A wine-tasting vacation in popular destinations such as northern California doesn't have to break the bank. Here, a collection of our favorite affordable hotels in the area.
Food & Wine
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Napa, CA: The Meritage Resort and Spa
The 500-room property, built on an 11-acre vineyard where Napa and Sonoma meet, is ideal for exploring both regions. The resort's tasting room and 22,000-square-foot spa are nel cuore della terra ("in the heart of the earth")built into a hillside cave (doubles from $159; themeritageresort.com).
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Glen Ellen, CA: Beltane Ranch
This pretty, yellow 1892 Sonoma Valley bed-and-breakfast offers five rooms in the main house, all of which open onto the property's extensive gardens, orchards and vineyards. Besides its estate-grown private label Sauvignon Blanc, Beltane Ranch also produces its own grass-fed beef, heritage-breed hen eggs and hand-harvested, cold pressed olive oil (doubles from $150; beltaneranch.com).
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Healdsburg, CA: h2hotel
Hotel Healdsburg's 36-room sister property prides itself on sustainability: Furniture is crafted from reclaimed wood, the pool is solar-heated and the rooftop garden—filled with succulents—was designed to capture rainwater. For a leisurely ride through Sonoma, the hotel offers complimentary bike rentals (doubles from $265; h2hotel.com).
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Walla Walla, WA: Marcus Whitman Hotel
In its midcentury heyday, this landmark hotel hosted famous names like President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Shirley Temple. Suites on the upper floors in the Historic Tower Section still offer the best views in town (doubles from $129; marcuswhitmanhotel.com.)
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Yountville, CA: Villagio Inn and Spa
There's a Tuscan feel to this 112-room Yountville inn, but the location is pure Napa: Its most venerated restaurants, including the French Laundry and Bottega, are less than a 10-minute walk, and wineries like Domaine Chandon and Cliff Lede Vineyards are also nearby. The spa has hydrotherapy soaking tubs and ultra-soothing treatments like a purifying mud wrap (doubles from $265; villagio.com).
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Napa, CA: AVIA Napa
One of the highlights of this modern 141-room property: Its prime downtown Napa location. (The 40,000-square-foot food mecca Oxbow Public Market is five blocks away and the Ubuntu Restaurant is only three). Rooms are decorated in the colors of wine country, like moss green and deep purple (doubles from $229; aviahotels.com.)
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Solvang, CA: Hotel Corque
The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians recently took ownership of this 25-year old Santa Barbara wine country property, completely overhauling it with luxe touches like sliding doors that open out onto private balconies. Star chef Bradley Ogden offers farm-to-table-style food at the restaurant Root 246 (doubles from $130; hotelcorque.com).
Photo courtesy of Hotel Corque.
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