Bardessono - January 2011
While in Yountville, Tom and I stayed at Bardessono
, a relatively new resident in Yountville and our first official “green” hotel experience. Bardessono is so green, it touts the “LEED Platinum Certificate”
, which I can only compare to the Michelin Star program for restaurants. An associate of mine who is an architect explained it this way: if the construction of the building uses materials found naturally within a five mile radius, it gets x amount of LEED points, if it recycles waste it gets x amount of LEED points, etc. As you accumulate points, you get a higher certificate, Platinum being the highest.
The upper deck lap pool wasn't very crowded on a rainy January day
When we checked into our room, it was brought to our attention that there were no carpets, bedspreads or curtains. Right away I noticed how clean it felt. I have always been one to cringe at the thought of how many people have walked on a Vegas’ hotel room carpet, or what the hell had been happening to that bedspread at the hands of the previous tenant. Eww. So, score a point from me right at the get-go!
View of the courtyard from the pool deck
We were shown the mini-fridge, which was full of bottled water. Glass bottles full of water filtered on site by the hotel. No, we didn’t have to pay $8 to drink it and then throw away a plastic bottle. It was delicious too! The toiletries were all full-sized and refillable. No waste made by bringing those little plastic shampoo and lotions home and then tossing them. The bed was made with fluffy clean linens, not some heavy gross smelly brocade thing that you hesitate to sit on, much less climb into and sleep! The windows had mechanized shades set inside the glass which automatically opened when you came into your hotel room. There was even a fireplace.
The courtyard reminded me of a Japanese garden
We ate several meals in the hotel restaurant. They had house-cured meats and some of their own garden foods, as well as local foods and wine. We drank a lot of coffee, which was all made with a French Press. We have one of these at home and always forget to use it. Time to get it out and dust it off – it’s really worth it for the extra coffee flavor.
Bardessono - central courtyard area
One of the first things I did after checking in was luxuriate in the extra deep window spa tub that was in our room.
Tub with a view
I almost always take a bath right after checking into a hotel. Have to wash off all that airport/airplane/humanity grossness. This is now officially my favorite bathtub, and I’ve literally taken baths all over the world! The window view made it even better. Our room had an amazingly ‘open’ view, but provided some serious privacy so I could relax.
We walked around the grounds quite a bit to look at their vineyard and vegetable gardens here and there amid the landscape. I realized that the gardens made me feel like I was a special guest at a country estate and not a hotel. They’ve managed to create Zen in a way I’ve never experienced staying anywhere else. This feeling was reinforced by the staff; everyone was friendly and helpful and remembered our names, helped us out with directions and kept us well fed. The valets made sure we had umbrellas when it rained and offered us complimentary bicycles to use around town.
Simplicty creates a restful atmosphere
I would love to stay there again next year, unless we decide to go up into the mountains a little further. I’ll be saving my pennies though, Bardessono isn’t the most inexpensive place in town, nor should it be – they’ve exceeded too many expectations. We lucked out this year, despite our super-tight budget, and were able to use points we had accumulated on a credit card. Whew! Everything fit into place and we loved our peaceful and delicious stay.
entry to the Yountville Walking Trail right behind the Bardessono
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