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“A Pleasant Flight”

Balloons Above the Valley
Ranked #2 of 23 Outdoor Activities in Napa
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Get Carried Away! Balloons Above The Valley has been voted Best Balloon Ride in Napa Valley 17 years in a row. Dance with the wind above Napa Valley in a colorful hot air balloon. Celebrate your celestial adventure with a festive champagne brunch where you can reminisce about your journey in a serene wine country setting. May The Winds Welcome You Softly
Lakewood, Colorado
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A Pleasant Flight”
Reviewed 1 January 2012

My wife and i took the balloon flight with 'balloons above the valley' thsi holiday weekend in December for our anniversary. We stayed at the nearby Best Western Ivy Napa which is less than 5 mins from the Marriott from where the balloon trip departs. Our reporting time was 7.00 a.m. and we sere served coffee and breakfast at the Marriott as promised. The breakfast was adequate with muffins and some fruits with Starbucks coffee. The balloon fligt took off about 7.15 a.m. and lasted about 50-55 mins. It was a pleasant experiece overall with scenice views of Napa valley all arous. However, December is not the best time to take the fligt as the vineyards are dry. Spetember/October would provide much more spectacular views of the valley. We would have liked to fly at higher altitudes but the flying altitude depends on the prevailing wind currets on the day so ca't really complain..The pilot Jayson was courteous and seemed quite competent at handling one of the largest hot air balloons in the US. The landing was perfect, The brunch after the balloon ride was excellent as well. All in all a wonderful experience! Following the balloon ride, we drove to the Castello di Amoroso for a wine tasting tour. That was money well spent as well!

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank soilman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencerbob, Manager at Balloons Above the Valley, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Hello Soilman!
Thank you for your review.
We love to hear feedback from our guests be it good or bad and we are so glad that you had a wonderful time!
We do appreciate when you refer to our staff by name and I will be sure to let Jayson know! He has been flying for many years and has actually grown up in the Napa Valley around ballooning as his dad is also a hot air balloon pilot!
We hope to see you again on your next trip to Napa!
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Atlanta GA
Level Contributor
417 reviews
167 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“This place knows customer service and puts out an OUTSTANDING service and product”
Reviewed 15 December 2011

The balloon flight exceeded my expectations because the attention to details the showed from the telephone staff while ordering to the ground crew, to the pilot. EVERYONE showed the professionalism that gave my family comfort (because my wife was apprehensive) as well as the desire to make sure that we had a great time. If your "bucket list " calls for ballooning, this is the place to use, it was a pleasure.

Helpful?
1 Thank rfamily9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencerbob, Manager at Balloons Above the Valley, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Hello rfamily9!
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience with us. We do appreciate it!
Also, thank you for sharing so many wonderful photos. I am sure other tripadvisor members greatly appreciate it, as do we!
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Volcano, Hawaii
Level Contributor
55 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“So glad we did it!”
Reviewed 29 November 2011

I was going to surprise the hubby with this but when he said "as long as your surprise isn't a hot air balloon ride" I thought I'd better tell him so he could get the heebies out of his system. You have to be there no later than 5:30am to leave from Napa but it's a once in a lifetime (maybe) thing so just get up early and don't whine about the early rise. The check process was nice and they tell you who you'll be flying with (3 pilots). They serve coffee and muffins while you wait. I did hear one woman who had to reschedule and the woman said she didn't have her on the list and she said "I drove down from Calistoga and YOU are the person I spoke to so we'd better be on the list!" She said they had plenty of room but it was still not reassuring to hear that if you got bumped you were no longer treated as priority like other reviewers have said. But we really lucked out with the perfect day.

The most scary part of the whole ride was getting in and out of the basket which NO ONE does gracefully and they tell you that. We were lucky enough to have great weather and the most experienced pilot for our flight, Jason. Our flight was 50 minutes long and believe me, you are crammed in there with others, just enough room to turn around but everyone is on the outside so everyone has a view. It's only quiet and peaceful when the burner isn't blaring to keep you moving and that isn't often and even then, you have to hope everyone isn't yucking it up and ruining the zen. It is amazing watching a sunrise from the balloon and honestly, you feel silly for ever being scared in the first place. (I never was for some weird reason) Jason landed with pinpoint precision right where he said he would and when we got back to the store, we tipped him $20 for a good, informative ride. We were a little irritated that it was suggested you tip your pilot especially when you're dropping $200pp already but with the cost of fuel and maintenance, I have a feeling these guys may not get much of the cut when all is said and done so we didn't mind. They have a breakfast when you get back where you can purchase the pics they took of you in the basket/your balloon in flight. Plunk down the $20 if you don't think you'll ever do it again. Will definitely do this again.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
Thank SistaAng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencerbob, Manager at Balloons Above the Valley, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Hi SistaAng!
Thank you so much for flying with us and letting everyone know about your experience!
Glad to hear that you will be back to fly with us again and we look forward to flying with you!
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SFO
Level Contributor
137 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
“A Very Pleasant "Bucket List" Check-Off”
Reviewed 19 November 2011

Purchased gift certificate to this place on HalfOffTV.com nearly 2 years ago and finally talked the wife in to going on our anniversary. Turns out she was afraid of heights (didn't tell me! lol) so it took her time to work up the courage. She is very happy we went. Met at the Marriot off Redwood Road/HWY29 in Napa. Had Starbucks and pastries (good ones not just donuts) while getting the rundown and signing waivers. Hopped in a van for a convoy back to a field along HWY 29 in Yountville to get in balloons. We were assigned to Jeff's balloon and received an informative and fun narration of topography, local history and viticulture while "soaring over California." Floated over Napa for an hour changing altitude basically along HWY 29 (which is also the Wine Train route) and landed in Alston Park. Wasn't as cold as you would think because of the burner. Landing was a show of skill from our pilot. Didn't know a balloon could be controlled so precisely. Convoyed back to the Marriot for an upscale champagne buffet breakfast (much better than I thought it would be) and picked up a copy of our photo for $20. Had a nice time but at full price ($230 a person) I'm not sure how many people could do that. I will keep an eye out for the 50% off specials and buy several as gifts.

Arrived at the Marriot at 630am and were back/fed/out the door at 930am with the whole day ahead of us. Wonderfull!

Hints: Don't stop for coffee-Starbucks served there at the Marriot. Use restrooms before leaving hotel as you won't see another one for 2 hours. Wear removeable layers of clothes as it warms up fast. Bring camera with wriststrap. Easy to lose phone over the side.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank WhirledTravelor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spencerbob, Manager at Balloons Above the Valley, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Hello WhirledTravelor!
YES! Hot air ballooning is definitely an adventure to check off your bucket list!
Thank you for your kind words about our company.
I am glad that you enjoyed our morning muffins. They are made locally in downtown Napa at Sweetie Pies! We love their pastries!
Unfortunately we don't have any half off specials at the moment, however you can check our website at balloonrides.com at any time for our currents specials!
Thanks again!
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Saint Helena, California, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very Professional”
Reviewed 15 November 2011

We met at the Marriott in Napa with a delightful array of pastries and coffee. We were then driven to the take-off sight with time to get photos of the balloon inflation process. The pilot did an excellent job of narrating and answering any guestions that were thrown at him. It was an incredible experience topped off with a wonderful buffet breakfast in a courtyard setting back at the Marriott. And lots of champagne to celebrate the day. Photos were taken right before lift off and were waiting for us at our breakfast tables. I was very impressed by the organization of the whole crew!

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Carole C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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