Nowhere in the US is Relais & Châteaux tradition of the Route du Bonheur (road to happiness) more appropriate than California. A journey from Napa Valley to San Diego with stops at Relais & Châteaux luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants offers the traveler a uniquely American journey.Meadowood Napa Valley
is settled among two-hundred-fifty private acres in the heart of Napa Valley, America’s premier wine growing region. The estate is a center for social, cultural and viticultural life in the valley and is known for its beautiful, natural setting, gracious hospitality, classic architecture and traditional pastimes including croquet, tennis, golf, swimming, hiking, a Michelin Three-Star dining experience and the enjoyment of wine. Also a private club, Meadowood counts Napa Valley’s most prominent vintners among its members.
A modern American restaurant, The Restaurant at Meadowood
speaks to, and positively impacts, the Napa Valley community while delivering a singular dining experience for every guest. What excites us most is the concept of curation: the forging of relationships with artisans, growers, foragers and other members of this dynamic Napa Valley community. We hope their stories can meld with ours; that we can be caretakers of this collective vision—sharing it with our guests in a manner at once personal and celebratory.
The south of France is well represented in Auberge du Soleil
in the heart of Napa Valley. This luxury hotel is a culinary and spa destination and features a sculpture garden with the works of over 100 renowned, national artists. The menus are created with the bounty of California and inspired by Mediterranean influences. The Spa also draws from the best of the region and offers treatments based on grapes, olives, herbs, flowers, mud and minerals. For a luxury romantic getaway the Auberge du Soleil
offers private maisons, in-room massage and private gourmet dinner packages set in the olive grove or vineyard.
Grand Chef Thomas Keller has created a masterpiece gourmet restaurant in Napa Valley. The French Laundry
is a uniquely American restaurant inspired by the countryside of France. True to his philosophy that a great meal is an emotional experience, Chef Keller serves a daily unique 9-course tasting menu designed to spark sensation on the palate. The French Laundry
serves its regional gourmet fare with classic French traditions.
Next, in the heart of Sonoma wine country you will find the luxury European style Les Mars Hotel
. Outside are the beaches and shops of Healdsburg and inside are 17th and 18th century antiques, romantic rooms with 4-poster beds, fireplaces and overstuffed armchairs. From this luxury hotel you can explore the vineyards by bicycle or car and when you come back the Swiss-trained Les Mars Hotel
staff will be there to welcome you.
San Francisco has been referred as the food capital of the US. In one of San Fransciso’s trendiest districts you will find the gourmet restaurant Gary Danko
. Each nightly performance of Grand Chef Gary Danko and his staff is magical. The sophisticated cuisine superbly blends French Mediterranean and regional gourmet cuisine with seasonings and techniques from Asia and India. The Gary Danko
is a unique experience in gourmet dining and should not be missed on your Route du Bonheur (road to happiness) in California.
On to Yosemite and the luxurious Château du Sureau
amid the spectacular natural wonders of Yosemite National Park. The majestic Château is a fairy tale inn in an extraordinary location that begs to be explored. Your days can be spent rock climbing, river rafting, hiking, fishing or playing golf. At night, adjourn to the Château du Sureau
where our Chef Gunnar Thompson serves a nightly changing six-course gourmet menu using the freshest of California produce with a touch of Mediterranean flair.
In the heart of Carmel is the romantic hotel L’Auberge Carmel
. Close to Carmel Beach and the art galleries and restaurants of Carmel-by-the-Sea, L’Auberge Carmel
is the perfect luxury escape. The hotel’s restaurant, Aubergine, features a large wine cellar and exquisite gourmet cuisine.
A drive down Pacific Coast Highway 1 to Los Angeles will take you to the restaurant of Grand Chef Joachim Splichal. Patina
features a highly-prized gourmet table in Hollywood’s studio district. California cuisine infused with French and European tradition creates a luxury dining experience like no other. The regional fare at Patina
is highlighted by its sophisticated presentation and impeccable service.
Not far from the beaches of La Jolla and Del Mar is a luxury California hotel with French-country charm. The final destination on the Route du Bonheur in California is the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa
. From this luxury destination hotel you can explore San Diego and the historic Gaslamp Quarter; you can tour the flower fields of Carlsbad, play tennis or golf or enjoy a day at the Del Mar Race Track or Rancho Santa Fe Polo Club. At the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa
you might enjoy a bath in a private garden or choose a treatment for two at our world-class destination spa.
In coastal Northern San Diego, surrounded by the communities of La Jolla, del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe
, you’ll find The Grand Del Mar’s lovely Spanish –inspired Grand Del Mar resort. Predominant is the resort’s background: a naturalist’s haven including the 4,100-acre Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, where guests are invited to hike, horseback ride, bike or simply inhale the views. For dining there may be no better restaurant in all Southern California than Addison
, helmed by Grand Chef William Bradley. Bradley creates unique entrees such as Lamb Persille with Savory Cherry Tart and Lemon Sorrel, always using the freshest of ingredients. His talent is not only earning accolades for Addison, but Bradley himself has been called a rising star by numerous national publications. For oenophiles, Wine Director Jesse Rodriguez searches for and imports top California vintages along with newly-discovered varieties from Australia and throughout the world. The wine room is strategically located in the center of the main dining room adding to the elegant, European ambiance throughout.
California is the perfect land to wander. Early Spanish explorers named California after a mythical island. Later, gold made it a state and an economic power. Extending along the Pacific Ocean from the Mexican border in the south for 900 miles to its northern border along the state of Oregon, California is recognized for its diverse landscape. Some would call it a paradise of white sandy beaches and unsurpassed natural resources such as national parks, desert terrain, and the high Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
Visitors surf in the warm Pacific waters, ski in world class luxury mountain resorts, lounge in lavish spas or on scenic golf courses. The man-made attractions of Disneyland and Universal City attract millions. But there’s more than just surface to this multi-cultural state. California produces more agriculture than any state in the country. Ethnically diverse, it is a melting pot of residents from around the globe. Hollywood is the country’s entertainment center and San Francisco a gourmand’s oasis. From green and wild open spaces to the densest of cities, California’s great contrasts should truly have something for everyone.
For more information go to: www.california.worldweb.com