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Award winning wines. Farm-to-table Michelin-starred cuisine. World-renowned five-star hotels. And miles upon miles of rolling rows of grapes disappearing into the horizon. Napa Valley has long been a bucket list destination in California’s most infamous wine country. While many may choose to spend a full day hopping from one winery to the next, we recommend something a bit more varied, so as to not miss out on any signature experiences.
Here is our guide to balancing the intersection of luxury and leisure in Napa Valley, in just a quick 24 hours.
9 a.m.: Settle into your American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts Property, Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, nestled in the lush hills of St. Helena, Napa Valley. The area is replete with rows of verdant vines and an abundance of exquisite amenities. Just steps away from Beringer Vineyards and the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, Las Alcobas boasts vista views with your own personal fire pit, Japanese soaking tubs, and clean, modern accommodations styled by designer Yabu Pushelberg.
10 a.m.: Just a short 10 minute drive from Las Alcobas, indulge your taste buds with a lovely morning breakfast at Auberge du Soleil's sun-kissed terrace, while perched over one of the most iconic views of Napa Valley. The luxury resort and Michelin-starred restaurant, run by executive chef Robert Curry, offers a divine duck confit hash and a buttery brioche French toast adorned with passion fruit syrup and orange butter that will satisfy both sweet and savory lovers.
12 p.m.: Enrich your Napa experience with a visit to Newton Vineyard, a marvel in the Mayacamas mountain range. The property, owned by world-renowned French luxury conglomerate LVMH, boasts diverse terrain, mesmerizing views, and an inimitable vineyard immersion. The newly pioneered “Newton Experience,” curated by Clos19, LVMH’s wine and spirits vendor, caters to travelers with a penchant for exclusive, unforgettable moments and memories. Through this experience, you will be able to wander around the extensive winery on an interactive tour beginning with a guided meditation while you overlook and admire their St. Helena acreage named Spring Mountain.
Shortly thereafter, you will be lead to an intimate wine tasting of Newton’s award winning Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay blends followed by a picnic lunch nestled amidst the vines of the grapes you just savored. Of course, no tour is complete without a wine cellar (cave) tour and as a bonus, Newton Vineyard gives you the rare opportunity to harvest your own honey. If you only have 24 hours in Napa, this curated exploration is a must-do.
4 p.m.: Retreat back to Las Alcobas for a little R&R via an afternoon dip while the sun sets and the golden rays dance across the line of pool cabanas. If you prefer a more hands-on relaxation, hit the Atrio Spa for a sumptuous aromatic, Ayurvedic treatment. Make sure to add a little time to settle into the relaxation room after your treatment, as the space is inviting with pure serenity.
6 p.m.: Head over to The Charter Oak, a family style restaurant by chef Christopher Kostow, for an aperitif to stimulate your palate and your appetite before heading to his three-Michelin-star restaurant for dinner. Whether you are keen on classic cocktails or prefer to experiment with more innovative concoctions, we recommend sipping on a maguey and amargo, or “rum and flowers,” outside on what has become one of the best outdoor dining rooms in Napa.
7 p.m.: Indulge in an unparalleled epicurean experience in the cozy space of The Restaurant at Meadowood, a culinary experience that has encapsulated the rustic sophistication and laid-back luxury of Napa Valley. This three-Michelin-star masterpiece by chef Christopher Kostow delivers an exceptional, evocative experience that will make you want to savor each bite of your multi-course tasting. Also, it is the only three-Michelin-star restaurant in Napa Valley, aside from, of course, the iconic French Laundry.
Each locally-sourced ingredient from chef Kostow’s nearby farm tells an intricate story of Napa Valley in its history and its future. (A particularly stunning seasonal dish is the Corn and Caviar.) Pro tip: there is a secret four-top table located inside the kitchen which may be reserved upon request.
9:30 p.m.: If you are fixing for a nightcap, be sure to visit Goose and Gander. This rustic wine country public house boasts designer cocktails and exclusive wines that will punctuate your Napa trip perfectly. While Napa isn’t known for its nightlife, with most visitors wrapping up with dinner, Goose and Gander’s extensive list of libations will liven up your evening—just until midnight.
While 24 hours in Napa Valley may feel rather decadent, the destination's intoxicating charm and splendor of ace vineyards and restaurants will surely inspire you to extend your trip for a few more nights (at the very least).