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“Balloons above... below our expectations” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Balloons Above the Valley

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
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Balloons above... below our expectations”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

Hate to be a downer, but this was not a great experience. 1)it was very short - only slightly over half an hour; 2) there were two balloons involved, and our pilot spent the entire time anxiously waiting on the 2nd one, which took awhile to take off -- we hovered near a palm plantation for the entire time; 3) he told homophobic and xenophobic "jokes" (against gays and "Arabs") -- which made us uncomfortable....if nothing else, it was *very* unprofessional, right down to the Andre champagne on the side of the dirt road. My husband called to complain and was yelled at by the owner. The owner should also know that Wild Bill is bragging about buying the balloons in Czechoslovakia because "American regulations are too tough" -- anyone paying to ride in a balloon wants to know that they're safe - and regulated (and from a country that actually exists).

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank chezqueux
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, 23 April 2012
Hello chezqueux,

I do apologize for your unhappy experience, however, your description of your adventure does not sound like our company.

Our pilots are very professional and would never dream of making a rude, inappropriate or derogatory comment or joke.

We do not serve Andre champagne, we serve Domaine Chandon at our brunch which is held back at our meeting location, the Napa Valley Marriott, in a private courtyard for our guests, not on the side of the road.

We purchase our state-of-the-art balloons here in the United States and I assure you, they are up to the highest safety standards. We would never want to cut any corners and put our passengers in any sort of danger. Safety is number one for us.

I have spoke with the owner, Bob Barbarick, and he has not spoken with any passengers regarding any problematic experience.

Again, I do apologize you had a terrible experience and I assure you if you had flown with Balloons Above the Valley you would have had a wonderful time.

I do ask that you remove your comments as it doesn't pertain to our company.
I would be happy to speak with you about a flight if you would be interested. Please contact me at 800.464.6824.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
22 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Excellent experience to remember..WORTH EVERY PENNY!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2012 via mobile

This esperience is like nothing else, we went practically exerywhere and have done everything in California. Compairing to helicopters, small planes, para sailing, this was by far the best. It is slow flying 15-17 mph. Quiet and truely enjoyable. My friend and i were flabragasted. As for these guys, they were very professional, polite and on time. The explained everything clearly. Everyone was smiling and super nice. The breakfast at the Marriot was really nice with lots of choices. great food and all the wine you can drink.

 The only thing i take on them was the souviineer pictures cost extra $10 or so each but was still good. It should have been included. Other than that, it was FANTASTIC and worth every penny paid.

Helpful?
Thank Anna D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leesburg VA
Level Contributor
143 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Excellent experience with a professional outfit.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2012

Booked the trip at their office in Napa, met at the Marriott hotel as scheduled, the next day. The entire experience was well organized and planned, by informative and professional staff. The hotel breakfast was above average, and we were transported to the launch site timely. Our pilot Jeff was great, fun, friendly, and had interesting comments and stories to share. The other people in the "basket" with us were very nice, friendly as well. 1.5 hour balloon trip on a gorgeous sunny day...landed in a residential area, some sort of parking lot. The company was there waiting to take us back to an excellent champagne brunch at the Marriott...the food was above average. Yes this experience is quite expensive, but well worth it!! The views were spectacular, the balloon was fascinating!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank donnaks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lahaina, Hawaii
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Breathtaking!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2012

We took a side trip to Napa. We are not wine drinkers but there is so much to see and do that I thought it would be worth it. IT WAS! A lot of friends thought it sounded scary when they heard about it. I booked it through a Marriott package not realizing that the pick up and drop off location was there at the hotel. Very convenient, to stroll steps from our room to waiting coffee and pastries at 6:30 am . A short ride later we were headed to the launch site. It was great watching the balloon fill. Getting in and out of the basket was the worst of it. I thought for such an early morning trip, it would have been colder for March, the heat from the burner provided enough warmth that I don't think my jacket was necessary. Rising slowly above Napa was surreal. The sun rising and the silence was perfect. Passing above the fields, homes, waving workers, leaping jack rabbits, Canadian geese looking for bugs, watching the town wake up, we couldn't hear the cars zooming past or the riding mower. Watching the other ballons take off and fly near us was great fun. In the distance lay mountains and in the opposite direction, San Francisco and the Bay Bridge we crossed days ago. The hour went quickly! Finding a landing spot andattempting to land was great fun, the crew zipping everywhere, testing the wind. That was the adventurous part!

When we returned to the hotel, a wonderful, buffet breakfast and our photos were waiting for us! The crew were fantastic! We would do it again in a heartbeat! It was the highlight of our trip. The photos are as priceless as the memories.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Keokike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Balloon Ride - spectacular experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2012

We drove to Napa from San Francisco and arrived at the Napa General Store at 5:30 a.m. (Next time I plan to stay overnight in Napa and take advantage of their shuttle pick-up service!) Unfortunately, the fog rolled in so we were unable to float over the Napa Valley. We were given the option to reschedule or hop in a van and they'd drive us 50 minutes to a different location where we'd float over agricultural land. We opted to do option 2! The views were still beautiful, the experience amazing and our pilot was very personable. What a surreal experience! Afterwards we were provided with a delicious brunch at the Napa General Store! I'd highly recommend this experience with Balloon Above the Valley company!

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
Thank Debbie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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