By Annie Sliman
A Luxurious Hotel for the Quintessential Napa Experience
Over the past year, I’ve had the great pleasure of visiting and writing about the beautiful Napa Valley as part of the series All Things are Good about Napa. Together, we’ve learned a little about many exceptional winemakers, grape growers, wineries and vineyard owners who live and work in the Napa Valley. I’ve also talked about some of the many outstanding people in the hospitality and entertainment industries. As we begin our second year, I’d like to introduce you to my very favorite place to stay, the Napa River Inn at the Historic Napa Mill.
It’s become our Napa home away from home for many reasons. This lovely boutique hotel is charming, comfortable and convenient. It’s located on the Napa River right in the downtown Riverfront District, so it’s a great place to begin and end the day exploring the valley. After eight stays, I’ve gotten to know it very well. Perhaps the most important factor in its excellence is that it’s locally owned and operated. I’ve learned that almost guarantees superior attention to detail and personal service.
The Napa River Inn boasts an impressive history. Captain Albert Hall built the mill in 1884. He was a shipper and merchant who also used the mill for storing wines and stocking supplies for local vineyards. Today’s inn was actually erected inside the mill in the 1990s, with interior design inspiration from Sandra Blake, whose firm has a long resume of important hotel and resort projects. Harry Price, the current owner and a major stakeholder in downtown Napa’s revitalization, is careful to preserve the inn’s legacy as he adds every luxurious amenity a modern traveler could desire.
The room accommodations are simply first class. The linens, including plush terry robes, are soft and luxurious. I have to admit I’m a bit of a clean freak, and the housekeeping staff at the inn is absolutely up to my very high standards. The 66 unique guest rooms are spread among three diverse buildings, the Embarcadero, the Historic and the Plaza. Many are situated on the riverfront with views and balconies. All rooms include a personalized California breakfast from Sweetie Pies Bakery delivered to your room each morning. Guests also enjoy a superb wine tasting every evening. There’s in-room gourmet coffee and tea, with water and cream in the mini-fridge. Complimentary newspapers are delivered every weekday, and for the electronically connected, free high-speed Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions and two direct telephone lines keep everyone happy.
One of the things I enjoy most is the lovely Napa Valley Spa bath products, which I think are the best I’ve encountered in any hotel. The spa itself is also first class, with a friendly and talented staff that makes the weariest traveler feel pampered and refreshed. The inn provides complimentary downtown transportation, and its concierge service is beyond knowledgeable and helpful. Best of all for animal lovers, the Napa River Inn is pet-friendly.
With its premier location, the Napa River Inn is in easy walking distance of many boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, including over 20 wine-tasting rooms. It’s nestled between the Napa General Store and local restaurants and bistros with an abundance of options for both dining and shopping. We make it a point to kick off our first day with lunch and wine tastings at Napa General. Other nearby highlights include Amelia’s Boutique, Sweets (a vintage sweet shop) and Angele Restaurant for country French fare. For Asian, American and Mediterranean choices, try Celadon. If you’re looking for nightlife, Silo’s in the mill features live music. Nearby also are City Winery and the Oxbow Market. Our group ate at Todd Humphries in the Oxbow Market on our last visit. All eight of us raved about the fantastic food and great experience.
Napa River Inn at the Historic Napa Mill
500 Main St.
Napa, CA 94559