It’s not often that your hotel lobby also hosts a tasting room featuring the best local wines both grown and produced in the region. Well, hello daring! This is my kind of place. But you might expect that from a hotel called Wine & Roses. Casual wine country chic, my stay was much like the whites I tasted: elegant and well balanced with a smooth finish. If Robert M. Parker rated hotels, he might give Wine & Roses 91 points.
I stayed in the Spa Room with sky blue walls, a pebble stone floor, a cozy fireplace and an oversized bathtub that made me want to light candles and soak all night. One highlight of my stay was what I call “the bed of all beds”. I had such a brilliant night sleep that only the allure of tasting wine off the back of a truck in one of Lodi’s oldest Zinfandel vineyards got me out of bed. I heard later that their mattresses have such a cozy reputation that the Summit Hotel Group sells them. I’m definitely looking into that.
Once up and about, I strolled around the grounds. They were lush, elegant, and romantic with garden dining at the Towne House farm-to-table restaurant which offered, dare I say, a superb breakfast. The red delicious berries, white linen tablecloths, perfect espresso, and homemade spa granola were worth coming back for. Dinner at the restaurant was a feast of farm fresh vegetables and meats served family style. If you can carry a tune, have a drink before dinner in the bar for Tuesday night sing-a-longs.
The pool was separate from the hotel but worth a walk across the parking lot to relax in cushy oversized lounge chairs under – thankfully – a cabana that shaded my pale skin from the sun.
While it’s true that in Lodi there are no fancy castles or topiary garden sculptures, one of the aspects I enjoyed most was what Lodi was missing as well. There are no curtains between you, the wine growers, wine makers, and the award winning wines that sing out of the glass. Most often the lovely folks pouring also grew the grapes and made the wine they opened for you to enjoy. Perhaps, their hands were in the dirt just that morning. Which makes for what I found to be a real conversation around something I love – casually enjoying a beautiful glass of wine. I found this approachable “come as you are” mentality pervaded in the hotel from the spa to the tasting room and their Towne House restaurant.
Perhaps this relaxed atmosphere comes from Lodi’s Italian and German heritage where they take a more European approach to enjoying the pleasure of a beautiful glass of wine every day. Not just for special occasions. Or perhaps it’s just the Wine & Roses chic casual touch. It’s not often that I actually want to stay on the hotel grounds and enjoy my day relaxing, dining, sipping, and noshing.
*I was a guest of Charles Communication and the Lodi Wine & Visitors Center
*Photos courtesy of the Wine & Roses Hotel