Spotlight on Napa
By Oyster.com Staff
America’s “Wine Country,” Napa Valley is one of the best wine-growing regions in the world and is home to hundreds of vineyards that make for beautiful vistas — particularly during harvest season, which starts up this month. Although it can feel a bit touristy at times — after all, it’s common to see a tour bus parked outside of a famed winery — Napa Valley maintains a luxe, refined vibe. Some of the most popular visitor activities are wine-tasting, dining at the area’s top-notch restaurants, shopping and spa-going. But outdoorsy travelers can enjoy hiking, golfing and hot-air balloon tours.
Though small in size, Napa Valley has several thousand hotel rooms available. Luxury inns and B&Bs are prevalent, and chain hotels are few, so finding a quaint, romantic spot is relatively easy — but a budget-friendly option can be hard to come by. The EuroSpa & Inn in laid-back Calistoga boasts a small pool with mountain views, free breakfast and affordable prices to boot. And in Napa, where the majority of Napa Valley’s hotels are located, the 22-room Best Western Elm House Inn feels more like a cozy bed and breakfast than a mid-range chain. The hotel capitalizes on its homey look; some rooms offer fireplaces, terraces or Jacuzzis, and freshly baked cookies, milk and apple cider are served in the lobby every afternoon.
Napa is home to numerous luxe options as well. Located right on the banks of the Napa River, the Milliken Creek Inn is one of the swankiest hotels in the area, and with only 12 rooms, offers the ultimate boutique experience. At night, guests return to rooms — with 4-poster canopy beds and working fireplaces — lit by tea candles, with soft music playing. And though on-site amenities are few (there is no fitness center or restaurant), the spa is a highlight. The nearby Westin Verasa is equally luxurious, and boasts not only a convenient downtown location but also a long list of amenities, including a large fitness center, a tasty French restaurant and a pretty courtyard with a pool.