Having fallen completely in love with the world of wine – which offers its own language, culture and a wonderfully sophisticated flair – I knew that one day I’d visit that mecca of vineyards, grapes and sommeliers known as Napa Valley. If you want to spend time in a place where the landscape is lush and green, where time stands still, where peace and serenity push aside emails and iPhones, and where wine and food are not only celebrated, they’re considered an art form, then Napa is your ideal getaway.
The Napa Valley is world-
renowned for its wines.
The Meritage Resort and Spa invites you to relax, luxuriate and enjoy some of the finest accommodations in the area. From the moment my husband and I set foot on the resort grounds to the moment we left, we were delightfully swept away.
Begin your day at the Meritage Resort and Spa with a workout in its 1,650-square-foot fitness studio, using state-of-the-art equipment to get those endorphins flowing. Think working out at the gym has to be a chore? Not when you’re steps from a beautiful vineyard; the Meritage’s own private 9-acre vineyard sits atop beautiful rolling hills behind the resort, facing the pool and gym. Because the fitness studio is designed without an outer wall, the fresh air and a full view of the environs make it feel as if you’re working out in the sunshine.
For those who prefer their fitness fix closer to nature, lace up your shoes to hit the hiking trails that wind through the vineyard.
Once showered and dressed, hit up Blend, the Meritage’s cafe and bistro offering up à la carte breakfast, pastries and a delectable selection of gourmet coffees. A must-stop for all gelato lovers, Blend also offers lunch.
After breakfast, get ready to explore the gem that is Napa Valley. Located at the crossroads of Highways 29 and 221, the Meritage is at the southern edge of the valley, ideal for guests to explore the Napa and Sonoma regions. Visiting wine country can be done in a number of ways: Many guests opt to use a map or GPS to drive throughout the valley, embarking on their own self-guided tour; others join a tour group; and some take a train excursion to explore the regional wineries. The Meritage also offers an evening shuttle service, transporting guests to and from downtown Napa to allow leisurely exploration of an assortment of shops and tasting rooms.
After returning to the resort, it’s time to unwind. Spa Terra, the world’s only underground four-star spa, is in the Estate Wine Cave, a 22,000-square-foot manmade cave underneath the resort’s vineyard. The spa offers 12 tranquil treatment rooms and an exceptional spa-service menu.
You’ll quickly leave your cares behind. One of my favorite elements of Spa Terra is something I have yet to see elsewhere: Inside the ladies’ relaxation lounge is a small book in which guests are encouraged to write about their visit. Page after page are filled with comments such as, “I needed this” and “I finally felt myself relax.” It served as a reminder of how we all sometimes need to let go.
Other resort amenities include a heated outdoor pool and a number of relaxing hot tubs. Pull up a few chairs and enjoy a glass of wine with friends around one of the many outdoor fireplaces throughout the grounds for a relaxing and intimate conversation.
DON'T MISS ...
• Trinitas Cellars Tasting Room
For more wine indulgence, The Estate Cave houses the Trinitas Cellars tasting room, where you can sample hand-crafted wines made of grapes grown from well-known areas such as Carneros, Mendocino and, of course, Napa. The Estate Cave also furnishes an entertainment room next to Trinitas Cellars for special events. This one-of-a-kind venue can seat up to 200 guests.
An active day in the Napa Valley can make a visitor hungry. Satisfy your cravings at Siena, the Meritage Resort’s award-winning gourmet restaurant on the lobby level. Quality meats, fish and local, farm-fresh ingredients are used to create a menu full of the deliciously light and fresh fare that Napa is known for.
Not ready to call it a night? Head to the Meritage Bar for cocktails, or go to Crush Ultra Lounge, Meritage’s sports-themed entertainment spot, which features six bowling lanes, a pool table and shuffleboard.
The Meritage Resort and Spa
875 Bordeaux Way
Napa, CA; 707.251.1900
In blind tastings in Paris in 1976, Napa Valley wines beat several prestigious French labels, proving that the area can produce some of the best in the world.