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Napa and Sonoma counties have had a challenging year, between the coronavirus pandemic causing mass shotdowns and wildfires irreparably damaging wine tasting rooms, five-star restaurants, and some of the best hotels in Northern California. Even before the Glass Fire of 2020, wildfires in previous years have impacted tourism and forthcoming grape harvests in Napa and Sonoma. But Napa Valley is resilient, from Sonoma’s up-and-coming Healdsburg, to Napa’s ever-charming St. Helena. And as cabernet season dawns in Napa and Sonoma—the high cab season is from late fall to mid-spring—it’s only fitting to show support and hope for the future that two prolific luxury hotel chains are opening their doors in Napa and Sonoma, fully establishing a presence in Northern California wine country.
Montage Hotels & Resorts, which with the highly anticipated opening on Montage Healdsburg has six properties in their portfolio, is tapping the Sonoma County area as it continues to expand beyond Sonoma proper into the county’s peripheral towns. And Four Seasons is opening its first Napa property—Four Seasons Napa Valley—in Calistoga, a wine country town fast establishing itself as a must-visit luxury destination. While, currently, Napa and Sonoma are under stringent stay-at-home orders, limiting all non-essential travel, the Sonoma order is currently slated to lift on January 9, 2021, which is when Montage Healdsburg looks forward to welcoming guests.
The first Northern California foray for Montage (they have a Southern California presence already, their flagship Montage Laguna Beach, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property), the Healdsburg hotel will feature 130 rooms and 40 Montage Residences. With more than 15 acres of vineyards on the property, they’re working with nearby Aperture Cellars Winery, who will eventually make wine from the on-site grapes (as the vines mature), and until then, will offer guests exclusive tastings. Beyond the wine partnerships and bungalow-style accommodations, it’s the opulent touches that will set Montage Healdsburg apart, with semi-private dining at The Oak Room within restaurant Hazel Hill restaurant, the spa overlooking grapevines and Mount Saint Helena, and their premier suite, the 4,600-square-foot Guest House with an al fresco hot tub.
Four Seasons Napa Valley’s opening will follow Montage Healdsburg—right now, the doors are slated to open in early 2021—so the first guests will likely catch the final months of cabernet season. Set in Calistoga—largely regarded as the next major luxury market of Napa Valley, with Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, already flourishing—it’ll be the first Napa property set within an already working winery. Calistoga takes a more all-natural approach to luxury, with their gorgeous hot springs and world-renowned mud baths, and the forthcoming Four Seasons will lean into that culture, between the organic vineyard helmed by Thomas Rivers Brown to their Spa Talisa, which draws on Calistoga’s long standing healing and wellness tradition. The 85-room hotel, with luxe farmhouse aesthetics designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, on-site vineyard and tasting experiences, a restaurant with Michelin-starred talent, and two glorious resort pools, is poised to bring global luxury to Calistoga.