Family-Friendly Wineries in Napa Valley

July 21st, 2015

A winery is usually not the most exciting place for kids, but if you happen to visit one of the family-friendly wineries in Napa Valley, it can be a great experience for everyone. There are many wineries here that have made adjustments to accommodate families. They even have all day activities that will get your kids equally excited to check out the vineyards and wines with you.

There are some wineries that are more family-friendly than others. Regardless of the age of your children, these are some that you may want to check out first:

  • Castello Di Amorosa – This full-size castle fortress features everything your kids need to feel excited (except the dragons maybe). Outside, there are animals to see, guided tours, and the tasting room features knight’s armor the kids can explore.
  • Long Meadow Ranch – Get a country-like tour on a 4×4 vehicle and see the mountains, scenic views and even wine caves. The tasting room has a Petanque court and restaurant with some of the best burgers in Napa Valley.
  • Hunnicutt – As a family-owned establishment, the owners understand how more families are visiting Napa Valley with their kids. That is why they have outdoor tasting rooms and plenty of space for the young ones to play.
  • Sterling Vineyards – Feel like a kid yourself at this space station-esque vineyard. Here you get to take a ride 300 feet above the valley and enjoy a glass of wine right when you get off the gondola.

Book Your Stay at a Family-Friendly Hotel

Napa Valley Hotel and Suites is a family-friendly boutique hotel that can accommodate guests of all ages. We are within walking distance of the great downtown attractions and restaurants too, so you can get the most out of your next family trip to Napa Valley.

Book your stay this summer with Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Call us at 707-226-1871 or make your reservations online.

Robert Mondavi Winery Concert Series

July 20th, 2015

Robert Mondavi Winery Concert Series

The Robert Mondavi Winery Concert Series isn’t the new kid on the block. The 2015 series will be the 46th to take place in the Napa Valley, and it has evolved into something people of all ages have grown to love and enjoy. Fans from throughout the valley anticipate the summer line-up and clamor to buy tickets as early as April each year. This year was no different.

Exploring the Series

The series started on the 4th of July weekend with not only a concert but a fireworks show as well. The next concert will be held on July 18th, with additional performances on July 25th and August 1st.

At this coming weekend’s show, you can expect to be lulled by Grammy Award winner Lyle Lovett. Lovett is well-known for his distinct blends of country, folk, swing, gospel, jazz, and blues music.

On July 25th, fans will be thrilled to be entertained by the ever-popular Melissa Etheridge. She’ll perform not only some of her old favorites, but some of her newest pieces from her own album and a collaboration.

At the August 1st event, the last in the series, fans can expect nothing but the best from the hip-hop band known as Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. The lively funk, rock, and jazz band will make concert-goers feel a though they’ve traveled to New Orleans.

What You Need to Know

When the concert series first started, tickets were a mere $5, but times have changed. Tickets can be purchased on EventBright and vary in price depending on the performance you’d like to attend. Tickets to see Lyle Lovett or Melissa Etheridge, for example, range from $85 to $215. Tickets to see Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are just slightly lower, ranging from $70 to $200.

The upside? Proceeds from ticket sales are donated directly to different Napa Valley music programs. Different charitable organizations have received more than $2 million in donations since the start of the program.

All performances are held at the Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville, Napa Valley. The doors open at 5pm concerts begin at 7pm.

You still have time to get tickets for the upcoming concert events. Be sure to talk to your Napa hotel concierge if you need help figuring out how to get there from your current lodging. You’ll be glad you chose one of these concerts as part of your summer itinerary!

FAQs for First Time Visitors to Napa Valley

July 13th, 2015

There is so much more to Napa Valley than wineries. As a first time visitor, you are most likely going to have a question (or more) about what there is to see. To help you get the most out of your first experience to wine country, here are some of the more common questions and answers about the hottest vacation spot in the country:

