Hola! Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina.

Mention Latin America and Colombia, and your first images might be dazzling mountain peaks, coffee farms, salsa music, a cathedral made of salt, sunshine and most likely, a history of crime. Colombia has all of these. Its people are stylish and sophisticated, few countries have managed the turnaround rebranding achieved by Colombia achieved in the last 15 years.

A welcome arrival at the Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina which is nestled in Zona G (Gourmet area), and is recognized as one of the finest luxury Hotels in Bogota, truly a monument of cultural interest.

The Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina entwines its 1940s colonial history with a splash of contemporary Colombia. A leafy suburban mansion set in the heart of the capital is an ideal retreat for those escaping the hustle and bustle of the city – settle down beside cozy fireplaces indoor and in the beautiful gardens. Designed by Colombian architect Santiago Medina Mejia, in the 1980’s the original hotel was doubled with the addition of a separate wing. Twin towers separate the hotel into two parts: the original 1940s house of the Medina family and an extension, built in the 1980s. At first glance both sections blend into one, but the 1940s area boasts original wood-paneling and unique handcrafted cedar wood doors. The room with the best original features is the one-bedroom suite 303, which has an entire wall of 1940s handcrafted panels.

Small details across the hotel pay homage to its founding architect, Santiago Medina, with stained-glass windows depicting a picture of birds and flowers – Medina’s passions. There are fireplaces in 16 of the 62 rooms, so be sure to request one, unless it’s summer!

Casa Medina is situated in the heart of Zona G, also known as the ‘gourmet zone’ of Bogotá.  Within a one-mile radius there are more than a dozen restaurants and bars of a medium – to high-quality, situated in a safe area which is easy to explore on foot. 

Bogota, the capital city of Colombia is known to be very cool, which is why the Four Seasons has built two hotels here. Half of the rooms are suites, which offer refined spacious living, huge bathrooms and walls of windows bring towering trees inside.

Castanyoles restaurant sits in a colonial courtyard with a glass roof, which gives an al fresco dining effect. The Mediterranean menu offers Spanish tapas alongside light Greek dishes and homemade pastas, cooked by the Italian chef. Starting with small bites of empanadas and my first cup of local Colombian coffee and of course, I tried the more traditional Cacao tea – which rendered me jittery.  Sunday brunch is buzzy with locals and live music – a fun place to sit and people watch.

Sitting in the ‘gourmet zone’ of Bogotá, the Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina is the perfect base from which to explore the sprawling capital of Colombia. The hotel is surrounded by dozen restaurants and bars, but the dining options at hotel are delightful!

This central location allows easy access to the amazing art community in Bogota, there are more than 100 art galleries in the city, many museums include the Botero Museum and the fascinating Gold Museum, definitely worth a visit. In 2000, Colombian artist Fernando Botero, made a significant contribution to the Botero museum. Donating 208 art pieces, 123 of which were his own work and 85 were from other international artists. This generous donation forms the core of the museum’s collection and is a testament to Botero’s personal commitment to promoting art and culture. The permanent collection features notable works by artists such as Balthus, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Sonia Delaunay, Claude Monet, and Henri Matisse.

One of the most striking art districts, primarily for its colorful and technical depictions is the Graffiti District, located in the industrial district of Puente Aranda, in the western part of the city. I enjoyed a guided tour of this now gentrified area, which was once the most dangerous neighborhood in the city. Graffiti in Bogota is so much more than just a pretty picture, it actually tells unique stories of the history, politics, and addresses current issues facing the city today. It’s more than just a painting and is something that many people in Bogota are proud to show off to tourists. It’s not actually “graffiti” but rather “street art.” The artists who paint these massive murals on the walls around Bogota are professionals and most are paid for their services. Art is a means to express feelings and spread a message to others without censorship from the government. This open-air gallery, one of the most important of its kind in South America, offers a large number of colorful murals created by more than 20 national and international artists.

Gracias Four Seasons for my lovely authentic visit!  Highly Recommend!

The Wait is Over! Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley.

A century ago, the bucolic town of Calistoga was known primarily for its bubbling natural hot springs, mud baths, beautiful weather, and the initial plantings of grape vines. Calistoga has matured like the fine wines that surround the town and five-star resorts. Ardent oenophiles, foodies, and wellness seekers flock to the valley at the base of Mount St. Helena.

