Why We Keep Going Back To Napa Valley’s Carneros Inn


We spent our anniversary weekend at the Carneros Inn, in the Napa Valley. We’ve been there before. More than once.

Why do we return?

Is it the landscaping? I do love the mix of cottage garden and California natives, to say nothing of the multiple fruit trees. They’ve paved what used to be gravel paths, good for shoes, a little sad for my rustic longings.

Landscaping-at-the-Carneros-Inn

Is it the food? Weekends we eat breakfast up at the Hilltop Cafe; lunch generally at the pool, or with a sandwich at the little Market; dinners at Farm (we ate there for our actual anniversary night dinner but all I got was this photo of a bottle of wine we were about to drink).

Oh, and I wore the Halsbrook MaxMara dress, post-alterations, with black Mystique sandals and Claudia Kussano earrings. This is not a fancy place.

Max-Mara-via-Halsbrook-at-The-Carneros-Inn

Don’t worry. I still have two feet.

Is it dinner at the the Boon Fly Cafe?

Dinner-at-the-Boon-Fly-Cafe

While the Farm offers fancier food, shaved truffles optional, the Boon Fly is your place for fried chicken and the like. I love its barn-like architecture, and the staff aprons.

So maybe it’s the rooms?

Bedroom-at-The-Carneros-Inn

Or the bathrooms? Painted in sage green, tiled in gray-green slate. A symphony of shower options.

Bathroom-at-the-Carneros-Inn

Or the enclosed deck? Each cottage’s got one. With an outdoor shower. Love the feel of over-sized water drops falling through shafts of sunlight.

Deck-at-the-Carneros-Inn

Don’t like to see plumbing? Shift yourself a bit on your lounge chair, look at the garden instead.

The-Garden-By-The-Deck-At-The-Carneros-Inn

No, in the end, it’s always the pool.

Up a hill,

Up-the-Hill-to-the-Pool

to breakfast, and The New York Times on paper.

Breakfast-and-the-New-York-Times-at-the-Carneros-Inn

Then down a few steps to a chaise, and a long hot afternoon of shared burgers, sauvignon blanc, and pool floats.

Down-to-the-Pool-at-the-Carneros-Inn

The vista, of what seems like nothing.

Crow-at-The-Carneros-Inn

Or is nothing, but the fields beyond and some haze and light.

The-Fields-at-The-Carneros-Inn

An open field of vision, one might say, a place for emptiness to give its gifts.

 

California’s wine country offers variety for the more adventurous. If you’d like to read on, you might visit A Rich Life on a Budget, where Adrienne posts a lot of wine country ideas in her travel section. She’ll also recommend wines, in her happy, generous, and knowledgeable way.

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25 Comments

  • 08/21/15
    7:20 am

    Reply

    kathy said...

    We return endlessly to the Ojai Valley Inn, partly for all of the reasons you go to the Carneros, and also (which I’m sure is the same for you) because it’s a 90 minute drive. It all just seems so easy and yet transports us to a different atmosphere and instant relaxation. The Ojai Valley Inn keeps paving all the gravel areas as well, which annoys me, but I understand (sort of).

    08/21/15
    9:10 am
    Ming said...

    Love the Ojai Valley Inn -especially the pool and spa. Also love L’auberge del Mar when I need the beach!

    08/21/15
    2:40 pm
    Lisa said...

    @kathy, Maybe some day we’ll try the OVI too. Thanks for the reference, maybe more readers will add their return spots too.

  • 08/21/15
    8:23 am

    Reply

    Frances/Materfamilias said...

    Looks wonderful! And such a happy occasion as your excuse for the getaway.

    08/21/15
    2:40 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Frances/Materfamilias, So happy:).

  • 08/21/15
    8:27 am

    Reply

    Margy Houtz said...

    Lovely…I’m not surprised you return often! You look lovely in the long dress…

    08/21/15
    2:40 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Margy Houtz, Thank you!

  • 08/21/15
    9:08 am

    Reply

    Mary Anne said...

    I think many of us have places we always want to return. Yours is lovely. We’ve been married so long that anniversary presents are not required. Trips to a favorite place are how we celebrate.

