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

  • Children’s Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Brunch at LIVELLO March 31, 2013

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA.—Celebrate Easter and the beginning of spring with family and friends at LIVELLO, the restaurant at L'Ermitage Beverly Hills, on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013. The culinary team at LIVELLO offers the perfect Easter Brunch menu served from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

     
  • Ensenada’s Hotel Coral & Marina Review - A Heavenly Escape

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Hotel Coral & Marina, a luxury Mexican resort that truly has it all for families, couples, groups or any well-heeled traveler seeking an easily accessible, all-encompassing South of the Border escape with endless Pacific Ocean views, all within a two hour drive from San Diego.

     
  • Money News: Wall Street, World Markets Fight Back; Survive Mauling with Minimal Losses

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, on a roller coaster ride that saw rapid and steep declines, nauseating losses, frightening sell offs, violent pitching, and stunning rallies, survived to roar back in the face of major global economic devaluations.

     
  • Paris Fashion Week Coverage: Ewa Minge Fall/Winter 2017/18 Couture Collection – Fairy Tales

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Inspired by the ancient gypsy fables that transport all into an enchanted, joyful, dancing world, Ewa Minge, Poland’s most celebrated and well known designer, recently showed her Fall/Winter 2017/18 collection during the Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris, France.

     
  • Tribeca Film Festival 2015 Set To Begin

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The annual Tribeca Film Festival is poised to begin its 14th season bringing the world to the New York City center stage with ten days of fun, film, and free events celebrating the resurgence of lower Manhattan.

Crime

  • Tennessee Boy Found Guilty in Murder Of Neighbor Girl

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In a story that has gained international attention, Benjamin Nicolas Tiller, 11, has been found guilty of first degree murder in the shotgun death of his neighbor, MaKayla Dyer, 8, stemming from a dispute that escalated over puppies.

     
  • Chattanooga Bus Driver Has Court Appearance; Employer Knew of Complaints

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Johnthony Walker, 24, the bus driver that intentionally crashed his vehicle filled with children, had a brief court hearing Tuesday where he learned his preliminary hearing was postponed until December 15, 2017. His bail remains at $107,500.00.

     
  • Cincinnati Boy, 8, Commits Suicide After School Bullying

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    An eight-year-old Cincinnati boy committed suicide January, 2017, after a bullying incident in the boy’s bathroom at his school left him unconscious for nearly eight minutes. He hung himself with a necktie two days later.

     
  • Notorious Cold Blooded Killer to Face Murder Charges

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Juan Elias Carlos, 21, a pint sized killing machine, has been returned to the United States to face murder charges in the execution style deaths of his former lover and her two year old son.

     
  • The Grim Sleeper, The South Central Serial Killer, Is Convicted

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    Lonnie Franklin, Jr., The Grim Sleeper Serial Killer, was convicted of ten counts of murder and one count of attempted murder after three decades since his killing spree began, and may face the death penalty when the sentencing phase concludes.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • Seven Continents Book Review - The World At Your Fingertips

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Seven Continents, from Schiffer Publishing, brings together an unforgettable fifteen year collection of photography amassed through personal travel by Dr. Mohan Bhasker, of unique and remarkable imagery, the expected and the unexpected captures, across each continent.

     
  • Celebrities Pay Tribute to Jerry and Elaine Orbach During Launch of Remember How I Love You

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Celebrities, family and friends of the late Jerry and Elaine Orbach gathered recently, at The Snapple Theater Center in Manhattan’s Theater District, to honor them with readings from their newly released book, “Remember How I Love You - Love Letters From An Extraordinary Marriage.”

     
  • Billy Blake: Images From The Ashes The Story of Triumph over Tragedy

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Billy Blake, 71, in a flash, a moment, woke up to a raging fire rising up over the Malibu hillside and marching down the canyons engulfing his home, thirty years of work and almost everything, including his wherewithal, his hope, all lost.

     
  • Something Rotten Review – Raucous Surprises, a Roaring Good Time

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Something Rotten!, Broadway’s newest musical, is so fun it's hard to say for sure who was having a better time at the St. James Theater the other night, the audience or the actors and musicians on stage.  

     
  • HL London: Paul McCartney's LIPA Channels the Spirit of John Peel in Weekly New Music Event

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, co-founded by one of the city's most celebrated sons Paul McCartney, is launching The 2Ube, an eclectic showcase of musical talent from across the north west.