The Gold Standard of Luxury in Napa Valley: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{Auberge du Soleil’s Chic “La Plage”}

A couple of weeks ago, Fabian and I spent our tenth wedding anniversary in one of our favorite places in the world, Napa Valley. If you’ve read La Dolce Vita for some time now, chances are, you know all about my love for Napa. As we were beginning to plan our trip a couple of months ago, I was contacted by the Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley’s first luxury hotel and resort, who is also celebrating an anniversary this year– their 30th year as the premier, most awarded hotel property in Napa. In honor of their 30th anniversary, the hotel’s maisons– or suites– have been completely redesigned by lauded San Francisco interior designer, Suzanne Tucker, who had a hand in designing the hotel in its first iteration in the 1980s when she worked for the iconic Michael Taylor. Suzanne has taken a fresh approach this time around, embracing the special light in the Napa Valley with warm, clean palettes and floor to ceiling steel windows to frame each maison’s special view of the Valley.

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{Perched in the hills above the Silverado Trail in Rutherford, Auberge du Soleil offers unparalleled, sweeping views of the Napa Valley.}

You can probably imagine how thrilled I was when Auberge du Soleil invited us to stay in one of their newly-unveiled maisons. The timing worked out perfectly with our anniversary. We usually make it a point to have lunch on the terrace at Auberge du Soleil when we are in Napa, so we were very excited to stay there and really experience the magic of the Auberge du Soleil that I had heard about for years from some very well traveled people.

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I am the first to admit that I am extremely blessed to have a unique career that allows me to do what I love and to travel to the extent that I do. As a result– and in part because I am a hotel snob– I’ve had the good fortune of staying in quite a few beautiful, well-regarded hotels. However, I was completely blown away by the level of service at Auberge du Soleil. Weeks before our stay, Yahell Peralta, the lead concierge, was in frequent contact with me. After getting a good understanding of our favorite wine varietals, favorite places, restaurants, and activities, she crafted a completely customized itinerary for our stay and made all of the reservations for us. This service is available to all Auberge du Soleil guests and certainly comes with perks. Because of its standing as the premier luxury property in Napa, guests are given access to wineries that don’t typically open to the public and are able to get reservations at highly sought after restaurants. Having everything taken care of for us was a huge relief and allowed us to focus solely on enjoying our trip.

From the moment we checked in, every staff member greeted us by name each time they saw us. Auberge du Soleil’s location, beautiful grounds, and stunning views are all part of its charm, but the staff is paramount in creating an experience unlike any other. The staff is incredibly thoughtful and accommodating without ever being imposing. Many luxury hotels can run the gamut from extremely formal and stuffy to having a very downtown, “too cool for school” aloofness. It is extremely difficult to replicate what Auberge du Soleil has achieved, which is what makes it so rare and special. Auberge du Soleil is a singular, beautiful property with sumptuous, comfortable accommodations and a top-notch staff, yet it maintains an effortless ease. The overall vibe is relaxed, welcoming, and distinctly Californian.  As a guest, you feel completely at home.

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{Each distinctive maison is luxuriously appointed and maximizes Napa Valley’s unique and singular light.}

We stayed in one of the Maisons that was recently redesigned by Suzanne Tucker. Our Maison, Mougins 3, was very spacious with a huge living room, a separate powder bathroom, master suite, and a large terrace with beautiful views of the valley. I was so inspired while staying here. Suzanne Tucker is one of the greatest interior designers working today and her level of expertise and passion for her work was evident in every detail. Our Maison was beautifully appointed and was so comfortable. The space planning made perfect sense and we had everything we could possibly want or need. No detail was spared and the quality of the furnishings was top notch.

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{A View of our Living Room Looking Towards the Fireplace and TV}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{Looking Toward’s the Entrance of the Maison}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{We were greeted with a beautiful charcuterie plate, a sweet little “Happy Anniversary” bundt cake, fresh fruit, and a bottle of wine. Each room at Auberge du Soleil also comes with a fully stocked, complimentary mini bar.}
LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{The Maisons at Auberge du Soleil feature warm palettes and beautiful fabrics by Suzanne Tucker.}

