Explore Napa Valley at the Meritage Resort & Spa

If you have always wanted to visit California wine country, plan to go to the Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa Valley, California, where even a short visit is worth the trip for the mountain and vineyard views, and abundant wine tasting experiences. With the luxurious Meritage Resort & Spa as your base, it is easy to visit wineries as well as find everything you need right on site.

The first day we arrived, I was so impressed with the level of customer service throughout the resort and restaurants. The check-in was seamless, and the glass of champagne was a welcome way to launch our vacation. The architecture and accommodations are designed to feel like you are in an Italian villa, surrounded by vineyards. We felt immediately immersed in another world, and excited to explore the resort.

Depending upon your arrival time, if you are coming from the East Coast, as we were, you may be tired and not want to plan too much for the first day. Since we arrived in the afternoon, we relaxed and had an early reservation for dinner at Olive & Hay, the on-site restaurant. Dining there proved to be an incredible experience, and the restaurant became our favorite place to eat during our trip.

It was so nice to be able to eat on site the first night, and we could not have enjoyed the experience more. The food was absolutely amazing, and the service was excellent. Olive & Hay is a farm to table restaurant, with locally sourced food, and the freshness is incomparable, making your tastebuds sing with every morsel. It was clear that we were not accustomed to eating food with this degree of freshness, because we were all blown away by the appetizers and entrees that we had. When you have dinner at Olive & Hay, you must try the Rigatoni, made with lamb ragu, creamy pomdoro, broccolini and parmesan. I eat pasta frequently, and this dish is one of the best I have ever had anywhere, including Italy. The Halibut en Brodo was also spectacular, and comes on a bed of marble potatoes, Tuscan kale, jalapeno, and spring radishes. Do not skimp on the house-made Italian bread with whipped olive oil that looks like butter and is divine.

Since we only had a couple of days at the Meritage Resort & Spa, we visited Olive & Hay again for breakfast, which was an unbelievable treat as well. On the two occasions we ate breakfast there, I had the same thing because I had to make sure it was as outstanding as it was the first time. The Nut House Granola with Greek yogurt, Sky Hill Farms honey, fresh berries and banana may sound simple, but it explodes with fresh flavor like fireworks in your mouth. Each time I took a bite, I had to remark how fresh it tasted. Just like pasta, I eat a lot of yogurt and granola, and have never had any this good.

After a late breakfast, we ventured off site to Domaine Carneros, a wine vineyard only minutes from our hotel. Domaine Carneros is set in a luxurious, ornate building where you can sit on the wrap-around terrace, taking in the views of the vineyard and mountains. Having our wine tasting outside on a warm, sunny day with crystal clear Napa Valley views was amazing. Domaine Carneros specializes in sparkling wines, and we had a tasting of a variety of sparkling wines, including dry and sweeter varieties. You can also order from a menu with a nice selection of food to pair with your tasting, including caviar. If you prefer to sit inside, you can still enjoy great views through the large windows in the dining area. I recommend dressing up and taking lots of pictures at Domaine Carneros, because it looks like you are visiting a wealthy friend at his or her estate, with breathtaking scenery behind you.

If you prefer not to venture off site, the Meritage Resort has several options for wine tasting. There are three tasting rooms where you can sit inside or outside. Each tasting room has different types of wine so you can try the one you think appeals to you the most.

In addition to wine tasting, you can relax by the outdoor pool, explore the vineyard, and even go bowling at the on-site bowling alley. You can also visit Spa Terra for one of the many treatments. The Spa which is uniquely located in an Estate Cave with large doors, beneath the hillside wine vineyards. The Spa has stone walls and Florentine architecture, which provides a soothing and calm atmosphere. The treatment I selected was the Aroma Wellness Journey Massage, that is a custom massage using personalized aromatherapy. Once I changed into my robe and slippers, my massage therapist met me in the relaxation area, and we went to the Tara Well Bar, where we selected the essential oil blend for my massage.

After discussing how I felt and issues I wanted to address, my massage therapist recommended some essential oils that would be good for me. Once the blend was created, it goes into a bottle that is used during the massage, and the remaining oil is gifted for you to take home after the treatment. I chose a deep tissue massage because I usually find that light to medium pressure is not enough. During the massage, my massage therapist was very good about asking whether the pressure was too much and altering it if necessary. The aromatherapy oils helped to make the massage even more relaxing, and the deep tissue technique was great. This was easily the best massage I ever had, and the results lasted much longer than usual. It was great to feel so relaxed for the rest of the trip.

Visiting Napa Valley is a treat, especially for us East Coast dwellers, and I highly recommend staying at the Meritage Resort & Spa, as well as going to Domaine Carneros for wine tasting. I am eager to return in the future and try more of the wineries that Napa Valley has to offer.

Visit https://www.meritageresort.com .