Discover the Gems of Napa Valley

Napa Valley is home to dozens of world class vineyards, innovative winemakers, and fabulous restaurants and resorts. Even the locals are constantly discovering hidden gems and new hotspots!

When you plan your next Napa getaway, consider exploring some of the places I recently visited: they’re stellar examples of everything California’s premier wine country has to offer.

Solage: Detox, Retox, and Repeat

Ready to get away from it all? Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection, is one of my favorite Napa Valley retreats dedicated to helping you live “the good life.” Located in Calistoga, home to natural hot springs and a great climate for growing grapes, this modern property combines urban sophistication with the area’s small-town charm.

Guest rooms range from 515 to 1,900 square feet, each with an outdoor patio. Some suites are equipped with a fire pit, enhancing the ambiance for a gathering with friends or a little romance.

For the ultimate in relaxation, take a dip in Solage’s 130-foot pool. You’ll be treated to views of the Mayacamas Mountains and cool, jewel-like water while you beat the Napa heat. If you want to indulge in real luxury, rent a cabaña with lounge furniture, mini-fridge and complimentary drinks, and a TV and sound system. Don’t forget to check out the poolside margarita cart, with your choice of spirits and garnishes.

All that swimming will work up an appetite. When you get hungry, try Picobar, Solage’s delicious and beautiful Mexican restaurant on site. If you love agave-based spirits, don’t miss their newest offering: an expert-guided tasting of four mezcals and tequilas. You’ll get four pours of tequila and mezcal, plus a special cocktail selection. The tasting comes with piconuts (barbacoa-and-lime chickpeas) and three different salts.

Dining at Picobar. Photo Credit: Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection

“Napa Valley is known for its beautiful weather, wine, delicious food, and, most importantly, connection. Solage brings all of this into one singular destination. Our talented team is known for having a great insider’s perspective of Calistoga and the greater valley,” said Pete Alles, Solage Resort and Spa’s general manager.

Goose & Gander Restaurant

Goose & Gander in St. Helena offers rustic American food driven by Napa’s seasonal offerings. Guests can enjoy executive chef Tim Humphrey’s main courses and bar bites in the dining room, basement bar, or outside in the lovely garden. Try a custom cocktail or order from their wine list. This casual spot is perfect for date night, family dinners, and celebrations alike.

Regiis Ova Caviar and Champagne Lounge

If you love caviar, then you must visit Regiis Ova Caviar & Champagne Lounge in Yountville! Experience their caviar and roe, paired with small plates and snacks from famous chef Thomas Keller. I highly recommend it for when you want to pull out all the stops. Regiis Ova is sure to impress, and I can’t wait for my next visit! 

Deviled Eggs Available at Regiis Ova Caviar & Champagne Lounge. Photo credit: David Escalante.

Shafer Vineyards Is Open to Visitors!

After a long pandemic-induced break, I felt very lucky to experience a private tasting on Shafer Vineyard’s beautiful patio. The wines, views, and hospitality were exceptional. “We’ve very pleased to say, ‘Welcome back,’” said Doug Shafer, president of Shafer Vineyards. “We’ve missed the incredible energy and warmth of sharing our property and our wines with guests from around the world.”

Tasting at Shafer Vineyards. Photo Credit: Jennifer Boden

Bottega Restaurant: An Italian Experience in Napa Valley

Do you enjoy Italian food? If so, make a reservation at Bottega in Yountville. This cozy, romantic restaurant features Italian design elements like Murano glass chandeliers, Calcutta d’Oro marble, Venetian plaster, and soft leather chairs. Dine inside or take advantage of the outdoor patio with two stone fireplaces. The warm, rustic Italian setting is matched only by the delicious food and attentive service. During my visit, I indulged in their ricotta gnocchi della Nonna dish with a delicious glass of wine. Perfection!  

The Estate Yountville: In the Heart of Napa Valley 

Another lodging favorite is The Estate Yountville. On the south end of the property, Hotel Villagio offers contemporary guestrooms and suites with large soaking tubs, outdoor decks, and rich décor.

Hotel Villagio Guest Room. Photo Credit: The Estate Yountville

I particularly enjoy relaxing or writing articles in their beautiful lobby lounge, sipping one of their yummy garden-to-glass cocktails. The hotel’s garden grows an abundance of hyperlocal ingredients for your tasting pleasure. Or, you can take your drink to the pool and soak up that warm Napa sunshine.

Hotel Villagio Lobby

The Spa at the Estate is the perfect excuse to take some “me time” and restore body and spirit. You’ll emerge rested, transformed, and ready to explore Napa Valley. You may also want to spend time in The Estate Yountville bubble, which offers two luxury hotels (Hotel Villagio and Vintage House), a 5-bedroom villa, and a vineyard nestled on 22 beautiful acres.

“Whether you’re traveling with a group of friends in search of a fun and sophisticated vibe or a couple seeking a romantic wine and spa retreat for the weekend, this is the destination,” said Marc Adrar, general manager of The Estate Yountville. “We’re located adjacent to more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the world, including The French Laundry, Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty, Bottega, and countless wine tasting rooms within walking distance.”