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meadowood vs. calistoga ranch vs. auberge du soleil

meadowood vs. calistoga ranch vs. auberge du soleil

Old Jul 20th, 2011, 04:16 PM
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meadowood vs. calistoga ranch vs. auberge du soleil

I'm taking my partner on a trip to napa for her 50th birtday. Please give me some insight into where to stay. I've narrowed the search to meadowood vs. calistoga vs. auberge du soleil. We are interested in checking out great restaurants, doing some vineyard tours, and spa time. I'm wondering if the price difference between auberge and meadowood is worth it?
Tracey_Oppenheim is offline  
Old Jul 20th, 2011, 05:04 PM
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We haven't stayed at Meadowood; however, we have stayed 2 x at Auberge du Soleil. In fact, we were married at Auberge du Soleil 12 years ago (couldn't afford to stay then) and returned for our 5th and 10th wedding anniversaries.

Whether or not it's "worth it" is always a matter of one's own opinion. My understanding of Meadowood is that it's a much bigger resort type loding than Auberge. The scenery at Auberge is beautiful. Our last trip, the concierge arranged a car service for us to tour some wineries and also got us into The French Laundry for dinner. We loved both of our visits to Auberge and would certainly go back.
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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We've stayed at Meadowood. The grounds are lovely; the setting is extremely peaceful and very "Napa Valley." It does have croquet courts, tennis courts, and a golf course but those are not at all intrusive to your experience. The rooms are very private and lovely; the food is excellent.

Auberge is on a hillside and has gorgeous views of the valley. Beautiful property with great service and food.

I don't have any first-hand knowledge of Calistoga Ranch, but of the other two you can't make a bad choice. Both have excellent concierge service.
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 05:35 PM
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Didn't stay at any of these but we did eat dinner at the Meadowood restaurant, and I'd highly recommend dining there. It's one of the ten Michelin 3* restaurants in the USA. Also ate at French Laundry the night prior (another 3*), both were excellent.

My impression of the Meadowood complex was that it looked great for a corporate get-together or maybe for golf, but it's a bit isolated and I'd probably rather stay elsewhere (we stayed at a chic lodge in Yountville across the street from French Laundry). But for sure eat dinner there if you get the chance.
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Old Jul 21st, 2011, 09:39 AM
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You can't really go wrong at this level of property! With that said, they are all slightly different and the right one for you will depend on your preferences in terms of style, price, and location.

I've stayed at both Auberge and Calistoga Ranch. I have not stayed at Meadowood but have visited the site. So, for what it's worth here is my personal opinion of the first two and observations of the third.

Cost - The cost (and related exclusivity) from highest to lowest, would generally be
1) Calistoga Ranch
2) Auberge
3) Meadowood

Style - Calistoga feels the most exclusive and private of the three IMO. This is due to the fact that it is tucked further away and in a little valley going up a hill. The overall style of the place feels very natural to the Napa climate (i.e., don't expect lush water fountains and greenery as the style embraces native Napa plants/vegetation which is basically quite a dry climate). Many of the rooms are freestanding or maybe joined by one wall depending on the room you book and as you will see in pictures, they are basically like luxurious little mobile units, some with a separate bedroom and living "pod" with an ajoining deck that may have a hot tub and outdoor fireplace. We had one of those - it was a creekside unit overlooking a "seasonal" creekbed (California speak for a dry creekbed for 90% of the year so don't get excited about seeing actual running water). My husband LOVED the room and especially the outdoor shower. I thought the room was beautiful - contemporary but comfortable with many little thoughtful touches and a lot of wood. It felt very private and I really enjoyed it. There is a little road/golf cart path that runs behind most of the pods and they have a wall so you don't hear it so much and you can walk (or get a ride) up the hill to the restaurant/spa at the top or down the hill to the pool. The pool isn't huge but is very nice with good service - quite open and overlooking the hills. The spa was very nice. I was not super impressed by the "Lakeside" restaurant - good but not great. I thought the food at Auberge was better although I liked the ambience at the Lakeside restaurant better as it was more peaceful since only guests of Calistoga actually eat there. Service was terrific at Calistoga.

Auberge - Auberge has a more of a European flair and with more focus on fabrics, fountains, and more lushness in the grounds/gardens. On first glance, I preferred this sort of style to Calistoga as it felt more like a beautiful garden walking around. This of course is all my personal preference being someone who lived in the Bay Area for 15 years and always despaired of the hills turning brown by June so I like a bit more water/lushness in my landscapes! The rooms are very beautiful. I think the rooms at Calistoga might have slightly higher end fixtures etc but this is minor details... I do think that depending on where your room is in Auberge, you probably get more privacy at Calistoga but I certainly didn't feel crowded at Auberge - it's just that rooms are often connected and/or closer together.
I prefer the pool at Auberge due to the overall look/feel with lots of shade and flowers. My husband preferred the more sunny open view style of Calistoga.

Meadowood - didn't stay here - looked beautiful on the outside. Felt like a lovely country club resort with bigger grounds and pool etc then either Calistoga or Auberge. Not a bad thing but just different.

The locations of all three are fine as you can get to wineries and restaurants from all. Calistoga ranch is most remote but still doable to restaurants and of course, closest to Calistoga town. Auberge (being in Rutherford) is probably the closest to the most popular Napa resturants and closest to heart of Napa wineries, Oakville crossover road, and Silverado trail. They aren't so far apart that it should drive a decision but if you know you are going to focus on specific areas for wine-tasting, touring, then it might factor in as the extra 20 minutes here/there can start to add up...

Too many great restaurants to mention (of course French Laundry if you can get in) but once you pick your location and where you think you will visit wineries, you can pick your restaurants as they are sprinkled all over the place....
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