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Hotel Review: The New Bardessono Hotel in the Napa Valley

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“I’m staying at this fabulous hotel,” I overhear a woman tell a Napa Valley local. “Yet I can’t pronounce the name.” “That’s okay,” the Napa-based friend replies. “I can’t pronounce it either. But I hear it is fabulous.”

The hotel in question is the just-opened Bardessona in the quaint Napa town of Yountville, reflecting the new style of luxury hotels, a style that is all about relaxation and sophistication. I first read about it in Wine Spectator, and made a last-moment booking when flying in for the Napa Valley Wine Auction. Now, just a day into my stay, I must say I am impressed. Visitors who enjoy walking-distance access to the restaurants of Yountville, including Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, will find its location desirable.

Maybe it’s just this weekend, but the staff to guest ratio seems very high – a small army of attractive and enthusiastic greeters (receptionists? managers?) appear as soon as a car sweeps into the driveway. Guests are brought to a small lounge where the receptionist checks them in, and then they are escorted them to their room. The structure of the Bardessono has a very indoor/outdoor feel, with rooms spread through small blonde wood buildings that blend in with the environment.

Our room is large and airy, with a gorgeous floor-to-ceiling view of sky and mountains beyond the terrace. This terrace is so inviting that as soon as we see it we order room service for dining al fresco instead of going out for lunch. Guests who enjoy sunbathing have the option of lying out on the two terrace lounge chairs or visiting the pool. The wall-sized window leading out to the deck makes the room seem much larger, and provides an indoor-outdoor living experience.

Inside, you will find a comfortable bed, sofa, and sleek deskette (a mini-desk) with a docking station containing everything you will need for your computer: video outlets, etc. Other highlights include a large flat-screen high-definition television set and a “fireplace” on a bed of marbles that turns on with the flick of a button.

The bathroom is where Bardessono really shines. Its highlight is an enormous bathtub, big enough for three, which overlooks more sky and mountains. Exhibitionists can leave the window shade open, or lower the automatic shade with a touch of a button – one of Bardessona’s many cool high-tech features. Couples or friends who fight over what is, or what is not, left near the bathroom sink, can relax – the bathroom features two sinks across the room from one another. Yes, the bathroom is that large. It is also large enough that you can have your spa treatment in the room if you desire. In addition to the tub, shower fans will find a spacious shower stall. I have heard some rooms have an outdoor shower.

Now (early June) the weather happens to be fantastic. Yet I have been to Napa many times when it is constantly raining. Either way, this hotel is a great bet. When it rains, enjoy a spa treatment in your room, turn on the fireplace, order room service, and catch a film on television. When it is sunny, lie out on the deck and enjoy an al fresco lunch. The Bardessono is a welcome addition to the Napa Valley hotel scene.

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