The 10 best Sonoma and Napa Valley hotels in California in 2021 – Business Insider

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While California offers pastoral wine-producing regions up and down the state, one of the most famous wine regions in the world is in Northern California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma areas.
Napa and Sonoma are located under 15 miles from each other amid a sprawling landscape of bucolic vineyards, world-class culinary concepts, and plenty of opportunities for taking in culture, shopping — and of course, tasting wine.
Visiting Napa Valley and Sonoma can also be very pricey, especially when it comes to hotels. A broad rule of thumb is that Napa is generally more expensive (and developed) compared with Sonoma.
As a California-based travel writer, I’m acutely aware of the Napa Valley hotel scene, which ranges from new and indulgently luxe to basic and comfortable. These are the best hotels in Napa and Sonoma, based on guest experience, value, location, amenities, and more.
Book Hotel Napa Valley, Ascend Hotel Collection
Category: Budget
Location: Napa
Typical starting/peak prices: $119/$309
Best for: Families, groups of friends, solo travelers, couples, business travelers
On-site amenities: Included breakfast and evening wine reception, room service, business center
Pros: This is the most affordable hotel on our list and a great option for travelers seeking a central location on a budget. Breakfast and an evening wine reception are included, too.
Cons: Hotel Napa Valley is a great budget pick, but doesn’t have many of the frills or luxury amenities of the other properties on our list.
This budget and pet-friendly, centrally located hotel is located in a charming Victorian building, just blocks from the tasting rooms and restaurants of downtown Napa. You won’t find five-star perks here, but you will find a patio with a cozy fire pit and a charming, welcoming environment.
Rooms feature wood paneling, beds dressed in premium linens, upscale tiled bathrooms, and a fireplace in each room for a cozy ambiance. Victorian-style rooms reflect the style that was popular when Napa Valley was first settled with warm tones and rich woods.
While there’s no pool or elevator, there is a relaxed atmosphere and an evening wine reception with chocolates each night, as well as VIP privileges made available at local restaurants and wineries.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book the Andaz Napa
Category: Boutique
Location: Napa
Typical starting/peak prices: $305/$591
Best for: Families, couples, groups of friends, business travelers, Hyatt loyalists
On-site amenities: Multiple eateries, pool, spa, fitness center, meeting and event space
Pros: Andaz Napa is a centrally located, extremely walkable hotel. It’s also more affordable than many other boutique options, without sacrificing comfort, offering a strong value. 
Cons: Some critical reviewers noticed what felt like an understaffed team coming out of the pandemic.
The Andaz is located centrally in highly walkable downtown Napa, making it a great pick for travelers who prefer to explore on foot. The hotel is just steps from world-class wine tasting rooms, restaurants, boutiques, museums, the Napa Valley Opera House, Uptown Theater, and more.
The hotel impresses from the first instance, with a lobby that was reimagined as an open, inviting, communal lounge. The hotel also has a pool, spa, and fitness center, offering enough amenities to feel like a larger resort.
Guest rooms feel quite spacious thanks to nine-foot ceilings, while hickory hardwood floors and white marble bathrooms with oversized walk-in showers and waterfall shower heads create a luxe feel. Some loft accommodations have fireplaces, and suites have furnished terraces overlooking downtown Napa.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa
Category: Boutique
Location: Sonoma
Typical starting/peak prices: $313/$466
Best for: Couples, families, groups of friends, solo travelers
On-site amenities: Spa, pool, chef’s garden, expansive art collection
Pros: The hotel feels intimate and personal with just 64 rooms, and the starting price point is among the lowest on our list.
Cons: Recent renovation gave this hotel more of a corporate-feeling vibe.
The newly renovated MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa is a well-appointed boutique hotel with 64 guest rooms. The lush property sprawls over six acres and has a full-service spa with seasonal treatments, a chef’s garden, a midcentury-inspired pool area, and a substantial collection of art from independent emerging artists.