Worth the Wait!  For months we besieged our Four Seasons rep, dear Fabiola – when does Four Seasons Napa Valley open? Is it open yet? Can we visit yet? Repeat at least 20 times! 

Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley

Worth the delay for our visit last week, a few of us meandered to Calistoga for a delightful private afternoon on property…the resort style reflects the area, a beautiful chic farmhouse design set amid vineyards and resting at the base of Mount St. Helena and perched on the edge of the Mayacamas Mountains. If you know of local Napa designer, Erin Martin, you will absolutely love this authentic luxury retreat! 

A unique distinction, the Four Seasons Napa Valley is the only resort set within a working winery, truly an asset on sultry summer days – no reason to leave the property! Exclusive wine tastings and in the evening mosey up to the fine dining restaurant Truss, and reserve the chic glassed in Chef Table within the working kitchen!  The outdoor terrace overlooks vines and the two shimmering pools.

Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley

Our champagne toasted arrival set the stage for an afternoon of elegance and excellence! My Journey mantra is the arrival is one of the most important aspects of a hotel stay. Approach the natural stone building at the crest of the hilly driveway, enter the glass walled reception and absorb the visual hints of the history of Calistoga. The walls tell the story of the Valley, truly a sense of place is established from the moment you arrive. Behind the check in desk, a wall of black and white straw sombreros line the wall. I loved the juxtaposition of the painted hats, a reminder of the men and women who brought this valley to life and continue to make it thrive, the legacy of the indigenous workers. Another wall is covered with a massive mural installation reflecting a proud woman, a woman with dark skin and a jet-black long braid, she is cradling a hand-woven basket of grapes. Her attire is a collage of natural colors, the soft browns of the soil, the red of the berries, her jacket is bedecked with intricate grape leaves, a melange of patchwork blocks represent water, soil, and life. The Wappo Indians settled here 8,000 years ago, bathing in the warm geothermal waters. The Spanish followed; the reception area honors the early locals. Look left and out the floor to ceiling wall of windows, gaze out toward a long reservoir of shimmering water punctuated by spurting fountains. Water features are featured in several areas of the property, many flanked by lengthy lines of olive trees.

Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley

Natural light, comfy luxe interiors, local pale stone, the hotel hosts 85 rooms and one-bedroom suites set amid the grape vines. Grape to Glass is the successful theme. One and two-story villas also compliment the property. BTW, the Villas are all sold out – an amazing feat! Villas will be managed by the hotel and must reflect the hotel décor. No mismatched owner art here! Kiddy pool and an extended adult pool, both amid ancient olive trees with gnarled trunks indicating their longevity in the Valley.

Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley

Two dining experiences, the fine dining Truss, is helmed by Michelin starred chef Erik Anderson- farm to table dining and an exquisite chef table within the glass walled kitchen- that looked like a superb exclusive experience!

Campo- mosey to the pool and order Cal-Mexican bites in the rustic open air poolside Cal Mexican fare located between the Resort Pool and the Kiddy Pool. Linger over lunch with spicy cocktails or chilled cervezas! The colorful table setting, and bright yellow umbrellas seem to suggest Celebrate! 

World-class winemaker and Calistoga resident, Thomas Rivers Brown manages the winemaking program at the Four Seasons Resort. A native of South Carolina, he began his California winemaking career in 1997.  As a minimal interventionist, he creates wines that showcase the vineyard. Renowned wine critic Robert Parker Jr. has awarded him 23 perfect 100-point scores on his Cabernet Sauvignon projects over the past decade.

Pick up a bike and go for a ride along local country roads, winding through hidden valleys and lush vineyards. Ask about our Four Seasons guided bike tours. Hot air balloons, a multitude of resort activities if you are inclined.

Full-service spa with nail salon, steam, mud treatments and of course seed to skin treatments. Greek philosophers often praised the healing power of grape seeds. Today, the seeds are recognized for their potent antioxidants and polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, helping to neutralize and eliminate harmful free radicals on the skin. Specialized treatments incorporate grape seeds and olive oil produced from the century-old olive trees on the property. An exfoliating scrub of sugar and grape seeds leaves your skin with a soft, luminous glow.

Founded as a hot-springs resort in the 1860s, Calistoga is committed to preserving its original character. Stroll the charming downtown and explore the array of exclusively independent shops and cafés.

Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley was worth the wait, and I anticipate staying and signing up for the grape seed spa treatments and enjoy another scrumptious meal above the vineyards!

Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley