My husband and I spent two nights at the fabulous Meadowood Napa Valley in November 2013. It was such a great time to visit, just after their busy harvest season, but the weather was perfect (70 and sunny!) and the brilliant colors of fall – reds, oranges, yellows – were still covering the rolling vineyards.
Meadowood (St. Helena)
Similar to Calistoga Ranch, Meadowood feels very much built into its surroundings.. instead of clearing the forest to build the resort, the resort was built into the forest. The lodges are in clusters of five, and are scattered up and down the hillside, with varying views (golf course and hillside) and sizes. Unlike Auberge du Soleil, where the main differences in rooms are due to view, the main room differences at Meadowood are due to the rooms themselves. Higher end rooms tend to be a bit larger, and golf course views are considered premium over hillside views. At the very top of the hill is the most amazing estate lodge. A one-bedroom estate suite could connect to another to make a giant two-bedroom suite with living area and kitchenette. A touch of a button even lifts the painting from over the fireplace to reveal a flat-screen TV on the wall!
While Calistoga Ranch makes me think glamping, and Auberge du Soleil evokes the French countryside, Meadowood reminds me of a classy but down to earth country club. The decor is so comfortable, but make no mistake, this 5* Relais & Chateaux and Virtuoso property is in a class of its own. Frette linens, marble bathrooms, Molten & Brown toiletries, Illy espresso machine, wood-burning fireplaces make Meadowood feel very, very special. The shower water pressure (one of the keys to a great hotel room, in my book!) was outstanding. Patios with wooden rocking chairs beckon you to take your glass of wine outside in the evening and listen to the trees rustle in the breeze.
Meadowood FEELS secluded but is indeed just a 1/2 – 1 mile back off of the Silverado Trail. A drive into St. Helena for dinner is less than 10 minutes. It is so close to the best wineries in the area, yet with an air of privacy. The best of both worlds, really!
The staff here will literally bend over backwards to help guests. Always with a smile on their face (or a glass of wine in hand for you!) they are the jewels in Meadowood’s crown. Example: the night I arrived and was waiting on my husband to join me, he of course was delayed in the car with his driver en route from SFO at rush hour. I ended up missing the daily 4:30-5:30pm wine hour, and so arrived in the lobby instead at 6:30pm to meet my hubs. Clearly, I had missed the wine hour, but an eager-to-please young man asked me if I liked red or white (red!) and then poured me a (full) glass from the tasting I missed and proceeded to tell me about the vinter. Then, the Meadowood team knew when my husband arrived because the guard gate at the bottom of the hill alerts the staff at the lobby when a guest has entered the property. They greeted him warmly and treated him to a glass of wine as well! All the stresses of the 2.5 hour transfer from SFO melted away and we felt like we were at home, in front of the roaring fireplace in the cozy lobby, wine glasses in hand.
In continued attention to detail, Meadowood prides themselves on their concierge team, who contacts each guest pre-arrival to help set up winery visits, restaurant reservations, etc. HUGE shout-out to Will, our concierge, who not only scored us a table at a completely booked restaurant.. upon arrival, we had HIGHLIGHTED maps in our packet showing us which wineries we would be visiting and restaurants we would be dining in. Seriously. Be still, my organized heart.
Of course, there is no shortage of activities at Meadowood.. should you not want to spend every hour of the day tasting wine! A heated lap pool is open year-round, there are seven tennis courts, spa, golf, croquet, hiking, etc. Husband and I hiked for one hour around the property one morning and enjoyed some good exercise as well as amazing views of the valley and Meadowood itself! Classy without being stuffy, service attentive without being intrusive, I HIGHLY recommend Meadowood for a special stay in the wine country.
Meadowood is a Virtuoso property, and I am pleased to offer my clients the following amenities here:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- A $50.00 credit towards daily breakfast
- in The Grill or via room service for up to 2 in-room guests
- $100 USD Spa Services credit, to be utilized during stay
- (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- A beautiful box of 9 handmade chocolate truffles
- made by a chocolatier in Yountville utilizing ingredients from Meadowood representing the many facets of Meadowood
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability