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Napa Valley


fatcatbrew
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I am asking for your opinions on the best places to stay in Wine Country. I am planning to travel there next month and would prefer smaller, boutique hotels over large and impersonal. I am looking for something in the upper middle class of price ranges. Thanks

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Where in the valley are you looking to stay? There are nice bed and breakfasts scattered all over the valley - they are likely to be your best bet for price and location. The Napa River Inn in Napa itself is nice and reasonably priced but it's a fair drive to the wineries themselves.

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You may want to read through this thread: Napa Valley Lodgings.

Also, I have just finished building an Excel spreadsheet of Inns and B&Bs. If you want to PM me your e-mail address, I'll send it to you. It doesn't tell you anything more than their address, the minimum room cost, and the number of rooms at the establishment. (I am working on building a list of Concierge in the valley -- this is the start of that project).

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We stayed at the Mount View in Calistoga a couple of months ago and liked it. It was our second stay there, and we find it good value for the area. You're right on the main street in Calistoga, so restaurants, etc. right there. There's a very nice spa on the premises (package spa and accomodations available, and good deal), and of course there are hot springs in the area as well (the main reason we like to stay in Calistoga). A new restaurant is opening in the old Catahoula's slot---when we were there it was going by a different name, now apparently going to be called Stomp.

Downsides were breakfasts (not very amitious continental breakfast delivered to your room) and many of the rooms have less than perfect views of adjacent rooftops (though if you're in bed your view cuts that part out and you just see mountains if you're on that side of the hotel).

It's at the north end of the valley, but we found accessibility to restaurants not a problem. It's also very easy to get into the mountains.

We also liked the Wine Country in St. Helena on Lodi Lane, one of the cross streets between Silverado and 29. Great views from our room over an adjacent vineyard. Haven't stayed there recently can't entirely vouch for it, but same owners as when we were there.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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We go to Calistoga every year and we always return to the Calistoga Hot Springs spa. The rooms are comfortable and you get use of 3 different mineral pools with the price of the room. The rates are reasonable, and for a few extra bucks you can do the mudbath /massage thing. Calistoga is a great little town. You can walk over to the Palisades gourmet market and do a little picnic.

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!??

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Yountville would be my choice because of its central locaton and many restaurants. Maison Fleurie, Lavender, Petit Logis and Bordeaux House are the nicest B&B's; Vilaggio and Vintage Inn (sister properties) are larger scale, but also lovely. At the south end of town is the Yountville Inn, also very nice; at the north end, Napa Valley Lodge. You really can't go wrong with any of them, IMO. Hope you have a great stay, wherever you end up! :smile:

PS Vilaggio has a GREAT spa!

Edited by samgiovese (log)

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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I would say that the downside of the Calistoga recommendations is that next month it will be July. July, August, and September in Calistoga are at least 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the valley (for some odd reason).

If it is 90 in Napa, it is 100 in Calistoga. If it is 100 in Napa, well.... you get the idea.

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I would say that the downside of the Calistoga recommendations is that next month it will be July. July, August, and September in Calistoga are at least 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the valley (for some odd reason).

Excellent point, and one I'd not considered as I've never visited in warm weather.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I just logged back on to make a Calistoga recommendation, and saw Carolyn's comments on the weather. She is SO right! However, if you'd like to chance it for a night or two, you can't go wrong with the Cottage Grove Inn

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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I would highly reccomend the Milliken Creek Inn (1815 Silverado Trail). I was there over this past Christmas holiday and had a fantastic time. Nice landscaping, overlooking the Napa river. The style of the inn is British-colonial, brown leather and rattan furniture, khaki and cream walls, fire places in the rooms, my room's four poster bed had a gauze canopy on it. The bedding was extremely nice as was the spa tub. There is a spa on the property although I did not attend. Every evening there is a nice selection of cheese and wines put out as well as ports which are left out throught the day and night. When I inquiered about some good, small, lesser known wineries to visit in the area, the staff gave me some great reccomendations, mapped out my drive for me and called ahaed to let the wineries know I was going to be visiting. I believe that the rooms range from $260-$495, their web site is www.millikencreekinn.com

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Glen Ellen is in the Sonoma Valley, about 6-8 miles out of the town of Sonoma itself. It is a bit isolated, but it is close to many of the Sonoma Valley wineries (Arrowwood, Kunde, Luna, B.R. Cohn, Chateau St. Jean, Kenwood,) are all just a short drive away. There aren't many restaurants in Glen Ellen itself...I can think of only three...you'd have to drive into Sonoma for further dining, but it is very do-able. It is about a 45 minute drive over to the Napa Valley, either over Oakville Grade (scenic but a b**ch of a road, or down through Sonoma, over Hwy 121 thru the Carneros and up to Napa & the upvalley region (Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga). Check my previous post on Yountville. I am editing to hyperlink the websites of the places I mentioned.

Cheers! :biggrin:

Edited by samgiovese (log)

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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Does anyone have comments about The Gaige House Inn in Glen Ellen? And is Glen Ellen a good location to all of the winery towns/areas?

Gaige House was my splurge nights whist honeymooning in Sonoma. It's fabulous. But it's in SONOMA, not in NAPA.

