Wine Country Wonder


In a region replete with charming towns, Yountville, CA, is a particular Napa Valley standout. It is the site ofseveral restaurants from world-renowned chefs, including Thomas Keller (Ad Hoc, Bouchon, and French Laundry), Michael Chiarello (Bottega), and Richard Reddington (Redd and Étoile). It’s also home to an assortment of amazing vintners, including Domaine Chandon, a producer of acclaimed sparkling wines. Add to that a sprinkling of spectacular inns, B&Bs, hotels, and spas, and Yountville’s reputation as one of Napa’s most enticing destinations is easily understood. Now, visitors have yet another reason to flock to this charming destination—Hotel Yountville and its exclusive Spa AcQua. This cozy 80-room retreat, which opened its doors earlier this year, is a haven for lovers of the finer things in life. It is an enchanting getaway filled with elegant interiors, divine dining, thoughtful amenities, and a spa, an elite escape available solely for hotel guests.

The hotel was designed by late Napa architect Robert Keenan in a European stone village style. It was also created with the environment in mind. Along with reminding guests of their natural surroundings by blending seamlessly with the oaks and olive trees that are found throughout the property, eco efforts were made throughout the hotel’s construction. Wood floors are made of wide plank reclaimed wood, and all wood furnishings are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. Additionally, green friendly textiles and recycled glass tiles were used throughout the property, and the hotel features low-flow water fixtures and low-voltage electricity, as well as a landscape design that incorporates low water-usage plantings. This green sensibility was also carried into the spa, but Lisa Holt, director of design for DLS Hotels & Spas and the designer of Spa AcQua, says she took a bit of a different approach when it came to the look of the spa. “The design elements have been pulled from my personal travels and spa experiences across the globe,” she says. “I really wanted to create a sense of being transported, of being removed from daily experiences.” To do so, she employed multiple design techniques to enhance this experience, such as the darkened hallways, the meandering white pebble footpaths, hydrotherapy offerings inspired by the bathing traditions of ancient Rome, and more.

The inviting spa includes a boutique; a relaxation room; an indoor co-ed whirlpool; and six spacious treatment rooms with private gardens, including two couples’ suites with steam and Vichy showers for two, luxurious double hydrotherapy tubs, and fireplaces. Additionally, the spa is located in the heart of the resort, adjacent to the pool, which provides an enticing place for guests to relax before and after treatments.

Though the design offers an international flair, the treatments and many of the retail offerings have a decidedly local appeal. The main body treatment products are from NV Organics, a local line that uses organic grapeseed oil. Guests can select from four body therapies, including Refresh ($250, 2 hours), which includes a Valley Dew Hydrotherapy Soak, a Grape Seed Rosemary Mint Exfoliation, and a Customized Aromatherapy Massage; Renew ($315, 2 hours 30 minutes), which includes a soak, an exfoliation, a Passion Fruit Cabernet Clay Wrap, and a Customized Aromatherapy Massage; and Rejuvenate ($315, 2 hours 30 minutes), which includes a soak, an exfoliation, a Devine Grape Seed Mud Wrap, and a Hydrating Body Butter Grape Seed Massage. They can also create a customized experience with Revitalize ($325, 2 hours 30 minutes) in which they partake in a soak, an exfoliation, a wrap, and a massage of their choice.

The spa’s well-stocked retail area also gives a nod to Northern California. It features luxurious bodycare products from the Healdsburg, CA-based Maris range; a lavender line from Sonoma, CA-based Matanzas Creek Lavender; and potpourri, diffusers, and soaps from San Francisco’s Agraria line. Guests can also take advantage of the local landscape thanks to such wellness-inspired activities as biking, complimentary poolside foot massages, and painting and photography classes that take place in the nearby vineyards.

Beyond the local offerings, the spa also features skincare services using organic Ren Skin Care products, makeup from Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics, nail lacquers from Butter London, and a variety of other fun retail products. According to Dressler, guests are attracted to the boutique’s Archipelago candles and diffusers; Tokyo Milk perfumes, candles, lip balms, and soaps; Santa Maria Novella soaps and body products from Italy; and hats and bags from Helen Kaminski.

Though the hotel and spa are new on the area’s spa scene, they’re already becoming  popular destinations, thanks to a spot on the 2011 Condé Nast Traveler Hot List, as well as a talented spa staff. The team, which can accommodate 40 treatments daily, includes 12 massage therapists, three estheticians, three receptionists, and two spa attendants. “Most of our staff have recently gone from part time to full time due to the amount of business the spa has been getting,” says Dressler.

Future plans include a spa cuisine menu developed by the property’s chef Adam Clark, along with the development of Girlfriends Wine and Spa Getaways. But for now, this intimate escape continues to be the toast of the town.


Owner: George Altamura

Assistant Spa Director: Kayla Dressler

Opened:February 2011


60% female, 40% male

4,000 square feet; 6 treatment rooms

OFFERINGS: aromatherapy, body treatments, couples’ treatments, facials, hair and scalp treatments, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, massage, nailcare, prenatal services, reflexology, waxing

SIGNATURE SERVICE: Spa AcQua Signature Massage ($195, 75 minutes), which includes hot stones, Thai stretches, and customized bodywork

MOST EXPENSIVE OFFERING: Spa AcQua’s Couples Retreat ($445 per couple, 90 minutes), which includes an in-room couples’ massage, a glass of champagne and a sweet treat, and a custom aromatherapy bath for two

PRODUCT LINES: Agraria, Archipelago, Butter London, Helen Kaminski, Maris, Matanzas Creek Lavender, NV Organics, Oshadi, Ren, Santa Maria Novella, Tokyo Milk, Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics

EQUIPMENT: Comphy Co., Down Etc. Robes, IQ Spa Software, Oakworks, Zendals

INTERIOR DESIGNER: Lisa Holt, DLS Hotels & Spas (Napa, CA)