Napa Valley

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Auberge du Soleil

Address: 180 Rutherford Hill Rd.


City: Rutherford

Phone: 707-963-1211


Expert Review

These days Napa Valley has so many outstanding restaurants, inns, and spas that it is easy to take the 27-year-old Auberge du Soleil - which is all three - for granted. Perched on a hillside overlooking vineyards and mountains, the inn began in 1981 as a restaurant, launched by French-born Claude Rouas, who believed his Provence-obsessed approach to food would work nicely in California's laid-back, ingredients-rich wine country. Auberge du Soleil quickly won high marks for personable service and top-flight gastronomical experiences. In 1985, guest rooms and villas were added and then came a spa specializing in treatments that incorporate local ingredients, a pool, and an outdoor activities "pagoda." Yes, other nearby resorts have similar offerings, but nobody does them all nearly as well all at once. Best season for value: winter/early spring. 2008 Smart Luxury Award winner

Great Value Alternative: In nearby Sonoma, the Applewood Inn looks like a Mediterranean villa dropped in among the redwoods and has a terrific, Michelin-rated restaurant.


Tags: luxury | expensive | editor pick | smart splurge | smart luxury winner | jim's pick

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