Napa Valley for George’s Birthday!
My husband wanted to be in Europe for his birthday, but this year a few things stood in our way of that so for the first time ever he had his birthday in the USA.
Unfortunately we found out only a few days before his birthday that we would not make it to Europe and that he needed to stay in SF, so we did what we could and planed a private weekend in Napa at one of our all time favorite dog friendly and eco-friendly resort, Bardessono.
Bardessono is a LEED Platinum Certified hotel in Yountville, California and is dedicated to protecting the environment while providing a luxury experience. Accommodations are heated and cooled using an underground geothermal system, while rooftop solar panels keep the lights on.
This is where the three best concierge sit, Chelsey, Matt, and Taylor. Their office is decorated with beautiful art from the Andrea Schwartz Gallery that you will also see throughout the entire hotel.
Blue oil canvas painting is by John Belingheri -totem / parasols 50″ x 50″ for $15,000. English Bulldog is by Brian Mock (I can not remember how much this was).
On the way to our room, the walls were covered with beautiful art, it is like a mini art gallery.
Next, we passed through the bar that is connected to the Lucy Resturant before making our way to our Spa suite. The Lucy Restaurant & Bar stands on its own as a Forbes Four Star rated restaurant. Most of the produce is grown right on the property (farm-to-table dining) in a cute little garden that all guests can walk through. The restaurant provides breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The outdoor path to our room cuts through the center court yard showcasing this beautiful metal sculpture by Albert Dicruttalo that looks like it’s floating in the water. Just past the sculpture is a cozy little hammock and all along the path beautiful flowers.
As I mentioned, Bardessono is a LEED Platinum Certified hotel, so they have continued with the eco-conscious design elements throughout the property. The room designs are sleek and modern with dark wooden floors and contemporary furnishings. Each spa suite comes with outdoor space, a fireplace and a bathroom that is meant to double as a spa, with a massage table built in (to me the best feeling after a massage is crawling into bed and sleeping, this is allows for that!) and a large soaking tub. Amenities include Egyptian cotton linens, flat-screen TVs, motion sensor shutters and an iPad control system to order in-house services. I’ll walk you through our room.
Our outdoor space, you can kind of see some of the solar panels in the photo from our bedroom looking out and the one with Priscilla.
Heading into the bathroom, Priscilla will lead the way and inspect everything.
Something random that that gives hotel rooms an extra bonus in my eyes, is having separate his and hers closet space.
This hotel is known for its love of our four legged children so they take very good care of them. Shortly after checking in they brought Priscilla bottled water along with a water bowl, food bowl, and a little doggy bed.
The view from our front door balcony was just as nice as the patio balcony.
And here Priscilla is looking down at the Lexus house cars.
Making our way to the gym now and it just feels so relaxing.
There is a small fitness center available with a handful of cardio machines, weight equipment, and a mat for stretching or doing core workouts on. There are towels, water, and fresh fruit provided for all guests as well. I am not sure when the classes are, but I heard there are complimentary yoga classes offered.
Just past the gym is where the cute little garden is that Lucy gets most of its veggies from.
Now back at the room and ready to make use of the in room massages! Every room has a massage table in the bathroom, but not every room comes with a great assistant like Priscilla.
After a realizing massage we took a nap and got ready for dinner at Morimoto.
The ambiance is really great in this restaurant from the decor to the music, everything was filled with life and the water view is beautiful.
We went for my husbands birthday (In Russia it was his birthday already) so I called in advance to let them know and had our concierge Chelsey let them know as well, but then kept telling us happy anniversary :/
No big deal, the most important part is the food. I would say the first three dishes were AMAZING but after that it went downhill, between each plate we waited 15-20 minutes, the soy sauce tasted like 100% salt and we were not able to really enjoy the flavor of the sushi. When the last plate came they brought me two types of meat (when I called and when Chelsey called we both told them I only eat fish and chicken, no other meat whatsoever. Side note: it is not for vegetarian reasons, I just have a hard time digesting it).
When they were setting our table for the last meal I asked our waiter why I had a steak knife if I will not be eating meat? And he told me, “no worries there will be no meat for you it is just part of the setting.” so I said, “ok.” After 30 minutes of waiting I was presented with scallops (I love), lamb, and pork. My husband got scallops, duck (I think), and wagyu beef (he loves wagyu and said this was a disgrace). I was quite shocked, but our waiter (really nice guy and very understanging) did react quickly and said he would replace my dish with Buri Bop, it was not mind-blowing but it was good.
Now the dessert, we only had one and despite them telling us happy anniversary I think I licked the cup clean, it was so good!
