Napa River Inn Review – Historic Hotel Earns Four Stars From Forbes

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

There’s nothing I love more than an immersive vacation experience, one that transports you to a time and place that connects you with the past in a palpable way while adhering to modern standards and expectations.

This is what I encountered during my stay at the historic Napa River Inn in downtown Napa Valley. But, don’t let the quaintness of this locally-owned, antique-laden boutique hotel fool you. This property is downtown Napa's highest Michelin rated hotel, which also nailed a Four-Star rating in the 2015 Forbes Travel Guide.

With its plum location within the Historic Napa Mill situated right on the Napa River, guests of this waterfront hotel are in walking distance to a burgeoning urban renaissance scene replete with restaurants, shopping and, of course, wine tasting. Lots and lots of wine tasting.

Good Things Come In Hotel Packages
Given the property’s deep and rich past, with roots dating back to 1884 courtesy of Captain Albert Hatt, I felt it would be apropos for my stay at the property to embrace the spirt of history. 

To accomplish this I opted for the Inn’s “Wine Train” Package, which explores a few of Napa's most historic features: The Napa River Inn and Napa Mill as well as the vintage Wine Train rail cars, some of which are at least 100 years old. 

This one-night package for two includes the perfect mix of activities for a fun-filled Napa getaway: luxury accommodations in a historically authentic setting, a gourmet in-room breakfast from the award-winning Sweetie Pies Bakery that’s adjacent to the property, two "Downtown Wine Tasting Cards" for 10-cent tastings at 12 Napa winery tasting rooms that are all within walking distance, complimentary bicycle rentals and a truly unforgettable gourmet lunch on the Napa Valley Wine Train.


Historic Charm Meets Modern Amenities
As was my explicit intention, my visit to the Napa River Inn was a true Victorian era throwback.

From the moment I stepped into the quaint marble-laden lobby where to the time I spent in my “Historic Deluxe” room beautifully appointed with King canopy bed, fireplace and claw foot slipper tub, I could vividly imagine the good times of yore this unique locale has hosted.

There are only sixty-six guest rooms here that are spread out over three diverse buildings: the Plaza Building, the Embarcadero Building and the main building above the Inn's lobby.  

The Historic Deluxe room, one of eight of the oldest and most notable rooms are all located within the main Hatt Building. This building began as a two-story structure with a U.S. government warehouse on the first floor and a roller skating rink on the second floor.

The roller rink was quite popular for social events and was in use until 1930. However, while the exposed white rock maple tongue-and-groove plank hardwood floor of the skating rink exists even today, the modern incarnation of the Hatt Building is home to a group of elite hotel rooms, each boasting a King canopy bed, fireplace and slipper-backed tub as well as a separate walk-in shower and comfy sitting area with lounge chairs and a velvet ottoman that make these cozy yet elegant rooms an ideal retro retreat.

Amenities abound at the Napa River Inn. All rooms include a personalized California breakfast delivered daily to your room, evening wine tasting showcasing a featured winery, in-room gourmet coffee and tea with Keurig coffee makers, and a refrigerator with complimentary water and creamer.

Enjoy a nice soak with a selection of "Napa Valley Spa" bath products and lounge in a plush terry robe. Down pillows, extra cotton blankets, non-allergenic pillows and individual climate-control systems make for a great night’s sleep.

Not only is every room stocked with the finest linens and refreshments, but also has all the modern technology you would expect from a four star and Michelin rated hotel like a flat panel TV with pay-per-view and in-room check out; complimentary Wireless high-speed Internet access; two direct-dial telephones with voicemail and two-line data and voice ports; and a CD clock radio and MP3 player with iPod docking station. Guests enjoy a complimentary daily newspaper available Monday through Friday. Of course there is also the requisite iron, ironing board, hair dryer, nightlight and illuminated make-up mirror.

I spoke with Melodie Hilton, Director of Marketing and PR, about what makes the rooms and the Napa River Inn special. "We make sure our rooms have a blend of historic romance and modern day accoutrements to make our guests feel at home. Also, since Napa Valley is a romantic destination, we have a top concierge that can book the most romantic experiences in Napa Valley."

