Review: Las Alcobas Napa Valley

Filed Under: Hotel Reviews, Marriott

After two incredible nights at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, our next stop was Napa Valley for three nights, where we booked Las Alcobas, a Marriott Luxury Collection property that I’ve been wanting to check out for a while.

Booking Las Alcobas Napa Valley

Rates at Las Alcobas are highly variable, both seasonally and based on the day of week. We were visiting Monday through Thursday in mid-November, which is probably as off-peak as it gets.

While we could have redeemed points here, paying cash was the better value. The paid rate was $500 per night, and there was a third night free promotion, so we were paying an average of ~$333 per night.

But it got better than that:

  • We could book through Marriott STARS, so we also received a $100 hotel credit, free breakfast, and more
  • Ford and I each had offers on our Amex cards for a $100 statement credit when you spend $500 at a Marriott luxury brand

In the end we paid a rate of $333 per night, but got a $100 property credit, free breakfast, and a total of $200 in statement credits on our Amex cards.

I also used three of my Marriott suite upgrade awards (I had 15 that were unused and expiring at the end of the year), and confirmed an upgrade to an upper vineyard view room. While not a suite, that room retails for an extra $250 per night over the base room, since views come at quite a premium here.

As a point of comparison, if you want to redeem points here then, this is a Category 8 Marriott Bonvoy property, which retails for 70,000-100,000 points per night depending on whether it’s peak, off-peak, or standard pricing. See this post for the best credit cards for earning Bonvoy points.

Even with off-peak pricing, paying cash was the better deal for our stay, since I value Marriott points at ~0.7 cents each.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley Review

I’ll break the review of Las Alcobas into several parts, and will talk about the arrival & check-in experience, our room, the hotel’s restaurant (including breakfast there), the gym and pool, service, and then I’ll share my overall thoughts on Napa Valley, since this was my first time.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley Arrival & Check-In

Las Alcobas is located in Saint Helena in Napa Valley (but not in the town of Napa as such). So we flew from Los Angeles to Santa Rosa, and rented a car from there. The drive from Santa Rosa Airport to Las Alcobas took about 45 minutes, and was scenic.

Santa Rosa Airport

Las Alcobas is located just outside the adorable downtown area of Saint Helena, and was easy to find. I was delighted to find out that the hotel offers complimentary valet parking. This seems to be a standard just about everywhere in Napa Valley, which is a nice change of pace, in a world where we’re increasingly seeing all kinds of BS fees from hotels.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley driveway

The check-in experience was great. The hotel only has a tiny reception area, and they don’t actually seem to process check-in there. So the valet asked for our name, and a moment later a front office employee came out to escort us straight to our room.

Talk about a seamless check-in experience. The guy who checked us in was incredibly friendly and professional, and explained everything about the hotel and what was included with our room.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley Room

Las Alcobas has a total of 68 rooms, and fewer than a dozen of those are suites. The rooms are spread across four buildings:

  • There are some rooms in Acacia House, which is where the hotel’s restaurant is located; these rooms don’t have amazing views
  • Then there are rooms in the building you see in the picture above and to the right; those are rooms with “estate” views, which is basically just a garden view
  • Then there are two identical buildings that you see in the below picture; these rooms have vineyard views, which are the premium views

We were in one of the two buildings with vineyard views.


Las Alcobas Napa Valley rooms

Specifically, we were in room 334, located on the third (top) floor of one of the buildings.  There are a total of eight rooms in that building on the top floor. The hotel has exterior hallways, which makes sense given the layout of the property.


Las Alcobas Napa Valley exterior hallway

Each room has a cute gate and small area before you enter the room, with a bench. I’m not sure if this is intended so you can take off your shoes before entering or what, since it’s not like this is a ski resort where you have to take off ski equipment.


Las Alcobas Napa Valley room exterior


Las Alcobas Napa Valley room exterior

We had a one king bed upper vineyard view room, which I loved. The room was beautifully decorated in a way that felt appropriate for the area.


Las Alcobas vineyard view room

The room featured a comfortable king size bed — I liked that the pillows were long, though they were really flat, which I oddly ended up not minding (usually I prefer thicker pillows).


Las Alcobas vineyard view room


Las Alcobas vineyard view room


Las Alcobas vineyard view room

Across from the bed was a wall-mounted TV, two chairs, and a long table.


Las Alcobas vineyard view room

Waiting on the table was a lovely welcome amenity consisting of a half bottle of sparkling wine, as well as a cheese plate.


Las Alcobas Napa Valley welcome gift

Then next to the bed was a chair with an ottoman and a side table.


Las Alcobas vineyard view room

The minibar was across from that.


Las Alcobas in-room minibar

Minibars are usually outrageously priced, though I have to say that I think this minibar had the most reasonable prices I’ve ever seen at a luxury property in the US. $3 for a soda, or $2-5 for snacks?! Not bad!

