A Review Of The Auberge du Soleil In Napa Valley, With A Whole Slew Of Photos


My husband really wanted to do something special for my 60th. I dithered, but did not resist. Most of all I wanted to go away with him somewhere new. So we spent the weekend of my birthday at Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley.

You check in at the top of a hill. The building houses the dining room, the bar, the reception and, hey, sculpture!

entrance

But you are well-advised to let yourself go downhill from there.

morning-light-at-auberge-du-soleil

The rooms are housed in many small buildings. Clusters of rooms, I suppose one might say, or bunches, like grapes, since we’re in Napa. All of them open directly to the out of doors.

room-with-a-balcony-at-auberge-du-soleil

The landscaping is gorgeous.

sculpture-and-trees-at-auberge-du-soleil

The entire resort, a sculpture garden.

down-to-the-spa-at-auberge-du-soleil

Full of old native trees, Mediterranean plantings, and winding paths.

lisa-with-duluth-pack-at-auberge-du-soleil

To be fair, depending on your location and what you like to do, you may also spend some time walking the resort road. Surrounded by olive trees. And, if you are decidedly non-glam me, you will be quite happy in high-waist jeans, tee, Birkenstocks, backpack and hat. Bring a big warm scarf for chilly mornings.

Not to worry, the day warms up and you can spend a few hours by the pool. Or on it. It’s back up the hill near the restaurant/check-in/hub.

lisa-in-pool-at-auberge-du-soleil

I’ll wave to you if I see you. It’s a little noisy at the pool, celebrants at the restaurant do tend to laugh a lot. Hermits like us might prefer to spend time at the spa. Not necessary to spa-ify per se, although I did get a really good massage. The little courtyard is very pretty.

spa-courtyard-at-auberge-du-soleil

And you can camp in the hot tub, or the warm one, or the cold one for that matter, and gaze at the sky at the temperature of your choice. Sigh.

warm-springs-at-auberge-du-soleil-spa

You can even order room service and eat there, sitting on a bench or probably the tile if you so choose. The sky doesn’t mind.

Probably best to go back up to the hub for food. There are two places, right next to each other, the Restaurant and the Bar & Bistro. The terrace is kind of a scene. International visitors, rehearsal dinner guests, people lining up for the one-Michelin-star food. You may like glamorous hubbub, as I said, we tend toward hermithood. The first night we ate at the bar, inside, where it’s quieter.

bar-at-auberge-du-soleil

The prime beef was amazing. I now eat red meat only once a week. This, my friends, was worth it.

prime-beef-at-auberge-bar

But you can see why people like Auberge’s terrace. We ate breakfast there both mornings. The view is not dramatic, but it’s rich, detailed, and changes with the light and moisture of the day. Serene but not still.

view-of-napa-valley-from-auberge-du-soleil-restaurant

Kudos for the little complimentary pastries. Yum. You can see on the menu, they also offer different breakfasts for different cultures. Nice touch. We humans vary greatly by breakfast.

complimentary-breakfast-carbohydrates-at-auberge-du-soleil

Way more people like ketchup than you might think.

ketchup-at-auberge-du-soleil-breakfast

One night we had dinner in the Restaurant, on the terrace. Food is modern French, I recommend the corn soup. I wore the dress from my own wedding rehearsal dinner, by Christopher Kane, with these Stuart Weitzman shoes. And yes, that is lace and tape, and that is transparent, and no, I regret nothing. Transparent over a slip, to be clear about the actual level of bravado.

christopher-kane-tape-dress

My favorite meal, however, might have been the teeny birthday bundt cake that greeted us in our room on arrival.

birthday-mini-bundt-at-auberge-du-soleil

About that room.

bed-in-private-deluxe-garden-suite-auberge-du-soleil

We booked last minute. As a result, the only room available was really fancy with a lot of descriptors. Private Deluxe Garden. Looks regular above, but below you can see the outdoor bathtub and shower. Not regular.

outdoor-tub-and-shower-at-auberge-du-soleil

Good place to hang a bathing suit, outdoor showers. And the bathtub a good place to spend a late evening.

bathing-suit-hung-outside-at-auberge-du-soleil

But wait that’s not all. Behind the shower wall, a little breakfast nook. I confess, we never used it. But I love the color of the walls, and the woven chairs.

auberge-outdoor-sitting-area

And, I don’t quite know how to say this, there was a full bathroom inside too. Separate shower.

bathroom-at-auberge-du-soleil-private-garden-room

And, just in case, another bathtub. I’m waving at you in the mirror. Hi guys.

the-indoor-bathtub-at-auberge-du-soleil

Auberge du Soleil is spectacular, and despite the French cuisine, deeply rooted in Napa. It’s a good deal shinier than our usual spot, the Carneros Inn. As I’ve said, Auberge sports a bit of a scene at the bar but you can very easily find peace and quiet if you prefer. Do note that your check-in may be delayed if the person in the room before you is an American Express Platinum member, but do note also that the hotel may do something really nice like pay for your dinner one night in recompense. Such a thoughtful gesture.

