Post # 1
My FI and I are planning on honeymooning in wine country, but I have no idea how to choose a hotel. Any suggestions? Also, is it worth doing both napa and sonoma? or should we try to pick one hotel and stay there the entire week?
Thanks in advance!!!
Post # 3
@AllieBee12: What’s your budget like? Could be interesting to stay in both Napa and Sonoma and split up the week! I’m actually going to move this into the local norcal boards for you – I know we’ve got quite a few Napa/Sonoma bees who can help you with this one! 🙂
Post # 4
There are two that I love and have stayed in in Northern Napa/specifically Calistoga- The Mount View Hotel and Spa- an old bed and breakfast that is newly renovated. The rooms are super spacious, modern and overall LOVELY. The other is the Cottage Grove Inn, also in Calistoga. The Cottage Grove Inn, you have your own little house and they have fire places and jacuzzi tubs- breakfast is included and they have a wine and cheese hour you can go to- super quaint and romantic. The whole area is easy to navigate, just rent a car and hit Napa OR Senoma or BOTH. IF you stay in Calistoga, be sure to do a couples mud bath at say the Golden Have Spa, the area of Calistoga is built over hot springs- it’s an AMAZING experience, so relaxing! This us doing ours, lol.
Post # 5
@AllieBee12: DH and I just got back from our honeymoon and roadtripped our way into Sonoma and Napa. I prefered the Napa wineries, personally. But we only stayed in Sonoma. Our stay was great though at the Inn at Sonoma (a B&B from Four Sisters). I’d absolutely recommend their properties!
Post # 6
@AllieBee12: Depending on your budget, I say just do Napa… but, I’m biased as I’m from Napa 🙂 What type of budget do you have for accomodations? I can give you some suggestions on where to stay/eat/visit.
Post # 7
@pengoala: Thanks for the move! I was originally thinking to do both, but if they’re too similar or if we can visit both from one location I’m not sure if it’s worth the hassle to move. I’d like to stay somewhere for less than $300/night if that’s possible while still staying somewhere “honeymoon worthy”.
@ddavila2001: Thanks I’ll definitely be looking into those!!
@jpalm13: It’s nice to know that both can be done from one area.
@iadornyou: I have started looking into Napa, but honestly, I realized that I don’t know anything about the area so that’s when I came to the Bee! I’d like to stay under $300/night, but obviously the less money we spend on hotels, the more we have for wine haha! I’d love some recommendations for other things to do/places to eat as well! I can use all the help I can get!
Also, would you agree that renting a vehicle is essentail?
Post # 8
We stayed at the Fairmont in Sonoma (beautifullllll) and toured all over napa, sonoma and the Russian river valley. Everything is pretty close so you can homebase from one location and go all over.
Wine tasting was amazing and our dinners were delicious. I recommend dinner at Ad Hoc and Girl and the Fig.
These are a few of the wineries we visited:
Domaine Carneros (BIG and popular but they have a stunning patio and a fantastic champagne tasting)
Copain Wine Cellars (offer a hill top picnic to pair with your tasting)
Post # 9
@AllieBee12: For $300 a night or less I would suggest staying in the city of Napa (not Napa Valley incorporated such as Calistoga, St. Helena etc) or Sonoma (the Fairmont is wonderful, it is our local getaway). The further north you get within Napa Valley the higher the cost of accommodations. Check out Groupon and Living Social as they often have hotels in the area featured.
Whether you should go to Napa or Sonoma wineries depends on your love of wine and your budget. Overall after living in this area for over ten years I have found that Napa Valley wineries are more grand, more tourist oriented, better architecture but overall more expensive and crowded. Sonoma County wineries are often more accommodating, usually less crowded and typically less expensive for tasting. If you have a particular kind of wine you enjoy please share as we can find wineries that meet your tastebuds! If you are looking for over the top architecture, just champagne, cave tours etc again all this can be specified when choosing a winery. I would make a huge recomendation for Beau Wine Tours as a romantic day. They will pick you up at your hotel and drive you around all day to four or so wineries plus they will either take you to lunch or arrange a picnic lunch at a winery. (I am using them for a champagne only limo tour for my birthday in two weeks, they are amazing!)
Are you planning your trip for late August/eary September? That is a VERY busy time in the valley and rates will be at their highest. Harvest season starts in September bringing large crowds and higher costs just FYI.
Back to the topic of hotels keep in mind that from Napa (city) to Calistoga (farthest North of Napa Valley) it can take anywhere for 40 minutes to 90 minutes+ depending on traffic and tourists. From Sonoma to Calistoga you are looking at about an hour or up to two hours again depending on traffic.
Feel free to PM if you have any additional questions. 🙂
Post # 10
@AllieBee12: Napa and Sonoma are different vibes. I like Napa for big wine tasting parties but would probably honeymoon in Sonoma. It’s just smaller, slower and more romantic in my eyes. I have no hotel recs because I usually stay in San Francisco, but I do want to REALLY recommend getting a private driver for a wine tasting day. Preferably someone local in Sonoma. Ask them ahead of time to try and get you into Homewood. It’s a very small winery and they don’t have regular tasting room hours. Our driver happened to see the owner at the gas station the day before and set up a tasting. I ended up liking that winery the best out of NINE that day and came home with a case and a half.
Post # 11
You definitely have time to visit both and should. A number of the good sonoma wineries have much lower (or no) tasting fees. I’d recommend to make sure you hit some champagne spots, of course non-champagne spots, some spots on spring mountain and howell mountain. I don’t think you really need to move hotels though- you can get a room in an area that has decent access to both.
Yes, I think a rental car is essential. There’s really not another way to get all over. If you want, you can hire someone to drive you for a day or two.
Get reservations at a few good restaurants- some aren’t even that pricey. I recommend ad hoc- it’s a set menu, but you get a few courses and they’re all great. Also, since it’s served “family style” – you can just get more of any course if you want more at no extra charge.
Post # 12
Just wanted to say thank you to you all!
After reading a million reviews and searching for photos of hotels within our budget I finally booked our honeymoon hotels! I couldn’t decided between staying in Napa or Sonoma, so we’re going to do both. First we’ll spend 3 nights at the River Terrace Inn in Napa, where we’ll do some winery tours, go biking, and go on a hot air balloon ride (none of that stuff is booked yet), then mid-week we’ll head to the Fairmont Sonoma to finish off our honeymoon relaxing at the spa and lounging around Sonoma.
We’re going to rent a car (FI wants a convertable!) so that we can drive around and enjoy the scenery on our own schedule, but of course we wont be doing too many tastings on our own (we like wine a little too much to ba able to drive afterwards haha!)
I’ll be writing down all of your winery and restaurant suggestions so thanks for that! I’m getting very excited!!!
Post # 13
@AllieBee12: I’ve never stayed in eithet but I drive down the 101 through Sonoma all the time. If you’re anywhere near the 101 you have got to spend at least half a day at Francis Ford Coppola winery. It’s huge- your FI would love the museaum upstairs with all the movie props & stuff (apocalypse now, the godfather & many many more) plus you can pay extra to get a day pass and /or cabana for their huge pool there. They also have *I think* two restaurants on site & will have live bands at the pool deck. Lotsa fun!