Las Alcobas minibar prices

There was also some complimentary bottled water, a kettle, and best of all, a french press. I love a hotel that puts some effort into their coffee game, and Las Alcobas scores 10/10 in that regard — the coffee in the restaurant was spectacular, they offered complimentary coffee to all guests just outside the restaurant, and they have in-room french presses. I loved, loved, loved that.


Las Alcobas in-room french press

Back towards the entrance was a closet.


Las Alcobas vineyard view room closet

Then just inside the entrance and to the left was part of the bathroom. There was a single sink, and then a shower “complex” with both a soaking tub and a walk-in shower. The shower had a rainforest shower head and a handheld one.


Las Alcobas vineyard view room bathroom


Las Alcobas vineyard view room shower


Las Alcobas vineyard view room bathtub

I loved the MOMO toiletries.


Las Alcobas Napa Valley toiletries

The toilet was in a separate area — it was inside the entrance and to the right, and there was a sink and a bidet toilet there.


Las Alcobas vineyard view room toilet


Las Alcobas vineyard view room toilet

The highlight of the room, though, was the balcony. The balcony had two chairs and a bench, a fire pit, and amazing views of the vineyard.


Las Alcobas Napa Valley balcony


Las Alcobas Napa Valley balcony


Las Alcobas Napa Valley view

I don’t know how to describe the whole setup other than magical. As someone who loves a good view, it was so nice to sit out here working, enjoying a french press coffee in the morning, enjoying a glass of wine in the evening, etc. The fire pit was on a timer, so you just had to turn a knob to start it.


Las Alcobas Napa Valley view


Las Alcobas Napa Valley fire pit 

Wifi in the room was fast and free. Like I said, I have nothing but amazing things to say about the room here — I loved the views, I loved the fire pit, I loved the design, and I loved the french press.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley Acacia House

The focal point of the hotel is Acacia House, which is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant. When you pull up to the hotel, this is the first thing you see (and then the buildings with most guest rooms are behind it).

Las Alcobas Acacia House exterior


Las Alcobas Acacia House exterior

Acacia House had outdoor seating, though when we were there it was on the cool side, so we always ate inside.


Las Alcobas Acacia House outdoor seating


Las Alcobas Acacia House outdoor seating

Acacia House had an adorable bar area, and then further in was the restaurant.


Las Alcobas Acacia House bar


Las Alcobas Acacia House bar


Las Alcobas Acacia House bar


Las Alcobas Acacia House restaurant


Las Alcobas Acacia House restaurant

The first night when we arrived we had drinks and dinner here, because we were tired and both had to get caught up on work. This also ended up being a good opportunity to use our $100 property credit.

The bar menu and drink list read as follows:

I had a glass of sauvignon blanc and Ford had the mezcal negroni.


Las Alcobas Acacia House drinks

To eat we shared the salmon tartare, baby lettuces, and grilled cheese.


Las Alcobas Acacia House dinner


Las Alcobas Acacia House dinner


Las Alcobas Acacia House dinner

The food and service were both excellent.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley Breakfast

For booking through Marriott STARS we received complimentary breakfast, and we were told that we could enjoy this either in the restaurant or via in-room dining. Rather impressively we were told that we could just order whatever we wanted, so I’m not sure if there’s a limit, but we weren’t charged anything.

When I’m told to just order whatever, I don’t ask any questions. 😉

We had breakfast every morning in the restaurant, and it was a highlight of staying here. Breakfast is served daily from 7AM until 10:30AM, and is entirely a la carte.

The breakfast menu read as follows:

The quality and presentation of their coffee drinks — including lattes, cappuccinos, and cold brews — was exceptional.

Las Alcobas Acacia House breakfast


Las Alcobas Acacia House breakfast

The food was equally good, and it was probably one of my favorite hotel breakfasts in the US. My two favorite things on the menu were the greek yogurt with granola, fruit, and honey, as well as the banana and almonds.


Las Alcobas Acacia House breakfast


Las Alcobas Acacia House breakfast

The purgatory (baked eggs with sauce and olives) was delicious as well.


Las Alcobas Acacia House breakfast

We also had the omelettes and egg white frittata, which were very good.


Las Alcobas Acacia House breakfast


Las Alcobas Acacia House breakfast

While we never had breakfast in the room, the in-room dining menu read as follows:

The restaurant also had complimentary coffee at the bar for all guests.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley coffee

Las Alcobas Napa Valley Gym & Pool

As far as the hotel’s other facilities go, there was a pool, gym, and spa, in addition to some cute outdoor areas where you could chill. The hotel had a central courtyard, which I imagine could be used for weddings, or something (since it’s right across from an events space).

