Almost by definition, every world-class hotel or resort must have its own unique footprint. To some small yet meaningful extent, it should be unlike any other place on earth. Bardessono can claim the rare attribute of having an almost invisible footprint . . . carbon that is. As I will shortly explain (after a brief disclaimer), this hotel has somehow managed both to raise the bar for green sensitivity and to set the gold standard for seamless service.
First the disclaimer. Having never lived in California, I am not exactly up to cruising altitude on this whole green thing. The green with which I am most familiar is the envious green pallor which washes across my countenance whenever I think about those fortunate folks who are frequent guests at this exquisite inn. Although, in my own defense, I do drive a Prius and in Texas that alone is sufficient to get you branded a card-carrying tree-hugger.
Bardessono has earned a platinum certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), their highest designation. In point of fact, they are one of only three hotels in the United States having achieved this rating. Gratefully, since I have already paraded my woeful ignorance of such matters (see above), I am relieved of the obligation of pretending I understand all that implies.
The hotel has provided an impressive list of proactive environmental steps on this page on their website which you can peruse at your leisure. You will find mention of heating and cooling, lighting, low water use, reuse of materials, organic gardens and much more. As the hotel likes to point out, the various environmental elements are hidden but ubiquitous. If even that doesn’t quench your thirst, drop me a note and I will send you their sustainability brochure.
Having given that subject its due, let’s move on to a topic with which I am much more familiar, i.e., my shameless embrace of self-indulgence.
As you can clearly see from the image on the right, underneath the name Bardessono are written three descriptive terms: hotel, restaurant, spa. In the case of Bardessono, by all rights these elements should be listed individually since each component could easily stand alone on its own merits and, it so happens, each can be enjoyed individually. Appropriating the outline they have conveniently provided us, let’s take a glance (would that time and space permitted a more robust perusal) at each aspect.
Let’s begin with the fact that Bardessono is located in the center of downtown Yountville in the heart of Napa Valley with 62 luxurious guest rooms. Each and every room was designed for private, in-room spa services. Have you ever wished following your spa treatment you could just drift away into a prolonged, contemplative trance? I tried that once after a particularly relaxing massage but the staff eventually . . . and I thought rather rudely . . . insisted I give them their room back. At Bardessono, it is your room! More about the spa therapy center in a moment.
If you are the type that likes to know exactly what you are getting, just mosey (a uniquely Texas gait) over to their website and you will find not only a detailed description of Spa Suites, Steam Spa Suites and Tufa Suites, along with their ADA counterparts, but also detailed floor-plans and included amenities. Every room has either a furnished courtyard or balcony.
In most restaurants, everything starts in the kitchen. In Lucy Restaurant everything starts in their garden. They like to call it “Garden cuisine that is always in season”. Click here for a very cool one-minute video interview with the chef, Victor Scargle who is almost as gifted at explaining things as I am.
If you want an unforgettable experience, book Lucy’s Garden Table which includes a tour of the garden, a seasonal speciality cocktail and a multi-course meal. Click on the picture above for a full description.
One of the coolest pages on the entire website, in my never quite humble estimation, is the page that talks about their culinary suppliers and providers. Who wouldn’t want a “Liberty Duck”, a “Wooly Weeder” open range, milk-fed lamb or a “Broken Arrow Ranch” antelope? OK, a vegan I suppose. You got me there!
The spa menu at Bardessono reminds me of the wine list at the famous Paris restaurant La Tour d’Argent. For just a moment, I was sure they thought I had asked to see the Greater Paris phone book.
I invite you to download their lovely 12-page online spa brochure (even their brochures are green) and sample for yourself. You will find numberless ways to be hydrated (in case you are dehydrated) and an equal number of ways to become detoxified (in case you are toxic). You can even be “waxed” and “polished” if you have somehow lost your sheen, I suppose! As mentioned above, your spa butler will gladly transform your room (assuming you are a hotel guest, of course) into the perfect spa environment.
I would endeavor to summarize the Bardessono experience had not Jim Treadway, both the General Manager of Bardessono and the Vice-chairman of aptly named Benchmark Hospitality, not already done it so well in this brief video.
Well, I think my task is drawing to a close. I have presented a compelling case for planning your next trip to Napa Valley, I have elucidated numerous reasons Bardessono should be your next home away from home and finally, after 100 plus blog posts, I hope to high heavens you know by now who you are supposed to call.
So my final bit of advice is go for the gold and make your friends green with envy!