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Where to Stay Now in California Wine Country

We can’t think of a better way to while away time between bottle tastings than at the newest (or newly remodeled) sleeps in town. These 7 charming hotels have us itching for a Cali wine country vacation.

Senior Editor, Jetsetter | @lindseytravels |

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Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer

Star chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer has caught the hotel bug. First, he co-partnered with Sonoma’s Hotel Healdsburg in 2001, debuting signature restaurant Dry Creek Kitchen to much acclaim. Then came Mystic Hotel in San Francisco, where he revamped the restaurant into a speakeasy-style tavern. Next up: Harvest Inn, housed in a series of old manor houses a mile outside St. Helena. Here, you’ll find 78 rooms including four new loft-style suites, five gardens tended by an on-site horticulturist, and, of course, a standout destination restaurant, where foodies can enjoy fresh-picked ingredients (artichoke, herbs, citrus) on a patio overlooking the property’s eight green acres.

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Carneros Inn

Napa Valley, the heart and soul of American winemaking, certainly doesn’t lack for bucolic vineyard stays—but under-the-radar Carneros Inn is making one of the bigger statements this year. Just off a $6.5 million renovation, its 86 individual cottages on 27 rolling acres are decidedly more minimalist than the Tuscan-style digs of surrounding competitors—and a welcome breath of fresh air. Our favorite perks: the lengthy outdoor adults-only pool just 10 feet from the vines and a fireside butler for all your fire pit and outdoor soaking tub needs. S’mores, anyone?

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Calistoga Ranch

This cottage-style retreat is a destination unto itself. Eight standalone cedar-shingled buildings—connected by trellised walkways and terraces—incorporate materials like stone and hewn wood and feature floor-to-ceiling windows that put the forest setting on full display. The romance here is palpable: there’s a beautiful (if tiny) cabernet vineyard, a candlelit wine cave, a lakeside restaurant, and winding hiking trails that crisscross through 127 acres of private, secluded woodland. This year, the resort debuted an all-new adult pool enhanced by a stone fireplace and lush olive trees—as if one needed another reason to reconnect with nature.

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Meadowood Napa Valley

This iconic Napa mainstay is everything you’d expect from a five-star Relais & Chateaux property: there’s a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, 250 sprawling acres, and beautiful interior details like Tibetan silk rugs, global antiques, and ceramics by local artist Emil Yanos. Meadowood recently emerged from a $60 million re-do, which involved a refresh of the guest rooms and golf course as well as the opening of a standalone spa by Napa architect (and landscape guru) Howard Backen. The exterior wraps around an aging oak tree; inside, guests can choose from a treatment menu heavy on vinotherapy (think grape seed and black walnut scrubs) and detox-inducing bites like beets with Santa Rosa plum, purple carrots, and arugula.

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Photo courtesy of Kyle Connaughton


Single Thread Farms Restaurant & Inn

California’s most anticipated opening of the year — equal parts — is a game-changer for Sonoma, singlehandedly throwing the county back in the fine-dining spotlight. What's the hype about? Ticketed dinners for those willing to shell out, during which chef Kyle Connaughton and wife/farmer Katina prepare an ambitious 11-course, kaiseki-style meal using ingredients grown right in their rooftop garden, greenhouse, and local farm. Wine pairings and greenhouse tours are also on offer for those looking to dig a little deeper, while five luxe suites (with custom-designed furnishings by AvroKO) are the icing on the proverbial cake.

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Photo courtesy of The Bergson


The Bergson

Christopher’s Inn, a charming but dated boutique in downtown Calistoga, reopened last October as The Bergson, and we’re loving the results. Named for 19th-century French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson, who championed experience and intuition over science and rationalism, the hotel has all the makings for a residential retreat: each of the 21 rooms, spread across several buildings, have their own fireplaces, feather beds, and balconies, while daily breakfast ensures that every day of culinary indulgence starts off right.

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Las Alcobas

Lovers of Beringer Vineyards and Estate, Napa’s oldest winery, will soon have a luxurious place to stay close to the action. When it opens this fall, Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, will be one of the more exciting additions the region. Design heavyweight Yabu Pushelberg was tapped for the super-spacious interiors: expect understated elegance in the 68 rooms including spa-like bathrooms, organic materials, outdoor terraces fitted with fireplaces (some have soaking tubs), and details that pay homage to its sister property in Mexico City—including a spa specializing in ancient healing practices and its own aromatherapy bar. Head to the restaurant, set in a rustic 1907 building, for seasonal specialties prepared by celebrated San Francisco chef Chris Cosentino.

RELATED: 11 Best Mexico City Hotels

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