This post continues my ongoing coverage of wine country travel.
This weekend, I’m heading to Napa Valley. It will be the second time that I’ve gone this year, and the third time that I’ve visited since I moved out to the West Coast in 2010. To me, wine country getaways, both down in California and closer to home in the Willamette Valley, have been a major benefit of living out here. Enjoying local food and wine is part of the lifestyle.
The itinerary, drawn up by sponsor Hilton HHonors, is geared toward foodies, and is a preview of one of the prizes available in the company’s Seven Tickets to Paradise sweepstakes (the contest begins on July 25 and runs through Aug. 31). I’m most excited about dinner at Morimoto Napa. I ate at the original Morimoto in Philadelphia years ago, ordering a omakase menu from the sushi bar. My companion and I were thrilled when the Iron Chef himself served us.
Morimoto is in the revitalized downtown Napa area, which I experienced when I was there in the spring. I’ll be interested to see if our hotel, the Embassy Suites Napa Valley, is within walking distance, as that would be a real bonus for guests. We’ll also be trying Oenotri, an Italian restaurant that’s earned notice for its pizzas, as well as having brunch at luxe Auberge du Soleil.
As far as wines are concerned, we’ll be heading to the legendary Stag’s Leap, a winery that I’ve wanted to visit for years, as well as Round Pond, (where I hope we get a chance to try the 2008 Bovet Cabernet Sauvignon). There’s also a hot air balloon ride on the agenda, as well as a spa treatment.
It all sounds too luxe, right? Not really. What I like about this trip – and genuinely endorse, although for full disclosure, I note that I am getting compensated by Hilton HHonors to go – is that it’s a mix-up of affordability and luxury. The Embassy Suites has been noted by Oyster.com as one of Napa Valley’s best values, and I’ve recommended the chain, which offers two-room suites and a free breakfast, as a good value for families who want privacy. And selfishly, as the spouse of a business traveler who has plenty of Hilton HHonors points, I’ll be interested to see if it’s somewhere we’d go back on our own in the future.
After all, Value Luxury is all about saving where you want, so you can splurge on the things that matter to you.