the carneros inn, napa, california

posted by the scholar on July 16th, 2007
filed under: interiors & exteriors

the carneros inn is set up like a pseudo-planned, stepford-type community. think the subdivision on showtime’s meadowlands, combined with a little bit of wisteria lane. it felt a bit strange.


don’t let that stop you from staying here, though.


situated in the midst of expansive farmland in the carneros district, charming wood-sided one bedroom cottages dot the landscape, built in tight clusters, named after prominent families in the area. the grounds are quite lovely, with an apple orchard and mature swaths of abundant lavender and rosemary plants. there’s a “town hall” for meetings, gourmet grocery store, spa, fitness center and three restaurants, all contained within the property.


we walked into the lofty, rustic-chic registration building, surrounded by beautiful landscaping, and were impressed with tons of natural light, high ceilings,and a light white color scheme. off the room where you check in is a living room of sorts, with comfy leather seating, books, dvds and a great view of the vast acreage beyond the property.


we checked in and were told we had the larsen 4 room. apparently, it was the “model” room when the inn first opened 4 years ago. i was immediately put on red alert, and prepared myself for disappointment. if i’m paying out the nose for what is supposed to be a “five star” experience, don’t think you are going to thrill me by dangling a “jacuzzi tub” in front of my face.

fortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.


larsen 4 sits at the far end of it’s cluster, so it only had one neighbor, and then the farmlands on the other side. to get to it (and all the other cottages) you walk along a crushed limestone path landscaped with rustic metal fountains, lantana, crocosmia, hydrangeas and other gorgeous blooming plants and flowers.


our room was very stylish and comfortable: dark hardwood floors contrasted with a light yellow and white color palette. big king bed with triple sheeting and down comforter and pillows. substantial trim and moldings around the windows and doors. wi-fi access and ethernet card at the writing desk.



more luxuries: wall mounted flat panel tv, wet bar and a filled ice bucket. ceiling fan, fireplace and a gorgeous wall of double doors that open to a completely private wooden deck, outfitted with two lounge chairs and table for four with umbrella.


not too shabby.


the bathroom had a double marble vanity, fantastic natural light, a humongous mirror, with a separate toilet room, ceramic tile everywhere, a deep kohler tub and separate glass-walled double shower with two wall mounted heads, body spray bar and handheld. at the back of the shower area was another door to the deck, where an outdoor shower was waiting.



we came with friends who brought their two year old, and we did see several other families with kids, but despite this the place was really quiet. they have recently built a children’s pool that features a 18 inch deep wading area. very cute.

we encountered issues with parking on the weekend, with spaces in our cluster being filled with the cars of the people who were not overnight guests. there are no sidewalks to use so we had to walk on the streets, and negotiate around landscapers, construction trucks, staff on golf carts and other guests who were leaving the property by car, while all the new timeshare cottages are being built.

hopefully once the building ends, it will be an experience worthy of the top ratings is so strives to achieve. in the meantime, enjoy an indulgent, special escape from the mundane workday grind. we certainly did.


for more information and to reserve a room at the carneros inn, click here.

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6 Responses to “the carneros inn, napa, california”

  1. technabob Says:

    ah, wine country. makes me want to take a nap right about now.

  2. the scholar Says:

    yep, after drinking some of that fresh wine!

  3. Katie Says:

    Here’s the million dollar question: What paint colors & brands of paints did The Carneros Inn use to paint the cottages (the light green) and the homes (the red, blue, green) and the registration (orange) and restaurant (dark green)? If you can answer me this, I will be so impressed. I’ve been trying to find out for years!

  4. the scholar Says:

    hi katie,

    i think the best way to figure this out is to request floor plans for the individual cottages that are for sale on the property. since they want everything to look uniform, i would assume that the exteriors will al be painted in a similar fashion. did you try that yet?

    what i really want to know is what the heck will you do with all those paint colors? what is your project? 🙂

    thanks for the visit!

  5. Katie Says:

    painting my home in new jersey! want it to look like the carneros inn! best vacation of my life!

  6. the scholar Says:

    hi katie,

    that’s very cool! i hope that you are able to find colors similar to what they used… i think their choices were lovely. 🙂

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