Package Perfection
Speaking of romance, that brings me back to the hotel’s Wine Train package. After you’ve enjoyed a restful night at the Napa River Inn and your sumptuous breakfast-in-bed courtesy of Sweetie Pies Bakery, the smell of baking pastries from which deliciously surrounds the property throughout the day and night, it’s time to take the hotel’s courtesy shuttle over to the Napa Valley Wine Train. There you’ll indulge in a 3-hour multi-course gourmet lunch aboard a gorgeous antique train that meanders through the Napa Valley countryside.

The train’s expertly refurbished 1915-1917 Pullman Cars create an atmosphere conducive to relaxation and enjoyment. Meals, crafted by Executive Chef Kelly Macdonald, are freshly prepared on the train using environmentally responsible ingredients, humanely-raised, hormone-free meats and fresh, line-caught fish. The excursion begins with a welcome taste of wine to set just the right mood and prepare your palate for the epicurean delights ahead.

Once the train pulls back into the station and the Napa River Inn’s courtesy shuttle has whisked you back to the property, I highly recommend booking a service at The Spa at Napa River, which is known for using all organic, wild-harvested and hand-milled products crafted locally. Each treatment is signature and exists only at this spa location, and all are designed with a guest’s relaxation in mind. Also notable is that Inn guests enjoy discounted pricing. After the uber-romantic train ride, a couple’s massage is a fantastic finish to the day.

Eat, Drink, Shop and Make Merry
With its downtown riverfront location, the Napa River Inn provides premium access to an array of activities.

The mill may have been built in the 1800s, but today this waterfront space offers visitors a variety of dining, entertainment and shopping options including live music and microbrews at Silo's, art and theatre at the Riverbend Performance Plaza.

Sandwiches and pastries at Sweetie Pies, candy and confections at the Vintage Sweet Shoppe, and local artisan goods at Amelia's and the Napa General Store. Additional dining options include French cuisine at Angéle and global comfort food at Celadon.

When you’re ready for some wine tasting, grab the "Downtown Wine Tasting Cards" and take a leisurely stroll to a dozen downtown wine tasting rooms that’ll ensure you’ve left no varietal stone unturned during your visit to the valley.

Each tasting costs just ten cents, and some of the tasting rooms offer full, well-rounded flights of up to six different kinds of white, rose and red wines. These cards are a wonderful way to experience the diversity of wines that makes Napa famous.  And, with the Inn just a stone’s throw away, a designated driver need not be required (although the courtesy shuttle would be happy to pick you up). Of course, you can utilize the bicycles that also come with your package as well to jaunt around downtown if you prefer.

Preserving The Past While Thinking Ahead
A more modern sensibility is the Napa River Inn’s concerted efforts to be eco-conscious. Hilton explains, "We are an important adaptive-use development for downtown Napa–an effort focused on saving and restoring buildings with historic significance.

We maintain environmentally healthy practices, including key cards of wood instead of plastic, energy efficient lighting and strong recycling policies. The bricks of the Hatt building were made from the clay of the Napa River. We also provide free EV charging for our customers."

As my own stay drew to a close, I considered what Hilton indicated was her favorite aspect of the property: its dedication to the local community. The significance of this property and its preservation practices cannot be underestimated as, without the Napa River Inn’s dedication to upholding its rich and storied past, downtown Napa on the whole just wouldn’t be quite as remarkable.

For more information: www.napariverinn.com

"The Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions can be seen  at www.LuxeListReviews.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***

Republished by permission of and provided to Haute-Lifestyle.com by author.

All images courtesy of Michelle Chaplow.

 

Haute Tease

  • Image Entertainment Snatches "Odd Thomas" Based On The New York Times Bestselling Novel By Dean Koontz

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, September 24, 2013 – Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand, has acquired all U.S. rights to the thriller “Odd Thomas,” based on the original, critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling book by Dean Koontz of the same name.

