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The Best Swimming Pool In Napa’s Wine Country

Imagine you have little time for a getaway. Let’s say, for example, you can spare one day and two nights. Let’s say you make your way to the Carneros Inn in Napa, California.

You’d wake up here, to morning light and a newspaper in your mailbox.

Then you’d amble up the hill for breakfast, pausing to watch early sun over the valley.

Eat in the Hilltop Restaurant. When it’s not too hot, you can sit outside and keep gazing at the view and the best swimming pool in Napa. On really hot days, however, you’ll prefer to eat in here.

Either way, you’re going to want a freshly-cooked, home-made, sugar-covered mini-doughnut. Those sugar crystals crack between your teeth, and the doughnut itself is what I can only call bouncy.

Then you can go back to your cottage. Don’t bother with the extra charges for Vineyard Cottages. Garden is more than good enough. Or you might have come with friends, or family, and rented a house.

(Click to enlarge. Ask to be in the Knittel, or Crane, or Peck ‘neighborhood.’ They surround adorable little courtyards, with fountains. Away from the roads, but not too close to that pool and its banging gate. Registration won’t promise, but no harm in asking)

Either way, right about now you’re probably going to want to suit up and return to the pool.

Where, luckily, you can eat lunch. Nice people will bring you food on white plates. Many guests will also be drinking wine, even though it’s only 11:30 in the morning. That’s because it’s Wine Country.

Luckily, they have pool umbrellas. Under which you may want to nap. Because, again, it’s Wine Country.

Then you will want to exercise. Because it’s Doughnut AND Wine Country.

Then, as a reward for exercising, you will take a walk. Out past one of the many fountains, down one of the many paths lined by fruit trees, up towards the spa.

Where you will notice, yet again, that everything looks most beautiful standing against the blue of a Northern California late summer sky. But you won’t spend too much time pondering the ineffable, since in a few minutes, someone is going to bring you drinks of anti-oxidant tea and pat your jowls into cheerful submission.

After which, you will emerge, soothed, to see that there are still people in the pool at 5:30pm. The friendly pool guy will tell you this is one of the most active times, in the friendly pool. People return from vineyards, and retire to the water, to drink wine and laugh. Because this is Wine Country.

Then to dinner. You can go either to Farm, or to the Boon Fly Cafe. Farm is wonderful, because you can sit outside and eat from the bar menu and drink. But Mondays and Tuesdays Farm is closed for dinner. So you’re gonna wind up here. Eating something like fried green tomatoes, or buffalo wings. And drinking something like, well, you know, wine.

And then night will fall.

And you’ll wander all the way back to your cottage. The next day, you could go visit some vineyards. Or not. The pool is kind of salty, by the way, so you float with no effort whatsoever.

Note that no compensation has been received for this post. Quite the opposite, in fact.

54 Responses

  1. Lately I've been craving Napa with the strength of that sun, or two bottles of wine on a weeknight. Looks so, so lovely.

  2. Looks like a little piece of heaven…very fine indeed.
    I like the after thought …no compensation has been received for this post…Quite the opposite in fact…

  3. Lovely description of the Carneros Inn. For me Napa is a place out of time, or a place on its own time where you can appreciate the finest things about California country living, the views, the food, the sun and the wine.

  4. Doughnuts and wine!?! Fabulous! Coincidentally what I'll be eating this weekend on the opposite coast :-)

    Hope your weekend was as divine as your location!

  5. Alas, we would not be eating donuts (nor would we be exercising beyond that walk). But I can have my jowls patted into submission? I MUST look into that.

  6. Laughing at the no compensation. quite the opposite line!
    Wow what a beautiful looking place and I just love that all American doughnut.

  7. Oh, that looks fabulous. We'll keep that one in mind for next time, though we did like both places we stayed (post coming soon).

    Isn't that blue sky something else? Coming from LA, we were just dazzled by it, and by being able to see actual constellations at night.

  8. "Quite the opposite in fact" cute!
    I'm glad you enjoyed your mini vacay. I am jealous of the lovely blue skies and poolside relaxing…it's much too cold for that now in my area.

  9. What a pool! We have stayed in so many places in the Napa Valley over the years but I missed this one.


  10. A friend of mine traveled to wine country for a wedding a few years ago. She stayed at auberge du soleil, and described Napa as "right out a storybook you read as a kid". From your photos, it appears she's right!