Three excellent culinary outlets include a Mediterranean-meets-California restaurant, a bar, and a coffee shop.
Each of the 64 rooms has heated travertine floors, sleek bathrooms, and 65-inch TVs with DirecTV, Netflix , and Hulu . Some have fireplaces, outdoor showers, and/or bathtubs, while all entry-level accommodation have patios or balconies with access to a semi-private garden just outside the Victorian residence with lush foliage, fire pits, and hidden little nooks for tranquility.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Archer Hotel Napa
Category: Boutique
Location: Napa
Typical starting/peak prices: $389/$550
Best for: Families, couples, groups of friends, solo travelers, business travelers, travelers with pets
On-site amenities: Rooftop bar, water deck, Charlie Palmer Steak, meeting and event space
Pros: This is a budget-friendly, dog-friendly hotel with excellent dining on-site.
Cons: Rooms are small with some maintenance and housekeeping issues.
Archer Hotel Napa is located right in the downtown district, surrounded by dining and shopping on First Street Napa, and just steps away from the Napa Riverfront and Oxbow Public Market. 
In guest rooms and suites, colors are comprised of soothing neutral hues of cream, gray, and gold, and private balconies overlook lively downtown Napa. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow for tons of natural light (and blackout curtains when you want to banish it), while plush beds and linens promise a comfortable night’s sleep, and in-room Nespresso coffee and locally curated amenities are also available.
Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar is a favorite, and the only one like it in the valley, and Charlie Palmer Steak, which adjoins the lively lobby, draws visitors and locals alike for dining, drinks, and a convivial atmosphere. 
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Estate Yountville
Category: Boutique
Location: Yountville
Typical starting/peak prices: $565/$850
Best for: Couples, families, groups of friends
On-site amenities: Spa, pool, bike rentals, restaurant, outdoor dining terrace,  fitness center, indoor-outdoor event space
Pros: Hotel Yountville is a great jumping-off point to explore the Napa Valley area, with transportation within the town of Yountville provided on Friday and Saturday evenings. It’s also walkable to boutiques, dining, and nightlife.
Cons: Hotel Yountville implements a $50 destination fee plus tax per room, per night, but it does include nice perks like a bottle of wine upon check-in, use of hotel bikes, self-parking, and continental breakfast.
Estate Yountville sits on land that was formerly the Groezinger Winery, where some of the area’s first vines were planted in 1870. This 22-acre hotel offers luxurious accommodations and a destination spa.
The property is comprised of Vintage House and Hotel Villagio, which are two luxury hotels, designed as private sanctuaries, with rooms and suites outfitted with real wood-burning fireplaces and spectacular bathrooms that have freestanding soaking bathtubs and/or oversized, dual-headed showers. At Vintage House, the focal point is a great room that evokes an airy and sophisticated farmhouse, while at Hotel Villagio, the contemporary lobby doubles as a lounge with a bar. 
The Estate Yountville is also home to The Villa, a top-end residence with a full chef’s kitchen, five bedrooms with en suite baths, including a master suite with a Hästens mattress, and a private outdoor pool.
The 4,000-square-foot spa uses locally sourced ingredients in a range of treatments and features couples suites with Swiss showers.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Alila Napa Valley
Category: Luxury
Location: St. Helena
Typical starting/peak prices: $574/$709
Best for: Couples, groups of friends, Hyatt loyalists
On-site amenities: Restaurant, TREK bike rentals, spa, pool, fitness center with TRX equipment and Peloton bikes, meeting and event space, Tesla charging stations
Pros: This luxurious adults-only property set against the pastoral landscape feels away from it all — but is actually easily accessible to downtown St. Helena, so the location is ideal for exploring and retreating all in one stay.
Cons: Families can’t visit this hotel with kids in tow: it’s adults only. Though, that’s a pro, not a con, to certain travelers.
