Napa Valley, an idyllic swath of undulating hills and verdant fields in Northern California, has attracted global travelers for decades. First, as a renowned capital for wine lovers. Then rapidly over the last twenty years, given the rise of Silicon Valley and resulting deluge of disposable income, Napa quickly evolved into a culinary and luxury tourism hotspot. Now in the 21st century, with the thankful increase in environmental advocacy, broadened implementation of many sustainable and eco-friendly practices has occurred throughout the region. It is from these fertile roots and shifting economic and environmental trends that the incomparable Bardessono Hotel & Spa was founded.
Having opened in 2009, Bardessono Hotel & Spa burst onto the Napa scene with well-deserved fanfare from both encouraged environmentalists and savvy world travelers. Being designed from the ground-up as a luxury, eco-friendly hotel had its advantages, and the attention to detail can be seen immediately upon entering the grounds. The resort is a masterpiece of salvaged wood, local Tufa stone, rustic reclaimed metalwork, and stunning landscaping. Each building on the property is designed to blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, and thoughtfully placed fountains and gardens throughout the resort create a serene tranquility in every courtyard and gathering space.
Inside each suite (Bardessono is a suite-only hotel), no expense was spared, no guest need was overlooked. Organic linens and fabrics are used throughout. Every room has a dedicated outdoor space, fireplace, in-room massage table, and whirlpool jacuzzi. Craft sodas and artisan snacks are included too. And the beds must be made of clouds, they are so comfortable and sumptuous. <Editors note: Ok, we know, they aren’t made of clouds. Must be magic dust then.>
Take a leisurely stroll through the grounds at night, after another perfect day touring the surrounding Napa countryside, and you will be hard-pressed to think of a more romantic setting, what with the glowing tea-lights, comfy lounge chairs, and sparkling reflection pools. And when you wake up the next morning and step out onto your private patio to stretch your legs, you are treated to fog-filled hillside vistas and the sounds of hot-air balloons rising directly overhead.
Bardessono seems to get everything else right, too. Every arriving guest is given a complimentary glass of wine before being escorted personally to their suite by a resort concierge. All guests are given free access to bicycles, a fantastic way to tour the Napa countryside. Bardessono also has a unique partnership with Lexus and maintains a fleet of vehicles for guest usage. The onsite spa is an award-winning oasis of zen, offering bespoke service and personalized care using ultra-luxurious products. Or better yet, take advantage of the in-suite massage facilities, and relax your cares away in the comfort of your own room.
And no stay at Bardessono is complete without dining at their world-class farm-to-table restaurant “Lucy”, named after the matriarch of the founding Bardessono family. Divine dishes and to-die-for desserts are prepared fresh daily by Executive Chef Nate Lindsay and his polished kitchen team, using locally sourced ingredients and anything that is in season from Lucy’s onsite organic garden (Tip: try the fried lentils, they are simply divine). Guests who are lucky enough to secure dinner at the chef’s table are in for a real treat – private outdoor seating right in the middle of the garden, with personal attention throughout the meal by Chef Lindsay himself. Lucy Restaurant also serves amazing breakfast, though it’s hard to overlook the complimentary pastries from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery made available to each guest every morning.
So, Bardessono stands among the most elite Napa resorts based on style, sophistication, and quality alone. But it is the dedication to sustainability and environmental stewardship that truly sets it apart. One of only two LEED platinum certified hotels in the United States, the list of environmental initiatives undertaken by Bardessono is vast, including:
- Reduce & Reuse: repurposed stone, wood, fabrics, and cleaning supplies are used throughout the property
- Heating & Cooling: Underground geothermal is used for heating and cooling, and heat-saving materials and glass were used for building construction
- Low Water Usage: Low water fixtures are installed, drought-resistant landscaping is utilized, and efficient irrigation and usage of grey water for all watering needs
- Energy Conservation: roof-based solar power, and motion sensors in each room to reduce energy needs
- Indoor Air Quality: All glues, adhesives, finishes, paints, carpets and fabrics are environmentally friendly, and interior fabrics and carpet are green certified
Ok…so if we are beginning to sound like we are fawning, it’s because we are. Bardessono is the blueprint for what eco-luxury can and should be. Gone are the days of having to sacrifice comfort and class for sustainability and saving the planet. No longer must high quality mean high impact to the environment. In this age of technological progress and ecological awareness, beautiful design and nature’s beauty can co-exist. It seems nowadays you can have your organic cake, and eat it too. Just make sure you leave room for those breakfast pastries.