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Inn-Escapable: Westin Verasa Napa

Karen D'Souza, The Mercury News on

Published in Travel News

With its serene setting on the banks of the Napa River and its Michelin-starred restaurant, the Westin Verasa Napa makes a great home base for any Napa escape. It's luxurious, yes, but laid back, too. Most of the 180 rooms in this spacious hotel are suites, decorated in a soothing earth-tone color palette and complete with small kitchen, living room and a balcony. If you are traveling with kids and their stuffed animal collection, it's amazing how much more relaxing it is when everyone has room to spread out.

The hotel is just steps away from the Napa Valley Wine Train depot and such foodie nirvana as the Oxbow Public Market and the Culinary Institute of America's CIA at Copia. Explore Napa, then take a dip in the heated saltwater pool, borrow workout clothes for a quick jog along the river or just enjoy the beauties of a lovingly curated wine list. The fire pits in the courtyard add to the feeling of a carefree summer getaway.

Zzzzs: Impossibly soft, fresh white bedding and the hotel's famous pillow-top Heavenly beds make this one hotel where you may sleep better than you do at home. Little vials of jasmine oil, tucked on top of your pillow, help set the mood for slumber.

Splashes: A refined bathroom spacious enough for the whole family at once may tempt you to linger in the soaking tub or glass-enclosed shower, enjoying the white tea aloe soaps and bath products. Of course, the biggest splash is the large and inviting saltwater pool and hot tub.

Extras: Foodies flock here for Ken Frank's La Toque, often hailed as one of Napa's best restaurants. Families may prefer the more casual Bank Cafe and Bar, where you can tuck into the wild mushroom-filled forager's omelet and candied almond-spiked waffle topped with huckleberry compote. There's an on-site spa and bocce courts, too. This Napa hotel is not framed by pastoral vineyards, but there's complimentary wine tasting daily in the lobby.

Details: Rates run $299 to $899. 1314 McKinstry St., Napa; www.westinnapa.com

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