Wine Country Holidays
No two-star, chintz-laden, lace-curtained express hotels for you. You’re doing your favourite wine region up right. These fabulous lodgings in California, Argentina, South Africa and British Columbia are perfect for a milestone birthday, a honeymoon or a business-incentive perk.
CALIFORNIA: Calistoga Ranch, Napa. Tucked away in a private canyon just outside of Calistoga, the Napa Valley spa town famous for its hot springs and volcanic mud baths, this private woodland retreat is billed as a place “where nature is the primary amenity.” Ten minutes away from some of the region’s finest wineries, it has a relaxed outdoorsy vibe that mirrors the surrounding 140 acres of pristine pines and oak-grove glory. The 50 private lodges offer a mix of indoor and outdoor space, sporting cedar decks with outdoor fireplaces. If walking trails, wildlife and wine are high on your list, this is the place.
ARGENTINA: Casa de Uco, Uco Valley. Even though there are horses, this is no hacienda—it’s a super-modern, eco-friendly concrete retreat in the middle of Uco Valley wine country, southwest of Mendoza. Sixteen rooms are sunny and spacious, all light wood and concrete flooring, but you will be spending your time out of doors in the surrounding 800 acres: the vineyards, the winery, the Andes Mountains, the pond, the riding trails—this is one big, breathtaking back yard. The isolation is perfect for a complete getaway and the Malbec is some of Argentina’s best.
SOUTH AFRICA: Mont Rochelle, Franschhoek. If it’s good enough for Richard Branson, it’s good enough for you. He bought this 26-room boutique hotel, manor house and winery one hour from Cape Town in 2014, gussying it up considerably and adding it to his exclusive Virgin Limited Edition collection. Rooms are palatial and quirky and gorgeous, with bright hits of colour and creature comforts galore. The scenic vineyard and surrounding 100 acres makes a stunning backdrop for wine-tasting, swimming pool-dipping, perfect picnicking, cellar-touring and much relaxing. Franschhoek is a traditional vineyard town, touted as the food and wine capital of South Africa, so you know your stomach is going to be well taken care of.
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Sparkling Hill Resort, Okanagan Valley. This modern wellness retreat sits on top of a granite bluff in Okanagan wine country, its 139 giant rooms overlooking Lake Okanagan and the Monashee Mountains. The resort was envisioned by the famous Swarovski crystal family and thanks to them, 3.5 million Swarovski crystals have been worked into the design. The KurSpa is one of the country’s best, big on holistic treatments and whole-body wellness. The resort is a marriage of natural BC beauty and European elegance.