One of Napa Valley’s most iconic destinations, Auberge du Soleil got its start in the 1980s as a restaurant—a fine-dining destination in one of the most picturesque locales in one of the world’s most beautiful places. Needless to say, it was only a matter of time before the wine aficionados who frequented its scenic dining room clamored for a place to stay (so they could enjoy more wine, naturally). The hospitality experts at Auberge obliged, dotting the 33 acres of vineyard and olive groves with elegant, French Riviera–inspired maisons, as well as a luxury spa inspired by the bounty of the natural surroundings. The sun-soaked swimming pool has views that rival those of the restaurant (and come paired with Italian ices and the never-ending temptation of a cool dip in the water). Throw in a bistro and bar—more Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with, yes, that view again—and lush grounds that include an art gallery, and it’s no wonder that Auberge du Soleil is still one of the area’s top stays.
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Perched on the hills on the eastern side of the Napa Valley, overlooking the whole wine-growing region, Auberge du Soleil is simultaneously secluded and within a stone’s throw of all the area’s many sights and attractions. The Silverado Trail—a historic highway that runs through some of Napa’s most scenic terrain—and the many renowned wineries (neighbors include Conn Creek Winery and Frog’s Leap Winery) that line it are just down the road, while the picturesque (if quite touristy) town of St. Helena is just a 10-minute drive down the hill. The surrounding area is especially popular for its hiking and biking trails—grab a picnic at Oakville Grocery to take with you—and the hotel’s expert concierge can organize private adventures, including art gallery visits and hot-air balloon rides.
Need to Know
Rooms: 52 rooms, 21 suites. From $675. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Simultaneously rustic and opulent, the fine-dining Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil predates the hotel as a Napa landmark. Since 1981, it has served gourmet, French-inflected cuisine made with seasonal, local ingredients, and has been home to many of the Bay Area’s top chefs. The panoramic views of the valley from both the terrace and the dining room rival the Michelin-starred cuisine and the wine list. More casual dining is available at the Bistro & Bar, whose wraparound deck makes it just as popular a destination. Spa and gym details: Open to hotel guests only, the Auberge Spa draws its inspiration from the surrounding countryside, each treatment starting with a soak in the natural hot springs overlooking the valley and the vineyards below, and making use of ingredients from the area—olives, grapes, herbs, and minerals. The Asian-inspired La Pagode pavilion hosts meditation and movement classes, and the hotel also has a fitness center and tennis courts. The cabana-lined pool is large enough for laps and has an adjacent hot tub; there are also steam rooms, bicycles to rent, and nearby golf courses and horseback-riding stables.
Who it's best for: Romancing couples seeking traditional luxury and a room with a view. Our favorite rooms: All rooms and suites have working fireplaces and private terraces overlooking the vineyards, but those in the Maison Vence and Maison Mougins are the most recently renovated and luxurious. Some even have secluded outdoor bath gardens with stand-alone soaking tubs. For art lovers: Amid its landscaping, the hotel’s garden art gallery, Ma(i)sonry Gallery, displays over 100 works of art, all available for purchase.