The Light at the End of the Tunnel: The Napa River Restoration Project

January 26th, 2015

The Light at the End of the Tunnel: The Napa River Restoration Project

While the end of this project has taken slightly longer than expected, residents who have been watching the Napa River Restoration project unfold will be thrilled to see it coming to a close. As a matter of fact, two main stretches of the project, directly in the center of the project, will be receiving vegetation in the next few months.

In certain areas, the Napa River had become eroded and narrow. This caused a major reduction in the wildlife species naturally able to thrive in the river and also contributed to major flooding events in the area.

The formally named Rutherford Reach project actually started back in 2009. The goal of the project was to correct the issues that had naturally arisen over time, creating better floodplain benches as well as instream habitats. The creation of the instream bench helps to slow the water while creating a refuge for species like Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. The instream benches themselves also keep the fine sediments from settling, which would suffocate the eggs the fish lay, by pushing it out to the sand dunes created by the floodplain benches.  The entire project spans a length of 4.5 miles.

The two stretches nearing completion are situated smack in the center of the Napa Valley and will soon be home to more than 18,000 plants. Project managers have been very specific about the type of plant used in the area. New plants will include western spice, Santa Barbara sedge, and bit leaf maple. It’s important to note, however, that there are certain types of plant that can’t become a part of the finished project. Plants like giant reed grass and Himalayan blackberry, for example, are considered invasive and would create habitats for insects and pets that carry diseases dangerous to the vineyards.

In order to complete this project, neighboring vineyard owners agreed to give up more than 20 acres of land. The sacrifice will be well worth the cost, however, when the river becomes healthier and their vineyards experience less damage from flooding.

We here in the valley should see the vegetation planted throughout the winter and spring months. The program contacted with Empire Landscaping to do not only the planting work, but also to monitor the vegetation for health for the next three years.

And this will be the end of the project. We’re sure neighboring vineyard owners, visitors, Napa Valley hotel and resorts, and local businesses are happy to see the work end – and hopefully they’re excited to see how the valley changes thanks to years of dedicated effort.

Valentine’s Day – Make It a Long Weekend with President’s Day

January 23rd, 2015

Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, but did you realize that President’s Day is the Monday right after? You can take advantage of the long weekend and schedule a romantic getaway to Napa’s wine country.

There is plenty to do in Napa Valley for Valentine’s Day and because you have the advantage of a longer weekend, you can fit in even more of these romantic activities.  Here are some of the exciting activities you may want to look into:

  • Hot Air Balloon Rides – See wine country from above, take in the gorgeous sunrise and finish your tour with a bottle of champagne or at a wine tasting. Balloons Above the Valley and Napa Valley Aloft Balloon Rides are just two of the many hot air balloon services in Napa.
  • Go on a Bike Tour – Get out, enjoy the fresh air and ride with the one you love on one of Napa’s romantic bike trails. You’ll encounter plenty of wineries along the way and be in the lap of nature.
  • Picnic – There are plenty of picnic locations throughout Napa’s wine country. If you want something a little more private, ask the concierge at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites and we can help you find the perfect nook for you and your significant other.
  • Culinary Delights – Napa is home to some of the most romantic dining establishments in the state. From Restorante Allegria to Angele to Celadon, you will find a restaurant that meets your tastes.
  • Take the Wine Train – Napa Valley Wine Train takes you on a tour of the wineries, serves gourmet food on-board, and always offers some sort of themed event for Valentine’s Day tourists.

Take advantage of the long weekend this year and surprise your Valentine.

Schedule your romantic Valentine’s Day getaway and stay through Monday at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Call 707-226-1871 or make your reservations online today.

Exploring Napa’s 2015 Premiere Wine Offerings

January 19th, 2015

Exploring Napa’s 2015 Premiere Wine Offerings

Wine lovers travel from near and far to experience all the Napa Valley has to offer on a regular basis, but not every wine is available throughout the entire year.

What, you ask? I can’t go on a tasting and find any wine I’d like to try? Nope. Not unless you are a restaurateur or wine retailer participating in Premiere Napa Valley.

What is Premiere Napa Valley?

Premiere Napa Valley is an annual auction event, now in its 19th year, where the area’s finest vineyards are given the opportunity to auction their rare wine brands. The wines featured at the event are only ever created one time.

The event features wines from more than 225 different wineries. Each offers ultra-boutique wines that are offered in limited quantities. The minimum is usually around 60 bottles and you’ll never find more than 240 bottles of any one offering.

Of course, this works out well for restaurant owners who want to offer their customers some of the rarest and unique wines from the Napa Valley throughout the year. Depending on who makes the purchase – a retail seller, wholesaler, or restaurateur – the wines may stay as local as California or travel as far as New Jersey.

