Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wine Country: St. Helena, Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley AND Acacia House


Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Napa Valley  1915 Main St., just north of town, (707) 963-7000.  68 rooms.  Pool.  Exercise room; full-service spa.  Full breakfast; restaurant.  No pets.  Adults-only, age 17 and older.  Free valet parking.  Built in 2017, this sister property to Las Alcobas in Mexico City features sleek new construction, plus a B&B conversion on the top floor of an existing guest house mansion and a restaurant conversion on the ground floor.  Located adjacent to the Beringer vineyards, this luxury lodging‘s pool has a glass fence that allows viewing the adjacent vineyards.  Bicycles are available to borrow.  Guest rooms are spread through three contemporary grey-wood buildings.  All have wine-infused toiletries by the local Napa Soap Company, and in-room drinks and snacks are complimentary.  All guest rooms hae a terrace or balcony with a fire pit and a vineyard view.  The B&B rooms vary a bit, and all feature a free-standing soaking tub in the middle of each room.


exterior of Las Alcobas resort in St. Helena, California
exterior of Las Alcobas resort in St. Helena, California


view of Beringer vineyards from guest room at Las Alcobas resort in St. Helena, California
view of Beringer vineyards from guest room at Las Alcobas resort in St. Helena, California


guest room bathroom at Las Alcobas resort in St. Helena, California
guest room bathroom at Las Alcobas resort in St. Helena, California


swimming pool at Las Alcobas resort in St. Helena, California
swimming pool at Las Alcobas resort in St. Helena, California


Acacia House  (707) 963-9004.  L-D daily; $$$+.  Situated within a dramatic 1907 white Colonial Revival mansion, which offers bed & breakfast rooms on the top floors, this new restaurant features a selection of small and large plates designed to complement a diverse Napa Valley wine list.

exterior of Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
exterior of Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California


bar at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
bar at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California



The kitchen also provides hotel guests with breakfast as well as pool-side snacks, room service, and picnic baskets.  The expensive but satisfying repast served here surpassed my expectations, and the knowledgeable, attentive, and informative servers greatly enhanced the experience.  The meal begins with a choice of complimentary still or sparkling house-prepared water and a platter of housemade olive bread.  The chef started us off with an amuse consisting of a tiny one-bite heirloom tomato with goat cheese.

amuse starter at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
amuse starter at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California


Then our shaken and frothy Margaritas Las Alcobas arrived in unsalted tulip glasses (the sea salt was in the foam).  Choosing from the summer menu, we began with a delicate and refreshing chilled heirloom melon soup enhanced with bits of habanero chili and mint.  The meat of the soup--chopped melon--arrived in a bowl, followed by a server who dramatically poured liquid over it from a spouted copper kettle.  Other starters I would have liked to try include burrata with apricots and almonds, and iced vegetables crudites with seasonal dip.

margaritas and melon soup at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
margaritas and melon soup at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California


For mains he chose a Cornish game hen prepared deconstructed roulade-style, cut in rounds with roasted grapes and turnips and topped with a colorful sprinkling of blue cornflower petals.

Cornish game hen roulade-style at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
Cornish game hen roulade-style at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California


I was delighted with a crispy Iberico pork schnitzel surrounded by a spectacularly tasty ranch dressing and topped with black caviar (I was informed that this dish is so tasty because it is prepared with black-footed pigs from Spain that are kept fat and happy with a diet of acorns).

pork schnitzel at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
pork schnitzel at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California


We were well guided to pair a smooth Sherrer Pino Noir wine with the hen, and a Lagier Meredith Syrah boasting great legs with the schnitzel.  (Wines are local, and Opus 1 is an option if you are in the mood to splurge big time.)

Jamieson delivers the wine at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
Jamieson delivers the wine at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California


Rigatoni, whole roasted eggplant, and kobe beef ribeye were among other options.  Coffee came with a choice of many milks.  For dessert, we shared a trio of assorted rectangular eclairs (the waitress encouraged us with that’s “the best one; you’re in for a treat!”).  One ├ęclair was made with fresh peaches, another with blueberries and cream cheese, and the third with dark chocolate.

eclair trio at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
eclair trio at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California


We sat outside on the expansive wraparound front porch--the perfect choice on a warm summer evening.

porch dining at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
porch dining at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California


Seating in the contemporary interior manages to be cozy, and some tables have a view of the kitchen action.

dining room at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California
dining room at Acacia House restaurant in St. Helena, California


Pop rock is piped throughout, keeping the ambiance upbeat in an unintrusive way.  In spite of this elegance, the atmosphere is Levis casual, but I was surprised to see some diners appear in short shorts and baseball caps. 



More things to do in St. Helena.

More things to do in the Wine Country.

Here are some travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 


5 comments:

  1. I was interested to read your comments about these hotels in the wine country of California, particularly in light of the recent devastation caused by wild fires. I hope that these hotels were not damaged and that the whole area recovers quickly! Thank you for this article!

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  2. I've been wanting to visit the California wine country for a while - how amazing it must be to stay in a room overlooking a massive vineyard! Like the previous commenter, I hope that Las Alcobas didn't suffer in the recent fires.

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  3. St. Helena, California looks like a great place to visit. I stayed at the Las Alcobas in Mexico City and it was fantastic.mwould love to give this location a try.

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  4. Los Alcobas looks like a fantastic place to stay in Napa Valley. The view from the pool looks amazing.

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  5. Combining wine with a resort like Las Alcobas definitely makes St. Helena an enticing place to visit. I've been to wine country, so I'm adding it to my list.

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