  • When is the best time to visit? Summer is the time for crowds. If you want a more exclusive experience, spring time is always favorable. One of the best times, however, is the fall (September to October). The weather is perfect and you will come right around “crush” time, which means grapes are being harvested and the wineries are in full swing.
  • Where should I stay? While you could stay in surrounding areas like Calistoga or Rutherford, the best place to stay is in downtown Napa. This cool, trendy spot puts you within walking distance to local attractions, eateries and wineries. Plus, downtown hotels offer exciting packages to help you get the most out of your stay.
  • What are the best wineries? All wineries in Napa Valley are wonderful but you do not want to visit along with a crowd of other tourists. Instead, stick to some of the lesser traveled, like Beringer Vineyards, Domaine Chandon or Castello di Amorosa (if traveling with kids). Also, do not forget to visit Cakebread, Frog’s Leap (family-friendly) and Frank Family wineries.
  • Where is the best place to eat? Just about anywhere downtown, you will find amazing cuisine presented by award-winning chefs. Some great places to try include The French Laundry, Mustards Grill, Bouchon Bistro, and Hog Island Oyster Bar.
  • Is the wine train worth it? Absolutely! It is a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of Napa Valley while sipping fine wine and making the most of gourmet food.

Stay in Downtown Napa

Napa Valley Hotel and Suites offers you the perfect downtown stay. We are just two blocks from the local restaurants and attractions. We also offer packages that include a trip on the Wine Train so you can explore the valley in a memorable way.

Book your stay this year with Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Give us a call at 707-226-1871.

Don’t Miss Festival del Sole this Summer

July 5th, 2015

Festival del Sole is almost here. Exhibiting some of the best things that Napa Valley has to offer at a single event, you can literally get a full taste of wine country. This year, the festival runs from July 15th to 26th and each day is packed full of fun activities.

Just some of what you can expect to find at this year’s Festival del Sole includes:

  • Award Winning Artists – There will be hundreds of the best performers from around the globe at Festival del Sole. Enjoy performances by Christopher Acquavella, Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, Ryan Belongie, the Children’s Choir of St. Martin de Porres and Frances Chung.
  • Festival Gala – The annual Festival Gala features Kevin Spacey in concert this year. As the biggest evening of music and glamour, you will get to see a sun-dappled reception area, distinguished wines and of course, Kevin Spacey on stage.
  • Taste of Napa – Here you will get to try the wide array of foods and wines during the festival’s signature event. There will be over 70 wineries, food artisans, local chefs and restaurants to present you with their best fare.

Book Your Stay in Time for the Festival Today

Festival del Sole brings visitors to Napa Valley from around the country. By booking early, you can get a room downtown within walking distance to the local attractions and the festival. Napa Valley Hotel and Suites has comfortable accommodations you can relax in after your day of enjoyment.

Call 707-226-1871 to reserve your room or book your stay online with Napa Valley Hotel and Suites.

Napa City Nights Summer Concert Series

June 30th, 2015

Napa City Nights Summer Concert Series

The weather may have gotten warmer but you never really feel quite as though summer is really here until the fantastic Napa City Nights Summer Concert Series begins. The summer concert series officially begin in 2008, created by a group of musicians and music lovers with a dream of bringing local music to the community. The result? A growing festival that brings sweet sounds to the streets of downtown Napa on Friday nights throughout the entire summer.

When and Where

Napa City Nights is held every Friday night throughout the summer, from 6pm until 10pm. The music events are held in the Veterans Memorial Park Amphitheater at the corner of Third and Main Street. It’s a free, family-friendly event within walking distance of many of the area’s hottest wine bars, restaurants, and attractions – a move that encourages attendees to explore the community before and after the concerts each week.

Please note, there is no shows on Friday, June 19th or Friday, July 3rd.

What’s the Calendar Look Like?

Every week there are at least two or three performers on the calendar. For the kickoff on June 5th we saw The Pat Jordan Band, Flanelhed, and Johnny Smith. Future artists include The Bad Jones, Twice as Good, The Deadlies Sara Rodenburg, Amber Snider Band, Skunk Funk, Graveyard boots, Dawn Rose, and dozens of others. Click here to see the full calendar lineup.

Want to Get Involved?

While it’s too late for you to get involved as a performer for this year, be sure to keep an eye out for Press Kit dates for the Summer 2016 season. The Napa City Nights group usually accept press kits between January and March and then makes selections by the end of April.

Want to sponsor the series or make a donation? Contributions of any amount are welcome, but there are of course special recognitions given to corporate sponsors at different sponsorship levels.

But seriously – visiting the areas, staying in a great Napa hotel, and looking for something to do? Plan your trip around a Napa City Nights weekend and you’ll be guaranteed at least one night of great music and community. Enjoy!

