Bruno Mars may have dubbed it "fancy Coachella" (and he's not wrong) but we had a terrific time. Being in Northern California, I always forget that while Napa Valley is only 40 minutes away, it's like being in an entirely different place altogether. Anywhere that boasts of mature gravevines and rolling hills instantly whispers "Tuscany" in your ear.
Being my first time attending Bottlerock, we purchased tickets for Sunday only. Blame it on the procrastination. Tickets sold out within minutes the day of and therefore we had to make a choice: Classics like Billy Idol and Earth, Wind and Fire on one day. Powerhouses like Muse, the Killers and the Chainsmokers the next. Hip hop icons like Snoop Dogg and E-40 (I do live in the Bay) played as well. And Bruno Mars headlining the closeout and final day. I opted for Bruno. Forever Bruno.
We stayed at the Meritage Resort and Spa which was phenomenal. My only qualm was not being able to stay longer. I didn't have enough time to book a spa trip while there (the spa is located in a voluminous cave) but I did get a chance to shop in the spa's gift shop. I picked up a set of Kerstin Florian at home chemical peel pads while there.
The room was nice enough and the grounds were beautiful. They are in the middle of a MAJOR build, which will basically double the size of the resort. Hopefully the new rooms will have some updates. Since we got our own bathroom remodeled, I've found few hotel bathrooms that can compare. Old world Mediterranean charm is all good until you're in the bathroom and realize you need way more light to see that you're doing your makeup properly.
We ate at the casual bar/restaurant on Saturday night because we wanted to watch the Warriors beat the Rockets. That worked because I really didn't feel like getting dressed up for fine dining. The bar has a bowling alley inside it!
The best thing was: The Meritage provided a shuttle service to and from the venue. It ran every 40 minutes. No need to worry about parking and no need to worry about finding a designated driver.
Bottlerock is like an adult's playground. I wish we had more days to explore. My husband's favorite: Coor's Light's sponsored area which felt cold like the Rocky Mountains. Equipped with a DJ, huge bar (serving Coor's of course), AC, and free swag, it was a great place to get out of the sun.
My favorite was the Silent Disco sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. Coincidentally, we ended up sitting with the guy behind the whole event. He was such a cool, laid back guy it made it even better.
I also loved the Spa area, where ladies could get their hair done, get a massage, and of course shop. But alas, we didn't spend much time here.
Food was amazing. I noshed on a Duck Confit Banh Mi sandwich and got my entire life. There were so many food and drink options, I never had to wait in line for food for more that 3 minutes, MAX.
The bathrooms in VIP were pleasant, although towards the end they got pretty nasty. I expected porta potties everywhere, so this was still a plus.
Although we had access to about 5 different stages, towards the end of the day we stayed in the main stage area. I'm glad we did. The closer and closer we got to Bruno, the more packed it got.
The standouts of the music portion were Magic Giants. I'd never heard of them, but their energy was infectious. Highly recommended. Alice Merton was equally good. I love artists that put their whole soul into a performance. I didn't recognize her name, but once I heard a few songs, I realized I had heard her before.
To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of Halsey. I know she's a huge star. Maybe all the bravado and "too for school" attitude is her moniker, but it didn't work for me. It didn't really matter, I was there for Bruno.
Bruno Mars is one of my favorite musicians of all time. He's a magical mixture of Micheal Jackson, James Brown, Morris Day and every single member of the Temptations rolled into one beautiful fun-loving young soul. He performed all my recent faves like "Finesse" and "Perm" but also super hits like "24K Magic" and "Just the Way You Are". He finished with "Marry You".
He was amazing, although I felt he held back a bit. I blame it on the crowd. Maybe next time I'll sweat it out for 8 hours to get in the very front and challenge him to a dance-off. I think that's the energy he needed on Sunday.
For my very first time, it was amazing. Surprisingly I saw a lot of strollers there. This is the exact type of event I'd go to to get away from my children but oh well. (To each his/her own) Will definitely attend again. Maybe next time I'll save up for Platinum tickets and sit in an air conditioned room and hobnob until the headliner comes out and watch them from the front row.
FYI what I wore this weekend: I intended to wear this super cute off-the-shoulder top and athletic shorts set that will be added to website shortly. It was entirely too hot for that. So I wore it Monday instead.