Meadowood Napa Valley Review
Not only does Meadowood have the facilities most people desire for a wine country getaway — beautiful and unique accommodations, lush grounds and gardens, a destination wine cuisine restaurant, gym, pools, golf course, tennis courts, hiking trails, hot tub, full-service spa and wine education program — this former private club, eighteen miles north of Napa, also features things most visitors wouldn't dream of asking for, such as two championship croquet lawns and a labyrinth hidden in the woods. But it's the way the staff sweats the small stuff that truly makes Meadowood special.
When the temperature drops, the rustic Reception Lodge smells of apple, as the staff lays out fresh fruit and hot apple cider to welcome guests. At regular intervals along the trails that wind through the hills that surround the Relais & Châteaux property, hikers will find stacked bottles of water. Room service will not only pack a picnic lunch, but also hand guests a map to a recommended spot to enjoy it. Cleaning crews not only make beds, but also fires, stacking kindling and wood in fireplaces so guests merely have to light a match. The staff will send a car for guests if they want to ride to dinner on the property, or shuttle over a video if people want more entertainment than a roaring fire can provide. The crews that motor around the 250-acre property in golf carts inevitably offer rides to pedestrians, but walking around the grounds is more like an enjoyable walk in the country than a burden.
The 85 rooms, suites and cottages, which have a distinct New England feel with their white trim and walls, grey gabled roofs and dormered windows, are scattered throughout many different buildings that harmoniously blend into the valley's natural beauty. There's no main artery where guests have to pass through, which helps maintain the illusion that they are staying in someone's private wine country home. Even though much of the resort is used by local members — such as the spa, athletic fields, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and the vineyards, which are part of an exclusive winemaker's club — the grounds still feel very private and secluded. Many accommodations feature vaulted ceilings, decks, wrap-around patios and skylights with electric shades so guests can enjoy the light and the view, but only when they desire. Besides the usual complement of gadgets and Molton Brown products, bathrooms contain stools, bath caddies to hold beauty aids, reading material by the tub.
We've been to Meadowood more than once, and it's always difficult to leave. While enjoying the sights and sounds of one last jog through the vineyards, falling leaves and mossy rocks, we ran to the nearby Silverado Trail, then headed back. As we neared the security booth, a guard stepped out. Instead of asking us for identification, she merely smiled and offered a bottle of water. At Meadowood, they understand the true meaning of "hospitality."