A sprawling luxury retreat in the heart of wine country, the inn feels something like a self-sufficient farm village—if farm villages had four acclaimed eateries (one fine-dining, of course) and its cottages were paragons of modernist California luxury. Nearly every spot on the grounds offers views of the rolling vineyards and surrounding horse ranches. You can gaze over the organic garden that supplies ingredients for all of the restaurants, as well as the on-site market and spa. The renowned spa pampers guests with natural treatments and free yoga classes. Then there are two swimming pools, bicycles to borrow, a garden bar with bocce and live music, a cocktail foraging experience where you create signature drinks from the garden with the head bartender, a designer boutique, and vineyard walks. So, yes, hiking trails, winetasting, and hot-air balloon rides are just outside the door, but it’s so tempting to just stay right here on the farm.
Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon.
Dining options: An ode to Northern California’s agricultural bounty, the fine dining FARM restaurant is a rustically elegant culinary destination with an impressive local wine list; its popular bar and lounge area opens onto the grassy Pavilion, outfitted with bocce courts and fire pits. The casually refined Boon Fly Café is styled after vintage California roadside eateries, serving dressed-up classics with local ingredients all day. Some of the best views around can be found at the Hilltop Dining Room, a guests-only, indoor-outdoor weekend breakfast and lunch café overlooking the pool; poolside snacks and drinks are served until the evening. Otto’s Pool has its own Snack Shack, which serves sandwiches, salads, and other light bites in the summer months. Stock up on local treats and picnic fixings at the Market, the hotel’s very own gourmet grocery.
Spa and gym details: Like the restaurants, the Spa at the Carneros Inn utilizes many of the hotel farm’s ingredients in its extensive menu of natural beauty and wellness treatments. The large, modern fitness center is open 24 hours daily and offers free fitness classes on weekends; personal training and a wide range of private and small-group wellness classes can also be booked. There are two pools—one for adults only, one dedicated to fitness and families.
Our favorite rooms: Like private little bungalows, the Harvest Cottages have French doors that open onto a spacious private garden with a fire pit, two-person soaking tub, dining area, and outdoor shower. Talk about romantic.
Shopping alert: Want something new to wear to dinner? Don’t worry, the hotel is practically its own village, complete with the PlumpJackSport boutique, which stocks designer brands including Ted Baker and Diane von Furstenberg.
Unusual new-build resort The Carneros Inn is a bold, contemporary vision of traditional local farm structures – the distinctive tin-roofed barns, silos and rancher's cottages dotted throughout Napa Valley have informed an ultra-modern 'agri-chic' aesthetic that marries old-school decked porches, cowhide rugs and rocking chairs with Le Corbusier chaises and a colour scheme Giorgio Armani would be proud of. And you'd have to search long and hard to find a much warmer welcome anywhere in the world.
The chef can prepare a picnic for you to take wherever you like. There's a team of concierge staff who are extremely knowledgable about the region, its vineyards and pursuits. They'll call before you arrive to find out what you want from your stay.