Photo Credit: Jason Tinacci
Canadians brought us basketball, poutine and IMAX, but possibly the best thing a Canadian has brought to the Napa Valley is Poetry Inn in the Stags Leap district. Cliff Lede (pronounced lay-dee), a Canadian construction magnate, opened this Howard Backen-designed gem, hidden high atop the valley floor on a hillside cabernet sauvignon vineyard, in 2005—three years after he founded his namesake winery right down the hill in Yountville. Elegant and private—there is a gated entrance to the property—this is the perfect place to escape for a romantic getaway or simply to unwind in serenity. Here are five reasons you should reward yourself with a luxurious stay at Poetry Inn very soon. After all, we know you deserve it!
Robert Louis Stevenson suite
Poetry Inn has just five rooms—each one named after a poet (Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, etc.) and haute in their own unique way. That’s right, no two are alike although all are well-appointed with a king-sized bed, wood-burning fireplace, luxury Italian linens, spacious bathrooms built of Beauharnais rose limestone and Palladiana Marmo Giallo Reale marble and indoor and outdoor showers. However, our favorite is the Robert Louis Stevenson Suite, named after the Scottish poet whose famous quote, “and the wine is bottled poetry,” adorns large signs on Highway 29 in the Napa Valley. Located on the top floor and featuring a private entrance and wraparound deck with chaise lounges and tables, this suite also has a separate living area, half bath off the entryway, indoor steam shower, deep-soaking tub and 1,450 square feet of fabulousness, making it the largest accommodation at Poetry Inn. For long-term stays, you’ll definitely want to reserve The Farmhouse, available on a monthly basis and complete with a gourmet kitchen, private pool, three bedrooms and four bathrooms.
We think they’ve thought of everything in the accommodations. We can still recall the smell of the Tocca Cleopatra candle. Inspired by the ingredients used in Cleopatra’s beauty rituals, watery cucumber and sweet grapefruit leave a crisp, clean scent. The Bushnell binoculars come in handy and the complimentary mini-bar (adult beverages not included) is appreciated. Little touches like the name “Poetry Inn” embroidered on hand towels, personalized welcome letter cleverly in a leather notebook with the stationery, and the vast number of books, naturally with many on the region, are indicative of just how special this place is.
Well in advance of your arrival, you’ll receive an email from innkeepers Henrike Wagner, Daniel Hauck and Marc Bowen asking things such as if you’d to arrange for spa services (the seasonal menu of relaxing options will be attached), book a private dinner or luncheon during your stay, need any assistance with dining or winery reservations, have any food allergies, your favorite genre of music and whether you prefer feather or hypo-allergenic pillows. Once on property, you’ll be warmly welcomed and immediately made to feel comfortable. If you just think of something you need or want, it’s as if the staff can read your mind and, voila!, you’ll be offered it. Prior to your spa treatment, which we highly recommend you book, your therapist will bring to your room a warm herbal-ease neck pillow/neck wrap by Tara Aromatherapy.
Regardless of which accommodation you choose, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the Napa Valley from your west-facing balcony, the perfect place to watch sunset with a complimentary glass of Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc 2014 and cheese plate that will be brought to you. The outdoor patio and main lounge also boast picturesque views.
It is true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day when you stay at Poetry Inn. And that’s in part because that is the only full meal provided unless you make advance plans for a private meal. Both a la carte and a prix-fixe chef’s menu are available and either the house chef or a local renowned chef will do the honors should you opt for the private route. Whether you opt to have the three-course gourmet breakfast, prepared by Chef Lynn Vita, delivered to your room or in the main lounge or outdoor patio, you’re in for a treat. During our visit, the first course consisted of pastries from Bouchon Bakery in Yountville while the second offered the choice of steel-cut oats, housemade granola with yogurt and huckleberries or fresh seasonal fruit. The third course offered a scrumptious breakfast salad (caramelized brussels sprouts, broccoli, bacon, butternut squash, shallot-bacon vinaigrette, broccoli puree and a fried farm egg) that we were so glad we couldn’t resist, although the buttermilk pancakes, bacon and eggs and smoked salmon were tempting as well.
Before, during or after your stay, you’ll certainly want to pop down to Cliff Lede Vineyards for a tasting of Lede Family Wines. There are three distinct wine brands: Cliff Lede Vineyards and Poetry, located in the Stags Leap District, and FEL Wines, whose roots are in the Anderson Valley. Lede’s love for music is apparent in the vineyards, where he named blocks after some of his favorite rock songs and albums—from “My Generation” to “Dark Side of the Moon,” to the Backstage Reserve Lounge, where you can enjoy an elevated tasting experience amidst art and classic rock. Be sure to mark your calendar for September 2016. That’s when the 2013 Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon that influential wine critic Robert Parker gave 100 points will be released.
Poetry Innn 6380 Silverado Trail, Napa, (707) 944-0646 poetryinn.com
Robert Louis Stevenson Suite Living Room
Robert Louis Stevenson Suite Bedroom
Robert Louis Stevenson Suite
Robert Louis Stevenson Suite private terrace
Cheese and Sauvignon Blanc
Emily Dickenson Terrace
Walt Whitman Room
Spa Treatment Room
Savory Breakfast Sandwich
Poetry Inn Towels
Photo credit: Jason Tinacci