The Hospitable Nature of Napa Valley

Another keystone Auberge resort is Calistoga Ranch, encompassing 157 acres of land. The main attraction at this secluded lodge is the on-site vineyard. Under the direction of noted Napa Valley vintners and winemakers Nils and Kirk Venge, the vineyard is a place for locals and visitors alike to relish in the opulence of this world-class region.

The vintner membership programs at both Solage Calistoga Resort and Calistoga Ranch are further proof of Auberge’s commitment to Napa Valley. By inviting local vintner members to showcase their wines on the menus of their restaurants, Mark has opened up the community, as well as its visitors, to the spirit of the wine industry. “It’s a way that people can connect directly to the vintners and get to know them on a personal basis, which is really one of the great things about the membership program,” says Mark. Currently there are roughly 30 vintner members at each property, and such well-known vineyards as Robert Mondavi Winery, Saddleback Cellars, Twomey Cellars, and Harris Estate Vineyards are participants. The involvement of Robert Mondavi Winery is certainly a testament to the symbiotic relationship between Napa’s wineries and resorts, leading all the way back to the 80s when both Auction Napa Valley and the Auberge du Soleil property made their debuts.

Both Robert Harmon and Claude Rouas originally envisioned a place where people could retreat and experience the grandeur of Napa Valley. Says Mark, “Because our properties are quite small, we can do that. What we have specialized in is creating a great romantic getaway.” Fortunately Mark’s father and his partner realized this vision at a time when the true beauty and allure of Napa Valley was gaining momentum and achieving worldwide recognition. From there it was the bricks and mortar, in addition to the pillars of intimacy and great service, that made the Auberge Resorts brand so successful. Under the leadership of Mark, Auberge Resorts has benefited from various recognitions, including some of the highest accolades from noteworthy individuals and influential voices within the hospitality industry. And yet, however great these salutes might seem, Auberge is still a family business run on the principles of respect, value, and embracing culture. Harmon’s father is still active in the company as chairman (Claude Rouas is still acting vice chairman), and his brother, Tim Harmon is CEO of Solage Hotels & Resorts, a new brand development from the Auberge team. Tim is also the CEO of Moana Restaurant Group, a companion company with roughly 20 restaurants across the western United States and Hawaii. Like Auberge, Moana operates under the same values of providing high-quality food, service, and dining experiences, as well as embracing the local flavors of the area.

Today Auberge Resorts comprises a collection of first-class hotels, resorts, and private clubs, including Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley; Esperanza, Cabo San Lucas; Calistoga Ranch, Napa Valley; The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina; and Encantado, Santa Fe; with several others in development. With the anticipation of these developing properties we can all be assured that Auberge Resorts will continue creating luxurious resorts and hotels that stay true to the elements of their natural surroundings. Says Mark, “I pinch myself—it’s so fun coming up with new concepts to create something extraordinary.”