This adults-only property is located amid Beringer Vineyards, surrounded by historic wineries. While it’s just minutes from downtown St. Helena, it feels completely remote and utterly serene. 
There are 68 rooms, including nine suites, with accommodations dressed in whites and earthy tones, alongside natural materials, floor-to-ceiling windows, and sliding glass doors for an indoor-outdoor flow. Rooms and suites also feature bespoke Italian furnishings, luxury linens, and spa-like bathrooms with rain showers and soaking tubs. Most have a fire pit on the private balcony or a wraparound terrace framed by vineyard and mountain views.
Spa Alila is a must-book experience with locally inspired pampering treatments, while Acacia House restaurant offers seasonally driven, local American fare.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Farmhouse Inn
Category: Boutique
Location: Forestville
Typical starting/peak prices: $660/$885
Best for: Couples, groups of friends, families
On-site amenities: Michelin-starred dining, spa, pool, sauna, Sonoma-made, organic Sumbody bath and beauty products, fresh local flowers in every room.
Pros: Fun perks include nightly wine tastings, an included non-alcoholic minibar, a welcome food amenity, and all for no resort fee. The hotel also has partnerships with local wineries for special guest benefits.
Cons: Some rooms may be noisy or not as comfortable as upgraded options, so choose your category carefully.
Farmhouse Inn is set on a peaceful 10-acre wooded property in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley region. The Inn has a Michelin-starred restaurant, a full-service spa managed by Francis & Alexander, and lush gardens that set a peaceful tone.
All of Farmhouse Inn’s 25 rooms, including 17 Barn rooms and suites, eight cottage rooms and suites, and two upstairs guest rooms in the original farmhouse, offer scenic views and posh accommodations. Expect oversized fireplaces, light linen furnishings, Sonoma-made bath amenities, neutral tones, and rustic details such as natural branch furnishings and overstuffed leather seating in accommodations that are unique and varied. 
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Auberge du Soleil
Category: Boutique 
Location: Rutherford
Typical starting/peak prices: $800/$1,525
Best for: Couples, groups of friends
On-site amenities: Michelin-starred fine dining restaurant, casual eatery, spa, pool, fitness center, yoga pavilion, sculpture garden, walking paths, tennis courts
Pros: With just 50 rooms and suites, this property feels intimate, though it has all the amenities you could hope for, including Michelin dining and a standout spa, plus incredible views in all directions.
Cons: A smattering of critical reviews question the value for price or note instances of spotty service.
Auberge du Soleil is an adults-only hotel that draws inspiration from the relaxed but sophisticated vibe of the South of France. The property features luxe accommodations, stunning valley views, a Michelin star restaurant, and the well-regarded Auberge du Soleil Spa. 
Situated within a 33-acre hillside olive grove, the property has just 50 contemporary guest rooms and suites, all housed in maisons named for towns in the south of France. The atmosphere is meant to evoke Provence with a seamless indoor-outdoor flow. Even entry-level rooms are spacious with a very generous 520 square feet that include private terraces, fireplaces, and soaking tubs with separate showers. French doors open onto a private terrace surrounded by abundant seasonal foliage or hillside views.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Carneros Resort & Spa
Category: Luxury
Location: Napa
Typical starting/peak prices: $969/$1,899
Best for: Families, couples, groups of friends, business travelers
On-site amenities: Multiple restaurants, market general store, fashion boutique, spa, pools, fitness center, meeting and event space
Pros: Cottages here are amenity-rich with a focus on outdoor living spaces that embrace the natural environment. Fire pits and indoor-outdoor showers are pampering perks.
Cons: Past guests have noted disruptive COVID practices or instances of disappointing service, especially when weighed against expectations for the hefty price point.
Carneros Resort and Spa sprawls across 28 acres with an elegant farmhouse aesthetic meant to complement and blend in with its wine country surroundings. 