And honey, thank you so much. I had a wonderful birthday.

Note: Auberge also owns the Calistoga Ranch, which looks to be more rustic and private, and Solage, which looks to be less stratospheric in price. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were to visit one of these, if we can, in future.

Links may generate commissions

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

25 Comments

  • 10/05/16
    9:40 am

    Reply

    Patsy said...

    We did a fancy hotel stay for my 50th and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Looks serene, restful & romantic – like you! With a dash of pastry and red meat ;)

    10/06/16
    4:56 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Patsy, I am glad you had a good 50th. And romance with a dash of pastry and red meat, what could be better? Add a little red wine, I guess…

  • 10/05/16
    10:14 am

    Reply

    Linda Pakravan said...

    Beautiful place to spend a significant birthday. I’ve never been to Napa. It’s on my list!

    10/06/16
    4:57 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Linda Pakravan, You’d love it. The aesthetic would also suit you.

  • 10/05/16
    10:15 am

    Reply

    Sandra Sallin said...

    Love that place. Have eaten there but never stayed there. Perfect for a celebration of any size be it birthday or bash. Love that view over the valley. Happy Birthday!

    10/06/16
    4:58 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Sandra Sallin, Thanks! And Auberge definitely feels celebratory.

  • 10/05/16
    10:20 am

    Reply

    Rhonda Gilmour said...

    Thanks for the virtual trip. What a lovely spot to celebrate!

    10/06/16
    4:58 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Rhonda Gilmour, My absolute pleasure!

  • 10/05/16
    10:34 am

    Reply

    Mary anne said...

    Oh my, so lovely and romantic. Your husband is a keeper.

    10/06/16
    4:58 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Mary anne, Such a keeper:).

  • 10/05/16
    11:12 am

    Reply

    Katherine C. James said...

    Ah. How lovely. As I think you know, Auberge du Soleil’s deck is one of my favorite places. Each time I visit the Napa Valley, I go to have a drink on the deck at least once. I like a glass of Schramsberg sparkling wine, or the Auberge version of a champagne cocktail. My manager at one of my tech companies went there with her husband for their anniversary during Auberge’s early years, circa 1989 or 1990. They loved it. Soon after, my ex and I began staying there once a year on our anniversary. We loved the cottage rooms with their private decks. We would hang about our own room a lot of the time. In Auberge’s earlier days, up through the early 2000 years, they were luxurious, but much less dear and much less of a scene. There were always guests from all over the world, which I loved. I particularly enjoy the deck at Christmastime. They decorate the hotel entrance (the area where one leaves the car with the valet, and where there is the sweet side garden) and hallway to the bar beautifully, and if you bundle up, it is a lovely experience to gaze into the smoky evening valley. The view looks like Italy, with the olive trees and the green valley below. I am glad you and your husband celebrated your birthday there.

    10/06/16
    5:03 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Katherine C. James, I do remember you talking about Auberge, now that you mention it. I can absolutely imagine Christmas there, the smoky valley, and maybe wreaths of olive branches and fairy lights on every door. <3

  • 10/05/16
    12:05 pm

    Reply

    Frances/Materfamilias said...

    Looks as if you did it up right (understatement!) for your 60th! Thanks for sharing — it looks wonderful.

    10/06/16
    5:04 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Frances/Materfamilias, My pleasure! And I guess we did do it up right:).

  • 10/05/16
    12:15 pm

    Reply

    Our French Oasis said...

    What a lucky lady you are and I am sure incredibly well deserved. It looks truly fabulous, a belated happy 60th x

    10/06/16
    5:05 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Our French Oasis, I do my best to deserve it, because I am very lucky and grateful. Thank you.

  • 10/05/16
    12:41 pm

    Reply

    Leslie K said...

    Spectacular indeed! Happy, happy birthday!

    10/06/16
    6:30 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Leslie K, Thank you!

  • 10/05/16
    1:00 pm

    Reply

    DaniBP said...

    So happy you had such a wonderful birthday, how perfect is this hotel for the occasion! Happy 60th Lisa XO

    10/06/16
    6:30 pm
    Lisa said...

    @DaniBP, Thank you! Maybe some day you’ll take a warm weather getaway out our way!

  • 10/05/16
    1:19 pm

    Reply

    Jane said...

    It looks like a really, really lovely place to celebrate. Your husband is a jewel. The dress you chose looks beautiful on you. Glad that you had a wonderful birthday!

    10/06/16
    6:31 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Jane, Thank you. And he is indeed a jewel. xox.

  • 10/05/16
    2:19 pm

    Reply

    Susan D. said...

    This looks like it was a wonderful birthday celebration. Thank yo for the tour!

    10/06/16
    6:31 pm
    Lisa said...

    @Susan D., It was lovely, and you are very welcome. Thank you for reading along:).

  • 10/05/16
    3:29 pm

    Reply

    Cathy said...

