Several Napa Valley hotels claim proximity to the region’s iconic grapevines. But only one is actually located within a working vineyard. Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley encircles Elusa Winery’s organic vineyards, from which winemakers Thomas Rivers Brown and Jonathan Walden craft elegant and luscious varietals that can be sampled on the resort property. But the proximity benefits don’t end there. Resort guests are also invited to explore the winemaking process from harvest and sorting, to blending and ageing, with hands-on demonstrations and opportunities to meet the winemakers.
Located at the northern end of the valley in charming Calistoga where a throwback vibe gives off a ‘Napa as it used to be’ tenor, the Four Seasons, which this year celebrates its first anniversary, provides the ultimate in rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Everything one might require and desire in a wine country visit can be found on property, from fine wine tasting (Elusa is fortunate to debut with a library of wines that date back a decade, due to Brown’s industriousness in anticipation of the resort and winery’s opening) to pampering spa treatments at Spa Talisa to the best in seasonal fare at both TRUSS Restaurant + Bar, and newly opened, Auro where Executive Chef Rogelio Garcia showcases a seasonally inspired, rotating five-course tasting menu set against views of sprawling Calistoga vineyards and the Palisades Mountains.
Garcia, who rose through the ranks in some of wine country’s most respected restaurants before spending the last seven years perfecting his craft at notable restaurants such as Traci des Jardins’ The Commissary, and Michelin-starred Spruce and Luce, is an alumnus of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15 and author of an upcoming cookbook, Convivir: Modern Mexican Cooking in California’s Wine Country. His Auro inspiration is drawn from past experience and from his time-honored relationships with farmers, foragers, and fishermen. Notable purveyors include Elysian Fields Lamb, Ōra King Salmon and Wolfe Ranch Quail and produce sourced from a dedicated culinary garden at neighboring Triple S Ranch.
For more casual dining, the open-air Campo Poolside, located between the Resort’s two pools overlooking the vineyards, serves delicious Cal-Mexican fare and festive libations such as the ‘Short Beak, Long Tail,’ made with cucumber-infused tequila, lime, orange agave, and habanero tincture served over a visually impressive cucumber-flecked ice ball.
Cuisine aside, the resort features activities to please all. The fully supervised and complimentary Kids for All Seasons program allows parents to enjoy a bit of ‘alone time;’ the state-of-the-art fitness center features Technogym equipment; Spa Talisa offers intuitive and therapeutic treatments (in an area known for its hot springs, a mud treatment is a must) as well as pprivate patios with steam decks, and a large hot tub overlooking the vineyards. Two outdoor swimming pools (one for families and one specifically for adults) are flanked by a regulation bocce ball court, and a small fleet of complimentary beach cruisers allow for breezy exploration of the region’s art galleries, artisan shops, farmers markets, restaurants, and cafes.
Hirsch Bedner Associates executed the design of the rooms and suites; those on the first level boast a wine cellar-like vibe of dark, sultry tones and low illumination, with gleaming white large bathrooms featuring soaking tubs. Upper-level rooms are the reverse: bright white design with black-tiled bathrooms. All rooms feature fireplaces, private, furnished terraces, fully stocked mini-bars, and the heavenly Four Seasons bed. (No matter the location worldwide, Four Seasons guests are always guaranteed a decadent sleep experience.)
While each component of this beautiful resort is alone swoon-worthy—including local artisan crafts that grace walls and tables—it’s the welcoming and personable service, fueled by a gracious and accommodating staff that stand ready to fulfil every vacation wish, that makes the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley greater than the sum of its parts.
400 Silverado Trail N., Calistoga, CA
Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley