Photo Credit: The Carneros Inn
Life as we know in L.A. can be stressful. From the constant traffic (don’t even mention the 405 to us) to the post-holiday indulgences to how hard everyone works—Hollywood folk or not—we all deserve a break. The best way to get some R&R and indulge your mind, body, and soul is with a special new wellness weekend package from Napa Valley’s Carneros Inn. From the time you arrive until the time you depart, know that you will truly get away from it all and return to the City of Angels with a new and improved lease on life.
The Carneros is a special place to stay. You can hide away from the rest of the world in your own customized cottage at this Plumpjack resort, which offers comfortable Napa-specific luxury. In each of the 400-square foot spaces you’ll find a fireplace, indoor and alfresco showers, luxury bedding and French doors that open to a magnificent backyard—some with soaking tubs, all with firepits—at your disposal. Our favorite part of waking up was showering in the outdoor shower and quickly rushing inside to luxuriate on the bathroom’s heated marble floors. Those who want a bit more space or are traveling with a larger party can book a one or two-bedroom suite, which are 900 and 1200 square feet, respectively. For a truly special experience, book one of the Vineyard Suites, which feature two separate cottages offering panoramic views of the rolling hills and distant vineyards beyond and—the piece de resistance— a Maksutov – Cassegrain telescope for some prime stargazing into the clear night sky.
THE WELLNESS WEEKEND EXPERIENCE
When you arrive at the hotel, you’ll be treated to a glass of wine before being ferried to your cottage, where you’ll receive a custom welcome basket including mini-spa products, a plush Carneros Inn robe, fresh fruit and juices stocked in the fridge, as well as homemade granola. You’re off: it’s time for the wellness weekend to begin!
Don’t expect to sleep in during your stay though (re: no wine hangovers for you!). Wake up and order a light and healthy breakfast from the private, guest-only Hilltop restaurant, or immediately head to your bootcamp class. On Saturday morning, your trainer, Diana, will put you through the paces during an hour session that includes lunges, running, jump rope exercises, push-ups and sprints. Immediately afterwards you’ll join Diana in the hotel’s Motion Studio for an hour-long yoga class, which absolutely factors all level of ability into account. If you have never done yoga before, this is a great place to start, and if you have, it’s a fabulous place to continue your training.
On Sunday, expect to go on a tailored vineyard run/walk. Diana will take you into the Carneros region outside of the resort, where you’ll gaze upon gorgeous vineyards as you walk, jog, sprint, and walk. Afterwards, you’re back to center yourself during a yoga class.
These aren’t the only activities you’ll have at your disposal, though. There are free bikes on premises, which are first come, first serve. The hotel will give you a map of the area to take with you along with a customized healthy picnic lunch to enjoy during your ride.
For those who don’t like group activities or want a customized workout routine, get into shape with a private training session, which caters to your specific wellness and fitness goals, or do some laps in either of the resort’s two pools. There’s also a killer fitness center with the best cardio and weight machines available; it’s truly one of the best hotel gyms we’ve had the pleasure to work out in (a gym away from home, if you will).
Relaxation is the name of the game this weekend as well. After your morning of intense workouts, head to the Carneros Spa for a body treatment that utilizes natural, Napa-specific ingredients. Try the Rosemary Mint Grapeseed Scrub— an invigorating grapeseed exfoliation with essences of rosemary and mint followed by an application of lavender oil—or the Chardonnay Sugar Scrub—a classic sugar scrub followed by an application of Chardonnay scented lotion.
Afterwards, head to your private outdoor soaking tub to give some additional TLC to your aching muscles. A bath will be prepared for you, along with healing oils and bath salts for a relaxing, holistic experience; your outdoor fire pit will be lit and refreshments will also be laid out so you can fully commit to relaxation.
While we absolutely insist that you try the Boon Fly Cafe, its Southern comfort food might not be your best bet for a wellness weekend. We suggest dining here before the ‘wellness’ commences (see, loophole!) and noshing on dishes like smoked chicken flatbread, Loch Duart salmon with Kobocha squash, kale and black rice, and a Kobe beef burger which has an absolutely delectable brioche bun.
When your wellness weekend DOES begin (Saturday and Sunday) you’ll dine at Hilltop restaurant, where you can enjoy healthy fare such as egg white vegetable frittatas and steel cut oats with milk, honey, strawberries, and berry coulis while gazing out at the vineyards beyond. Have your phone at the ready; an Instagram photo opp is waiting for you.
The resort’s most opulent restaurant, FARM, is a standout. When you enter, you’ll find an elegant dining room featuring fireplaces, dramatic lighting, and a cathedral ceiling, though you can also choose to have a more low-key experience when you dine alfresco on the patio, which is surrounded by firepits. Chef de Cuisine Andrew Budnyj collaborates with The Carneros Inn’s culinary gardener, Marley Dawson and Executive Chef, Steven Tevere to decide what to grow in the ½ acre on-site culinary garden to create a sustainable in-house menu. If something can’t be grown on-site, Budnyj keeps his fare in the Napa family and works with local farmers to procure unique seasonal ingredients; he also works with neighboring ranches and local cheese producers to create his healthy, California-specific menu. On a typical night, we’d suggest the amazing pairing menu, though because your goal is wellness-inspired, you might want to opt for an a la carte experience or the vegetarian menu. The former has standout health-centric items like its vegan winter bean soup with cast iron crouton, garlic chips, smoked almonds and Rancho Gordo beans and its omega three heavy Scottish salmon with mustard rosemary glaze, parsnips, smoked Brussels sprouts and beech mushrooms. On the vegetarian menu, enjoy tasty dishes like the Verde Farro with blistered sunchokes, black trumpet mushrooms, cipollini onions, slow cooked kale and mint pine nut condimento as well as awesome baby roasted beets with marinated farro, avocado mousse, pomelo and aged sherry.
The resort also offers an amazing, hands-on culinary option with its foraging mixology experience. Drink your health (really!) when you tour the hotel’s expansive grounds to forage for your own ingredients, including herbs, garnishes, fruits, and produce from the hotel’s on-property orchards and on-site culinary gardens. You can then bring the ingredients you foraged for back to the bar at FARM for a personal mixology lesson from the head bartender on how to create a signature, seasonal cocktail using fresh-picked ingredients. The best part: if you’re really being healthy, your customized drink can be made without alcohol.
OK, so we might have cheated a little…because who can go to Napa without hitting a winery or two? There are a plethora of options a stone’s throw away in the Carneros area. Enjoy a sparkling tasting flight at Domaine Carneros, or breathtaking views at Artesa. However, if you feel like venturing beyond Carneros, we highly recommend tastings at Silver Oak or Opus One.
The Carneros Inn, 4048 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 299-4900
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