A Night at Napa Valley’s Bardessono

The guests rooms at Napa Valley's Bardessono are a blend of earthy, refined luxury and function.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

There is no shortage of quality accommodations in Napa Valley. Between major hotels, boutique resorts and bed and breakfasts, staying in California’s wine country becomes a matter of how much you want to spend and what surroundings you prefer.

The Bardessono, in quiet, quaint, yet exclusive Yountville, Calif., ranks amongst the finest hotels and spas in the region for the luxury-minded traveler.

Yountville is an upscale, yet approachable town about nine miles out from downtown Napa. Devoid of any chain businesses except for a single gas station, the area is filled with small shops, gourmet restaurants and luxury spots to hang your hat like the Bardessono.

The entire hotel and spa facility was built to precise and demanding “green” specifications. Every aspect of “sustainable design” was considered throughout the planning, construction and operation of the Bardessono, earning it LEED Platinum Certification.

The suites (too large to be called mere rooms) are spacious and open – with stone tiled floors and dark toned wood appointing every wall and fixture. A fat, king size bed, gas fireplace and HD TV rounds out the essentials.

The bathrooms are modern and well-equipped with both walk-in and outdoor showers, digitally adjustable water temperatures, dual sinks, and large whirlpool bathtubs.

A highlight of each room is the large, private patio adjoining the living room. Big enough to hold a table, chairs and lounge furniture, this wall-in outdoor space is a perfect place to spend a seasonal afternoon in that uncanny glow of Napa Valley sunshine.

The Spa features include treatments specially constructed to fit the season. As the spa’s own descriptions put it, “Enhance your immune system and circulation in winter. Purify and renew your vitality in spring. Refresh, cool and soothe during the warmth of summer. In autumn, relieve stress and restore balance of mind and body.” I don’t remember the individual seasons being that stressful on me, but it’s not as if I’ve been spending countless hours in spas, either.

If you prefer the privacy of your own room, a brief scheduling call will bring a massage table and all of the accouterments to your private space with one of the spa’s masseuse staff. After your rubdown, you’re welcome to stay there on the massage table for a rest before it’s quietly removed and returned to the spa.

The onsite restaurant and bar (Lucy) offer an extensive selection of local wines from partnering vintners. The culinary menu runs to the expensive end, and the selections sometimes seem too obscure – as though the chef is trying a little too hard to make the haute cuisine match its surroundings. But that’s a minor quibble, and the lobster risotto made up for any misstep there.

Room service was swift, polite and professional. My breakfast tea was cold on arrival – and if that’s the only complaint a guest can make upon visiting a venue this ambitious, they’re doing something right.

WIth room rates hovering as high as $900, the Bardessono might be out of the price range for some Napa visitors. But for those who seek the full Wine Country luxury experience, there are few stops in and around the grape vines than the Bardessono.