Las Alcobas Napa Valley public areas


Las Alcobas Napa Valley public areas

There are all kinds of seating areas around the hotel…


Las Alcobas Napa Valley public areas


Las Alcobas Napa Valley public areas

The hotel also has a pool with plenty of seating and a fire pit, though it probably wasn’t the season for that. The pool is technically open from 7AM until 9PM. A sign indicated that they seasonally had food and beverage service there from 11AM until 7PM, though that didn’t seem to be the case when we were there.


Las Alcobas Napa Valley pool


Las Alcobas Napa Valley pool


Las Alcobas Napa Valley pool seating

The hotel also had a pretty good 24/7 gym, including a yoga room.


Las Alcobas Napa Valley gym


Las Alcobas Napa Valley gym


Las Alcobas Napa Valley gym

Las Alcobas has the Atrio Spa, though we didn’t get any treatments while here. You can find the spa menu here.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley Service

Service at Las Alcobas impressed me. The truth is that we were out and about for much of our time, so we didn’t interact that much with the hotel staff. That being said:

  • The valet was always friendly and prompt
  • Housekeeping was especially good, and somehow our room was always made when we returned from our outings, even if we were just gone for an hour or so
  • Service in the restaurant was friendly and professional

I have nothing but good things to say about service here, though admittedly we didn’t interact with the staff quite as much as at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, for example.

Overall Thoughts On Napa Valley

This was my first time to Napa Valley, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Frankly I came in with pretty low expectations. I figured there was wine tasting and maybe some decent restaurants, but I ended up being very pleasantly surprised.

What did I love about Napa Valley and the area?

  • Wine tasting is actually really fun; I’m not someone who loves to discuss the mild hints I’m picking up on when drinking wine, but the reality is that you can basically spend your day sampling wine with great views, and I really enjoyed it
  • There were so many adorable restaurants in the area; we didn’t have one restaurant here that disappointed us
  • I was so surprised by how friendly everyone was; everyone we interacted with at restaurants, wineries, etc., seemed genuinely hospitable and personable in a way I wasn’t expecting
  • As someone who loves nature and nice views, I loved the fresh air and generally beautiful landscape in the area
  • There are some really charming little towns in the area with cute “main streets” you can walk along, like Saint Helena

Beautiful views from the wineries

Wine tasting

So is Napa Valley the most exciting place on earth? No. But I’d actually go back without thinking twice, and that’s something I didn’t think would be the case.

We were there on weekdays so still worked for most of the morning, but then it was nice to go out to a lunch, then go to a winery or two, and then go to a nice dinner.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley Bottom Line

We had an awesome stay at Las Alcobas, and a great time in Saint Helena and Napa Valley, for that matter.

Las Alcobas has nicely appointed rooms with fire pits and lovely views. We also loved Acacia House — breakfast was a real highlight, though it was nice in the evenings as well.

Las Alcobas has a great location, great service, and a nice gym and pool.

I was really happy to have visited off-season, not just because our rate was much lower, but also because the hotel was nowhere near full. While November is the low season, I think it’s a great time to visit. It was low 60s in the mornings and evenings, and then 70s during the days, which was awesome.

I’d return to Las Alcobas in a heartbeat.

If you’ve stayed at Las Alcobas, what was your experience like?

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Comments
  1. Had a great one night stay there last June ! Nice jr suite overlooking the vineyard . Def would like to return .

  2. @ JG — When you check out of a hotel you can split your payment however you’d like across multiple cards.

  3. Go to Le Meridien Emei Mountain resort, about the same, suite upgrades without using suite vouchers, secure ambassador suite with a suite voucher comes with a small pool and the hotel offering free transfer from Emei train station for platinum and above, best of all, the hotel is under 100 USD

  4. Interesting, my wife and I stayed here for an anniversary and were not as impressed. We did have a vineyard view, which was nice, although we could see some buildings to the left where people could presumably see us and all the guests in the patio area. We found the decor minimalist to the point of sterile, all grey and little color, and hard surfaces. The fire pit is wonderful, agreed. Service was hit or miss on our stay, some confusion on check in and several staff seemed indifferent. There is no jacuzzi/hot tub on site. Breakfast was good, and St. Helena is a fun little town, although walkable a car is more convenient. Overall we’d probably look for a nice B&B in the area if going back at the rates Las Alcobas charges.

  5. They do play games with the standard award room availability. Glad you enjoyed the property with a good avg rate per night, Lucky, but I am not too excited to visit due management engaging in such practice.

  6. Hi Lucky,

    As a San Francisco native and wine enthusiast, I’m glad to hear you and Ford had a great time. St. Helena is a great part of Napa Valley. I’ve driven by Las Alcobas countless times and have always considered it for a Napa weekend. Can you share some of the wineries you visited? I’m just super curious. For your next wine visit, I highly recommend going across the ridge and visiting Sonoma Valley.

