4 Best Points-Hotels in Napa and Sonoma
Just about an hour's drive from San Francisco and accessible via the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley and Sonoma County are great weekend getaways for everyone, whether you're a local couple looking for romantic dinners or a family looking to get in a wine tour or two while traveling through. On the downside, Napa and Sonoma often command high prices, even during the week and in the off-peak season — during peak season, you're looking at a minimum of $300 a night for the top points hotels. But not to worry: Cashing in points for a stay in wine country certainly goes a long way. Here, we've picked out four of the best points-hotel options in the area.
1. The Westin Verasa Napa: Bank on Value by the River
Starwood Preferred Guest fans will find that location is key at this hotel, as it’s walking distance from downtown Napa, sits on the riverbank and is just minutes from the Napa Valley Wine Train, which offers vineyard tours. Despite its central location, you'll feel like you're on a nature-filled getaway thanks to the generous tree line that surrounds the property. Wi-Fi and parking are both complimentary, while pets are allowed to join you for a small fee. All guest rooms feature rainfall showers and flatscreen TVs — there's also a bar and lounge onsite, as well as a fitness center and outdoor saltwater pool with a bar and hot tub. Dine at the Michelin-starred La Toque Restaurant or for lighter fare, try the Bank Cafe and Wine Bar. Rates at this Category 6 property start at $189 or 25,000 Starpoints per night.
2. Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa: It's Convenient, but Mind the Resort Fee
Marriott lovers will find this a solid base in Napa, near the highway but still far enough for a good night's sleep — it's easy to access nearby wineries and towns like Yountville and Calistoga without having to worry about parking or weaving through downtown traffic. Rooms are fitted with flatscreen TVs, desks and coffeemakers, while parking is complimentary. The hotel just introduced a new pool to its offerings as well. A small warning: There's no way around the new resort fee — other hotels in the area have been starting to charge them as well — so don't let the extra charge come as a shock to you. Room rates at this Category 8 property start at $185 or 40,000 Marriott points per night.
3. Andaz Napa: Feel Hip in the Heart of Napa
An upscale, boutique hotel vibe that resonates with other Andaz properties around the world, this property sits at the heart of downtown Napa, offering quick walking access to the Oxbow Public Market and the Napa Valley Opera House. This hotel, which will appeal to Hyatt Gold Passport fans, is one of my favorite in the city given its hip, trendy feel compared to the rest of the hotels in the area. It's also right next to some of the most fun, contemporary restaurants in the region, like Morimoto Napa. All rooms offer hardwood floors and complimentary non alcoholic mini-bars. Free perks include Wi-Fi, wine tastings and parking — the hotel is also home to a bar and outdoor terrace with fire pits. Rates at this Category 5 property start at $223 or 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night.
4. Hyatt Vineyard Creek: Experience Tuscany in Santa Rosa
This Tuscan-inspired hotel is a bit of a outlier, given its location in downtown Santa Rosa rather than a glitzier city like Napa or Sonoma — it's worth noting that Santa Rosa is a somewhat underrated city itself, despite being near other wineries in Healdsburg and Sonoma proper. But don't let its location fool you. The stylish rooms all feature flatscreen TVs, iPod docks and free Wi-Fi, plus mini-fridges, among other in-room perks, while upgraded rooms also come with their own patios. Suites feature additional sitting areas, fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and/or Murphy beds. Free breakfast and parking are available. Elsewhere on the premises are a brasserie and a cozy lounge, an outdoor pool, a spa (there's a fee) and a gym, as well as a sculpture garden, a fire pit, a business center and space for special events. Rates at this Category 3 property start at $140 or 12,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night.
Ultimately, Napa and Sonoma are affordable if you play your points right. Note that rates vary seasonally in California wine country, so be sure to do your homework and figure out when a visit would be best for you.
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