Are you looking for the best Napa hotels for meetings, events, and leisure? If so, then you clicked on the right blog!
I’m Danielle Gibson and I have been living in Napa since 2012 and in the Bay Area since 1997. I own Danielle Gibson Events, an event company that plans, designs, and produces corporate events, social celebrations, and weddings in Napa Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, and beyond. We are continually scouting out new hotels, restaurants, wineries, and activities which keeps us dialed into the best Napa has to offer. If you are looking to have an event in Napa, California we are the event planning company to plan and design it for you!
Over the years we have only given our industry insight to our dear friends and clients. However, now we want to open the vault and share what we truly love about the beautiful Napa Valley with everyone that is eager to visit.
You don’t want to be spending more time driving than tasting wine! If you are visiting Napa to taste wine at a specific winery that you have already booked or plan to book, we recommend you search for a Napa hotel relatively close to your tasting appointments. Are you more interested in staying in a certain town? In that case, book a hotel in that town and arrange wine tastings (we have over 400 wineries!) within 20 minutes of your hotel. Careful planning and attention to travel times between wineries will enhance your overall experience in Napa.
Napa Valley is a California wine-producing region that is 5 miles wide by 30 miles long located about 50 miles north of San Francisco. Napa Valley basically runs north to south with Napa located at the south end and Calistoga at the north end. When you drive up from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Oakland International Airport (OAK) or San Francisco Bay area, the town of Napa will be the first town you will approach on your drive into the area. Most hotels in Napa are located in the towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga. We recommend using the Napa Winery Map to help navigate the area. (click to enlarge and download).
I highly recommend having a car. You can easily drive to wineries during the day, as long as you have a designated driver who isn’t drinking. If you need a driver to take you to your selected wineries or need an itinerary I recommend Napa Valley Wine Excursions and RAM Wine Tours. Contacting an Uber or Lyft to travel from winery to winery isn’t very reliable. At night, I would recommend leaving the car home and walking or grabbing a Lyft or Uber to get around.
Our details are short and sweet, but our list is the only list that makes it easy to figure out where you want to stay! What is most important to my readers?
The pricing guide we are using is in USD from $-$$$$$ (from the least expensive $ to the most expensive $$$$$). Keep in mind prices will fluctuate depending on the day of the week and time of the year. Also, some hotels ask for a 2 or 3-night minimum stay.
The best Napa hotels list below navigates from south (Napa) to north (Calistoga).
At least 3 nights is recommended because of the travel time getting to and from Napa. If you are flying in, most airports are 1.5 hours away without traffic, this could take up half of your arrival day and departure day just traveling. I recommend planning to have at least 2 full days for wine tasting and activities around the valley.
When planning events in Napa, we think the best Napa hotels with event space are Stanly Ranch, The Estate, Four Seasons, Auberge du Soleil, Meadowood, and Indian Springs. Looking for a Napa full-service event planning company for your next Napa meeting, corporate event, social celebration, or wedding? Contact us today!
Downtown Napa has really changed over the past 10 years, it has more hotels, restaurants, winery tasting rooms, and stores than ever! (and of course Oxbow Market) If you are looking for a small city feel and less expensive accommodations, downtown Napa is for you. The town of Yountville also has many hotels, winery tasting rooms, and stores to enjoy (and of course Bouchon Bakery), but it is more of a quaint, small-town feel and much pricier than Napa.
Thanks for joining us here on the blog!
The holiday season is upon us, and like many of you, we have mixed feelings. Our melancholy for lost plans is a feeling we need to acknowledge, but we are also thankful for the chance to remember amazing past events and to challenge ourselves to continue to create this year. For example, our Take Time to Toast Friendsgiving would normally kick-off this time of the year serves as a perfect opportunity to design a Insta-worthy event and catch up with friends in our industry. While we may not be able to see you in person this year, we still want to connect!
We have partnered with St. Supéry Winery of Napa Valley for their virtual wine tasting #Injoy at Home Entertainment Series to do just that!
For the November 5th segment, Danielle Gibson Events will be streaming LIVE from Napa Valley with St. Supéry Winery to show you the latest trends for your Thanksgiving table. The virtual tasting starts with education behind the St. Supéry Napa Valley Estate Rosé and dining tips from Chef Tod Kawachi and ends with our Thanksgiving table segment! We are including EVERY resource in our next blog so you can shop all the items of our table design!
Want to see more decorating ideas for the Holidays?
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Do you want to throw a party but it’s unsafe to gather?
How about having a backyard picnic with your shelter in place team? Your QuaranTEAM!
