Amazing Napa Valley Accommodations! A review of Vino Bello Resort
We stayed at the Vino Bello Resort for a week from October 6th to the 13th. We got a great deal through RCI (an Extra Vacation). This was our honeymoon, and our 1 bedroom apartment was unbelievably gorgeous!!!! It was beautifully appointed in a Tuscan theme. There were ceramic tile floors, granite counters in the kitchen and bathroom, jacuzzi tub, multi-nozzle shower, top-of-the-line Whirlpool appliances, LCD TVs in the living area and bedroom, and balcony overlooking the pool area, where you could look into the hills and vineyards. There were complimentary bottled water, cans of pop, and newspaper provided daily. I have stayed at other Shell Vacations Club properties - Carriage Hills Resort at Barrie, Ontario, Canada, and Paniolo Greens on the Big Island in Hawaii - both of excellent quality, and Vino Bello Resort is at least equal to, if not superior, with regards to accommodations.
The resort is located a few minutes south of the city of Napa. It is convenient to Raley's, the grocery store at the south end of the city. We found the resort was ideally situated to access several areas of Wine Country, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Carneros region. The adjoining Meritage Resort has received some poor reviews about the location in an industrial park. But this was not an issue for us; you really don't even notice this, as the resort is surrounded on most sides by vineyards.
We noticed a tray of used room service dishes had been sitting in a stairway for over a day, but otherwise the service was quite good -- we had some problems operating the clothes dryer, and the building engineer was sent to our unit within minutes.
The Siena restaurant is lovely, although we only had time for one breakfast there. The Meritage will be opening a Wine Cave and underground spa (the first-ever in the world), in early 2007. The resort still needs some finishing touches (it was only opened in July, 2006) but will be a fantastic resort once finished.
We had great meals at Zuzu in Napa, and Mustard's Grill, Terra, and Bouchon, all further up the valley. We visited about 12 to 15 wineries in total. One smaller, interesting winery to visit is Van der Heyden, on the Silverado Trail near Napa. The tasting is very informal, in their garage, and they are known for their Late Harvest wines, including the only Late Harvest Cabernet in the world. We also visited COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts a few times - a fun museum where you learn about wine and food.
The area was busy during out stay, as it was harvest. The weather was excellent -- sunny and up to the low 80s almost every day.
All in all, a fantastic visit to Wine Country!!!!