    Good to know about. What a wonderful place to celebrate a special birthday!

    10/08/16
    9:32 am
    Lisa said...

    @Cathy, It was. Well worth a visit.

  • 10/05/16
    5:09 pm

    Reply

    Kathy said...

    I love to do the same thing – a quiet weekend away for my birthday. Usually Ojai, so no flying, which makes it more peaceful.

    Your quiet celebration looks absolutely wonderful. It’s a beautiful place.

    A general question though: What’s happened to people using their “restaurant voices”? Do you notice that everyone talks so loud at these places where most people are seeking some privacy and peace? Yikes what a geriatric observation on my part, but it sort of drives me nuts.

    10/08/16
    9:33 am
    Lisa said...

    @Kathy, Ha! Restaurant voices. I do not know. Let’s have a moment of silence for the Restaurant Voice. And I agree, not flying makes the whole thing much more relaxed.

  • 10/05/16
    5:50 pm

    Reply

    amanda said...

    Looks fabulous! Love Kathy’s comment on “restaurant voices” – I had dinner at a swanky place in NYC the other week and the braying! too much

    10/08/16
    9:34 am
    Lisa said...

    @amanda, Braying. Yes. Indeed;). I hate to be annoyed at people for having fun but I realize it’s not their fun I mind, it’s the self-centeredness and lack of consideration for others.

  • 10/05/16
    6:13 pm

    Reply

    Mardel said...

    looks like a fabulous birthday break.

    10/08/16
    9:34 am
    Lisa said...

    @Mardel, <3

  • 10/05/16
    9:30 pm

    Reply

    Bungalow Hostess said...

    Ooh la la…your resort looks perfect and I hope that you enjoyed the celebration.
    In France there is no music played in the restaurants and no one speaks loudly…it is so much more romantic to whisper!
    You look very happy!

    10/08/16
    9:36 am
    Lisa said...

    @Bungalow Hostess, Whispering is so romantic:). And I was very very happy, thank you.

  • 10/05/16
    11:30 pm

    Reply

    jane said...

    did you see that the carneros inn just rebranded to the carneros resort and spa? wondering if it will feel the same. hoping that it will.

    10/08/16
    9:37 am
    Lisa said...

    @jane, It is already changing:(. First they paved the paths. Then they astroturfed and Tiki-ed the apple orchard. Now they are adding cabana chairs. Sigh.

  • 10/06/16
    4:16 am

    Reply

    Ann said...

    Good golly, Miss Molly! What a beautiful joint. Yes, the price must’ve been dear. But as one of our archangels once said, “Life’s a banquet ….”

    10/08/16
    9:38 am
    Lisa said...

    @Ann, Time to rewatch that movie, methinks. xox.

  • 10/06/16
    6:52 am

    Reply

    Suz said...

    What a wonderful way to spend your birthday. Thank you very much for sharing! Suz from Vancouver

    10/08/16
    9:43 am
    Lisa said...

    @Suz, My pleasure!

  • 10/06/16
    7:41 am

    Reply

    Chronica Domus said...

    It’s the perfect time of year to spend time in Napa Valley as the weather is beautiful and autumn is in the air and all around. So glad you managed to get away and enjoy your birthday. What a thoughtful husband you have. Belated birthday wishes to you Lisa.

    10/08/16
    9:44 am
    Lisa said...

    @Chronica Domus, Thank you. And I do have a very thoughtful husband:). One more thing to add about visiting Napa at this time of year. Prices do rise – the crush is on. But the sounds of the trucks hauling grapes rumbling by serve to keep Napa from turning into Las Vegas, so it’s kind of wonderful.

  • 10/06/16
    8:31 am

    Reply

    dottoressa said...

    Oh,I love it all!
    Beautiful place to celebrate your birthday!
    Dottoressa

    10/08/16
    9:45 am
    Lisa said...

    @dottoressa, Thank you so much!

  • 10/06/16
    5:17 pm

    Reply

    Susan said...

    Fantastic birthday escape! What’s not to like? Truly perfection in every way. Happy day! You are one lucky lady…

    10/08/16
    9:47 am
    Lisa said...

    @Susan, Thank you. And yes I am!

  • 10/06/16
    7:28 pm

    Reply

    Karen said...

    My husband and I honeymooned in Napa / Sonoma / San Francisco and it was so nice. So long ago!! Thanks for sharing the pics.

    10/08/16
    9:47 am
    Lisa said...

    @Karen, My pleasure! And I hope you visit again some day.

  • 10/09/16
    9:31 pm

    Reply

    Sydney Shop Girl said...

    What a perfect place to celebrate a significant digit birthday.

    Just looking at the photos made me think of you. I know we haven’t met and I know that this may sound awkward. It just looks like the kind of place you’d enjoy immensely.

    SSG xxx

Post a Comment

I thoroughly enjoy your comments. If you find this form is broken, my apologies. Please email me and I will rage against the machine.

required
required but will not be displayed
optional