The beauty of a picnic is that there are so many different ways to decorate. Whether you’re longing for a low-key get together or the upscale picnic of your dreams, we’ve got you covered! We have curated a list of our favorite things to use for whichever mood you’re in.
Prioritizing other aspects of your picnic like food and beverage does not mean your table decor must leave something to be desired. In lieu of purchasing flowers or renting colorful linens, we suggest using colorful paper goods like the ones above to brighten up the tablescape. Online boutiques (remember to shop small!) like Oh Happy Day, Partydash and Confete Party have every color, pattern, or print (don’t be afraid to mix) you could desire at reasonable prices. We also recommend buying a piñata, like this cute pineapple (#6), for later in the night as an outlet to take out all of your quarantine frustrations. ?
A little Danielle Gibson Events inspiration above from a past Take Time to Toast event. If you are craving some fresh greenery on your table, take some of your plants from around the house and place them on your table like above from one of our TTTT gatherings in Big Sur. (Plants by @scarlettandgrace, linens and pillows @latavolalinen, doormat @target, signage @studio.noel, paper goods @meredithlawdesign, plates @ikeausa)
For those last minute planners – you know who you are, Party-In-A-Box from Confete Party will make hosting a breeze. With the option to create-your-own or choose from pre-made boxes, the options are endless and your table is guaranteed to be a showstopper.
Let’s Go All The Way!
Haven’t thrown a party in a while? Go Big on Design while you Stay Home!
For those ready to celebrate in a big way, we are ready for you too. Renting a tent like the one above from Shelter Co. is a quick way to transform your backyard to an intimate, cozy space for you and your Quaranteam. Want to make it even cozier? Layer different textured rugs like these from Found Rentals, use a low-top table (potentially your coffee table) and a combination of throw pillows and poufs as seating! If you are feeling nostalgic for a more traditional picnic, add this adorable table and bench set from Shelter Co. that is guaranteed to bring back some camp memories. As another nod to tradition, we chose braided seagrass placemats, tassel napkins and simple white plates that reminded us of beautiful picnic baskets sets. With the tablescape done, we encourage you to go beyond and add a few backyard games to ensure a good time is had by all!
Don’t want to worry about rentals or not sure what you want? Enters Cali Picnics. This full-service luxury picnic service will take your vision (contact free!) and bring it to life without you having to lift a finger other than to raise your glass!
What to Eat
The thought of safely preparing food for our friends has us thinking “why not leave cooking to the professionals?” With so many amazing catering companies to support in the San Francisco Bay Area like Foxtail Catering and their new Meal Kits and Southside and their famous Fried Chicken Buckets, you can find exactly what you’re looking for. To keep it safely casual, we recommend ordering food that can be displayed at room temperature and served as individual portions. For example, ordering sandwiches like the delicious Green Graze Sandwich recipe from Frances & Sheryl of The Modern Romantics is an easy meal with minimal chance of cross-contamination when wrapped individually. Another easy option is to create individual cheese and charcuterie boards that you could double as place cards! If you are considering cutting and displaying fruit, I recommend reading delish’s article on how to properly wash produce to reduce the chance of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Now I know what you’re thinking, what about dessert and drinks?
For dessert, why not go with a good old fashion S’more? Prior to your guests arrival, you can pre-set the ingredients using gloves and then when it is time to make them, let your Quaranteam cook their own!
For drinks, aside from water, (which is ESPECIALLY important during the summer months) we recommend assorted La Croix, the 2018 Tournesol Rosé as an adult beverage, and a delicious Blood Orange Paloma pre-mixed in individual mason jars. Use galvanized buckets filled with ice to display all the options!
What to Wear/How to Keep it Safe?
The best part about dressing for a picnic is getting you out of your everyday Covid-19 clothes!
If being stuck at home has made you want to wear the brightest dress you own, then go for it! We have compiled some of our favorite outfits for everyone below, along with a few accessories. Yes, we did include masks and hand sanitizer in the accessories because let’s face it, (no pun intended) you can’t leave the house without either anymore, so you might as well look good while being safe.
Here are some photos from past Danielle Gibson Events’ for more inspiration!
Event design Danielle Gibson Events
Napkins and flatware @encoreeventrentals, tables @riondesigns, rugs, pillows, chairs, poufs @shelterco, florals @b.side.farm.flowers, chocolates @theochocolate, calligraphy @blushtype, cutting boards @ikeausa
Event design Danielle Gibson Events
Greenery @scarlettandgrace, florals @revelfloral, paper goods @meredithlawdesign, napkins @latavolalinen, runners @target, pink plates @ikeausa
Two years later…we find ourselves reminiscing about our biggest-ever Take Time to Toast event. Thanks to Coronavirus for the free time and the need to dig into all our happy memories! Anyone else feelin’ this? Now more than ever we wanted to take the time to share about how special this event was and highlight the 11 incredible speakers who graced our stage that day. Their messages were powerful then and still hold true today. Read on to learn more about each bad-ass woman who was in attendance and find some resources that will help support you during this time.