There are 100 cottages and suites that feel supremely residential, nestled in little neighborhoods throughout the hotel grounds. Cottages count 420 square feet in addition to as much as 800 sprawling square feet of outdoor living space that are furnished with a front porch and backyard garden with sundeck, table and chairs, fire pit, and chaise lounge.
Inside, cottages come with fireplaces, indoor-outdoor showers, standalone bathtubs, and floor-to-ceiling glass bifold doors that open to landscaped gardens. The color palettes are light and bright, keeping in line with the resort’s sun-washed, farm-style architecture.
There are three on-site dining destinations (Farm at Carneros, Boom Fly Café, and Hilltop Dining Room), plus an elevated general store, a high-end fashion boutique, a renovated spa, expansive event space, as well as a 3,000-square-foot fitness center and two pools, one for families and one for adults.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley
Category: Luxury
Location: Calistoga
Typical starting/peak prices: $1,659/$1,800
Best for: Couples, families, groups of friends, solo travelers, business travelers
On-site amenities: 2 restaurants, winery, winery tasting room, spa, 2 outdoor pools, kids club, regulation bocce ball court, fitness center 
Pros: This is the newest, buzziest hotel in the region, offering five-star luxury, Michelin dining, and dreamy spa experiences. 
Cons: On the flip side of the same coin, if you prefer to stay in a time-tested environment, wait until this property logs more experience with guests — into 2022 or beyond.
While this hotel is barely open and we haven’t yet visited ourselves, we included this hotel for good reason. The new Four Seasons represents Napa Valley’s first and only resort set within a working winery and is a trusted brand known for incredible service, hospitality, and luxury. It’s the highest-profile, most long-anticipated property in the region (it was originally supposed to open in 2019, prior to COVID.
The resort is situated within the historic town of Calistoga at the top of Napa Valley, surrounded by hundreds of acres of vineyards. Here, the focus is on hospitality, food, wine, spirits, and wellness. Michelin-starred executive chef Erik Anderson is at the helm of on-site TRUSS Restaurant + Bar for farm-fresh fine dining with sweeping views of vineyards and Palisades Mountains.
Spa Talisa pays homage to Calistoga’s 150-year history as a spa and wellness destination with eight tricked-out treatment rooms, as well as a variety of al fresco experiences, including private patios with steam decks for a locally inspired steam experience — an authentic Calistoga ritual.
Each of the 85 spacious rooms, suites, and villas are done in neutral, earthy tones and has views, fireplaces, and private terraces. The Estate Villa, a nearly 3,400-square-foot free-standing building nestled at the edge of the on-site vineyard, features indoor-outdoor living and dining, a private garden, and a private swimming pool.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
The most popular — and many would say best — time to visit Napa Valley and surrounding area like Sonoma is in the fall. August through October is harvest season and sees fewer crowds than the summer. The mild spring season, March through May, is also a popular time to visit. Expect peak crowds — and peak prices — during high seasons.
California’s Napa and Sonoma wine country regions can be quite pricey. On average, three-star hotels in Napa Valley wine country cost $285 per night; four-star hotels are $465 per night; five-star hotels cost around $1,071 per night based on data.
The CDC advises that fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically. While hotels do provide opportunities for face-to-face interactions with staff and other guests in common spaces, experts say guests who exercise proper precautions can stay safely in hotels. No travel is completely risk-free and we recommend following CDC guidelines and local protocols at the time of travel. 
Napa Valley has about 70 hotels, plus about 50 vacation rentals and 50 B&Bs or inns.
Generally, speaking, you might choose to stay in Napa if your budget is higher and you are interested in a more developed environment. Stay in Sonoma if your priorities are reversed. Of course, these are broad generalizations and your decisions might also be based around which wineries you intend to visit or a hotel’s amenities on offer.
For a romantic, intimate getaway, choose one of the adults-only hotels on our list like Alila Napa Valley or Auberge du Soleil. Or, go for a luxury hotel known to cater to couples, such as the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley for a pampering stay.

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