The Summer Event Season is Just Heating Up in Napa Valley

June 4th, 2014

While most people think of wine when hear ‘Napa Valley’, that is just one aspect of this amazing region. The summer event season in Napa Valley is one of the best – a true expression of summer with musical events, art events, and more. Take a look at just a few of the events available this July:

  • July 13, 2014 Annual Festival Gala at Meadowood – with multitudes of flowers, elegant lights and the music of summer, this annual festival conjures thoughts of a magical, enchanted summer garden.
  • The Golden Decade of Photography until July 13, 2014. Photographs from the first 10 years of the California School of Fine Arts (1945-1955) will be on display at the Fine Art Photography Gallery at Mumm Napa in Rutherford.
  • July 17, 2014 Chasing Ice: Napa Valley Museum Film Series. The story of one man’s mission to gather undeniable evidence of our changing planet through bold ice survey expeditions deploying time-lapse cameras across brutal ice landscapes.
  • Culinary Adventure Boot Camp: Garden to Grill. Sessions include new ingredient introductions, knife skills, kitchen teamwork, and more. Camps are for kids aged 9-14 and even younger, 6-8.

Contact the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites or call 707-226-1871 to reserve a room ahead of the summer rush!

Too many of our summer days and nights are filled with longer work hours and not enough time with friends and family. Don’t let this summer pass you by.

At Napa Valley Hotel and Suites, we are right in the middle of town and in the center of the action so you don’t have to drive very far (if at all) to attend many of these special, one-of-a-kind summer events.

Take a look at our summer stay packages for ideas on how to stretch your summer event dollars.

Check our room availability at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Call us at 707-226-1871 to arrange your stay for the summer events that are just getting started in Napa Valley.

Skip the Card – Take Dad to Napa Valley for a Father’s Day to Remember

May 28th, 2014

Father’s Day is coming June 15 but did you know that countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day at different times of the year? While we celebrate on the third Sunday of June, the Dominican Republic celebrates on the last Sunday of July. Australia and New Zealand celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September.

A typical Father’s Day celebration involves families gathering together and giving dear dad gifts, but what fathers really want is time with their kids. So, skip the card or ‘world’s best dad’ mug and let him know you are really glad he is your dad. Give him a day to remember in Napa Valley.

Stay with us at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites and enjoy a terrific Father’s Day this year. Call 707-226-1871 to make reservations today.

Father’s Day is a celebration of all the things that make our dads special. If your father took you hiking, take him on a hike through the beautiful and natural surroundings in Napa Valley. Here is a hike nearby to try: Devil’s Well Water Falls in Archer Taylor Preserve. Located just outside of Napa, this 380-acre preserve has some excellent hikes – including one that ends up at a waterfall.

If your father taught you everything you know about golf, consider a round at the Silverado Resort and Spa’s top rated golf course. If your dad taught you all his barbecue skills, think about a lunch or dinner at the Bounty Hunter Wine Bar and Smokin’ BBQ. Consistently well rated and well loved by the locals, the Bounty Hunter features an outstanding wine bar as well as other top spirits.

All of these are very close to the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites, so you can spend quality time with Dad instead of trying to fight traffic or stand in lines for a reservation.

Spend a little time with Dad and let him know you were listening (even if you didn’t always!). Call the helpful and friendly folks at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites to make your Father’s Day reservations today.

Your Guide to Summer Picnics in Napa Valley

May 24th, 2014

When visiting Napa Valley, there’s no doubt that most travelers want to try out a few restaurants. After all, Napa Valley is almost as famous for the food as they are the wine. But, it doesn’t hurt to keep things simple for at least one of your meals. Picnicking is very popular in Wine Country, and for good reason. The weather is warm, sunny and (usually!) predictable, and there are dozens of beautiful spots to lay a picnic blanket and sip on wine, cheese and other goodies.

Here’s your guide to having a great picnic when visiting Napa Valley. This could be perfect for a birthday, romantic getaway or Father’s Day (hint, hint).

Choose Your Location

There is no shortage of picnic spots in Napa. Kennedy Park, Skyline Park, Yountville Park, Pioneer Park, Lyman Park and Robert Louis Stevenson Park are a few options. Be mindful that many of these parks do not technically allow alcohol, but as long as you are being respectful, you shouldn’t be bothered. In addition to parks, there are plenty of wineries that will allow you to have a picnic, providing that you purchase a bottle of wine. Be sure to call ahead for reservations.

