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“Perfect escape”

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Carneros Resort and Spa
Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Napa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 15, 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
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank beeclean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 11, 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=

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Barrington, IL
Reviewed November 8, 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
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 1, 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!!

4  Thank tarheelgirl03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 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.

2  Thank SkyeTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2004

This place rules. The property is amazing, views, pools, spas (yes pricey), you name it. The rooms were incredible. The staff was very good, whatever you wanted the front desk sent someone ASAP. Cathy in concierge had the complete low down on touring Napa and had connections to help us out. The cabin set up was so unique and so cool, its nice to be at a place like this and not have to worry about hearing any neighbors through the adjoining walls. Lets just say after a day of wine tasting, coming back to the carneros, walking by vineyards and lighting a fire in your own personal cottage, it is nice to know that the neighbors can't hear you either. The fireplaces were a great touch. The room had the perfect bed. Too perfect to be honest, it was a challenge to get out, it was that comfortable. Yes the plasmas and DVD was a nice touch, but the real treat is the bathrooms. Like your own spa. Heated floors, indoor showers that felt like a car wash, outdoor showers that felt amazingly refreshing. I did have the vineyard view and you can see them from parts of your own private courtyard. you have your own outdoor area with a space heater so you can sit outside in privacy, (or you can enjoy a rocking chair by your front door and get an unobstructed view.) So what if the boundaries are tin ? It feels rustic and quaint. I loved it. And seeing the vineyards from your bed in the morning and out your bathroom window make you realize what a treat you have in store for that day. I really don't understand people who complain on these things. Service I can understand as everyone receives different service, and they perceive it differently, but as far as the beds, showers, fireplace, vineyards, ranch, good food, friendly people, infinity pool, private courtyard, and plasma TV to name a few, I do not see how anyone can complain about this property. Check out their website, it doesn't lie, it shows exactly what you will get when you arrive.

2  Thank caribcarib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
N. Barrington, IL
Reviewed October 20, 2004

This place looks like a trailer park with tin walls everywhere. My husband and I paid for a cottage with a vinyard view and I expected to see some part of a vinyard when on my patio of from a window in the cottage. The only vinyard view we had was when we went out of our cottage and looked down the path between the tin walls of our cottage and our neighbor's. Every cottage has a tin wall around it. If you sit outside in your private patio you'll see corrugated tin walls all around you. It's very sterile looking. If you sit outside your front door, you'll probably be looking straight into the eyes of your neighbor. The cottages are very close together.
The rooms are very well appointed, but the bedroom is very small.
The staff when we were there was very young-- they were very nice and tried to be helpful, but they need some maturity and more knowledge of the wine country.
We're lucky to get to Napa a couple of times a year and we have stayed in many places and this was not one of our favorites.

4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carneros Resort and Spa

Address: 4048 Sonoma Hwy., Napa, CA 94559-9745 (Formerly The Carneros Inn)
Phone Number:
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 Family Hotel in Napa
#2 Business Hotel in Napa
#3 Spa Hotel in Napa
#3 Romantic Hotel in Napa
#3 Luxury Hotel in Napa
Price Range: $627 - $1,676 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Carneros Resort and Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the midst of the beautiful Carneros winegrowing region is Carneros Resort and Spa, a luxurious Napa Valley retreat designed to make absolutely everything feel better. Carneros Resort and Spa was created to provide an intimate atmosphere of Napa Valley hospitality reminiscent of its unique surroundings. Nestled among 28 acres of seemingly endless rows of grape vines, bucolic Napa farmland and scenic apple orchards, Carneros Resort and Spa'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
Carneros Resort And Spa Napa, Napa Valley, CA

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