DGE is the planning and design power behind all Take Time to Toast events! You can learn more about these Napa Valley Event Planners, here! This Sonoma Women’s Networking Event brought us together on a beautiful ranch to hear awesome guest speakers (from influencers to business owners to members of the US Coast Guard!), drink wine, and grow our businesses. You can follow along with both Take Time to Toast and Danielle Gibson Events on Instagram!
Our Take Time to Toast #BetterTogether event was a full-day conference that created an environment of collaboration among the women in attendance. Our attendees were made up of social and corporate event planners, influencers, wedding planners, florists, caterers, photographers, and other entrepreneurs!
The theme of this event was built on a Danielle Gibson Events foundational belief in collaboration over competition. Our goal was to bring together as many inspiring, creative, and just plain badass entrepreneurs as possible, and encourage them to lean on each other.
A carefully curated range of speakers spoke to attendees in engaging ways (read: live-podcasting, interactive meditation, Q+A sessions, and so much more!) on topics specific to being the best entrepreneurs possible.
Emily is a certified healer and guide in the Modern Mystery School, where she shares healing modalities, meditation classes, training, energetic tools and more! We love that she touched on ways to ditch burnout and create balance in our daily lives. Not only that, she provided attendees with the tools to be their most present selves in everything they do or pursue. Walking away with solid action items is a sure-sign of a great presenter!
This one was a real tear-jerker. For starters, Amy Paulson is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Gratitude Alliance, a program that focuses on trauma healing training and counseling for the most vulnerable communities around the world. Amy, once an orphan herself, is passionate about helping children heal from the loss of their mothers through transformative exercises. She had our audience mesmerized by her message of resilience and importance of gratitude.
Coupled with Amy, was Noel Russell, who has done countless projects with the homeless youth population in the San Francisco Bay Area. Together, Amy and Noel led a conversation based on gratitude and the ways in which practicing gratitude can better all of our lives. Noel spends her free time traveling with her husband and two adorable dogs in a van they call Francis Ford Campola (we’re obsessed).
Her Instagram feed, @Noel_russ, is filled with mountains, dreamy sunsets and plenty of #vanlife reality shots. We love the work/life balance she has achieved (and is constantly working on). In Noel’s words, “Every minute of free time I have is spent in the wilderness, but it’s always bookended by 50+ hour work weeks, and lots of long days and late nights.”
Led in conversation by the outstanding Jodee Debes (a San Francisco based wedding photographer and entrepreneur in her own right).
During this live podcast taping, Jodee Debes of the Behind Your Dream Job podcast and professional photographer, interviewed Emily Merrell of Six Degrees Society. The Behind Your Dream Job podcast was Jodee’s look into the lives of some of her best friends and colleagues who have what most would consider a “dream job”. The subject of this podcast episode with Emily Merrell was Emily’s Dream Job as a connector! Emily is a San Francisco local, founder and CEO of Six Degrees Society, a monthly networking group that empowers millennials to get connected and be their best selves through networking events! Emily spreads a little sunshine wherever she goes, and the Take Time to Toast Better Together event was no exception! Prior to the conference, Emily matched up attendees by similar interests and sent out the matches via email so that you had someone you were specifically looking to get connected with throughout the day. If you’ve ever attended a networking event alone, you know just how comforting this sense of purpose can feel. You can still get involved with Six Degrees Society today and attend an event in San Francisco, New York or Los Angeles.
Talk about a powerhouse panel of women speakers! We were beyond inspired by the energy and advice that these ladies had to offer attendees. As individuals, they are each amazing examples of women we can strive to emulate. Together, they are the epitome of what women can do!
Daphnie Yang (on Instagram as @Daphnie Yang) is a personal trainer and creator of HIIT It!, the ultimate high intensity interval training workout in New York City. Her contributions to this discussion helped us learn how to be the boss of our body, business, and life.
“Happiness takes vision; vision takes the first step,” says Deana Mamlieva. We were thrilled to have her share her story of pursuing her dreams. Deana grew up in the USSR before following her heart to the USA years later where she is now a professional speaker and helps women activate their personal power and claim their dreams.
Elise Armitage is a self-proclaimed social media addict and founder of her fashion and travel blog WTFab! She’s an OG influencer and she dropped some serious knowledge! She has been lucky enough to work with major brands like lululemon, Airbnb, and Nordstrom. She shared some tips on taking a blog to the next level, but more importantly she shared how all of us can achieve success in our businesses starting at the ground up.
