Who could ever dream up an experience like tracking mountain lions with a conservationist through the Napa hills or riding in a motorcycle sidecar through rows of plump grapes? While a typical wine country excursion might involve a tasting and a tour of a winery, the creative minds behind the newest member of Auberge Resorts Collection, Stanly Ranch in Napa, California, wanted their guests to have the chance for some ultra exclusive experiences.
“While Napa Valley is one of the great wine destinations in the world, it was our mission to provide something entirely new and unique that will have guests experiencing a sense of transformation that will resonate long beyond departure,” says General Manager Ed Gannon. “We wanted visitors to discover this new side of Napa, one that provides unexpected but thrilling journeys.”
Stanly Ranch opened April 29 as the third Auberge Resort in Napa Valley, California’s vaunted wine region. The resort is set on 712 sprawling acres of vineyards and ranch land in the city of Napa, framed by 2.5 miles of the Napa River and adjacent to the San Pablo Bay Estuary.
“The Stanly Ranch experience will be different from our other properties in that it will provide an invigorating new Napa lifestyle, driven through active and bold experiences, inspiring culinary programming and an unmatched wellbeing facility,” says Gannon.
There are certainly several things that set Stanly Ranch apart from the other nearby Auberge Resorts, and even other Napa Valley luxury hotels overall—least of all is the historic ranch itself, which was founded in 1856 by Judge Edward Stanly and has long been part of Napa’s wine-making lore.
But it may just be the available experiences that truly separate this resort from the pack. Guests can track mountain lions with a wildlife conservationist; have a hands-on falconry experience with Rebecca Rosen and her well-trained falconry school birds; learn shibori natural dying; and borrow an Aston Martin DB11, Audi R8 RWS or BMW X6 Competition to zip around in.
Of course, there are wine experiences as well, but even those are extravagant, like taking a helicopter to land in Donum Estate; riding in a vintage, tandem motorcycle and sidecar with a personal driver to Donum Estate, Hudson Ranch and Scribe Winery; and off-roading in a Land Rover Defender to an exclusive library wine tasting at Quintessa.
Staying on property is just as fun too, thanks to the wellness center, Halehouse, which is home to leading wellness specialists, medical professionals and sports experts from around the world who tailor individualized programs that incorporate nutrition, hydration, sleep, movement and targeted treatments that range from physical therapy and lymphatic drainage massage to chiropractic services and skincare. A pool, fitness center with movement studios for a variety of classes, organic juice bar and Springhouse Circuit with a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, tepidarium, salt room, cedar sauna and cold plunge bath complete the expansive facilities.
On the culinary side, the on-site farm the Grange (which offers tours and intimate private dining) and working ranch provide ingredients for three dining outlets that offer seasonal menus by Executive Chef Garrison Price. The crown jewel is the AvroKO-designed Bear, which offers elaborate dinners paired with wines from an extensive collection. The restaurant focuses on a rotating single ingredient as the foundation for the menu, and guests should look out for complex fermentation and preservation processes that allow for unique flavors. Low-key breakfasts and brunches and health-driven lunches are served on the terrace.
Gavel is a bustling coffee bar and store with freshly baked pastries, high-end pantry staples and design-focused housewares and tabletop selections to purchase for home. For a refreshing cocktail and casual bites, head to Basin Bar in a lavender-scented grove by the resort’s grand swimming pool that brings to mind Provence.
When it’s time to turn in for the night, guests retire to one of 135 cottages and rooms surrounded by the vineyards and ranch land. The one- and two-bedroom Arbor Cottages, Acre Rooms and Rambler Rooms all feature separate living areas and private terraces with fire pits, while the stunning three-bedroom Palomino Suite sleeps eight. The minimalist, breezy interior design by Jen Clausen recalls a modern farmhouse vibe that integrates indoor and outdoor living and pairs neutrals with oak, leather and black metal. Every cottage has magnificent outdoor showers, yoga mats, meditation cushions, and Theragun massage devices, bringing wellness even more to the forefront. Rates start at $1,300 per night.