Meadowood Napa Valley

St. Helena, California

Jul 14, 2005
Outside Magazine
Meadowood Napa

   Photo: courtesy, Meadowood Napa

Part East Coast country club, part wine-country estate, and 100 percent sublime, this 85-acre Relais & Châteaux enclave in northern Napa Valley will turn you into a snob. Trust us: It feels great. Guests mingle with members on the manicured championship croquet lawn, seven ivy-shrouded tennis courts, the velvety nine-hole golf course, or the full-service spa, where the signature 60-minute grape-seed body wrap will leave you aglow.

ROOM & BOARD: Opened in 1979, all of Meadowood's 85 cottages and suites have gabled roofs and French doors opening onto private verandas. With ongoing renovation, the rooms are getting a fresh makeover: parchment-colored walls, bright-white wainscoting, roomy beds dressed in down, deep-cushioned window seats, and stone fireplaces. A wine reception begins each evening at five, and the Grill at Meadowood—overlooking the fairway in the main clubhouse—serves three daily farm-fresh meals, like the grilled Kurobuta pork loin chop with roasted organic apples. But in a valley known for its gourmet tables, it would be a shame to miss one of the best—downtown Napa's newest culinary rave, Restaurant Budo, for Californian-Asian-fusion specialties like pomegranate-glazed squab and wild hamachi tartare, paired with a white pinot from the 300-bottle wine list.

OUT THE BACK DOOR: There are 4.5 miles of hiking trails on the property and enough rolling cycling routes to keep Lance's team happy. Rent a hybrid bike at the spa—$15 for four hours—and conduct your own tasting tour on two wheels; Napa's finest vineyards lie just beyond Meadowood's front entrance.

DETAILS: Doubles, $625–$3,850; 800-458-8080,