Plan Your Menu

What type of food and beverages do you plan to have? To help complete your menu, Napa Valley has gourmet markets, food stores and delis that will provide food for your small event. You can even talk to your hotel or a local restaurant to see if they can provide you with a complete picnic basket. Some favorite picks for outdoor picnics include fresh fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, cheese and crackers and desserts. Ironically, these are the types of foods that Napa is best known for.

Pack Your Accessories

Where will you and your guests sit? Do you have plates, cups, napkins and silverware? Do you need flat trays to serve the foods? How will you keep the food and drinks cool? Don’t forget the small details that people enjoy when dining out, such as salt, pepper and ketchup. In addition to food, you’ll also need sunscreen, insect repellent and hand sanitizer. A pop-up tent or umbrella will offer shade and some privacy.

Start your Engines for Napa NASCAR Night

May 20th, 2014

While you might not think of Napa Valley as a racecar kind of place, Napa welcomes a new NASCAR event for all NASCAR fans in Napa Valley this year.  Meet the drivers. See the racecars. Maybe even get the chance to change a tire with the pit crew and test your skills.

Napa NASCAR Night is June 21st, starting at 3:00 p.m. and going until 9:00. Live music, great food, lip-smacking wine and beer round out the package. Plus, the event is FREE, so it’s a great way to stretch your travel dollars this June.

Contact the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites or call 707-226-1871 to reserve a room ahead of the rush!

For race enthusiasts, the Sonoma Raceway (Infineon Raceway) is just a 20-minute drive from the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Built in 1968, this twisting 12-turn, 2.52-mile road course was carved into the rolling hills of the Sonoma Wine Country. Since then, race fans have been flocking here to see the greatest racing found anywhere in the world.

The Sonoma Raceway is home to both amateur and professional road races, motorcycle races, sports car events and vintage car events. You can see the race schedule and get your tickets online. Then, reserve your room at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites and start packing.

Check our room availability at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Call us at 707-226-1871 to arrange your stay for Napa NASCAR night.

Napa Valley with the Kids

May 17th, 2014

Napa Valley may offer up visions of wine tastings and fancy dinners, but there are plenty of family activities that cater to families with children. If you’re planning on a getaway this summer with the kids, don’t cross Napa Valley off your list. You’ll find that there’s much to offer in this spectacular region of Northern California.

Centrally Located Hotels

Traveling with kids has its complications, which is why it’s best to choose a hotel that is within walking distance to restaurants and marketplaces. Napa Valley Hotel and Suites is conveniently located in downtown Napa and is within walking distance to many attractions, such as the Copia Center, Oxbow Market and Napa Riverwalk. With opportunities for family fun and access to food and everyday supplies, you’ll find this area to be welcoming for families.

Family-Friendly Wineries

Since it’s rare for people to come to Wine Country without visiting a winery, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a handful of wineries that welcome children. For instance, Castello di Amorosa charges a reduced fee for kids and takes them on a tour of the castle, along with the dungeon. Juice is provided instead of wine – for the kids at least! Call ahead and make sure that the wineries of your choice will accommodate youngsters.

Old Faithful Geyser

The Old Faithful Geyser, or California’s Old Geyser, is located in Calistoga and plenty of fun for the kids. It is one of the few geysers that erupts regularly, about every 30 minutes or so. When it erupts, it throws up to 60 feet of hot water into the air. Kids also enjoy the llamas and Tennessee Fainting Goats that can be seen at the park. There is an admission fee, but you can make a day at the park if you plan a picnic lunch and hiking or biking adventure.

Petrified Forest

Another staple in Calistoga, a walk through Petrified Forest is sure to impress the little ones. Walking through the forest takes about 30 minutes, and the kids will awe at the trees that are about 8 feet in diameter and 65 feet long. The sight is unique because the trees are dull and gray as opposed to the brightly colored trees we usually swoon over. Admission is low cost. Look for coupons or free days that are offered from time to time.

Safari West

Safari West offers tours where the kids can see over 400 animals in their natural habitat. It’s not a zoo, but instead a wildlife preserve that offers safari adventures and bed-and-breakfast services. The safaris are open to the public and last about two hours, so the kids will definitely get a fun-filled tour with frequent stops. They can even feed some of the animals!