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{The entire Maison featured chic, light wood finishes like cerused and limed oak. I am obsessed with the decor of our beautiful powder bath. It is perfectly neutral, but features so many incredible textures including the wood paneled walls.}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{Our bed and bedding were extremely comfortable. You can’t tell in this photo of the chic bed, but the bedroom also has a soaring, beamed ceiling like the living room. It created such a nice, airy effect.}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{The master bathroom was simply divine. We each had our own vanity.}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{The master bathroom also features a sculptural Waterworks tub and a stylish vanity complete with a Frances Elkins Loop Chair.}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{My favorite thing about the bathroom was the shower with a skylight which makes it feel as if you are showering outdoors. The water pressure was also fantastic. One of my pet peeves about hotels is bad lighting. So often, the lighting in bathrooms, even at luxury hotels, is so dim and poorly placed that it makes getting ready in the morning a chore. Naturally, Auberge du Soleil gets the lighting right, too. It is beautiful and perfectly placed. As a couple of lighting aficionados, Fabian and I really appreciated this!}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{Our Fabulous Terrace}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{The View from one Side of our Terrace}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{This is the View from Our Front Door in the Perfect, Early evening Light}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{Our Wonderful Home Away from Home in Napa: Mougins 3 at Auberge du Soleil}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{The grounds at Auberge du Soleil are beautiful and are meticulously maintained. La Plage, the pool area, is particularly beautiful.}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{Striped Lounges and Terracotta Pots are Ultra-Chic}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

{So beautiful!}

LDV in Napa: Our Stay at Auberge du Soleil | Luxury Travel | Napa Valley | California

Effortless luxury is the foundation of the DNA at Auberge du Soleil. We honestly did not want to leave at the end of our stay and I worry that no other hotel will ever compare! It is truly heaven on earth. Our tenth wedding anniversary was so special, thanks to the Auberge. The staff made us feel like royalty and there were so many wonderful touches from the fleet of Mercedes Benz E350 convertibles available to guests, perfect wine pairings at the phenomenal Michelin-starred restaurant (more on that soon), and our relaxing treatments at their fabulous spa with the most amazing views. Auberge du Soleil is certainly a splurge, but it is among the finest, highest ranked hotel properties in the world and is absolutely worth it. If you have a special celebration coming up or want to treat yourself to an effortlessly luxurious experience in Napa Valley, the Auberge du Soleil is an absolute must.

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In honor of another anniversary– La Dolce Vita’s 8th since I started the blog in 2007, Auberge du Soleil is offering a very special treat to LDV readers! 

Enjoy a $250 resort credit to enjoy during your stay at Auberge du Soleil in August or September of this year. The credit is applicable towards dining, spa treatments, merchandise at the boutique, or anything at this incredible property. 

Offer is valid for stays of two nights or more, Sundays through Thursdays in August and September 2015. Holiday weekend excluded. Valid for NEW reservations only. To book, guests should call (800) 348-5406 and use booking code PALOMA when making their reservation. 

Be sure to come back tomorrow, when I will share all of my top recommendations for wineries and restaurants on this trip!

 

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{All Photography by Paloma Contreras for La Dolce Vita}

Jet Set: Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley

Auberge du Soleil Day

Next week, Fabian and I will be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe that ten years have already flown by! I couldn’t be more grateful for the most amazing husband, friend, and partner. He truly makes my life complete.

If you’ve read La Dolce Vita for a while now, then chances are, you know that Napa Valley is our happy place. We decided that it would be wonderful to celebrate our special milestone anniversary there. It just so happens that Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley’s first luxury hotel and resort is also celebrating an anniversary this year– their 30th year as the premier, most awarded hotel property in Napa.

auberge maison

In honor of their 30th anniversary, the hotel’s maisons– or suites– have been completely redesigned by lauded San Francisco interior designer, Suzanne Tucker, who had a hand in designing the hotel in its first iteration in the 1980s when she worked for the iconic Michael Taylor. Suzanne has taken a fresh approach this time around, embracing the special light in the Napa Valley with warm, clean palettes and floor to ceiling steel windows to frame each maison’s special view of the Valley. Each distinctive maison is luxuriously appointed and maximizes Napa Valley’s unique and singular light.

auberge biarritz

“We’ve re-envisioned the lifestyle at Auberge du Soleil and infused it with a lightness of spirit that is very fresh, young and very sexy,” said George Goeggel, Managing Partner, Auberge du Soleil. “With private terraces, custom-designed beds and more than a little glamour, our new rooms are a seductive retreat within a retreat.”

auberge garden room

Suzanne Tucker says, “my updated design retains the spirit of the Auberge’s hillside allure, the private, romantic ambience and brings the interiors forward with a more contemporary approach. We are after timeless qualities here, and this thoughtful approach has felt very natural and organic, just as the Auberge and its surroundings are.”

