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“Relaxing and Serene”

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Carneros Resort and Spa
Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Napa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 16, 2005

We stayed at the Carneros Inn for a weekend and loved it! It was so relaxing and serene. The room was fabulous and the linens were so soft I could have stayed there all day. We loved sitting by the pool even in November taking in the beautiful scenery! We ate a few times at the Boon Fly Cafe which is on the property. The staff there were excellent. I would not hesitate to stay there again on our next trip to the Napa Valley.

  • Stayed: November 2004
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2  Thank JayBird007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
San Francisco
Reviewed June 14, 2005

I stayed at the Carneros Inn this past Christmas and it was the Best time ever! I would recommend this resort to everyone and have! The rooms or should I say cottages are Beautiful and the furnishings make them even nicer. From the flat screen TV above the fireplace to the heated bathroom floor/ and the topper was the outdoor shower under the stars! I can honestly say this is the Best place I have ever stayed in Napa and hopefully will be making a yearly adventure to the valley.

  • Stayed: December 2004
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3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2005

We stayed at the Carneros Inn for one week in March with an extended family group. In sum, we loved it.

Since then, I've noticed the split opinions on the property from the various reviewers. Here's my 2 cents on why the split of opinions (sorry for the long posting):

The Inn is built on a former trailer park and consists of separate cottages arranged on the footprint of the old park. Why this arrangement? Napa laws governing development are incredibly strict and mandated the developer to replace the old park with a similar arrangement. Calistoga Ranch had to do the same thing. Given this incredible handicap (8 years to get approval!), I think the developers did an unbelievable job.

The architects, landscape architects and designers used at the hotel are the very top of the line. They followed a minimalist aesthetic that combines the community planning/architecture of New Urbanism (think Seaside Florida) with the interior design of W Hotels/Banana Republic stores. The whole appeals to those who appreciate minimally intrusive, environmentally sensitive design in a hipper, cooler ambiance than available at more traditional upscale resorts (eg. Meadowood). Utilities are buried underground. The landscaping is spare and not water dependent. The air conditioning is silent. Emphasis is on the rolling landscape and the vineyards.

If you prefer a lush environment (no gravel paths) with a grander glass/brass/marble decor, this is definitely not the place for you. Faux Tuscan or Provencal design will not be found. If you're from Southern California, it's more "Shutters on the Beach" in Santa Monica or "Lodge at Torrey Pines " than Ritz Carlton outside Laguna. If you're from Florida, it's more Seaside/Rosemary Beach than the "Breakers" in Palm Beach.

It seeks to attract design oriented people who are interested in the open Carneros landscape rather than forested parts of Napa and Sonoma. The cottages are private and cool (eg. huge bathrooms with heated floors and outdoor showers, large enclosed patios, Brazilian Cherry wood floors in the bedrooms, fireplaces and flat screen tvs). Great pool and outstanding spa.

Restaurants are a bit undeveloped. Boon Fly is outstanding. Hilltop is less so -- it's only open to hotel guests due to local governmental restrictions. A third restaurant and two more pools are under construction.

So, the Carneros Inn is not for everyone. It tends to attract sophisticated couples in their 30s/40s for long weekends and families of those same people escaping to the country (but a "country" with casual but wonderful restaurants). Adults love the pool, spa, landscape, design and the cottages. Kids like the pool and feeding the neighboring horses that come up within 15 yards of the pool. For all, it's quiet, understated and friendly rather than crisp, formal or highly polished.

That's my summary. Hope it's helpful!

  • Stayed: March 2005
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36  Thank Cortez55403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2005

We loved this place! It was exactly as I pictured it from all the descriptions I'd read. I loved that the cottages were private and detached - great design concept. The rooms themselves were beautiful - love the heated bathroom floors and the outdoor showers. Beds were super comfy. There could have been more drawer storage but that's just being nit-picky.

The service was very good - we had one issue with room service delivering to the wrong cottage but they fixed the situation and took care of the bill which makes it right in my book.

The pool and hot tub were fabulous - didn't try to spa. Maybe next time.

We've stayed at some very high end resorts and this ranks right up there with them.

  • Stayed: May 2005
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8  Thank kperk13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2005

We spent a night at the Carneros Inn in August 2004. I really wish we could have stayed longer.

The resort combines a rustic setting with the amenities of a luxury hotel. My favorite was the bathroom- heated marble floors, multiple shower heads, deep bathtub, and even an outdoor shower. The pool is beautiful. I actually found the location to be perfect, situated between Sonoma and Napa with easy access to both. The Carneros is great for those who need some peace and want to feel like they are hiding away for a little while, not for those who want to be in the center of all the "action."