     
  • Beltway Insider, Weekly Political Round-up From Haute-Lifestyle.com, Tops 308K Weekly Readers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Beltway Insider, the weekly review of the nation's top stories from the Washington beat, from Haute-Lifestyle.com, has again hit a milestone in readership topping more than 308K weekly reads, an all-time reader high as the political news beat continues solid growth.

     
  • Business News: Li Gang, Millennial Mastermind and Rising VR Company CEO

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Li Gang, Dlodlo CEO, having entrenched his company as global leader in VR technology research and development, this IT-oriented entrepreneur has ushered in a new high-tech era with the launch of the wireless, portable and fashion-forward "Dlodlo VR Glasses."

     
  • Academy Award Nominee® Kristin Scott Thomas To Direct And Star In “The Sea Change” Alongside Mark Strong

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Rocket Science announced today that Academy Award Nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (I've Loved You So Long, The English Patient) is set to make her directorial debut with romantic drama, The Sea Change, based on Elizabeth Jane Howard's critically acclaimed novel of the same name.  

  • Tony Scott, Legendary Film Director, Commits Suicide

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Tony Scott, legendary film director and producer, died from an apparent suicide on Sunday. According to sources, Scott, 68, the brother of Director Ridley Scott, jumped to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles.

Crime

  • Drive-By Shooting Kills Seven

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Gun fire erupted in the coastal community of Isla Vista, near UC Santa Barbara, in a drive-by shooting that left seven dead and another seven injured in what police are calling a premeditated attack by a disgruntled student.

     
  • New York City Blast Injures 29; Second Device Found

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A powerful homemade bomb placed in a steel garbage unit exploded in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, injuring 29, just after 8:30pm Saturday, launching a fireball into the air, blowing out windows, rocking cars and sending residents fleeing.

     
  • Phoenix Demon Dad Murders Infant Son

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Robert Anthony Resendiz, 30, has been charged in the murder of his six month old infant son on December 19, 2017 after he admitted to authorities of using approximately 65% of his strength to silence the baby.

     
  • 911 Tapes Released In Sandy Hook Massacre

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Ten days before the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre the community of Newtown, Connecticut will relive the tragedy as state officials released six 9-11 calls made the morning of December 14, 2012.

     
  • Gas Main Explosion Levels Building in East Village; Scores Injured

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A suspected gas main explosion leveled a building on Manhattan’s lower east side injuring dozens some critical as firefighters attempted to contain the quickly spreading seven alarm inferno before it consumed the adjoining buildings.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • The Art Of Discovery - Photographs By WireImage Co-Founder Jeff Vespa

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LOS ANGELES, Ca. USA -  Jeff Vespa, co-founder of the largest entertainment photo agency in the world, WireImage and founder of Verge, will release his first monograph, The Art of Discovery, this October on Rizzoli International Publications.

     
  • San Diego Jazz Fest Features Traditional Jazz, Swing, Boogie Woogie, Rockabilly, Gospel, and Ragtime

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    San Diego, California, For Immedite Release - The San Diego Jazz Fest takes place November 26-November 30 and will feature over thirty bands and guest artists from across the U.S. playing for dancing and listening in seven venues.

     
  • Blondie and Garbage To Co-Headline Rage And Rapture Summer 2017 Tour (Music/Tix Links)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Blondie & Garbage announced their North American tour will kick off on July 5th in Saratoga, CA and wrap on August 12th in Dallas, TX. John Doe & Exene Cervenka will provide support on the first leg of the tour and Deap Vally for the second.

     
  • BACKSTAGE PAST: The High Times of Legendary Rock Promoter Barry Fey

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BACKSTAGE PAST, the auto bio road trip from legendary promoter Barry Fey, reveals the dressing room romps of Rock n' Roll royalty from a career that spans forty years of music madness.

     
  • Season of Salt and Honey Review - Charming Depiction of Twists and Turns Life Serves Up

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Season of Salt and Honey, a novel by Hannah Tunnicliffe, is another page turner penned with her skillful artistic strokes adding layers of human emotions intertwining untimely heartache and natural healing process with the magic remedies of culinary creations.