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Whether it’s for that special moment to propose or rekindling an enduring romance, an intimate getaway can be one of the most important journeys in a couple’s life. In the Bay Area, there are literally dozens of fine hotels and B&Bs to select from, all within a few hours’ drive from San Francisco. Not surprisingly, many of the most desired and acclaimed overnight accommodations are found in the North Bay, in particular the Napa Valley, known for its world-renowned wineries and fine dining. The following are five of the best romantic getaways near San Francisco.
Auberge du Soleil
180 Rutherford Hill Road
Rutherford, CA 94573
Nestled in a secluded setting, yet close to many of Napa Valley’s most celebrated wineries, Auberge du Soleil is a world-class resort featuring a Michelin-rated restaurant and luxurious accommodations. Easily among the Wine Country’s most romantic hotels, Auberge du Soleil was recently voted the top hotel in Northern California in a reader’s poll from Condé Nast. With striking views of the Napa Valley, this highly acclaimed resort offers a variety of rooms, from Maison rooms with spacious bathrooms and fireplaces to free standing Private Maisons with a sunken hot tub, walk-in closets and 1,800 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. For a perfect day at one of the most exclusive resorts in the Napa Valley, guests may also wish to indulge themselves at the enormous spa before enjoying a delightful evening at the Michelin-starred Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil, led by Executive Chef Robert Curry.
6526 Yount St.
Yountville, CA 94599
Centrally located in the charming town of Yountville, Bardesonno is one of the crown jewels of romantic destinations in the Napa Valley. A current package offered by this world-class resort is “Kiss the Day Away,” which includes luxury overnight suite accommodations with a fireplace, sparkling wine and chocolates and a couple’s massage. Guests can choose to dine at the resort’s award-winning Lucy Restaurant with organic produce picked from its own garden, or explore other fine dining experiences in Yountville, all within a few minutes’ walk. Of particular interest is the restaurant frequently described as the best in the world – the three-starred Michelin restaurant French Laundry, led by Chef Thomas Keller, the only American chef with three-star Michelin ratings at two different restaurants. Also not to be missed in Yountville is a visit to Keller’s world famous Bouchon Bakery, just one block from Bardessono.
Sausalito, CA 94965
This luxury boutique hotel, located in the heart of downtown Sausalito, first opened its doors in 1885. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and restored, Casa Madrona features wonderful views of Richardson Bay, lavish suites, hillside cottages, bayside accommodations and a mansion offering deluxe rooms and junior suites. One special interest to cap off a romantic getaway is the hotel’s “Romance by the Bay” package, with overnight accommodations, locally sourced sparkling wine, chocolates and a dozen roses. Also available are spa treatments known for superior service, a fitness center or dining adjacent to the hotel at the classic Italian Poggio Trattoria, featuring property-grown organic herbs and vegetables and an excellent wine menu.
601 Murray Circle
Sausalito, CA 94965
Located just minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, Cavallo Point is an award-winning hotel with extraordinary views of the San Francisco Bay. In addition to being named one of the world’s top resorts, Cavallo Point has been consistently noted for being one of the Bay Area’s best settings for weddings and honeymoons. The resort’s Murray Circle Restaurant is widely regarded as one of the Best Area’s best culinary destinations and is Michelin rated. Guests can pamper themselves by enjoying a soothing spa treatment from the Spa at Cavallo Point, listed as among the nation’s best by Condé Nast Traveler.
Meadowood Napa Valley
900 Meadowood Lane
St. Helena, CA 94574
Meadowood is not only one of the most romantic getaways in the Bay Area, it also features one of the world’s best dining experiences. Practically hidden within the rolling hills above the tiny city of St. Helena in the wine country, Meadowood still manages to offer glorious views of endless flows of grapevines and the Napa Valley. Located on 250 acres, it offers luxury accommodations with spacious rooms, romantic fireplaces and private terraces. Although there are a number of activities to enjoy at Meadowood, such as golf, tennis, swimming and spa treatments, the Restaurant at Meadowood, led by Chef Christopher Kostow, is just one of two restaurants west of the Mississippi River awarded with a three-star Michelin rating, the other being the French Laundry in Yountville. For a perfect romantic getaway at Meadowood, Guest Services offers professional planning for special events such as wedding proposals and rekindling of romances.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.