The Carneros Inn is structured around intimate groupings of cottages connected by a grid of garden pathways, small apple orchards and an effortless sense of landscaping. The resort layout invites guests to stroll through the property by foot, taking in the Valley’s farmland that is beautifully broken by hills and winding vineyards. Though the resort also offers 10, suite-style accommodations, during my weekend visit I stayed in one of the Inn’s private cottages nestled in a quiet corner of the resort. The inviting cabins combine country charm and contemporary amenities. From the porch overlooking a green courtyard, my cottage opened into a spacious room with a king-sized bed and cozy sitting area, complete with handsome, deep-seated easy chairs, flat screen television and fireplace. Neutral palettes paired with black and white photographs, and clean-lined furnishings created a fresh atmosphere inside the hushed cottage space.
The room was filled with ample lighting from the glass doors that opened onto a secluded back deck area, which was outfitted with lounge furniture and table as well as a grassy area and a rustic indoor/outdoor shower. During my first evening at the resort, I joined a group of other visitors inside a richly decorated private dining room for a dinner prepared by the resort’s signature restaurant FARM— noted for its commitment to simple, yet elegant meals. Hosted by Audi, the specially selected menu for the evening included a five-course spread with an array of delicate flavors, ranging from the pine nut pudding and Hearts on Fire in the chilled cucumber soup, to the rich pairing of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Maine lobster in the Carnaroli risotto which I enjoyed with a Carnero’s Etude Pinot Gris.
Each course was expertly paired with a selective offering of wines from Napa Valley and beyond, such as the Tantara ‘Evelyn’ Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley, which complimented the Prime filet I enjoyed for my main course, served with Royal Trumpet mushrooms, Savoy spinach and Cipollini onions. Dinner came to a sweet conclusion with the final course, Banana 3 Ways served with whiskey, brown butter ice cream, chocolate mousse, and bacon walnut crumble. It was sufficient to say I slept well until morning, when I treated myself to a rare outdoor shower in the solitude of my cottage’s backyard before taking a stroll through the orchards to make my appointment at the spa.
The Spa at the Carneros Inn overlooks the resort’s infinity edge, salt water pool, (where I spent my last evening alternating between the warmth of the crescent shaped hot tub and the cool of the lap pool while enjoying the night over the valley skyline) as well as some of the most unobstructed views of the wine country on the property. Inside the spa, I was greeted with a plush, terrycloth robe and homemade fruit-infused water before being led into one of the spa’s spacious, high-ceiling treatment rooms. While I enjoyed the 90-minute Carneros Custom Facial, the spa offers everything from massages, beauty/makeup treatments, body wraps as well as restorative yoga for couples, kids, and mothers-to-be.
In addition to the spa and FARM restaurant, the resort also offers relaxed dining at the Boon Fly Café, organic local groceries at the Market, country-inspired cuisine at The Hilltop, or private dining inside the comfort of your cottage. The concierge services can personalize your stay, suggesting wine tours and restaurants, as well as setting up transportation for visits to area art galleries, golf courses, and wineries. After enjoying my breakfast early Sunday morning, which was comprised of a farm-style omelet and crispy hash browns alongside a warm cup of coffee, I was sad to leave the Carneros Inn. Its rustic country appeal alongside the fresh, contemporary energy of the resort offers a sense of peace and restoration.
To learn more visit TheCarnerosInn.com.
Sara graduated from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia with a degree in creative writing. As a military child she spent her childhood living and travelling overseas which shaped her passion for travel, language, food, and intercultural exchange. She has recently joined the JustLuxe editorial team....(Read More)