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 {The Courtyard at the Auberge du Soleil’s Extraordinary Spa}

You can probably imagine how thrilled I was when Auberge du Soleil invited us to stay in one of their newly-unveiled maisons. The timing worked out perfectly with our upcoming anniversary. We usually make it a point to have lunch on the terrace at Auberge du Soleil when we are in Napa, so we are very excited to stay there and experience everything this legendary property has to offer. 

auberge restaurant terrace{The Terrace at the Auberge du Soleil’s Michelin-Starred Restaurant Offers Sweeping Views of Napa Valley}

Perched on the hillside above the Silverado Trail in Rutherford, the Auberge du Soleil offers unparalleled views of the Napa Valley. I always recommend that friends traveling to Napa have lunch on the terrace to enjoy the delicious food Chef Robert Curry creates, reflecting the natural diversity and rich ingredients of Napa Valley and of course, to take in the spectacular views.

auberge hillside

We haven’t even arrived yet, and I already know that our stay will be nothing short of fabulous. Auberge du Soleil prides itself on its personal service, taking into account the preferences and desires of its guests prior to and during their stay. Their incredible concierge has unparalleled knowledge of and access to the best that Napa Valley has to offer. I am usually in charge of the planning for all of our trips (I am a type A control freak), so it has been an incredibly nice luxury to have the Auberge du Soleil take the reigns and craft a personalized itinerary for us. They made suggestions and reservations for us based on our favorite wine varietals, regions of the Valley, and restaurants. The concierge at Auberge du Soleil also has access to a lot of private wineries that are not usually open to the public, so we will be checking out some wonderful wineries that are new to us on this trip.

auberge day pool

It is such a nice luxury to know that all we have to do is show up and enjoy, especially after the difficult past few weeks we’ve had at home with our sweet Tate. He will be at his neurosurgeon’s for medical boarding while we are away, so he will have the most capable care. Hopefully, we will be able to recharge from what has been an incredibly taxing time and enjoy our anniversary and the beautiful experience that awaits us. We will be heading to Napa next Tuesday and I will be sure to share images from our trip on Instagram while we’re there. I will also share a recap here on LDV when we return, so stay tuned!

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Hotel Urso: A Chic New Hotel in Madrid

hotel urso facade

If you have been reading La Dolce Vita for a while now, chances are, you know how special Spain is to me. I am completely enamored with everything about my ancestral country– the culture, language, people, art, history, architecture, music, design– I could go on and on. I have been fortunate to visit Barcelona along with Madrid and several towns in the Castilla y Leon region such as Salamanca, Avila, and Segovia a few different times. The other day, Fabian and I were talking about the places we would like to go on vacation and where our work will likely take us in 2015. We would love to go back to Italy, but I would especially love to visit Madrid again for work. I always feel completely enchanted and inspired when I am in Spain. Design inspiration abounds everywhere you turn from the elegant boulevards and palaces to tile work and architectural details. Not to mention, many of my favorite interior designers hail from Spain.

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{The Chic Lobby at the Hotel Urso}

Of course, Madrid has plenty of beautiful hotels including the recently opened Hotel Urso. Housed in an elegant palacio, or residential palace from the early 19th century between the Chamberi and Chueca neighborhoods, the hotel’s design pays tribute to the building’s neoclassical roots while providing all the earthly comforts experienced travelers have come to expect in luxury accommodations. Designed by Pablo Obrador, the accomplished Spanish designer behind such projects as the stunning Cap Rocat in Mallorca, the mission for the building was to restore as many of its beautiful original details as possible. Artisans and craftsmen were brought in to restore the building’s facade, ironwork, and plaster details. In addition, you’ll notice the use of gorgeous Chinoiserie wallpaper panels used in several spaces throughout the hotel. It is a reproduction of an original paper found in a neighboring palace. The hotel also features a full service spa and The Table– an innovative dining concept with rotating pop-up restaurants housed at the Hotel Urso throughout the year.

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{Pretty Details}

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 {The hotel’s dining room features a vertical garden. The wallpaper and lush greenery give it such an airy feel in combination with the glass ceiling. It’s worth a visit to the Hotel Urso’s website to see this particular photo in a larger size. This room is so lovely!}

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{A Close-Up of the Stunning Chinoiserie Panels}

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{The guest rooms are well-appointed in neutral palettes.}

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{Sitting Area in a Guest Room}

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{A Suite’s Sunny Terrace}

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{Original Details can be Found throughout the Property}

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{Beautiful Plasterwork Inlaid with Azulejos, or Hand-Painted Blue and White Tiles}

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{The Charming Hotel Urso}

I would love to go back to Madrid in 2015 and experience the city through my perspective as an interior designer as opposed to just seeing it as a tourist. Where would you like to travel in the new year?

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