The only hesitation, and disappointment, I have about returning is that the current room rates are so high.

  • Stayed: August 2004
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7  Thank lalagirl22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2005

It was really great. When you book, ask for a cottage close to the Hilltop restaurant/Lobby. That way, you can walk to the pool. I booked the cottage on their parent website and got a discount over what was on the Inn website.

Once you check in, you have totally privacy. The little cottages are small, but very swank--fireplace (they bring you wood in a burlap bag that you just light), flat screen tv, a private patio with its own "overhead" heater that heats your patio so you can have a drink at night or breakfast in the morning), heated bathroom floors, a shower with multiple jets and an exterior door so you can choose to take a hot shower outdoors. Very, very upscale and most all the guests were in hip in attitude and an affluent 30-40's age group.

The pool setting is spectacular. It overlooks a vineyard--just breathtaking. There are two restaurants--The Hilltop which is for guests only. Service is SLOW! They serve B,L, & D. At the entrance, there's the Boon Fly Cafe. With pretty much the same breakfast menu, the Boon Fly is faster and they serve their signature homemade donuts. I'm still working those off!

The only downsides was their workout facility is under construction and they only have three machines--treadmill, elliptical, & stairmaster. Good quality machines, but not many. The machines are housed in an empty cottage.

The other downside is that once you leave in the morning to go to vineyards, its not like you can pop back in for a quick rest. The Inn is located at the bottom of the valley. It really didn't bother us because we had full winery days planned and then we had an early dinner before returning to the Inn.

As for dinner, Mustards Grill was great as was the Martini House. The Inn recommended La Toque where they have a prix fixed menu w/wine pairings. It was the worst meal we had the entire trip--the food was not fresh at all--and it was one of the more expensive, about $450-500. I would not recommend it!

Make sure you make appointments at your favorite wineries. I was a little concerned that we would get to these small wineries and we would feel pressured to purchase wines that we really didn't like, but that was not the case at all. No pressure at any of them! We went to Swanson, Opus One, Shafer & Far Niente. There were between 8-12 people in each of our groups. Swanso was cool because they served food with their different wines.

It was a great trip and if you get to spend a night or two in San Francisco, it makes for a great trip. We stayed at the Clift there and it, too, was perfect.

Stayed: March 2005
15  Thank BNATraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2005

My husband I were very excited to book a weekend trip the Carneros Inn. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. The hotel is comprised entirely of individual bungalows of which NONE actually has a full view of the hilltop vineyard. The rooms tend to face onto each other or little landscaped courtyards. Worse yet, the less expensive views are tiny and are closer to the highway. You can stand outside your bungalow and look out onto a view, but only if you book the top level rooms so don’t be mislead by their website and pay more for a room that doesn’t have a view. From the outside, the individual bungalows are a little stark, the aluminum-corrugated fences can be cold and off-putting, but the rooms are cozy and private inside. The compound feels like an upgraded trailer park with nice landscaping and 400 thread sheets.

When we checked in at 3:30 three very friendly staff greeted us, but our room wasn’t available but we were able to check into another. However, the three couples that arrived after us had to wait for their rooms, which were also unavailable and had to be cleaned. The following day our room wasn’t cleaned until after 4PM which was around the time we returned to relax after a day of wine tasting.

The main area of the hotel is very beautiful and has amazing views and a very nice pool. Which we tried to enjoy over a glass of wine, but unfortunately, the service was horrible, which even in the most Zen landscaping can drive you nuts. It took fifteen minutes to order a drink and other ten for the drinks to arrive. When our friends joined us, there was no sign of the waitress and we had to go in and get her. The next morning when we tried to order two coffees, we were told, “it will be a while.” This is an expensive luxury hotel which was not overbooked, but clearly the staff has is below par.

If your keen on staying at the Carneros Inn keep in mind that it’s a good thirty minutes to the main vineyards in St. Helena and the surrounding area. And it can be longer on the weekends when everybody is touring and drinking. So plan on either hiring a driving or staying sober.

Last tip: If you’re going to stay at the hotel and spa it, be sure to book your treatments well in advance. They were totally booked the entire weekend we were there.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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9  Thank themikskip
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 Business Hotel in Napa
#2 Family Hotel in Napa
#3 Romantic Hotel in Napa
#3 Luxury Hotel in Napa
#3 Spa Hotel in Napa
Price Range: $606 - $1,739 (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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