Ah, wintertime in the Napa Valley. The crowds are gone and region’s many delights are yours for the taking. This is the season when yellow-mustard covered crops add a flash of brilliance to dormant vineyards, and when restaurant reservations are easy to come by. Visit midweek, and you’re likely to find yourself (and your four-legged friend) among just a few guests in a popular, dog-friendly tasting room.
Winter is also the season when hotels offer incentives, in the form of discounted rates or added amenities, to lure travelers. At the Cottage Grove Inn in Calistoga, for example, a “winter warm-up” package includes an aromatherapy bath in the privacy of your cottage and spa treatment, and tasting at nearby Bennett Lane Winery. (Note: this hotel accepts small dogs only.) Nearby Washington Street Lodging, a cluster of five cozy cabins along the Napa River, has a deal that gets you two midweek nights (Sunday-Thursday) for just $150 through the end of March.
Also in Calistoga, guests at Chien Blanc Bungalows, a compound of three garden cottages, are encouraged to relax in a living room with fireplace, perhaps while enjoying a pre-dinner appetizer you whipped up in your kitchen. There’s even a washer and dryer should you need them. And Michelin-star-rated SolBar, poolside at the luxurious Solage (which includes cozy cotttages) is a dog-friendly oasis.
If there’s anything Napa’s not short on, it’s over-the-top luxury. And for stressed-out city dwellers up for a splurge, it’s hard to beat Carneros Inn, a bucolic retreat surrounded by vineyards in the wine-growing region at the southernmost end of the Napa and Sonoma valleys. Travel & Leisure magazine named it one of the top 25 most romantic retreats in the world, and it certainly lives up to the reputation. Relaxation and pampering are the keywords here, and we guarantee that both you and your pooch will fall in love with the cottage accommodations. Each comes with a privacy-fenced garden patio furnished with fire pit, outdoor tub, heat lamp, lounge chairs, the works. Just as nice, your dog can join you on the covered patio dining area at The Farm, the resort’s acclaimed restaurant.
Up-valley, Auberge Resorts’ five-star Calistoga Ranch provides a pet-passionate welcome to DogTrekkers, issuing each visiting canine a Happy Tails welcome pack and a pet ID. Dogs and their uprights have 127 acres and many pet-friendly trails to explore before retiring to their luxuriously appointed lodges. The resort even has a dog concierge who can make reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants that also happen to be dog friendly.