Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Winter Escape to Napa and the New Senza Hotel

Have that after the holidays blahs? Need a little getaway to look forward to?  It may not have crossed your mind right now, but its's a perfect and slightly quieter time to visit the gorgeous Napa Valley. The weather is mild, mostly sunny and the slower pace during the winter months makes it a sweet  escape for a bit of relaxation, pampering and sun.

I was invited to visit the beautiful new Senza Hotel that opened last fall in Napa. Our Christmas break was an unusual time for us to go to wine country, but it couldn't have been better. I loved it.  This was the scene above on a Friday at Domain Carneros, a super spot to sip bubbly and take in the views, and appreciate being a Californian in winter! It was a quick stop on our way to check out Senza and also visit another favorite, Merryvale Winery in Saint Helena. 

I was excited to introduce my husband Max to some of the places I got to on my girl's getaway to Napa last April.

Besides Domaine Carneros, Merryvale was one I knew he would like. I love Merryvale's wines! I also love the Schlatter family that runs the winery who are gracious and welcoming. I went to buy my favorite Sauvignon Blanc, but also ended up with the Silhouette Chardonnay which was special, fabulous and something I am now hoarding for a special occasion!!

Jason, a guide in the tasting room was wonderful and we learned more about the recent harvests, reds and had so much fun. We also shopped a bit as the Schlatter's sell some authentic Swiss products as a nod to their heritage.

Good friends of ours also happened to be up in the area wine tasting, so they joined us at the winery. Sue's husband Mark is a boutique winemaker in his spare time, so they know about wine. They both really loved Merryvale as well.

We both ended up buying one of these darling button ornaments! A lot of cute gifts, cookbooks and fun things as well as great wine are at Merryvale.

Merryvale is easy to find, right across from Gotts Roadside. Gott's is a fun place to grab a burger or taco and have lunch outdoors between wine tasting. We had lunch and walked across the road over to Merryvale.

After Merryvale and lunch, we drove back towards Napa and checked in to Senza.  

Senza is charming with vine-covered shingled buildings set among vineyards and a pretty pool.

The room exceeded expectations!  It was gorgeous, spacious, modern, yet cozy, which ticks all my boxes. Our suite had a small desk, sitting area, fireplace, and mini kitchenette with Keurig and refrigerator.

They did an excellent job of choosing pretty colors and luxe materials in furnishing the rooms. Love the taupe and soft blues combo.

Our room was on the lower floor, but had a spacious patio that had doors for privacy or opened to the pool and grassy area a few steps away. The upper floors had views of the surrounding area and in the morning you could see hot air balloons!

The baths were huge, bright with heated stone floors.

I loved that feature and the spacious two headed shower.

After unpacking we sat in the jacuzzi for a bit before the very nice nightly wine and cheese reception Senza holds by their fireplace or outside on the terrace from 6-7.

Dinner was at Archetype, in Saint Helena. I am obsessed with this place.

Everything about Archetype is perfect to me. I love the menu, the food, fun cocktails and of course the pretty decor with it's darling little wicker couches and tiny lamps.

The bar is beautiful and they offer a lot of hot teas as well in pretty pots. I tried the Dr Ann cocktail which was bergamot infused gin, lemon and raspberry foam. Amazing! To be fair though, the food is what will knock your socks off. 

We collapsed in our super comfy beds back at Senza and woke up to an seriously beautiful breakfast buffet in the cozy lounge. First I snuck in a little reading and coffee by our fire. So cozy!

Besides an oatmeal bar, yogurt, fruit, cheeses and meats, coffee, teas and juices, they offer pastries and bread from world-famous Bouchon Bakery in nearby Yountville. 

  Of course we had to partake of the Bouchon goodies. They had their amazing bread to toast too. If you believe it, these are even better than they look. Now I know why people line up around the block to buy them. I haven't had anything like this since I was in Belgium. They were light and not overly sweet as American pastries tend to be. They also had a savory leek and mushroom versions. Wow!

One of the hot-air balloons floating by..

Senza also has charging for electric cars, which is really nice. Above is the Parker mansion the historic part of the hotel which has some lovely suites and rooms.

I loved everything about Senza. They are big on all the details and I love that about a hotel. Don't miss an opportunity to check it out before the busy season in Napa.

Senza is located between Napa and Yountville which makes it an easy base to explore the Napa Valley from. Winter is a great time to get special rates and deals and there are some fun packages right now that include couples massages and even a hot air balloon ride. Perhaps a fun Valentines getaway?


A media rate was generously provided for my Senza stay, but all opinions expressed are my own as always on this blog.

Photos northerncalstyle 


  1. Love this look of this! I have never been to the napa valley and it is on my list! I must get myself on some of these lists! :-)

    1. Wendy you need a trip!! Get planning and let me know if you need any help or suggestions!! xx

  2. Lucky YOU zipping up and DOWN the 101!Tahoe, Napa............NEXT CASA MIA!

    1. Well was a little nutty, but fun! So excited to get to your house next week! xo

  3. Looks positively perfect! What a wonderful get-a-way.

    Monica, www.pear-shaped-gal.com

    1. Thank you Monica! Hope you are having a good New Year!

  4. I loved watching your trip on IG, Kim. What a romantic getaway for you and Max. We found that week between Christmas and New Year's a wonderful time to travel to the city. Sorry our travels prevented our lunch but next time for sure! The Senza looks hip and fun. As always, we love Merryvale. Wonderful post girlfriend!
    xx, Heather

    1. Heather, Thank you. I also enjoyed your getaway to San Francisco, which would have been nice at this time of year too... Yes, you know about Merryvale! It's the best. I think you would approve of Senza Heather!! xo

  5. Lovely photos Kim, and what a wonderful trip with your beloved! Seven letters from Paris is on my reading list!

    1. Kelley thank you. I have to say the book... It's not so great! The writing was just okay. I probably would look for it at the library. Ended up bring a bit of a disappointment. The thing is they recommended it at Books Inc. and they are usually better.. Hope you are having a good New Year! xx Kim

  6. I'm still trying to adjust to the freezing temperatures here in the UK after spending New Year in the sun. I'm sure that at some point we shall visit Napa Valley and I shall refer back to your posts as a tour guide! You seem to find places which really appeal to me. This looks like a lovely time to visit and your hotel looked charming yet stylish too. That's a cute little button ornament - how original! I love to buy unusual bits and bobs on my travels too.

    1. miss b, I hope you get to Napa one day! Happy to help and this is a great spot to stay. So glad you got to the sun!! It sounds like a good escape. Winter is always better with a little getaway.

  7. Looks like a fab place and I always love your beautiful photos!
    Dawn Lucy

  8. What a wonderful getaway. I am lusting over the heated stone bath floors right now in this wintry weather!
    Have a great weekend Kim!
    The Arts by Karena

    1. Thank you Karena. I know heated stone floors are on my list of things I someday dream of, especially in this cold weather time! Happy Friday!!

  9. What a lovely property, Kim. I love it and the bathroom. It's great.

    1. Leigh, I think you would really appreciate all the beautiful details of Senza. The bathroom was perfection!! Happy weekend! x

  10. Wow, this looks so beautiful. Napa sounds wonderful right about now. I'm glad you had a great time.

    Thank you for your kind words you left for me and for sharing on facebook. Friends mean the world.

  11. Wowee, what a gorgeous place! What a treat. And I am loving that photo of you and your husband. This looks like my kind of place, so wonderfully modern and comfortable. I'm going to show this to the hubstar and what yummy food too.
    We have electric cars now (three of them) so that plug thingy is perfect as when we go away we usually have to haul the ugly old minivan off its blocks