Some topographies are so indigenously gifted that gilding their grounds becomes a lovelorn labor of reflection and regeneration, and when done best, a bespoke union of the two. Updating a property in the Yountville region of California’s Napa Valley not only requires this remarkability, it demands it. So when the feverishly anticipated Estate Yountville announced plans to debut Vintage House, formerly Vintage Inn, on some of the most lauded real estate the west coast can boast, visiting was never an if, only a when.
An admirably ambitious project, the Vintage House transformation is the first of a three-pronged rebranding effort that will additionally introduce Hotel Villagio and The Spa at The Estate.
Perhaps the only flaw one can attribute to California’s most revered wine region is that most of us don’t get to live there. Since opening its doors in August, the Vintage House has quietly evoked the illusion that just maybe we can. At least within the coveted hours of our stay.
An enveloping hominess escalates an experience that was already revelatory, now, beneath brilliant whitewashed beams and sunlit stonework, this transformation has transcended the usual upgrade, even by Napa Valley standards. While the region seems to be undergoing a renaissance of redefining it’s appeal not just for the hard-core oenophile, but for the larger breadth of lifestyle lavishers, Vintage House can qualify its transform as one that has trail blazed the trend.
Flanked in fixtures that furnish in a feel far more residentially idyllic than remote resort, it’s easy to plunk into a tufted chaise, light a fire (a wood burning one in each room), and assume the bedroom is your own. By design the overall composition, while visibly modernized and thoughtfully, tastefully fashioned, is not so easily defined. Aged, oaky floorboards beneath soaring ceilings, farmhouse sconces and ornate chandeliers, white wooden palisades framing a swoon rendering vantage point: contrasts are common and unify an impression that is both lux and accessible. The result is as relaxing as it is rejuvenating: a house in a hamlet, yes to both.
And as is rightfully requisite to wine region architecture and artistry, the interiors play up the exteriors. Lodging is made to glorify the landscape in every complementary way, elevating an idyll to meet the ever-evolving wine region regimen of locavore libation and farm to fork fare. Rooms resonate luxe living with their high beamed ceilings (an architectural adornment not just reserved for that fabulous lobby – we’ll get there in a minute), weathered floorboards, original rugs and collections of retro prints that decorate the walls. Vintage House invites us to grow and gather alongside a loveliest region busy pioneering the same.
With Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, a quick frolic out the front, through a lobby that is fetching in not just its luminous glow but with service as kind as it is competent, it’s a thrill to come “home” to this haunt from wherever your day or evening has taken you. Soaring windows anchor an artfully designed bi-level space. Upstairs the loft like spread can be rented out, but when it’s not, it’s yours for night caps and noshes. There is such an ease in elegance established here. Valet parking is included, bikes are there for the riding, and marbled bathrooms are well-appointed with ESPA amenities that would designate decadence even without the double rain showerheads. One visit will inevitably generate the want for more.
A quiet pool, heated year-round, with cabanas available on a first come first serve basis, will make for such a refreshing respite come summer. Our visit was a winter one, with steam visibly rising from the Jacuzzi. Water features pave the trail to most rooms throughout the property, fusing a unifying solitude of greenery and fountain.
Breakfast, included with your stay, is its own definable experience. Housed in a magnificently aged brick cottage, the provisions manage to succeed the culinary excellence that is wine country expectation. The lox is fresh, the berries abundant, banana bread still warm; the environs an invitation to rush nowhere and stay for as many rounds of coffee as you feel. The warmth of the wood fire only accentuates such.
And while Vintage House is the first upgrade in The Estate Yountville project, the Spa at The Estate is due to undergo its transformation this February, already exceptional by virtue of aestheticians and ESPA amenities. Request Tanya, a master of her craft, a masseuse at the top of her game. I personally can’t wait to see what comes on the other end of their upgrade. They have already proven they can galvanize what was already great, and add a fine tune and a finesse that makes the remarkable, immeasurably so.
Napa Valley endured a hard hit this year with those fires. Its recovery is refreshing, rejuvenating, and rehabilitating. A trellis tinselled countryside, a beauty that cannot be held back, a community that is gracious, familial, and generous. It is a true treat to visit and revisit, to see what it is that they’ve done, what they will continue to do. And while it may have been impossible to think that in region and relish, Yountville could be improved upon, with the opening of Vintage House, and the projected completion of The Estate Yountville, it is clear these gifted grounds have yielded the first of what promises to reveal another legacy rising from a land that seems to know no other way.
Vintage House at The Estate Yountville, 6541 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
Tel: +1(707) 944-1112 / Toll Free: 0800-351-1133
The hotel is located 56 miles north of San Francisco in California’s renowned Napa Valley.
Type of Hotel: Luxury Boutique Hotel
Number of Rooms: 80 rooms and suites including complimentary Wi-Fi and complimentary Valet Parking.
Insider Tip: Go in off-season as rates are extraordinarily reasonable and Napa is no less delightful. Winter in wine country is a wonderful time to visit, if the sleepiness of the town does not dissuade you. A wine country holiday is one to experience.
Price Band: Medium
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.
Photographs courtesy of Vintage House at The Estate Yountville by Will Pryce Photography