August 5, 2011

Napa: Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa; hotel review + restaurant review

Wine Country

Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa  3425 Solano Ave., (707) 253-8600. 2 stories; 275 rooms. Heated pool; hot tub; fitness room; full-service spa. Restaurant; room service.

Secluded but well located, this expansive compound provides a quiet escape from the often-frenetic sport of wine tasting. A horseshoe of rooms surrounds the center courtyard pool area, and a large spa and fitness room are in a separate building. Rumor has it that when the Oakland Raiders have their training camp in this area, they stay here.

It is worth going out of your way for a meal the impressive VINeleven restaurant. Another horseshoe is found here in the form of a welcoming dining bar. The attractive amorphous restaurant flows into the lobby and out onto the pool patio. There’s no fancy foams here, just simple healthy meals from Chef Brian Whitmer, a self-described “simple mid-western person who is now a California dude.” Whitmer is enthusiast and passionate about his menu, and brings in the freshest veggies and herbs from his gorgeous Heirloom Garden growing right under the Marriott sign. His credentials include once accidentally giving Julia Child salt instead of sugar for a recipe and also once cooking in NYC with Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry). His creative offerings include everything from toasted pumpkin-flax seed granola with sun-dried cherries to classic eggs Benedict on a Model Bakery English muffin to a made-to-order zucchini salad to a flavorful runner bean-and-chorizo soup to a perfect salmon with white corn. House-marinated olives and housemade pickles are a must, and so is a fresh-herb cocktail—perhaps the lovely strawberry pink gin Heirloom made with fresh basil and mint. The menu, which seems to have only the rare miss, changes monthly. Picnic lunches will soon be available by advance order.

More things to do in Napa. 

More things to do in the Wine Country.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

image ©2011 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

1 comment:

  1. Love visiting Napa! Carneros Inn is one of our favorite Napa Valley resorts. Can't go wrong with a wine getaway! ;)


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