Side note to the restaurant, I think they need new chopstick holders. The ones they have don’t keep the chopsticks in place, they just keep rolling off the side and I don’t like eating with chopsticks that touch the table.
Now it’s time to wake up the birthday boy!
After waking up to gifts we decided to take a little late morning stroll with Priscilla and the flowers were so beautiful along this path that I have to show you.
Bistro Jeanty was recommended to us by our Concierge Chelsey, having been around since 1997. She said it was a staple for the locals and has earned a Michelin star. Chef-Owner Philippe Jeanty, was born in Champagne, France, and came to California in the late 1970’s to cook in a fine-dining restaurant.
The interior was cute and cozy, but the weather was so nice that we ended up sitting outside in the covered patio with the warm sun and a cool breeze. The crowd seemed to skew on the older side, so the vibe was quaint and serene. The menu was a classic French bistro menu, when many of the traditional dishes such as escargot, cassoulet and duck confit. This is now one of my favorite French restaurants near SF – everything was served to perfection.
Another recommendation by our concierge Chelsey was Bell. We have toured all of the big vineyards already and wanted something close, and we wanted something intimate, private, and personalized. Bell is a very small vineyard and the tour is nothing extravagant. Ff this is your first time visiting Napa I say mix Bell in with a few others so that you can find out what you like best, because some people like the small boutique wineries, some are looking for a winery that focuses on their favorite style of wine, while others want something lively with many amenities like restaurants, shops and art galleries.
I am sure Napa has over 400 vinyards to choose from so do some research to see what you like best, to get you started here are a few tastings and tours that are open to the public: Cakebread Cellars, Beringer Vineyards, Chateau Montelena Winery, V. Sattui Winery, The Mondavi Winery, Inglenook Winery, Kenzo Estate, Luna Vineyards, Peju Province, Castello di Amorosa, and Spottswoode just to list a few.
All of those that I’ve listed are amazing, but I will say regardless of Bell being small the wine is top of the line and our host was not only entertaining but knowledgeable. We enjoyed the wines we tasted immensely, and we ended up buying 2 bottles of 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone 337 and 2 bottles of the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone 6 that they delivered to our hotel shortly after we left, since we were on bikes. We could not get all of that wine back without dropping a bottle so they said they wold send it our way.
Remember the Whole Foods bag we had delivered? Priscilla decided she wanted what was inside of the bag. It is so hard to be mad at her though, after all it is our fault for leaving it on the floor.
Now that we have full bellies and are already quite relaxed from a few glasses of wine it is time for the spa, this time not in our room but in the spa for a couples massage. Like the rest of the resort, the spa is committed to environmentally conscious design and practices so all-natural products and wine country-inspired treatments are this spa. My only wish would be to have a bigger spa with a bigger steam room, sauna, and more of a lounge area. The treatments are great though.
After our massage, one of our friends stopped by to give the birthday boy a fun gift and to join us for dinner at Kenzo.
After wrecking the drone a few times, it was getting close to our reservation at Kenzo so we put the drone away and went to dinner. The latest venture from the owners at Kenzo Estate (Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto), an exceptional, authentic Japanese restaurant featuring a traditional pre-fixe Kaiseki menu as well as a pre-fixe sushi menu.
Service at Kenzo was amazing as they provided meticulous attention to details with everything. The decor is about simplicity, making everything feel so clean and all about the food. From the smooth, light wood counter to the relaxing lighting, everything captures the elusive qualities of symmetry and simplicity. Dinner at Kenzo feels like a choreographed ballet as the chef gently places his creations on the counter followed by waiters that stand behind you waiting to bring the masterpieces down to the wooden mats on your level of the counter. This process adds a ceremonial quality to the experience. And in the end your chef will sign your menu.
Chef Hiroyuki Kanda (earned three Michelin stars for his Tokyo restaurant nine years in a row) left for Japan the day before (Kanda is sourcing fish from the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo), but he trained the chefs and we had an amazing chef named Shuhei Shimazu.
Poached Blue Shrimp, Shiitake Mushroom and Asparagus – with keno estate grown olive oil dressing
Chef’s Daily Pressed Sushi – Japanese mackerel, white sesame, ova shiso leaf and pickled ginger
Grilled Chiba Golden Eye Snapper – with premium dash broth
As if the night could not have gotten any better, when we returned to our room it had red rose petals sprinkled all over with chocolate covered strawberries, a happy birthday note written IN RUSSIAN! And they even left Priscilla a hand written note and doggy wine!
After an amazing weekend it is time to check out and head back to San Francisco, but first we need breakfast.