Travel: Romantic Meadowood 

Located on a private estate in St. Helena, Meadowood exudes pastoral beauty. Set on a 250-acre valley and forested hillside, the resort is really a cluster of cottages and lodges — housing 85 guest rooms and suites — all of which have decks and terraces that overlook wooded areas.

What makes Meadowood so pleasurable is that it really has something for everyone. With the month of February budding with romance, this resort is a perfect place to relax — and rejuvenate. But Meadowood isn’t just for couples. The resort is also great for intimate groups of friends, extended families and families with kids. And with such sprawling acreage — and spread out cottages — you’ll never know who is nearby.

Active relaxation

Although Meadowood is probably best known for its restaurant, its wellness and recreation program make it unique.

•First, the sport of croquet here is taken very seriously. However, all players start at the same level. Most tournaments last about two hours and are played on one of two manicured full-sized courts. Depending on the size of your group, either one person can play ($45 per hour) or groups of 65 or more can arrange for a tournament.

•For those who like to play golf, there are two choices. First, there is a narrow, nine-hole walking course. However, for those who want to experience golf the way Bobby Jones played it, the resort also offers hickory golf — through which guests accompanied by golf pros play with authentic hickory golf clubs from the 1900s and a replica gutty percha golf ball.

•If you are up for tennis, the resort has seven traditional California hard courts located near its forested area, which is surrounded by oak, pine and maple trees.

•For a less-structured approach to enjoying the resort, guests can rent bicycles ($15 for half-day; $25 for full-day) and get a detailed cycling map of miles of trails through St. Helena and nearby Calistoga, Rutherford and Oakville.

•For those who prefer being on foot, the resort offers a complimentary running-route map of the area — including six routes along the Silverado Trail to Lake Hennessey.

•Swimmers, take note: There are two outdoor, heated swimming pools — one lap pool and one family pool — as well as two outdoor whirlpools.

•The Restaurant at Meadowood — which has been awarded Two Michelin Stars — is a wonderful culinary experience. The menu — which is designed to showcase local wines — is light and fresh with many of its ingredients picked from the restaurant’s garden. Make a reservation. Dining at the restaurant is open to all resort guests, as well as non-guests.

•And for those who like to mix wine and wellness, Meadowood offers a wine education program that explores both. Sign up for “Wine and Croquet,” a three-hour match that includes a blind-tasting of sparkling wines; “Wine and Hickory Golf,” during which players are met at the fourth and ninth green with Napa Valley wines; or “Sip and Cycle,” during which a local guide and wine educator takes guests on a tour of family-owned wineries, the Napa Valley and concludes with a gourmet picnic lunch.


Romantic dinner at Meadowood

How much: $195 per person

Why: The Restaurant at Meadowood will be offering a special, seven-course prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day. Prepared by chef Christopher Kostow, the menu can also be paired with wines ($325 per person). There will be two seatings, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit or call (707) 967-1205. — Kathleen Jay


A night at an Estate Suite at Meadowood

How much: Starting at $2,250 per night

Why: A one-bedroom Estate Suite offers the resort’s most spacious, open floor plans featuring picture windows, French doors and sweeping views of the property’s natural beauty. Designed with elegant, cottage-style décor and furnishings, the suite also includes cozy dining spaces and luxurious bathrooms with two-person soaking tubs and separate showers. For those on a tighter budget, the resort also offers lovely studios starting at $475 per night. For more information, visit

Meadowood Resort in St. Helena by the numbers


Guest rooms and suites

Michelin stars garnered by the Restaurant at Meadowood

About The Author

Kathleen Jay

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