  11. Love the green umbrella and great blue California sky. Next time take me with you.
    Great post.

  12. How gorgeous. I wish I was there right this minute. Lying on a sun lounge thing next to a pool is my idea of heaven.

  13. Marcela – Felt that like too.

    Maggie – It's worth a trip if you're coming this way.

    Jamie – Coming right up.

    Hostess – :)

    Bruce – Thank you. Highly recommended.

    Carole – :).

  14. Maya – I wonder if anyone has a blog just about swimming pools….

    Belle – Have you been? It's very nice.

    Patsy – Raise a sugared one for me, OK?

    Jan – Not even a hike or too? The jowl thing was great.

    Mette – Yes. It is.

    Tabitha – We are good at sweet fried things here:).

  15. Susan – Thank you so much.

    Deja – Dying to hear the stories from your trip too. The sky was overwhelming, almost.

    L – You are north, right?

    Darla – Well, there's always next summer:).

    Mater – Yes I do believe you could…

    Ms. Givens – :)

  16. Princess – What a wonderful way to describe it.

    Miss Janey – Imagining…

    QBS – You bet.

    BarbaraG – OK. Will you come to yoga with me?

    FF – Are swimming pools big in Australia the way they are in California?

  17. It looks fabulous. (Although I admittedly lost my entire train of thought after the doughnut.)

  18. What a fabulous place, I love the pool, the setting, the donut but cant drink wine..Do they serve vodka ? ;0

  19. Lovely post – photograph no.2 is amazing.
    Just looked at the resort website. I like the bit where it says:
    'designed to make absolutely everything feel better.'

  20. I've been looking for a new Napa location. This sounds just a doozie. Thank you. Now to try the rest of your posts.

  21. This one looks like a perfect place for the first-ever Princess Picnic Party (ummm, I totally just made that up) and overnight! The salty pool making floatation even easier sounds fun, it all looks heavenly. Sigh.

    Sending you a smile,

    PS: The disclaimer is excellent.

  22. I do think I could live in California – looks like a little slice of heaven.

  23. i wanna go there!
    LOL@"Then you will want to exercise. Because it's Doughnut AND Wine Country." :D

    ~ash's mum

  24. I have been searching for a vacation place to get away to, especially since each vacation this summer had to be cancelled because of work (even the occassional scheduled one-day's off were cancelled). Carneros Inn looks sublime. However, would the Inn be a good location to go by one's self? Or, would a singleton be uncomfortably surrounded by cooing couples and groups of friends?

  25. When I saw the caption for this story, I knew which pool you meant! We spent our honeymoon there shortly after it opened in 2004. It is a truly great inn. We would go back in a heartbeat.

  26. After a breakfast of those donuts I wouldn't be needin any "salt" to float…XXOO

  27. Ok… so, yes, I live in Australia (and UK at times) but I don't care I HAVE to go here for a little holiday one day… One word – PERFECTION. Great photographs too LPC. Loved this post so much. x

  28. Charlotte – :).

    Wildernesschic – They certainly do. There is a cute little bar at Farm, and the locals come in and have harvest martinis.

    Sensible Footwear – Thank you. It does make everything feel better.

    Belle – ;)

    ADG – Thank you.

    legend – Thank you for visiting. Thank you very much.

  29. TPP – I will bring the chicken salad to the picnic:).

    North of 25A – I think you are right.

    Ash – :D.

    BethAnn – You clearly deserve a vacation right now. This is the time to come out. I actually think it would be just fine for singles. There are certainly groups of friend etc., but people strike up conversations with each other if they have interest. Eating at the bar, people converse. Plus they have great room service, so if you don't want company you can eat on your back patio.

    Duchesse – Well. Yes.

  30. Melinda – I love that!

    Summer – And there's a regular pool, for lap swimming and families too, down lower on the property. Right. Outside. The. Fitness. Center. Made for you.

    Buckeroo – Yes, well, I'm eating leftovers in penance:).

    Semi – You absolutely should. I mean, it's Napa. And the wine country is one of the 11 Wonders Of The Sybaritic World.

  31. I was really enjoying the tour until you got to the exercise room. I had never thought to pair donuts with wine. Enjoyed the post.

  32. Ahhh…. that looks like pure bliss… I would love to visit Napa someday. It looks absolutely beautiful.

    I hope that you are well and that you have a great weekend!

  33. Feels like I revisited Carneros – thanks for the trip down memory lane! That donut looks delightfully evil, I really wish I would've scouted those out…
    wall art

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