The wineries and vineyards also have an opportunity to show off a level of creativity they might not otherwise present to the public. A label that is known for fine white wines may make an annual batch of red.

Don’t get any funny ideas. Only the most respected members of the wine trade are invited to attend the Premiere Napa Valley Barrel Tasting and Auction. Those who aren’t automatically invited can request an invitation, but there are no guarantees.

And now you know one of the big secrets about the wine and restaurant industry. Restaurants don’t end up with special bottles of boutique or vintage wines because they’re readily available. They bid carefully on the top bottles out there and pass only the best on to you (for a price).

Interested in learning more? Check out Premiere Napa Valley online and keep your eyes peeled for news about how the February 21st auction goes. We’re sure it’ll be a huge hit. And even if you can’t go, there are plenty of Napa Valley hotels and resorts and wineries where you can enjoy a stunning tasting.

What to Do in Napa in the Winter

January 16th, 2015

What to Do in Napa in the Winter

When you think of Napa, you probably think of vineyards and wineries, but those don’t seem to go hand-in-hand with chillier January temperatures. The truth is that while Napa isn’t as crowded with tourists during the winter, there are actually still plenty of fun and engaging things to do.

Napa Valley Truffle Festival

The Napa Valley Truffle Festival will run from January 16 – 19, 2015 and includes a series of special guests and experts. You’ll learn to use and prepare truffles and – of course – you’ll learn which wines to pair them with.

Napa Valley Restaurant Month

For 2015, Napa Valley Restaurant Month will happen in February. Dozens of restaurants, wineries, and resort destinations are offering incredible deals designed to give your taste buds an incredible experience. Experience local chefs, fresh foods, and – of course- fantastic wines.

Winter in the Wineries Passport

It’s not too late to grab a Winter in the Wineries Passport, good from 12/6/14 through 2/8/15. In its 6th year, the program gives you access to a little over a dozen small and large area wineries. The passport itself is only $50 (you’d spend more than $250+ on tastings throughout the year without it), and includes one tasting per winery. You’ll want to make an appointment, but they’re not difficult to get.

Napa Valley Marathon

Forbes just named the Napa Valley Marathon one of the top 10 worth traveling to attend, so check it out if you’re a runner and can get to the area. Held on March 1st, 2015, the marathon is in its 37th year. There are plenty of special accommodations for marathoners and there IS a 5k that weekend for those who aren’t quite up to 26.2 miles.

Cabernet Season

The entire season from late fall through early Spring is considered Cabernet Season in Napa. You’ll find a lot of celebration and special events during this time, as the wineries and resorts dive extra special attention to their guests during what is definitely a slower time of the year. Take a look around to find the best spa deals, art and culture experiences, and of course food and wine tasting specials.

The winter months are definitely slower in Napa, but they’re far from dead. It may be cooler and rainier and you may not be able to drive with your convertible top down, but you’re guaranteed to have a great time, whether you’re staying in a Napa Valley hotel or visiting from somewhere close by.

Walk to Local Attractions from Napa Valley Hotel and Suites

January 14th, 2015

When you come to Napa, you do not need to rent a car. There is plenty to do and all within walking distance from the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Regardless of where you go, you will have beautiful scenery, attractions and activities at your fingertips.

Within five blocks of the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites you will find everything you need, including:

  • Napa Center – Located just one block away, and complete with a free trolley ride around town, you will find what was previously known as the Town Center Mall. Shop fine wines, art boutiques, local consignment stores and more to easily fill a day of shopping.
  • Napa Riverwalk – Napa Riverwalk is just two blocks away and gives you a vibrant opportunity to explore downtown along the water. Stroll and window shop, dine at a local café, and just enjoy the scenery.
  • Napa Opera House – If you love opera, you can attend a show just three blocks away at the Napa Opera House.
  • Wine Train – Hop onto the Wine Train, within just four blocks, and take a three-hour tour of wine country – complete with a gourmet meal!
  • And More – Within a five-block radius, you will have access to local day spas, popular restaurants, theaters, etc.

Even though you have so much around you, you will never feel as though you are amidst the chaos of a bustling metropolis. Napa Valley is quiet in the morning, calm in the evenings and lively during the day, making it the perfect place to get out, explore, and come back to relax.

Book your stay with Napa Valley Hotel and Suites to enjoy fine dining, wine and more. Call us now at 707-226-1871 to make your reservation.

Take Advantage of Internet Specials to Visit Napa’s Wine Country

January 5th, 2015

Most travelers assume that a visit to Napa Valley is quite an expense. On the contrary, Napa Valley is a lot more affordable than you may realize. By taking advantage of online specials, you can snag a luxurious suite for a budget-friendly price.

You can get even more for your money by purchasing a package. Packages not only cover your stay at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites, but also give you deep discounts on attractions and activities throughout wine country.