    08/21/15
    2:40 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Mary Anne, Where do you go in your neck of the woods?

    08/21/15
    4:13 pm
    Mary anne said...

    <a href="#comment-1242695". Lisa: we like DePoe Bay and Newport on the Oregon Coast. Can't remember any specific places, of course. Except The Sea Hag for clam chowder!

  • 08/21/15
    10:07 am

    Reply

    Patsy said...

    You should have that dress made in blue velvet for the holidays.

    Happy Anniversary! I always hear the Flintstones Happy Anniversary song in my head when I say that, lol!

    08/21/15
    10:52 am
    Mary Anne said...

    @Patsy, ha! Me too. Helped by the fact our kids sing it to us each year.

    08/21/15
    2:41 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Patsy, Blue Velvet…It’d be gorgeous.

  • 08/21/15
    10:35 am

    Reply

    Bungalow Hostess said...

    It looks so comfortable and a great place to unwind and relax…we feel the same about Point No Point out past Sooke BC.
    Anniversaries are a great excuse to get away too! Hope it was a Happy One!

    08/21/15
    2:41 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Bungalow Hostess, Thanks for the reference! And yes, a very happy one:).

  • 08/21/15
    11:47 am

    Reply

    Jane said...

    Thanks for this peek at the Carneros Inn. It’s one in which I’ve been interested for some time. The one we keep returning to in Napa Valley is Bardessono, platinum Leed certified. It is in Yountsville and close to all our favorite restaurants. You look so comfortable yet so refined. Happy Anniversary!

    08/21/15
    2:42 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Jane, Thank you. And Bardessono looks to have a beautiful pool too, the Leed certification is wonderful.

  • 08/21/15
    12:25 pm

    Reply

    Jane said...

    Correction: It’s in Yountville.

  • 08/21/15
    1:46 pm

    Reply

    Megan said...

    Happy Anniversary! Glad you have a place you love to return to! Last year, we had a great time in Napa for my brother’s wonderful girlfriend’s 50th birthday celebration. She belong’s to Chateau Montelena’s wine club, so she & her sister went to a wine tasting there. My brother & I don’t drink anymore, so we had fun riding our bikes while they enjoyed the tasting. We enjoyed taking the wine train too(again, good for wine drinkers & nondrinkers alike). Fun strolling around markets, etc. And stop by Oakville Grocery!

    08/21/15
    2:42 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Megan, I love to stroll around, if we ever manage to get off the Carneros Inn grounds;).

    08/22/15
    5:49 pm
    Jane said...

    @Megan, Chateau Montelena is beautiful and has such an interesting history. Love the Chinese garden and pond!

  • 08/21/15
    2:39 pm

    Reply

    Kathryn said...

    Love that place. We went for my 50th birthday. Time to return

    08/21/15
    2:42 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Kathryn, Ah, enjoy.

  • 08/21/15
    5:22 pm

    Reply

    lauren said...

    my goodness you’re beautiful in that dress.

    08/22/15
    10:05 am
    Lisa said...

    @lauren, Aw thank you.

  • 08/21/15
    5:27 pm

    Reply

    Chronica Domus said...

    Looks absolutely relaxing. We love the Napa Valley but have never visited this place.

    Adore the dress on you. So playful and comfy.

    08/22/15
    10:07 am
    Lisa said...

    @Chronica Domus, If you find yourself back in Napa, and would like to stop by, you could have dinner at Farm and get a feel for the place. Glad you like the dress. Playful, comfy, and I think retaining a little elegance. Kind of my favorite long/lat of style:).

  • 08/21/15
    11:38 pm

    Reply

    dottoressa said...

    I like it very much! Why not to go again where is so beautiful? I like rituals,they make us happy. And that’s just the way you look!
    And if you decide to visit my corner of the world, your Max Mara dress would be great for all the posh occasions and fancy places :-)!
    Dottoressa

    08/22/15
    10:07 am
    Lisa said...

    @dottoressa, Good to know. I wonder if I’ll get there. It would be thrilling.

  • 08/22/15
    8:21 am

    Reply

    DocP said...

    For me, it is a combination of memories and amenities,
    Happy Anniversary!