Why Visit Napa Valley in the Summer

May 15th, 2014

Any season is a great time to visit Napa Valley, but there’s something about the summer that makes it the perfect travel destination. The grapes are grown and mature, the weather is warm and there are events going on almost every day. To put it lightly, there’s never a dull moment in Napa Valley during the summertime.

Don’t be left out of the fun this year. Find a reason to visit Wine Country and enjoy your summer!

Glorious Geography

The geography in Napa Valley is exquisite, and it’s brought to life during the summer when the trees are full, the vines are mature and exotic plants and flowers are popping up in all corners of the valley. There are mountains on both sides of the region, and the valley stretches 35 miles. The Napa River bisects the valley, and gentle rolling hills complete the picture of paradise.

Wonderful Wines

There are a variety of fruits and vegetables that flourish in the Napa region, and grapes are one of them. The warm, dry climate is ideal for growing grapes, and there is an expanse of land that is tucked away for wineries to create their home. An extensive selection of wines can be discovered in Napa Valley, and each winery brings something unique to the table.

Lovely Locals

It’s no secret that Napa Valley thrives off the tourism that comes to the region, but the locals are quite nice, too! The locals can fill you in on some of the best wineries and restaurants to visit, plus let you know of less-touristy places that will give you a more intimate experience. So, while it’s great to interact with other visitors, don’t be afraid to ask the locals some questions, too. You’ll surely see them out during the summer.

Adventurous Activities

Even though many people spend their days eating and drinking wine when visiting the region, there are many activities that can be enjoyed, especially in the summer. Bike riding, skydiving, fishing and hiking are some of the many activities that travelers can enjoy on a daily basis. And, hot balloon rides are always a treat for the adventurous!

Delightful Deals

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean that you won’t find great deals on hotel packages. Hotels like Napa Valley Hotel and Suites has some of the best deals around, as well as packages for visitors who want the biggest bang for their buck when taking the Wine Train or going ballooning over the valley. Check them out today!

Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

May 12th, 2014

Brian Culbertson began his musical career at the age of 8 when he learned piano. He added drums at 9, a trombone at 10, and then bass at 12. At age 20 he self-released his debut album, Long Night Out and went on to compose jingles and release more albums. In 2012, he founded the Napa Valley Jazz Getaway – a five-day celebration of wine, food, art, and music set in California’s most famous wine region from June 11-15.

The lineup this year includes:

  • Eric Benet
  • Dave Grusin
  • Earl Klugh
  • Lee Ritenour
  • David Benoit

And many more! The music is going to be incredible, the food delicious, and the wine will be unparalleled. Held outdoors in the warm sunshine, what could be better than jazz with a glass of wine?

Reserve a room or several rooms at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites and you will be close to all that jazz.

Some of the music will be happening at The Lincoln Theater, in Yountville (just a short drive). Other events will be held at the Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, Silver Oak,  Castello di Amorosa and many other places but all are close to our hotel. There will be wine tastings, luncheons, dinners and more; all held amidst the most impressive scenery you can imagine. See the full schedule of events as well as ticket info – single day tickets and packages are available.

Call us at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites to reserve your suite and find the perfect jazz getaway. Call 707-226-1871 for more details and pricing.

How to Order Wine Like an Expert

May 5th, 2014

No one wants to look foolish when ordering wine, but if you’re not used to drinking it, a wine menu can be overwhelming. If you’re planning a trip to Napa Valley, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics of ordering wine at a restaurant. Take the opportunity as a learning experience that will introduce you to something new and exciting.

Meal Choice and Preferences

Red or white is the first step. Some people have a strong preference for one or the other, while others use their meal as a guide. For instance, white wines generally go well with a lighter dish such as chicken or fish, while red wines are best suited for heavier dinners like steak. If you’re having lunch out, white is usually the best option.

Glass or Bottle

If multiple people at the table are having wine, it’s generally more cost effective to purchase a bottle. If your table can agree on a bottle, that’s great. Otherwise, it’s best to stick to a single glass so that everyone can have what they want, and you can sample various wines.

Seasonal Offerings

One of the wonderful things about Napa Valley is that the menus are always changing. Wine menus are typically arranged by the wine type or region, and listed by price range from lowest to highest. If you notice that the vintage year is added on the menu, then you know that the menu is updated regularly.