Lauren Denham, who constantly inspires us with her amazing Instagram posts, joined us to share her story of overcoming depression from loss, divorce, and other hard life lessons. She says, “My point is that mentors are ALL around us if we pay attention. And even if they aren’t our mentors personally, we can still use their knowledge and wisdom to take inspired action in our lives.” Her encouragement was a true asset to this event.
Last, but certainly not least, we had a Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter PIKE: Victoria Gurtler. At the time of speaking on our panel, she served as the highest ranking officer aboard a $4.4 million warship with missions that have included counter-narcotics, port security, and search and rescue. We are stunned by all that she has accomplished, including her role as the Vice Chair of the USCG Women’s Leadership Initiative.
Together, these 5 leading-ladies talked our attendees through the ups and downs of life and entrepreneurship and what it’s like to be a woman in today’s world. The underlying message was that we are all #bettertogether and that it’s important to lean on each other for support.
What has Jackie Sorkin not accomplished?! This boss woman is known as the Hollywood Candy Queen and for good reason: she is the co-creator of Candytopia and owner of Hollywood Candy Girls. This serial entrepreneur is a girl after our own hearts, and we felt so fortunate that she could visit with us to share what it’s like to make your dreams a reality. She said it best during her fireside keynote with Danielle Gibson, the owner of Danielle Gibson Events, when she reminded us, “All I offer is me. I just bring myself and myself is good enough! Yourself is good enough! You offer unique gifts to this world that no one else can, remember that.”
No Take Time to Toast event would be complete without an engaging activity to get creative juices flowing. Our “Toaster’s Faire” allowed attendees to visit a variety of carefully selected booths from vendors that offer insane amounts of value. We made herbs and salts alongside the crew from Clubhouse Caravan. Moon Cycle Nutrition educated us on women’s wellness and nutrition. Honeybook shared their business management tools. Return to Sacred offered mini clarity sessions. Sephora provided quick makeup touch ups. Delfino Madden LLP gave attendees the opportunity to ask a lawyer their most pressing questions. All of these booths were available to attendees all day.
As corporate event planners, we’ve experienced a range of food and beverage options at all-day conferences. We’ve found that too often, the options are unhealthy and food-coma inducing. When deciding what food and beverages we wanted at Take Time to Toast Better Together, we opted for options that would be healthy sources of energy—for both your body and mind. This included small breakfast bites from Smoke Catering, Crisp Kitchen juice shots that left attendees feeling refueled and ready to digest more conference content, healthy lunches with sandwiches and salads from Nappalachia, and an Instagram worthy happy hour spread of small bites by Natalie and the incredible La Saison team. Baked goodies from Teeny Cake fulfilled everyone’s sweet tooth (I mean, salted mini chocolate chip cookies?!). Last, but not least, an array of candies from Hollywood Candy Girls gave attendees the final push they need for the afternoon sessions.
We ended the day with a literal “toast” featuring MTGA Rose Wine poured by fellow Napa Valley event planner + friend, Brittany Anderson of L’avventura. The wine is produced by her husband, Mike! We love a power couple. It was incredibly important to us to end with everyone in one room, sharing a moment of connection. It was an impactful day, from the unexpected rain and the vendors + friends who helped us quickly reorganize inside, to the speakers, to the moments of community building, we truly experienced the meaning of #BetterTogether.
Behind Your Dream Job @dreamjobpod
Clubhouse Caravan @clubhousecaravan
Crisp Kitchen & Juice @crispkitchenandjuice
Danielle Gibson Events, Planning and Design @daniellegibsonevents
Deborba Events @deborbaevents
Elysium Productions @elysiumweddings
Encore Event Rentals @encoreeventsrentals
Giggle and Riot Photo Booths @giggleandriot
Gratitude Alliance @gratitudealliance
Ink Me This @inkmethis
Jessamyn Harris Photography @jessamynharris
Jodee Debes Photo @jodeedebesphoto
K2 Ranch (Our beautiful venue!)
