This 5-Star Napa Valley Retreat Will Make You Feel Like a Celebrity

When we say “Napa,” quiet, rustic, and elegant might not be the first adjectives you think of. But at Meadowood Napa Valley, a luxury resort tucked away amidst a sea of oak and redwood trees, that’s exactly what you’ll discover. 

Since 1979, the 250-acre property has acted as a hotel, private club, and gathering space for the “who’s who” of Napa Valley. It’s not uncommon to drink a glass of wine from a vineyard crafted by an individual sitting at a table across the room.

The secluded, intimate nature makes Meadowood a natural fit for those who are seeking privacy and anyone who craves a breather after a bustling day of wine tastings, shopping, or travel. With top-notch hospitality and amenities, private cottages instead of “rooms,” and destination-worthy dining, Meadowood epitomizes effortless, intimate luxury.

Just 36 cottages speckle the expansive property. Inside, the decor is calm, charming, and somehow cozy yet spacious all at once. Designed by renowned Napa architect Howard Backen, each cottage features airy vaulted ceilings, roomy baths, a well-stocked mini bar, and lofty, welcoming beds.

Beyond in-room dining and a seasonal outdoor café, you can cure your cravings at Forum. At breakfast, try the Model Bakery english muffin (selected as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things). For lunch, it’s tough to top the rock shrimp tacos with fried chili salsa. And for dinner, start with the grown-up “tater tots” garnished with herb crème fraîche and caviar.

In fitting Napa fashion, fine wine—and the stories behind it—can be found in ample supply at The Wine Center at Meadowood. Run by two acclaimed sommeliers, guests can book deep dives into topics ranging from Napa wines (naturally) to blind tasting to popular grapes gone global.

When the weather is as bright and sunny as a Sauvignon Blanc, head to one of the property’s three pools. One is for laps, another is for lounging, and the third is for families.

Seven tennis courts are available for those who are feeling sporty. Indoors, the newly refurbished fitness center awaits. Join a class, hop on a Peloton bike, or put in reps on the strength training equipment.

To ensure that every guest can check out feeling relaxed yet red carpet-ready, the 5-star Meadowood Spa is just a quick stroll (or concierge cart ride) away. Upon arrival, spa visitors are whisked away to a suite that includes a private steam shower. After a nature-inspired massage, we adored wrapping up our visit by cooling our jets and sipping on tea in one of the Spa’s two serene sanctuary gardens.

Top Takeaways

Location: St. Helena, California

Rating: Five-star

The vibe: Rustic-chic cottages situated in the forest just minutes from some of Napa’s best wineries.

Food + Drink: Choose from all-day in-room dining, lunch at the outdoor Terrace Café (seasonal), or tuck into breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Forum, Meadowood’s on-site restaurant billed as delivering “relaxed refinement.”

Any neighborhood recs?: Swing by Gott’s Roadside. The locally-sourced drive-in slings burgers, tacos, salads, milkshakes, and, of course, wine by the glass. For casual cuisine with a pinch of luxe flair, book a table at The Charter Oak. After earning 3 Michelin stars at the Restaurant at Meadowood, which was lost in 2020’s Glass Fires, chef Christopher Kostow opened this hotspot. Don’t miss the durum wheat bucatini with pork ragout and chili crisp.

Our favorite thing about the hotel? Hospitality goes above and beyond. Expect to be greeted by a handwritten note and a pillowcase with your name stitched across the corner; this is yours to take home, by the way. After your room is cleaned, your charging cords will be tidily tucked into Meadowood-branded velcro bands.

What’s nearby? The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, art galleries, shopping, wineries

Amenities: Fitness center, wine center (which hosts events like The Oenophile’s Escape: A Weekend Retreat with The Wine Center and can arrange private tastings), spa, hiking trails, seven tennis courts (with Adult Tennis Camp available), three pools, hot tub, restaurant, bar, parking, WiFi.

Rooms: 36 suites

Pricing: Rooms start at $900/night

Closest Airports: San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport

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