Napa, Calif., The Meritage Resort, Spa Terra

Jan 1, 2013
2013 / January 2013

Approaching The Meritage Resort and Spa for a crush-season getaway in the Napa Valley, we were a bit taken aback. While vineyards still laden with grapes lined the roadways taking us north from the San Francisco Bay toward Napa, as we neared our destination we entered a large office park complex … neat, modern, with wide boulevards lined with trees … but an office park, nonetheless. Pulling under the two-story entrance portico of the main building, a stone and stucco, Tuscan-inspired façade, our considerations of the mundane world outside retreated in the face of the warm welcome offered by the valet and the front desk staff.

The Meritage Resort opened in 2006 with 154 guestrooms and suites, debuting a $40 million expansion in the spring of 2012 with an additional 165 guestrooms. The resort boasts a broad range of amenities and 50,000 square feet of meeting space, including two grand ballrooms, boardrooms, all-weather outdoor reception space and salons, making it a popular destination with conference planners. Two large corporate conferences were in residence during our stay, but the property’s layout and spaciousness meant we were never troubled by crowded venues or noise. Dominating the site, however, are the eight acres of vines which stretch over the hillside backing to the resort’s guestrooms and expansive pool area. High atop the hill sits the iconic bronze The Grape Crusher statue, a tribute to all Napa Valley vineyard workers.

Our King Patio room on the second floor of the new wing provided all the creature comforts one could want. A large, flat-screen television sat atop a large dresser/console opposite the king-sized bed, while the spacious seating area offered another wall-mounted screen. Double doors opened into a lovely marble bath with a roomy glass-enclosed shower and an expansive double vanity; no fighting over counter space here! Our double closet offered a safe for valuables and laptops as well as two thick, cozy robes. In addition to chilled bottled water in the minibar refrigerator, we discovered a complimentary bottle of Trinitas Cellars Chardonnay — a lovely touch. Our patio, furnished with a comfortable chaise longue,  tables and arm chairs overlooking one of the resort’s piazzas, provided the perfect spot to enjoy the wine prior to dinner. For those whose stay at The Meritage requires an element of work, a large desk with convenient outlets, good lighting and high-speed Internet round out the in-room amenities, but our stay would be focused on rest and relaxation.

Following dinner at Siena, the resort restaurant offering a menu bursting with locally sourced products, we found our way to the pool area to relax and enjoy the warm night and starry skies next to one of three fire pits. Certainly one of our favorite aspects at The Meritage were the several outdoor living rooms or piazzas the property offers, some dominated by fireplaces and others by fountains. No matter the time of day or year, one can find a place in sun or shade on a comfortable sofa or armchair and curl up to enjoy a good book, conversation or the free WiFi.

Next morning I arose, eagerly looking forward to my visit to Spa Terra, the resort’s 9,000-square-foot spa and apparently the world’s only spa located completely underground. With a total of 12 treatment rooms (four exclusively for couples), the facility offers separate steam grottos and soaking pools for men and women, a relaxation room with a water wall, and beautiful custom tile work and Florentine-influenced appointments throughout. One enters through a large wood and wrought iron doorway, above which looms the vineyard planted in several varietals. It took 18 months to excavate and construct the “caves” which host not only the elegant spa but the Trinitas Cellars tasting room and The Meritage’s Estate Cave, a barrel-ceilinged entertainment space capable of accommodating 200 guests.

After checking in at the reception desk, I was escorted back to the dressing room; provided with a locker, slippers and robe; and informed that I was welcome to return to enjoy any of the spa’s facilities throughout the day. My explorations revealed separate comfortable, curtained changing and shower rooms and an expansive vanity space provided with all manner of toiletries and conveniences for an after-treatment clean-up. I slipped into the soaking pool (forgoing the steam grotto on a day that promised to near 100 degrees Fahrenheit) before meeting Trodi, my massage therapist, in the Relaxation Lounge.

Trodi quickly ascertained my sore spots, areas of tension and preferred amount of pressure before beginning my 50-minute Terra Massage. She expertly worked my perennially tight neck, shoulder and upper back muscles until all signs of daily hours on the computer and the previous day’s long car trip magically faded away. Eventually I made my way back to the dim lights and soothing atmosphere of the Relaxation Lounge. The sound of trickling water from the water wall helped to mask the somewhat obtrusive, constant low rumble of the ventilation system. Otherwise, the spa’s location deep in the earth seemed to buffer any outside auditory intrusions. It occurred to me that those who have a tendency to claustrophobia might have difficulty with this site, but for me it provided a refuge from the heat outside and an almost womb-like sense of being enveloped by Mother Earth.

Later, I met up with my husband to sample the wines in the subterranean Trinitas Cellars tasting room, followed by a brief climb to the vineyards which stretched over our heads. Too warm this day for a stroll among the rows of ripe grapes, we noted that perhaps another visit would allow us to follow the trails which circumnavigate the vines. Instead, we opted to spend the blistering afternoon ensconced in a draped and shaded poolside cabana, plunging into the cool waters on occasion and making use of attentive lounge-side beverage service.

That evening we took advantage of another welcome resort service as we hopped aboard the evening shuttle. It deposited us in downtown Napa to wander the shops and choose a dining spot from among a host of appealing options. Without having to worry about parking, finding our way back to the resort on unfamiliar streets or minimizing our wine with dinner, we were free to indulge and make the most of our location in the heart of wine country.

Whether one chooses to use The Meritage Resort as a home base for exploring the Napa Valley or to never stir beyond its lovely grounds and indulgent spa, a delightful and welcoming experience is assured.

Spa Terra at The Meritage Resort

875 Bordeaux Way
Napa, CA 94558
tel 707 251 3000
spaterra.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Sep 21, 2019

Movie Night at The Logan, Philadelphia

What’s better than an open-air movie night in the summer? A free one hosted just blocks away from fun nightlife, restaurants and swanky activities around every corner, maybe?

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

Feature
Sep 21, 2019

Southwest Adds 2020 Hawai’i Flights

Southwest Airlines is adding new flights to, from and within Hawai’i, beginning mid-January 2020. The airline will add a new daily service between Sacramento International Airport and Honolulu (HON), plus new non-stop flights between Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC) and both Kauai (LIH) and the Island of Hawai’i (KOA).

News
Sep 21, 2019

The Luxury Collection Welcomes Eighth Property in China

The Luxury Collection welcomes its eighth property in China with the opening of Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanning. The property is situated in the capital of the Guangxi Province, in a high-rise landmark building in the business district.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

Daily
Sep 21, 2019

New Luxury Residence Hotel Opens in Tribeca

AKA, the luxury hotel residence brand, opened its sixth property last month, AKA Tribeca —formerly the Smyth Hotel.

News
Sep 19, 2019

Best U.S. Cities for Oktoberfest Celebrations

WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Feature
Sep 19, 2019

Qantas Will Start Using a Dreamliner on Santiago–Sydney Route

Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.