Written and produced by Jenny Bradley
Photography by Trinette Reed
San Francisco-based designer Suzanne Tucker was most likely struck with an intense case of design déjà vu when she was approached to take on the redesign of Napa Valley’s Auberge du Soleil resort—one of the region’s most acclaimed (and unconditionally tranquil) resorts.
“I was Michael Taylor’s assistant when he designed the original restaurant and rooms [more than 25 years ago],” recalls Tucker. “It was time for a new look, while still keeping the spirit of what Michael had designed. I was extremely touched when they asked me. It meant the world to be working on the Auberge again.”
Having been through this process once before, Tucker knew exactly where to go for design inspiration. “My vision has always been to create a contemporary yet still romantic country inn atmosphere inspired by the colors of the South of France. The original inspiration for the hotel was the rustic sophistication of French Provence,” remembers Tucker. “That complexity is found equally in the beauty of Napa Valley—the fantastic light, the views over the vineyards and olive groves, the seasonal colors, and, of course, the food and wine, which is unrivaled.”
Suite Living Room
Playing on these rare qualities, Tucker has created an organic, sophisticated retreat for guests staying in the resort’s Maison Calais La Plage (one of a handful of maisons housing the resort’s 50 luxurious guest rooms and suites). Here, the designer opted for a neutral palette peppered with shots of warm color—primarily terra-cotta, sandstone, and ochre. The soothing scheme, along with wide plank floors, cerused oak headboards, intricate embroidery, and a mix of inviting textiles—many from her Suzanne Tucker Home collection—creates a pampering atmosphere that’s sure to bring any guest back for more.
“It is the ultimate place to relax. It’s luxurious, sophisticated, warm, earthy, comfortable” says designer Suzanne Tucker.
Auberge du Soleil
The resort’s maisons are perched on Rutherford Hill overlooking Napa Valley’s sun-drenched vineyards and olive groves. Spa treatments—many incorporating indigenous ingredients—can be enjoyed in the Auberge spa.
Maison Calais La Plage
Designer Suzanne Tucker used a subtle palette throughout the four rooms of the Maison Calais La Plage suite to create a cohesive, welcoming space made for indulgence. “The redesign was all about bringing the interiors forward to a more contemporary look without losing sight of the location,” says Tucker.
A large-scale paisley headboard keeps the suites’ mood modern yet festive. Light woods emphasize the light and warmth from the resort’s natural surroundings.
Sumptuous spa-like elements—including serene, clean-lined bathrooms swathed in honey hues and sprawling private terraces accessible through French doors—are de rigueur in every suite. “It is the ultimate place to relax,” says Tucker, enumerating the gratifying adjectives at length: “luxurious, sophisticated, warm, earthy, comfortable, inviting, indulgent, sensual, casual, and gracious.”
There’s no doubt that Tucker’s mentor would be proud. “Every once in a while I’ll step back and ask myself, what would Michael do if he were updating the look of the Auberge du Soleil?” notes Tucker. “I like to think I have a good idea of what the answer would be!”
The suites’ warm interior color palette is reflected on the outside of the building as well. Warm honey and terra-cotta hues stand out against the region’s lush foliage without overpowering the gorgeous landscape.