Top Shelf showcases luxury vacations, goods, restaurants and more that you can indulge in after your investing pays off.
It starts in the days of college; we seem infatuated with the idea of traveling (“studying”) abroad — whether that means backpacking through Europe or scuba-diving down under.
Sometimes, though, we become so excited about crossing country lines that we overlook the many wonders located right here at home in the U.S. of A.
One such wonder lies out west in California: the CordeValle luxury resort. It’s been showcased by countless websites, including Forbes, and ranked among the top luxury hotels by U.S. News & World Report.
And all for good reason.
CordeValle is located in the rolling hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, making gorgeous views a constant backdrop to the resort’s endless amenities. Its winery will make you feel like you’re in Italy, its spa will make you feel like you’re in heaven and its golf course (over 7,000 yards) will make you feel like a pro … all without even needing a passport, or leaving the resort grounds.
Of course, you can also venture beyond the grounds to enjoy some local gems, including an aquarium, local shopping, a theme park and the amazing city of San Francisco.
Plus, you can even bring your pet along! I bet you can’t take Sparky across the pond.
Regardless, while foreign trips are nice, they are far from the only option. Let’s break down some more of the impressive highlights of this domestic destination.
Once again, golf is one of the main attractions of this resort. The course was designed by Robert Trend Jones Jr. and has won countless awards. In fact, CordeValle has hosted the PGA Tour, PGA Cup, USGA championships and other prestigious competitions … and you will be playing on it.
No wonder the destination has been described as the “ultimate choice for a golf vacation.”
The course features a practice facility, golf lessons for children and a “Caddie Program.” A team of professional caddies are available to accompany you as “part guide and instructor; part philosopher and psychologist; and, always a friend,” as the website describes.
As one review commented about the experience: “It’s as if you are a member of your own private golf club … but you don’t have to pay a $100,000 initiation fee.”
Plus, for the cherry on top, Pebble Beach — my dad’s personal bucket list vacation item — is nearby as well.
Not a fan of golf? Well, you can also stay active by checking out the tennis courts, for one, which offer private instruction, a ball machine and exhibitions.
Or, of course, you could stay … well … not-so-active, and kick your feet up instead. One place to do so: CordeValle’s Senses Spa. As the website describes:
Derived from the Spanish phrase Corazon del Valle, CordeValle’s name translates to Heart of the Valley. By providing loving attention to the health and rejuvenation of spa guests, Sense spa is truly the heart of CordeValle.
A few features of the spa? Locker rooms decked out with whirlpool and steam, an outdoor heated pool, a fully equipped fitness center, the aforementioned tennis courts, an outdoor yoga deck, gorgeous hiking trails, a relaxation area and, of course, the spa boutique.
In the boutique, you can enjoy the treatment of your choice, including the ocean immersion, rain room rejuvenation, the bungalow love, a valley hot stone massage or a personalized facial, to name a few.
If you’re anything like me, though, it’s the food and drink that makes or breaks any trip. Luckily, CordeValle won’t let you down on this front either. It boasts three fine dining options — Il Vigneto, Lion’s Peak Grill and One Iron Bar — along with a beautiful family-owned winery and 85-acre vineyard called Clos La Chance.
The first restaurant is (of course) classic Italian cuisine and is normally only available to CordeValle country club members. Resort visitors, though, are invited as well. Lion’s Peak — another normally private affair — is the perfect option for those who want to prefer outdoor, while the bar serves locally grown California cuisine.
Last but not least, the award-winning winery offers tours, daily tastings, picnicking and bocce ball. It’s also a popular wedding destination (undoubtedly thanks to the breathtaking views we’ve mentioned already).
Wedding or not, though, CordeValle is the perfect destination for any getaway … and you won’t even have to leave the homeland.