    08/22/15
    10:07 am
    Lisa said...

    @DocP, Memories and amenities! What a great line. Kind of sums life up, don’t you think?

  • 08/22/15
    8:36 am

    Reply

    RoseAG said...

    Interesting headboard. Is it sailcloth with grommets?

    08/22/15
    10:08 am
    Lisa said...

    @RoseAG, Those are certainly grommets. I didn’t actually touch the cloth, so I couldn’t say if it’s sailcloth for sure. It looked like a tent fabric, almost? Rougher than sails?

  • 08/22/15
    12:33 pm

    Reply

    K-Line said...

    How did I miss this post?! So gorgeous!!

    08/22/15
    6:53 pm
    Lisa said...

    <3

  • 08/22/15
    10:08 pm

    Reply

    jane said...

    love it too. as you know. :)

    08/23/15
    4:20 pm
    Lisa said...

    @jane, Yes;).

  • 08/23/15
    2:01 pm

    Reply

    Helen Tilston said...

    Happy Anniversary Lisa.
    I can understand your desire to return to Napa Valley’s Carneros Inn.
    The outdoor shower is such a luxury. The bedroom looks so comfortable also.
    Wishing you a great week

    Helen xx

    08/23/15
    4:20 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Helen Tilston, Thank you! And a great week to you too.

  • 08/24/15
    4:47 am

    Reply

    Mardel said...

    Oh it looks like perfection in a getaway. And a wonderful way to celebrate your anniversary.

    08/24/15
    12:18 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Mardel, :)

  • 08/24/15
    5:15 am

    Reply

    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

    Happy anniversary. What a gorgeous place to relax and enjoy each other. The color scheme of the cottages reminds me of our north Carolina mountain’s color schemes.
    Sam

    08/24/15
    12:19 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen, Thank you. I have always wanted to visit the Carolinas – I did not know the mountain houses were colored in this way!

  • 08/25/15
    8:49 am

    Reply

    Mamavalveeta03 said...

    Dreamy! Thanks for answering my unspoken question about your other foot. ;-)
    Funny, beautiful, and you take us to the best places! Thx, Lisa!

    08/26/15
    4:11 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Mamavalveeta03, My pleasure! Thank you:).

  • 08/25/15
    9:58 am

    Reply

    Rachel said...

    How beautiful. When we visited Califormia we spent, I now feel, too much time looking at tall trees and too little investigating the wine country. Next time I will be better informed. And it’s a wonderful dress.

    Rachel in Scotland

    08/26/15
    4:12 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Rachel, Ha! One must definitely balance one’s trip to California with regard to tall trees vs. grape arbors:). Glad you like the dress!

  • 08/26/15
    7:14 am

    Reply

    Beth said...

    So lovely! The funny thing is the property that the Inn is located on was a mobile home park back in the 60’s and possibly 70’s, and owned and operated by the parents of my long time friend. We spent many happy hours roaming around the grounds and visiting the different families that lived there. She and are still friends after 55 years of friendship. We met the first day of first grade at the Los Carneros Elementary School located down the road directly in front of the Inn heading south. The empty fields you enjoy viewing were once occupied by grazing cattle and sheep!

    08/26/15
    4:13 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Beth, This is so great! I knew the resort had been a trailer park, that’s why the cottages are laid out the way they are, which I love. But I am so pleased to meet someone who knew it when, who remembers its early life as I remember the orchards of Silicon Valley. We keep wild California, or at least wilder California, small farmer California, alive, don’t you think?

  • 08/26/15
    9:27 pm

    Reply

    Cairns Luxury Holiday Homes said...

    Wow ! Happy Anniversary ! Absolutely gorgeous place to enjoy each other.

    08/27/15
    6:14 am
    Lisa said...

    Thank you.

  • 09/14/15
    3:00 pm

    Reply

    The Carneros Inn said...

    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely post. We are honored to be a part of your anniversary celebration. We are always excited for your next visit.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] week my husband and I went up to Napa for a few nights. We stayed, as we have before, at the Carneros Inn. I was so […]

  2. […] I wore the ol’ navy MaxMara maxidress, […]

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