Napa Valley Accommodations for the Business Traveler

June 29th, 2015

It is not just tourists and those on vacation that visit Napa Valley. In fact, hundreds of business professionals come in for meetings and corporate events right here in wine country.

Whether you are here by yourself or you want to plan a corporate event, Napa has plenty to offer a business traveler.

Just some of the things you can do while you are here for your business-related trip include:

  • Attending a Group Wine Tour – If you are traveling with other business contacts or your entire team is out in Napa Valley, try a group winery tour. The Napa Valley Wine Trolley or Pure Luxury Wine Tours are designed for corporate events.
  • Do Business over 18 Holes – Napa Valley has some of the most prestigious golf courses in the country. Whether you want to golf alone or do business over a game, a few courses that are sure to impress include the Chardonnay Golf Club, Silverado Resort, and Eagle Vines Golf Club.
  • Visit a Day Spa - Take a break from the meetings and work and squeeze in a little “TLC” time for yourself. Visit the Calistoga Spa Hot Springs for a relaxing soak or get an invigorating body treatment at Spa Solage.

Napa Valley Hotel and Suites Caters to Business Travelers Too

Napa Valley Hotel and Suites can make your business travel very comfortable. We offer high-speed Internet access so you can conduct business while away, two-line phone systems, large work spaces and relaxing accommodations. If you are traveling as a group, host your meeting right here in our hotel by booking our comfortable conference rooms.

Book your next business trip with Napa Valley Hotel and Suites online today.

Concerto di Castello

June 26th, 2015

“Concerto di Castello”, hosted by Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga is coming on July 18.

Here are the details for the event:

Event Name Concerto di Castello
Produced By World Projects
Hosted By Castello di Amorosa
Event Date / Time Saturday, July 18, 6:45-10pm
Location Castello di Amorosa
4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA
Tickets $59 for Members, $79 for Guests
Click Here for Tickets

*Must be over 21 to attend

*Reservations Required

Event Description:

“Join us at the Castel di Amorosa for an evening of wine and music as we welcome three internationally acclaimed orchestras from around the world in our acoustically-inspired courtyard.

Enjoy a welcome wine reception and sample a selection of Italian cheeses and charcuterie to pair with our current release wines in our underground vaulted Tasting Room before making your way up to our courtyard to enjoy a beautiful summer evening with performances from three world-renowned orchestras at the Castello.

  • New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia from Alberta, Canada, conducted by Raymond Baril
  • University of Saskatchewan Wind Orchestra from Saskatchewan, Canada, conducted by Dr. Darrin Oehlerking
  • Landesblasorchester Baden-Württemberg from Germany, conducted by Björn Bus”

Napa Valley’s Best Champagne and Sparkling Wine

June 22nd, 2015

Sparkling wine and champagne offer up an instant celebration, even if you are just celebrating the fact that you are on vacation! From the sound of the cork popping to the tinkling noise it makes as it flows through the flute, how could you not enjoy a glass of champagne or sparkling wine while in Napa Valley?

There are plenty of wineries that cater to those who like the bubbles; but for the best experience, visit these wineries first:

  • Domaine Chandon: You could easily spend an entire afternoon here. With their park-like setting, art gallery, tasting room and restaurant, you may never want to leave. Taste the sparkling wines and champagnes while on the outdoor terrace or book a table for a private tasting experience.
  • Mumm Napa: Located on Silverado Trail, there are indoor and outdoor tasting rooms with breathtaking vineyard views. You can check out the fine art gallery inside and taste sparkling wines that have been made from only the best grapes.
  • Domaine Carneros: This French chateau features Taittinger’s California sparkling wine. Enjoy a service on the patio with vineyard views and pair your sparkling wines with caviar or cheese.
  • Schramsberg: As one of the oldest wine caves in the area, this distinctive winery offers tastings by appointment only. The wines are stored in caves, making for an exciting, fun tour.

Stay in the Heart of Sparkling Wine Country

Enjoy the bubbly and come back for a relaxing stay at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. To get the most out of your trip, book a wine tour with your room.

Book your stay at our boutique hotel. Call us now at 707-226-1871 to make your reservation.

ZOOMA Napa Valley

June 19th, 2015

ZOOMA Napa Valley

This one is for the ladies! Break in those running shoes and get ready for an adventure. ZOOMA Napa Valley will be held on Saturday, June 20th, and this is one half marathon and 10K adventure no seasoned female runner – or female runner new to the distance – will want to miss.