Spring and Summer Packages at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites

We want you to get the most out of the cooler temperatures in Napa, which is why we offer packages that help you get out, enjoy the crisp air and see the beauty that is wine country.  Some packages you can enjoy during the spring and summer months include:

  • Wine Train Package – The Napa Valley Wine Train offers gourmet dining and an in-depth tour of wine country. Tour wineries, sit back and relax, and get a five-star meal. This package includes a queen-size room, a three-hour wine train tour, and a gourmet three-course dinner for two.
  • Balloons Above the Valley You can see Napa Valley from above and appreciate the beauty of the vineyards below in a hot air balloon. This package gives you a queen size bedroom, a balloon ride for two over Napa Valley, and a complimentary breakfast at the Napa General Store Café.
  • Wine Country Tours – We offer wine country tour packages that can save you hundreds of dollars off purchasing them separately. Enjoy the ultimate luxury experience with a King suite (Jacuzzi tub included), a private three-hour wine tour, complimentary wine tastings at some of the finest wineries, credit towards Napa’s most romantic restaurants, and a bottle of sparkling wine.

Prices vary for each package. Packages cover two individuals, but additional member tickets can be purchased.

Book your spring and summer packages at our cozy, boutique hotel, Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Call 707-226-1871 or book your stay online.

Embrace the Music in Napa in January

January 1st, 2015

Embrace the Music in Napa in January

While the Napa Valley area is known for good food and spectacular wines, the area is also home to quite a number of spectacular music and entertainment venues. For music lovers, especially, a trip to Napa can very quickly become a complete cultural experience.

Lisa Loeb

She’s quirky and adorable and she’ll be at the City Winery Napa on January 10th, 2015. Lisa Loeb is a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter who has been performing for many years. Her songs tell stories – about her own life and others. She’s a driven artist and you will definitely love her stage presence.

Mozart in Napa Valley

The Napa Valley Music Associates will host the Mozard in Napa Valley concert on January 11, 2015 at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards. The concert begins at 3pm and will be followed by a wine reception. Come on out and celebrate Mozart’s 259th birthday.

The Sinatra Songbook

If you’d prefer something slightly more modern, head on over to City Winery Napa to see the Lucky Penny’s production of The Sinatra Songbook. This show is also on January 11, 2015.

The Wood Brothers, Mandolin Orange

The Wood Brothers are really brothers (Chris and Oliver) and their friend Jano Rix. They’re an incredible blues band and they’ll be playing at the City Winery Napa on January 15, 2015.

Fleetwood Mask

Correct – Mask, not Mac. This is a tribute band and they do an incredible job of not only sound like, but also looking like, Fleetwood Mac. Check them out at Silo’s on January 17, 2015.

Cirque Ziva

China’s Golden Dragon Acrobats will be at the Lincoln Theater on January 18, 2015. This new show is full of incredible stunts that showcase some of the cultural traditions of the Chinese. The cast of 20-25 individuals will perform to an amazing soundtrack. This is a show you just won’t want to miss.

The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys (or today’s variation) will be at the Uptown Theatre on January 23, 2015. While original Beach Boys fans won’t recognize many (any) of the faces, the music is still fun and the show is lively.

It doesn’t matter if you want to visit a small local joint or a larger entertainment venue. There are plenty of concerts and shows happening this month. Not sure where to go? Ask the concierge at your favorite Napa hotel.

What Are You Doing for New Years’ Eve? How About Visiting Napa Valley?

December 27th, 2014

New Year’s Eve is a magical time of the year – the change from one year to the next is a time of celebration and reflection. Napa Valley has some delightful options for you this year.

  • A New Years’ Eve Party at Trinitas Cellars – a celebration starting with a reception in the Estate Cave, followed by a candle-lit, five course dinner, each paired with the delicious Trinitas wines. The party moves into the Meritage Ballroom and includes sweet bites, music, dancing and a champagne toast.
  • New Years’ Eve at Long Meadow Ranch – join this annual dinner celebration featuring Executive Chef Stephen Barber’s four course, family style prix-fixe dinner menu, Long Meadow wines, and festive live music. Reservations are available by phone at (707) 963-9181 or online.
  • New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball at Castello Di Amorosa – ring in the new year in true Napa Valley style at a masquerade ball! Arrive in your best black-tie attire and Venetian masks to enjoy an elegant wine reception, followed by a superb, five course meal paired with specially selected Castello wines. Dance the night away in the great hall and enjoy a sparkling wine toast and balloon drop at midnight!

It’s hard to pull off the perfect New Year’s Eve, but this year, it will be easy in Napa Valley.

Schedule your New Year’s Eve stay with our Midweek Fall and Winter Packages at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Take in everything that Napa Valley has to offer and create a special new year.

