protracted. I have to say that there wasn’t a single thing that I could have improved upon. This extraordinary dining experience was truly worth the upper tier price of $225 per person, and I fully understand why The Restaurant has earned 3 Michelin stars!
The next morning we had a delightful walk to breakfast at The Grill, Meadowood’s casual restaurant. During our leisurely stroll we took a look at the 2 pools, spa, tennis courts, croquet lawn and golf course--and also took some photos of a rare Bugatti EB which was parked in one of the lots. After breakfast we walked a portion of the unpaved hillside trail which took us thru oak trees and afforded great views over the grounds and golf course. We picked up a bottle of water at a station along one stretch of pathway--a nice touch! We encountered no one else on the trail. With our short time at Meadowood coming to an end, my husband relaxed in the spa which was conveniently located across the access road from our building. I savored the peaceful surroundings--a great ending to a very special stay!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.