First Look: Four Seasons Heads to Napa Valley With Its First Wine Country Resort and Residences
Napa Valley is much more than it’s rolling hills, sprawling vineyards and charming towns—it’s also a destination brimming with world-class hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants helmed by renowned chefs. It might, then, come as a surprise that Four Seasons, a brand synonymous with the high level of luxury that exists in Napa Valley, has never planted roots in the area before now.
That changes on November 1, when the opening of Four Seasons Napa Valley Resort and Residences will introduce a new era of luxury to the region. The property is located on the northern side of the valley in the historic town of Calistoga, a relatively less-hectic area known for its wellness-focused natural features like mud baths, hot springs and beautiful hiking. Also something of a surprise: This is Napa’s first and only resort situated within a working winery, and the first Four Seasons hotel anywhere with an on-site winery.“What sets our resort apart is that it is embedded within a working winery and just steps away from the vineyard,” says Mehdi Eftekari, general manager of Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley. “(Guests) don’t have to drive far to get great Calistoga wine, but instead they can walk right from their rooms. Usually when you come to Napa you stay in a hotel but everything you do, you have to be in a car. Here it’s all encompassing.”
Napa Valley interior designer Erin Martin and hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates are responsible for the rustic-yet-elegant modern farmhouse-style interiors of the rooms and amenity spaces, crafted using natural woods, a neutral color palette, concrete floors and artful framing of the resort’s incredible surroundings. Mehdi notes that many of these design elements, like concrete floors and farmhouse design, aren’t found at any other properties within the Four Seasons portfolio—another way this new entry is setting itself apart.
The hotel has 85 rooms, suites and villas, including the crown jewel Estate Villa, a free-standing accommodation near the on-site vineyard with a private garden, swimming pool and outdoor lounge spaces. Every room will have stunning views over the vineyards or the property with the Palisades Mountains in the background.
The restaurant, Truss Restaurant + Bar Living Room, is led by Michelin-starred Executive Chef Erik Anderson, whose goal was to serve caviar at every meal—a feat which he has nailed. While he has yet to open to the fine dining portion of Truss, the menu at the casual Living Room offers an elevated, farm-to-table approach to modern cuisine, with Anderson’s signature playful twists. There is also open-air restaurant Campo Poolside, which will serve California-Mexican fare, and a show kitchen near Truss where the chefs will do cooking demos. For another no-car-needed dining option, you can also walk over to Elusa Winery’s Tasting Room, which does food pairings and holds a few reservation slots open to accommodate resort guests.
The resort celebrates Calistoga’s 150-year history as a wellness destination in its Spa Talisa, which offers mud baths and treatments using olive oil from the property’s century-old olive trees; some of the services can be enjoyed outdoors. There is also a fitness center with Technogym equipment, two outdoor swimming pools with vineyard views, a regulation bocce ball court and Kids for All Seasons programming in which kids can even, in season, help stomp grapes. The team can arrange other experiences that connect you with the area, too, like guided hikes and bike tours.
It’s the on-site winery, however, that truly sets this Four Seasons apart from both its neighboring hotels and others within the brand. Run by winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, Elusa Winery is a hand-farmed, small-lot facility that produces age-worthy wines from its 4.7-acre vineyard. This partnership with Elusa gets Four Seasons guests priority reservations at the winery and its restaurant, even last minute or during harvest season, when most wineries tours are sold out months in advance.
But even better, Mehdi notes, is that guests of the hotel can see every aspect of the winemaking process either from the comfort of their rooms or by getting involved. “Guests have a front-seat to the vineyard while the staff are managing the vineyard or during the harvest season,” he says. “You can watch the grapes being harvested, which is exciting for our guests. Some have asked to go in and help staff harvest the grapes, and we can make that possible.”
The wine experiences don’t stop there, though. “One of the advantages of being here over three years has allowed me and my executive team to get embedded with the Napa audience, the winery owners and the tasting rooms, and see and experience the very small boutique wineries that a typical person coming to Napa wouldn’t know about,” Mehdi explains. “And if they do know about them, reservations might be limited. We have been able to make arrangements to get our guests to (some of these wineries) to get a first-hand view, whether it’s in someone’s backyard of their home or their private tasting rooms.”
Four Seasons Napa Valley also has 20 two-to-four-bedroom farmhouse-style villa residences, which are currently sold out. Residents will have a dedicated Personal Residence Host who can organize wine tastings or excursions and also arrange for you to create a private label vintage with the resident winemaker, prepare dishes with the chef and—of course—properly store all the bottles you’ve bought in the valley. Rates start at $1,200 a night for a standard room; $2,500 a night for suites and $5,000 per night for the Estate Villa.