I Could Live Here: The Carneros Inn


I tend to shy away from Napa in favor of more relaxed, off the beaten path Wine Country destinations (like Geyserville or Murphys). However, the revamped day spa at The Carneros Inn made me reconsider. 

A few weeks ago, The Spa at The Carneros Inn relaunched a lavish and well-considered spread of inspired spa services that reflect the surrounding natural elements of the region. It’s par for the Bay Area course that our cuisine arrives farm to table. Now, you can expect the same at the spa. About half of the new spa menu at The Carneros Inn is sourced from local ingredients from Napa, Sebastopol, Santa Cruz, Petaluma, and San Francisco. That means the lavender and native forest essential oils you sniff and the crushed grapes in the exfoliating body buff may really be from that nearby hillside. 

 The staff is knowledgeable, incredibly professional, and very good at their jobs. Case in point, I mutated from stressed-out iron to pure jelly after The Countryside Curative, a 90-minute Swedish-style massage and sage desert body scrub. Highly recommended.

If I lived here, I would have access to the extensive spa menu whenever I’m seeking sanctuary. Extreme peace is maintained as the Spa is only open to guests of the Inn and weekday visitors who rent a private cottage. These are well-worth the splurge as they’re pretty sweet and feature spa-inspired bathrooms, multi-head showers, deep soaking tubs, alfresco showers, wood burning fireplaces, private decks and flowering gardens. 

 The healthy refuge is further exemplified at the stellar restaurants on the property. I stepped out of the spa and strolled across to the terrace of the Hilltop Dining Room, the spot for weekend breakfast and lunch. A recent summer menu transformed a simple garden tomato salad into a refined dish that exploded with firm red and yellow heirloom tomatoes straight from the onsite garden topped with oozing, creamy burrata and heavenly local olive oil. The peaches and nectarines in the stone fruit salad tasted like they had just been picked five minutes before, and all of the vegetables in the Jidori Chicken Breast and Toasted Farro mains looked perfect and primed for a Cézanne still life. FARM Restaurant is the more upscale dining option in an elegant and chic dining room and bar. 

The far-reaching vistas and mellow, gorgeous pools are plenty to keep me occupied with a book under my arm. I would take up residence in one of The Carneros Inn’s cottages. The 400 square feet of stylish, sun-washed space is all I would need. The fireplace and heated slate floors in the bathroom would keep me warm as the temperature dips, but my favorite amenity is the awesome outdoor shower. When my friends would visit, we would hang in a suite (two cottages connected by an extended deck and garden), or even rent an entire home on the property.  

Nestled among 27 acres of rolling farmland and vineyards, The Carneros Inn really is the ultimate relaxation destination, and not just for a Day Spa getaway. I could definitely live here.