What You Need to Know

ZOOMA Napa Valley offers an incredible course that starts and finishes near the Napa Valley Mariott Hotel and Spa. It features a mostly-flat terrain with some breathtaking views of the mountains that make up our famous valley. The courses are out and back and the half marathon course will feature a series of pacers for intervals ranging in ten minute increments from 1:40 through 2:50. There will be water and sports drink stations throughout the course as well as at the finish line. Finishers receive medals as well.

The event actually begins on Thursday, June 18th with the opening of packet pickup at Athleta Emeryville from 3pm until 7pm.

On Friday, June 19th, you can head over to the Fitness Expo at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa for additional packet pick-up and a fun Fitness Expo.  The Fitness Expo runs from 2pm through 8pm and also features a course preview, ZOOMA Q&A session, and a Mocktail party.

Of course, the real fun happens on Saturday the 20th. Shuttles start leaving the Marriott to take participants to the starting line at 5:30am. The races start at 7:00am, and shuttles start taking people to the after party as early as 7:30am.  The after-party and expo run until 12 noon, during which there will be a 10K awards ceremony (at 9am) and a half marathon awards ceremony (at 10am). There will also be hourly recovery yoga sessions at 9, 10, and 11am.

Please note, there is no parking at the starting point for the 10K and half-marathon. All participants will have to go to the Marriott to catch a shuttle. Runners can be dropped off at the starting point, but there will be no parking for their rides to stay in the area.

The Swag! The Perks!

We know you want to know about the swag and the perks. All runners will receive a ZOOMA Signature Swag Bag at packet pickup. They include a women’s fit technical tee, Feetures! Performance socks, a journal, and a reusable bag.  All finishers will receive medals, and the half marathon medals will have a removable charm that can be put onto a necklace or bracelet as well.

Ladies, are you ready for a good time? Registration caps at 1,500, so make sure you register online if you haven’t done so already. Don’t want to run but want to volunteer, check out the website for volunteer information as well. Not sure how to get there from your Napa hotel? Ask your concierge for help getting to the starting line or the expo. This is one amazing June event no runner will want to miss.

Father’s Day Gifts for Wine Lovers

June 16th, 2015

Father’s Day Gifts for Wine Lovers

While a lot of people like wine, some people are really, really into the science behind wine making, the beauty of the vineyards, and the history behind the distinct culture. If your dad is one of the latter, you’re going to want to find something special for Father’s Day – something that resonates with his love of fine wines and maybe hints at a little bit of adventure. Here are a few ideas we hope will get you started.

Wine Train Package

For an awesome weekend away, treat your Dad (and Mom, too), to one of our incredible Napa Valley Wine Train packages. The packages rage from two to four nights and include a queen sized room with a three-course gourmet dinner for two on the wine train’s incredibly relaxing three-hour ride through St. Helena and Napa.

Balloons Above the Valley

This is another incredible spring/summer package we offer, also two or four nights. This package includes a queen size room, a balloon ride for two over the valley, and a complimentary breakfast at the Napa General Store Café. Your Dad will love, with either package, the opportunity to get a unique view of the valley between jaunts out to local wineries.

Wine Club Subscriptions

Maybe traveling isn’t in the cards. That’s OK. Bring the wine to Dad with a subscription to a monthly wine club. There are tons out there, ranging from Club W to Wine of the Month Club. No matter which you choose, just make sure the regulations in your state allow for membership as some areas don’t allow for the home delivery of alcoholic beverages. Prices generally range from $39 up depending on the type of package you choose.


Does your dad have his own wine cellar or bar? If so, he’ll love some classy stemware. Williams-Sonoma has several stemware collections including cabernet glasses, tumblers, and decanters. He’ll be able to proudly display his glassware while serving his friends in style.

For a more unique approach, check out sites like Uncommon Goods, where you’ll find twisted decanters, vintages wine boxes, aerating tools, and some really cool major scale musical wine glasses.

It doesn’t matter how much you spend on Dad this Father’s Day. It’s the thoughtfulness behind the gift – something he really loves and enjoys – that counts. Think outside the box and you’re bound to find something that will appeal to your dad’s love of wine and culture.