La Saison Catering @lasaison_napa
La Tavola Linens @latavolalinen
Love in the Mix DJ’s @loveinthemix
Meghankaite Co. Stickers @meghankaiteco
Milou & Olin Photography @milouandolinphotography
MTGA Wine @mtgawines
Nappalachia Catering @nappalachia
Olea Hotel @oleahotel
Packed Party @packedparty
Return to Sacred Meditation @returntosacred
Sense of Security @sosc_hope
Six Degrees Society @six_degrees_society
Smoke Catering @smokeopenfire
Standard Party Rental @standardpartyrentals
Studio Noel Signage @studio.noel
Subconscious Coffee @subconscious.coffeecart
Teeny Cake Bakery @teenycakebakery
The Posh Privy Mobile Restrooms @theposhprivy
The Whiskey Chaser Mobile Bar @thewhiskeychaserbar
Theoni Rentals @theonicollection
Arvo Floral Studio @arvofloralstudio
Vanity Portrait Studio @thevanityportraitstudio
Zim Balloons @zimballoons
Fall 2019 we took time to hit pause, before the holiday season swept us up, to celebrate and cultivate our growing community in the form of a Friendsgiving event. Hosted at San Francisco’s Cerf Club, TTTT Friendsgiving included a sit-down Thanksgiving-style dinner, plenty of wine, and an evening of facilitated conversation to help us all build connections. Our goal was to provide a safe space for attendees to feel heard and supported in the pursuit of their goals and passions.
We couldn’t have pulled off this event, the first SOLD OUT Take Time to Toast event ever, without getting clear on our “why.” Take Time to Toast strives to be a source of support for its attendees and to facilitate connections within the community. To better align with these values, attendees were encouraged to think about their own “why” and the unique skills and traits they add to the Take Time to Toast community. Everyone brings something special to the table – a unique perspective, a different career path, opportunities to network even further, and so much love and support. We may have provided the food and drinks, but this group of attendees brought so much more—a willingness to connect, to share their voice, and ask for the help of others.
An entrepreneurial journey is not a clear-cut path to success, every journey is difficult and unique in the obstacles and victories it presents. However, we were thrilled to have guest speaker Alexandra Register, creator and founder of KLSD Design Co., join us for Friendsgiving! Alex spoke on the important role community has played in her success. It is because of her cultivation of a true support system that she now runs a thriving local boutique in a space she was told would never work!
In a season full of gratitude, the attitude of gratitude in this growing community was truly palpable. Let us continue to support each and every one of you with encouragement, food for thought, and future events: stayed connected with Take Time to Toast on Instagram and by signing up for our newsletter. Meanwhile, we hope you always find yourself seated at tables of people who challenge you, support you, and are a positive force in your endeavors.
BBJ Linens @bbjlinen
Cerf Club @cerfclub
Chile Pies Baking Co. @chilepiesbakingco
Danielle Gibson Events @daniellegibsonevents
KLSD Design Co. @klsd_co
Kuga Designs @kugadesignsflorals
Milou & Olin Photography @milouandolinphotography
Minute Media Productions @trevor_schlitt
MTGA Wines @mtgawines
Stag Dining @stagdining
Tournesol Wines @tournesolwine
Vine Country Signs @vinecountrysigns
In a world filled with noise, we held a Take Time to Toast Wellness event at The Assembly, in San Francisco to provide a quiet, healthy space. We wanted to give attendees a chance to hit pause on the chaos of modern life, so we stripped away all the noise, just for half a day, and sat with the silence of our internal voices.
Yoga Instructor Natalie Somers led our attendees through an all-levels flow class. Yoga is intended to improve the strength and flexibility of your muscles, especially those that aren’t used often. Having Natalie gets our bodies in line with our mind was so helpful to kick off the day! You will only be more successful in your pursuits if you dedicate time to increasing your strength and flexibility (physically AND mentally!).
During the personal purpose workshop, each attendee had an opportunity to pause and reflect on where they were at that moment and where they wanted to get to. Purpose brings clarity to your goal setting by aligning those goals with your passions and values. Knowing our personal purpose helps steer our actions. We encourage you to set aside some time to think about what personal purpose means to you and how purpose has shaped your life and goals. Start to get clear on what excites you and what your passions are to help identify your purpose and align your life around it.
Part of self care is your community: who you surround yourself with can bring you energy or drain your energy. We, as humans, are not meant to do this life thing alone. Embrace your community and encourage one another so that you all thrive and grow. Be on the lookout for our next Take Time to Toast event so that you too can invest in growing your community.
Venue: The Assembly @theassemblysf
Photographer: Milou & Olin Photography @milouandolinphotography
Wine: Ferdinand Wines @ferdinandwines
Wine: Novaolo Wine @novaolo
Sparkling Water: La Croix @lacroixwater
Catering: Mortar & Pestle Cooking @mortarpestlecooking
Florals: Rito Ito Florals @rito_ito
Purpose Coach: Kristin Krajecki @novaolo
Yoga Instructor: Natalie Somers @natalie_somers
CBD Products: Winged CBD @wingedcbd
Skin Care: Lark Skin Co. @larkskinco