If dancing and masquerades aren’t your style, you may want a quieter celebration this New Year’s Eve. Napa Valley has some lovely, seasonally-inspired options for you as well. Make your dinner reservations at one of these fine restaurants and you’ll be within walking distance of the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites:

  • Celadon (500 Main Street) offers a lovely place to enjoy global dishes right in downtown Napa.
  • Fish Story (790 Main Street) is a sustainable seafood restaurant that garners rave reviews all year long.
  • Morimoto Napa (610 Main Street) encourages lounging and faces the Napa River. Iron Chef Morimoto delivers a dynamic range of dishes in a contemporary setting.

Call our friendly staff at 707-226-1871 to book your New Years’ Eve get-away in Napa Valley.

Enjoying the Napa Valley on a Limited Budget

December 23rd, 2014

Enjoying the Napa Valley on a Limited Budget

Planning a trip to California? Looking for a weekend excursion? If you’re on a budget, you may think the Napa Valley is out of reach, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are plenty of free and low-cost things to do throughout the area. Consider the following:

Napa Tourist Guide

The Napa Tourist Guide is a great tool for both locals and visitors. The site offers tons of coupons, discounts, and tips for making the most of the area without spending upwards of $60 per person on a winery tour or tasting. Browse the site regularly for coupons. They sometimes have deals for FREE tastings, too.

Visit During the Off Season

The Napa Valley area is at it’s peak during the summer and fall. Visit during the winter and Spring and you’ll find plenty of Napa Valley hotels offering considerable discounts and fun packages. You might be able to find package deals including wine tastings and other seasonal events. Ask what is happening in the area when you check in. You’ll love being able to tour local hotspots without huge crowds.

The Downtown Napa Wine Tasting Card

This handy card is available at the visitor’s center for just $25 per person. It is valid for one year and will give you parking and tastings at all 12 of the tasting rooms in the area. They’re all within walking distance, so you can enjoy a great afternoon out without moving the car or paying for parking.

Look for Smaller Wineries

The larger, more popular wineries tend to charge more for tours and tastings. Look for smaller wineries and consider those that include a tour with the tasting fee. Some of the smaller sights, like Envy Wines, charge as little as $10 to $20 per experience.

Visit the Fainting Goats

Technically speaking, you’re actually going to visit Old Faithful, the popular geyser. But while you’re there you will likely catch a glimpse of the herd of Tennessee fainting goats living nearby. They have a strange disorder that causes them to faint if they get scared or startled. They aren’t harmed when it happens, though it really is a sight to see.

Go for a Hike

The Napa Valley is known for more than wine.  Check out Napa Hiking to find out where the best hiking and biking trails in the area are located. Bring your own bike or rent one. You might also enjoy kayaking or boating, depending on where you end up.

It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting for a day or a week. You can visit the Napa Valley without doing too much damage to your checking account. Ask your hotel concierge or the locals for help. They’ll point you in the right direction, too!

Relax in Napa Valley During and After the Holiday Rush

December 18th, 2014

The holiday rush can often feel more like a crush of events. So when you need a break – during or after the holidays – Napa Valley has a wealth of options for you to enjoy. Be sure to start off your day with a tasty breakfast or brunch, if you can sleep in late. Many of downtown Napa’s restaurants are ideal for the early riser and nothing starts the day off right like a fresh breakfast.

Ready for some post-holiday shopping? Downtown Napa is a lovely place to browse, wander, and touch one-of-a-kind clothing, antiques, jewelry, and crafts. No one knows you like you do, so why not gift yourself this holiday season?

Take a self-guided tour after lunch and stroll the charming neighborhoods and historic sites of Napa. The town has more pre-1906 structures than any other Bay Area city and each adds to the character of the town with Italianate, Victorian Gothic, Classical Revival, and other styles. Stop in at the Napa Valley Historical Society in the Goodman Library (1219 First Street) for a map.

When the holidays get stressful, shake it off at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Make your reservations today by calling 707-226-1871.

Nothing makes recovering from the holidays quicker or more relaxing than a trip to the spa. Napa Valley is home to a number of delightful spas that are perfect for treating yourself. Take a look at these great options – all within walking distance of our hotel:

  • Napa Massage and Bodycare (1834 First Street) – with massages and bodycare treatment packages, you can relax in the heart of Napa.
  • St. Pierre Massage (2400 West Clay) – offers a warm and inviting environment and a range of packages including manicures, facials, and pedicures—you can strip your cares away here!
  • Greenhaus European Day Spa (1300 Pearl Street) – consistently voted the Best of Napa Valley, this day spa offers massages, body treatments, nail care, hair and makeup, and more.

Each of these spas are close to the restaurants of Napa Valley as well, so you can enjoy a full day of pampering and a great meal thereafter.

Check our room availability at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Call us at 707-226-1871 to arrange your stay and recover from the holidays in style.