Exterior fountains, gallery-quality outdoor sculptures, and decorative rows of grapevines signal the Wine Country–chic aspirations of this boutique hotel operated by the owners of Hall Wines. The several-building complex, just off Highway 29 near the Oak Knoll District, is decorated in soothing shades of gray and brown, with haute fabrics, finishes, fixtures, and furniture throughout.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Although the hotel is beautifully appointed and has vineyard views, it's just off Highway 29 so you may pick up traffic noise outside (the fountains cleverly mitigate some of this).
Eighteen spacious rooms in two newer buildings have private balconies or patios (worth the extra expense); all rooms have large flat-screen TVs and fireplaces. Just as modern following renovations completed in 2017 are the rooms in the 1870 Parker Mansion, named for the local seaman who commissioned it. The ultimate accommodation, the two-bedroom, three bath Senza Villa, sleeps up to six.
Clever virtual fireplaces are among the focal points in the splashy Parker Mansion rooms, whose technology also includes Smart TVs, Bluetooth audio stations, and multiple USB ports.
Bathrooms, all stocked with custom locally made bath products, have oversized showers and large vanity sinks. Some bathrooms have deep soaking tubs. The Parker Mansion bathrooms have side-by-side vanities and glass-framed showers.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some bathrooms have only a shower.
The large lobby/reception area is inside the SENZA House, which contains several accommodations upstairs. Done in shades of gray with white-tile floors, the lobby is in view of the dining room, where breakfast is served and, in the afternoon, wine and cheese.
Lounge chairs and a few cabanas flank the rectangular outdoor swimming pool, just north of the Parker Mansion. A short walkway leads behind the mansion to a secluded area with a hot tub and a fire pit.
Francis & Alexander, a respected Napa Valley–based creator of luxury spa experiences, designed SENZA's program. Guests can partake in their rooms or the small treatment room. Among the most popular experiences are the Trifecta massage, which involves stones, moist compresses, and the therapist's hands, and several regimens that include body buffs followed by massages. Specialty options have been developed for men, pregnant and post-pregnant women, and couples.
The splurge here, available only in the treatment room, is the Full Body Facial, a 2½-hour extravaganza that starts with exfoliation, followed by the application of warm-towel compresses infused with Chardonnay and essential oils. After this, a lavender and grape-seed toner balances the skin. A body serum and moisturizer massage and a wrap that includes a grape-seed mini-facial complete the ensemble.
A carpeted area near the hot tub contains the fitness center. Compact but smartly organized, it has free weights and Matrix treadmills, multi-station conditioning units, and other equipment.
Among the highlights of the self-serve expanded Continental breakfast each morning are pastries from chef Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery, seasonal fresh fruit, and yogurt, cheeses, and meats. Wines and cheeses are offered in the late afternoon, but there's no restaurant here.
There is no bar on-site.
Driving a car is the most convenient way to get around here. Taking the bus is time-consuming.
Bistro Don Giovanni (5-minute walk), a longtime Napa Valley favorite for Italian cuisine, is the best nearby fine-dining restaurant. Yountville (6-minute drive) possibilities include chef Michael Chiarello's Bottega for Italian and Thomas Keller's The French Laundry and Bouchon for French. In downtown Napa (10-minute drive), Miminashi for nouveau Japanese and Zuzu for tapas-oriented Spanish are two of a dozen worthy options.
Bartenders at the nearest full bar, at Bistro Don Giovanni (5-minute walk), pour Italian Greyhounds (local ruby-red grapefruit vodka, grapefruit juice, and Campari) and other signature cocktails, along with top-shelf spirits and California and Italian wines (good selection). In downtown Napa, Carpe Diem Wine Bar (10-minute drive) is a mellow choice, and the Blue Note Napa (10-minute drive) is the top spot for mixed drinks and music, mostly jazz.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Away from the Napa and Yountville fray but a short drive away, Senza achieves just the right balance of pizzazz and serenity. The sense of style is obvious the moment you arrive, and the staffers are dialed into what upscale-casual travelers expect. The boutique-hotel sensibility comes through in the design and deluxe amenities, but with vineyards edging up to the property, a pastoral calm prevails. The hotel is convenient to tasting rooms up and down the valley, another plus, and the marvelous Ashes & Diamonds winery is a short walk away.