Carneros Resort and Spa
What We Love
- Calling on the “Fireside Butler” to light the firepit and fill the outdoor tub
- Sitting in the rocking chairs that adorn each porch, glass of Napa wine in hand
- Channeling Italian grandpas on the bocce courts
- Grabbing a personalized picnic basket from the Market general store
What To Know
- The hotel charges a daily resort fee
- It can get foggy here, even in the summer
- Although families are welcome, the atmosphere is more geared towards couples
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Staying at the Resort is like combining a private getaway (a luxury cottage with indoor and outdoor showers, an enormous bathroom, and wood-burning fireplace) with a communal trip (infinity swimming pool and hot tub, weekend fitness classes, decadent breakfasts in the hilltop dining room). A tempting base for wine country excursions, there are enough rustic-chic touches here to make weeks’ worth of enviable Instagram posts: the white-painted rocking chairs on the porch, the Le Corbusier chaises, the orange bikes against the lush green background of the vines. Country living, but with homemade pastries and wine delivered to your door, it’s the kind of place that makes you want to knot a pastel sweater around your shoulder and natter on about syrahs and pinots—in a good way.
In the Area
Within an easy walk of the resort there’s the Vineyard Knolls Golf Course, the Cuvaison Estate Winery (which has an airy tasting room with incredible vineyard views), and the Di Rosa Preserve, an estate that showcases artwork by Northern Californians in a stunning wildlife preserve. For everything else, you’ll ned to rent a car or borrow one of the inn’s bicycles. It’s five miles to downtown Napa, if you want to hit the town, but chances are wine tastings will be your number one priority. Artesa is less than three miles from the resort and offers unusual food and wine pairings, like pintxos (tapas-like snacks from Basque country) with albariños and tempranillos. A little further afield are the Bouchaine Vineyards, the oldest vineyards in the area, which specialize in chardonnays and pinot noirs.
How to Get There
We booked their 3 bedroom house for the 4th of July long weekend. The house was spacious and well equipped. But overall, like the resort itself, nothing wows. I would recommend it for someone needing to stay in a location convenient to both Napa and Sonoma. But otherwise, would not return.
Five star service from the moment you arrive! Staff is friendly, knowlegable and always personable. The rooms are beautifuly appointed and private with outdoor showers and firepits to enhance the magic. We dined in every outlet and each was better than the next. A perfect stay from start to finish and a destination we will certainly return to!
Debated between 3 and 4 stars but decided to round up as we really do love this place overall... however we just had an unfortunate incident on our last visit that was not really remedied / addressed which marred an otherwise incredible stay. Upon seeing other reviews, especially by regulars -- there does seem to be a common theme that the service is not what it used to be since the management change a couple years ago which is unfortunate.
First time we stayed at Carneros Inn in 2014 when we were living abroad and it was incredibly romantic stay in their 2 bedroom suites (complete with a telescope for the space junkies in us). Fast forward to 2019 -- after moving back to California with my now husband and our two dogs, we decided to book a mini 2 night getaway.
The positives :
1) The restaurants are amazing -- FARM is incredible: top notch food, service to humans and our dogs, warm ambiance overlooking the Pavilion which had live music, cozy fireplaces and families and couples playing lawn games. The guest-only Hilltop Restaurant boasts beautiful views of the adult-only pool and vineyards (ok more like a dry field of weeds but still unobstructed nature / no buildings etc) and the patio is dog friendly with well spaced tables and accommodating service. Boon Fly is cozy (this one is not dog-friendly though as no outdoor seating) and is famous for their donut holes (which you can order via room service).
2) The spa recently got renovated and it shows in the super versatile massage rooms and tables (was like a Tesla sleep number) and I thoroughly enjoyed my prenatal Mayacama Mama massage. There's a nice relaxation deck, steam room, big lockers etc - no jacuzzi or sauna but not really necessary (nor could I use it anyway ha)
3) The cottages are good sized and the biggest perk is the spacious yard - we have stayed in a 2 bedroom suite and a Harvest king cottage. As the property is pretty flat, there's no real views unless you get a room on the edge of the property overlooking the vineyards or neighboring fields. However it makes it work with a little zen oasis gardens and corrugated iron fencing that provides privacy. Our yard had a fire pit, 2 space heaters, sun beds, table chairs etc which we maximized every moment in the room. Amenities wise -- they provided a pregnancy pillow for me and dog beds, leashes and bowls which was much appreciated.
The only real negative was that our room didn't get cleaned during our 2 night stay and there was no proper followup either. Housekeeping told the front desk they didn't clean the room because the dogs were in the room but that was untrue. I spent hours planning this trip to revolve around our 2 senior dogs - ensuring every restaurant and winery was dog friendly so we would never leave them alone (and you can see from all my yelp reviews - we literally bring the dogs everywhere).
On our first (and only) full day at the resort, we left at 9:30am with the "please make up room" light on. When we returned at 3pm, the room was not clean. We assumed an oversight and just asked the front desk to please send housekeeping when we would be at dinner in a couple hours. 445pm housekeeping knocks and we are almost ready to leave so I ask them to come back in 20 minutes - one woman tells me 6pm is turndown service only and if it gets missed room won't be clean. I told them that we were gone all day (5 hours!) with the "please clean" sign on and no one came to clean - can they please just wait 20 minutes? The other woman agreed (twice) to come back in 20 minutes. We return around 8pm and the room hasn't been touched. We call the front desk and they tell us housekeeping couldn't clean because the dogs were in the room - completely untrue. I have time stamped photos from our whole day with the dogs plus GPS tracking. The front desk responds "well that is what housekeeping said" - essentially calling us a liar and not even offering a remedy which was infuriating and upsetting. We head to the front desk and speak to someone else who says they will get it cleaned. We return to a cursory turndown - dirty glasses still there, leaves on the floor from the patio doors being open that afternoon, bed made but wrinkled with old sheets, used floor towel just folded back up, and ice bucket from last night's room service just left out on the front porch. Upon check out, the front desk asks if we had a good stay and we say yes but the only issue was that our room didn't get cleaned and the response was "oh sorry that's too bad" so clearly there wasn't even a note on our account about the issue. Extremely disappointing incident that marred an otherwise lovely stay!