Ask for Recommendations

If you know what you like to a certain degree, you can ask the waiter for suggestions. If you want to stick to a certain budget, then it’s best to narrow down your search and ask the waiter to recommend the best one. In fact, in Napa Valley, some restaurants have a sommelier that is dedicated to serving wine.

Receiving the Wine

If you ordered a glass of wine, take a moment to swirl the wine and let the flavors mix in. Smell the aromas of the wine, and hold the wine glass at the stem instead of at the bowl where your hand could interfere with the temperature of the wine. If you ordered a bottle, verify that the label matches what you ordered. The cork should be slightly wet, and when opened, the wine should smell fruity. This is all part of the experience.

Get a Napa Valley Spring or Summer Package Booked Before They’re Gone

May 5th, 2014

Napa Valley is a highly popular location during the summer months, and the staff at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites has designed some excellent package deals for you this Spring and/or Summer:

  • The Wine Train Package – you can enjoy a local favorite:  the Napa Valley Wine Train, a three-hour adventure between Napa and St. Helena, and a three-course gourmet dinner for two. Take your dad for a break in Napa Valley and you’ll be his hero for a long time after!
  • Balloons Above the Valley – with this package, you’ll enjoy a queen bed as well as a complimentary hot air balloon ride over the gorgeous Napa Valley and breakfast for two at the Napa Valley General Store Café. Don’t let the ‘general’ in the name fool you, this is a high quality, very delicious meal you won’t soon forget.

After your wine train or balloon ride, you’ll be within strolling distance of all the shops, entertainment, and restaurants that Napa Valley has to offer.

There are many wonderful ways to enjoy the serene beauty of Napa Valley. Schedule your stay at the Napa Valley Hotel and Suites and enjoy one of our spring or summer packages to make your stay even better!

The Napa Valley Hotel and Suites team has come up with some excellent wine country tours. Some are specials on our King Suites with Jacuzzi tubs and private sedans to drive you to various nearby wineries. One of our most popular packages includes a picnic basket with baguette and fresh cheese that you can take with you to a winery to enjoy.

We also offer complimentary tastings and other treats with our Napa Valley Wine Country Tours to help stretch your fun budget.

What better way to kick off the summer season than by planning a secret getaway to Napa Valley where you can get outside and enjoy the warm breeze with a glass of something delicious?

Call our friendly staff at 707-226-1871 to book your stay in Napa Valley today.

Wine Tasting Dos and Don’ts

April 30th, 2014

If you’ve just planned an upcoming wine tasting, you may not be sure what to do. The idea may seem clear – you show up at a winery, sample various wines and mingle with others – but you may find yourself wondering about wine tasting etiquette as the date inches closer. Don’t worry, we have the dos and don’ts of wine tastings that will get you through your first of many wine tours.

Reservations

In Napa Valley, the majority of wineries are open to the public, seven days a week. Still, it’s a good idea to call ahead and make sure that the winery can accommodate you during your stay, as some wineries are only open on the weekends or have limited hours. Wineries may also have rules about bringing along kids, large groups or limousines and tour buses.

Clothing

Dressing casual yet sophisticated is best for winery tours. You want to be comfortable, as you’ll be walking around and probably going to several wineries in a day. But, you also want to look nice, as this is showing respect for the winery. Also pay attention to the weather, as sturdy shoes, umbrellas, sunscreen and sunglasses may be necessary. Also, lay low on strong perfumes and colognes since these can interfere with aromas and notes from the wine.

Drinking Wine

Wine tours are all about having fun, but there are things you can do to maximize the wine tasting experience. Set your glass down on a flat surface and swirl around the wine while holding the stem. Hold the wine glass at the stem rather than the bowl. This avoids fingerprints on the bowl, and keeps the wine at the right temperature. Inhale before taking a sip, and drink white and lighter wines before the dark, red wines. Sweet wines should be reserved for last.

Amount of Wine

You’re at a wine tasting, not a bar, so it’s polite to watch the quantity of wine you drink. Drink plenty of water and stop for lunch to break up a day of drinking if you’ll be touring multiple wineries. Generally, wineries pour one-ounce samples, and there are four to six ounces in a typical wine glass. Purchasing a bottle of wine from the winery is a kind gesture that will keep the memories going.