I always enjoy and appreciate a place of business where they know your name. We’re a strange sort, we human beings, and for thousands of years have had an innate need to belong. What better example of belonging than a place of business ‘where everybody knows your name’.
If you spent any time in front of the television on a Thursday night from 1982-1993 you most likely watched and laughed to the comedic genius of Cheers, the sitcom from which this week’s blog draws inspiration. If indeed we all seek inclusion, what could be more enjoyable than inclusion with a group down at the local watering hole? Granted, there are certainly far loftier avenues and places for inclusion, but perhaps this one resonates with more people than most. It harkens back to days of easier times in college – chug-a-lug contests, tailgate parties and the favorite drinking establishment where loyalty was rewarded and they absolutely knew your name. Today it seems knowing a customer’s name is a thing of the past. Replaced by the painfully ubiquitous “can I help you” as the store employee fails to make eye contact, shake your hand or even gesture in your direction. It pleases me to share with you a special place that aligns much more closely to Cheers and far from failed eye contact: The Harvest Inn of Napa Valley. I highly encourage you to put this on the agenda for your next wine country visit.
With the rapid growth of Napa proper there are an increasing numbers of hotels, inns, B&Bs and rentals vying for your dollar. Many are great, some are “so so” and a few are downright awful. Move up the valley slightly to the gastronomic epicenter of wine country, Yountville, and there too is a growing consortium of top notch establishments within walking distance of legendary restaurants. Most hotels are less than five years old and in my opinion, none can compete with the legendary opulence, history, beauty, service or surroundings you’ll find at The Harvest Inn.
My advice, use the Cellar Angels private link and secure your access to an incredible stay. Here’s why the Harvest Inn excels in wine country and a few pointers on successful wine vacations:
- A home base. The Harvest Inn affords a perfect proximity to wineries south of St. Helena, north of St. Helena and even in Sonoma as there are two cross-roads getting you there; one for the adventurous, Spring Mountain Road and the other for the timid, Petrified Forest Road. Having a home base in St. Helena offers you close proximity to all “up valley” wineries and is also far less congested than downtown Napa just 18 miles away.
- A solid breakfast for your full day of wine tasting. Harvest Inn’s rustic, wood paneled country inn over-delivers with its offerings of fruit water, gourmet coffees, and a buffet table including quiche, assorted cheeses and meats, eggs, eight or more cereals, waffles, sausages, croissants, hot and cold sides and much more. Wheat free? They have you covered.
- A gorgeous fire. Each room has a functional wood burning fireplace complete with starter kit and extra logs that gets cleaned each day. After a full day of tasting and dinner you arrive back to paradise, light a fire, sit back and enjoy the incredible scenery or another glass of higher-end complimentary wine. If you desire a larger fire, the reception area (an enormous post and beam construction which is a fantastic space all by itself) has one you could virtually walk into. It also has a bar, comfortable leather couches and gaming tables.
Conclude your evening with a dip in the heated pool or simply a walk through the incredible grounds with over 300 mature (read, very tall) pines. Anything you need from winery reservations to hot air ballooning reservations, is always a phone call away. The service staff is impeccable and has the added, long forgotten nicety of knowing your name. A word of caution, you may become so comfortable with the room, pool, spa and grounds you forget about visiting the wineries! Enjoy!
Martin Cody, President, Cellar Angels