  7. The food generally at acacia house is terrible and overpriced. That salad in particular looks as exciting and fresh as a wet pair of socks. To be fair any restaurant of Chef Chris Constentinos tends to be fairly overhyped and just plain shitty.

  8. Living on East Coast, I love to visit Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Napa at least once a year. Over last few years we have stopped going to St. Helena because it got too touristy. Las Alcobas does not look anything special from rooms to amenities to food options. With so many great restaurants and bed and breakfast in the area, why waste time and money at this establishment? After 103 nights with Bonvoy this year I do understand the loyalty game but with no measurable Bonvoy benefits or a lucrative promotion why one should stay there?

  9. Lucky – As a local to the Bay Area, I’d encourage you to try Sonoma wine country, specifically around Healdsburg. IMO, overall better wines (I’m a big Pinot Noir fan) and somewhat more affordable, in terms of both hotels and wineries. Similar experience too, but slightly less touristy.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love St. Helena (Archetype is a great brunch spot) but I think there are better places to stay, since the rates you got are not typical in my experience.

  10. @ Nick — It’s not true that there was “NOTHING” about elite benefits. I talked about how I used a suite night award, which last I checked *is* an elite benefit. And I’m not sure what else to say? Elites earn extra points and get late check-out at resorts subject to availability (which I didn’t need). I selected points as the welcome amenity at check-in. That’s about it.

  11. @ Al — I had brought this to Marriott’s attention and they suggested it was due to a system error and that it would be fixed soon. Looks like it’s time for me to follow up…

  12. @ Leo — Hope to check it out sometime, though I am failing to see how a Le Meridien in Leshan, China, is “about the same” as a hotel in wine country in California? :p

  13. @aaron. Ha. No I’m not. Just a person who has dined at his restaurants a few times over the last 10 years. They always open to such fanfare and always disappoint. He has what is called a “stoner” palate. Too much salt and too much fat lending the food to boring flavor profiles and heavy handedness. It’s like being bludgeoned to death with a bag of salt and drowned in a pool of rendered pork fat.

  14. Try Calistoga Ranch next time. It’s not a points hotel though. The setting is quite lovely and have several onsite hiking trails. The spa is beautiful and food is tasty. It’s a bit more north thus downtown (Calistoga) feels less touristy. The area is known for hot springs so you can do that besides strolling at St Helena downtown and wine tasting. The other two luxury hotels in Napa Valley area is Auburge du soleil which has a fantastic outdoor cafe area perch high above Napa Valley with Instagram worthy views. Meadowoods is another luxury resort that has a waspy country club feel down to if you want to play crocket on their pristine lawn, you have to wear white from head to toe. There is a three Michelin Star restaurant onsite that I prefer over the more famous French Laundry in Yountville. If you are big on staying at the “greenest” resort possible, then Bardessono in Yountville is your best bet. It has LEED Platinum status. Comes with towels that, shall we say, less than plush. But that’s green resort for you.

  15. That toilet is a TOTO Washlet! You’ve never mentioned that, and it is rare in the US (I remembered you’ve said there is one in Park Hyatt New York suites)

  16. I’m confused how this hotel relates to the one in Mexico City. Is this some Marriott mini brand within a brand? Kind of like Parker Meridien or SLS?

  17. I’ll add to the local comments. Napa is great, but Sonoma is much less crowded, touristy and expensive. Also, the wines are far more interesting. My wine cooler is full of Sonoma wines.

  18. Amazing review and the hotel looks gorgeous. I’ve been debating it – I live in SF – and will add it to my list after reading this. Glad you had a great time in California!

  19. Very Japanese style bathroom (separate toilet, toto washlet, bath and shower combo wetrooom) I guess I can tell where they do their marketing. Looks very nice.

  20. For example, what would a normal Marriott Platinum+ receive without STARS program for breakfast (Restaurant? continental?) would be helpful for readers.

  21. Very good review 🙂 Thank you for this tip. Will put it on the short list for our next SF area visit. STAR program also good tip. (will keep Ford in mind 😉 )

  22. I can see you did the Domaine Carneros sparkling taster… for a bit of trivia, Le Rêve is meant to based on / inspired by Comtes de Champagne. Terrific drop!

  23. “maybe some decent restaurants” – wait what ? Napa Valley is known for having some of the best fine dining in the entire world…

  24. @Lucky – seconding the earlier recommendation to come spend some time in Healdsburg! As a long-time reader and winery owner here, we’d love to host you for a tasting. Just don’t let the cat out of the bag about our awesome STS airport!

  25. Lucky, you were right across the street from Beringer. You should have done a tasting there. That’s one of the oldest wineries in Napa valley.

  26. Hey Brian, are you willing to tell us which winery you own. I try to make it across the bridge at least a couple times a year!

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