In Napa I'd highly recommend The Ink House B&B which is quite centrally located in St. Helena. Very much like being a guest in an Edith Wharton novel. Antique filled guest rooms. A lovely cupola with a 360 degree view of the surrounding vineyards atop the house. Sherry and port in the parlor in the evening, visiting winemakers, fabulous breakfasts and the kindest and most helpful proprietors. And actually not so outrageously expensive by comparison with other places I'd looked into. It's what a B & B is really about - being a guest in someone's home. Lovely and I'd go back there in a heartbeat.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Here's the places from which we see visitors:

Cottage Grove Inn - 1711 Lincoln, Calistoga - $225 a night, 17-room inn.

Milliken Creek Inn - 1815 Silverado Trail, Napa - $325 a night, 12-room inn.

Silverado Resort - 1600 Atlas Peak Rd, Napa - $290 a night

Oak Knoll Inn - 2000 E. Oak Knoll Ave, Napa - $225 a night, 4-room inn.

Auberge du Soleil - 180 Rutherford Hill Rd, Rutherford - $400+ a night

Meadowood - Meadowood Lane, St. Helena - $350 a night

Inn at Southbridge - 1020 Main St., St. Helena - $235 a night, 20-room inn

Villagio Inn and Spa - 6481 Washington St., Yountville - $210 a night, 112-room inn

Hope that helps!

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Does anyone have comments about The Gaige House Inn in Glen Ellen?  And is Glen Ellen a good location to all of the winery towns/areas?

We stayed there a couple of years ago, during a week-long vacation eating and drinking our way through the valley. We found that it was reasonably convenient for getting around Napa/Sonoma, although convenient is relative. I didn't mind the 40-minute drive over the mountains to get to Napa (Yountville/St. Helena/Rutherford/Oakville), since it's a gorgeous drive, but that's your call.

The inn itself was wonderful, and we'd happily return. In particular, the breakfasts were excellent. Two or three refined courses, comprised of whatever the chef felt like making that morning. The website (www.gaige.com) will give you a reasonable idea of what to expect. We stayed for a week, and I don't remember any duplication in the breakfast dishes over that time. They were sufficiently filling that we ended up skipping lunch on most days, and they were sufficiently tasty that it was worth getting up a bit early in the morning to go eat them. Which, given that it was a vacation and I'm not a morning person, is probably the strongest recommendation I can offer.

Biggest downsides: it's expensive, and you will have to book your room well in advance. If you don't plan to have much downtime from exploring the wine country, there are more cost-effective options (and probably more convenient ones in terms of location).

Jeff Shufelt

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Glen Ellen is in the Sonoma Valley, about 6-8 miles out of the town of Sonoma itself. It is a bit isolated, but it is close to many of the Sonoma Valley wineries (Arrowwood, Kunde, Luna, B.R. Cohn, Chateau St. Jean, Kenwood,) are all just a short drive away. There aren't many restaurants in Glen Ellen itself...I can think of only three...you'd have to drive into Sonoma for further dining, but it is very do-able. It is about a 45 minute drive over to the Napa Valley, either over Oakville Grade (scenic but a b**ch of a road, or down through Sonoma, over Hwy 121 thru the Carneros and up to Napa & the upvalley region (Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga). Check my previous post on Yountville. I am editing to to hyperlink the websites of the places I mentioned.

Cheers! :biggrin:

You can also take Calistoga Rd which is just north of Oakmont about 15 min from Glen Ellen and a much nicer Rd than Oakville Grade.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Like port? One of my favorite wineries is the Prager Port Works in St. Helena. It's small, family-run, with wonderful award-winning ports, as well as several other wines.

They also operate a small B&B right on the premises. Not only does it include breakfast, but plenty of port as well: Prager Port Works B&B

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for all of your recommendations. I figured out where I am staying which is in Kenwood which I believe is about 10 miles from Sonoma or Santa Rosa. Any restaurant recommendations for this area would be appreciated.

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Fatcatbrew, you are actually in a perfectly central location if you plan on hitting some of the Russian River/Healdsburg wineries as well as the Sonoma/Napa-central producers. I'm not as familiar with the eats on that side of the wine-world as I'm still trying to work my way around the Napa-centric restaurants of note (La Toque, Terra, Jeanty, Bouchon, etc...)

How long are you staying and what is your general itinerary -- meaning, do you plan on a 100% Napa day, a 100% Sonoma day, etc... ???

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If you're in Kenwood, are you staying at the Kenwood Inn & Spa? The Kenwood Restaurant is very close and, the last time I ate there, very good. You've picked a fairly remote location and, although centrally located for the Sonoma Valley wineries, you will have to do a bit of traveling for your meals.

Saddles at Macarthur Place in Sonoma is very good for steaks. and Sante' at Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is very creative.

In Sonoma Square, there is Piatti, a regional chain started in Yountville several years back, Cafe La Haye, Della Santina's (recommended!), The Swiss Hotel and The Girl and theFig. A short drive from the square is The General's Daughter, and just south of town are Deuce and Carneros at the Lodge at Sonoma.

There are also a couple of places in Glen Ellen, but I haven't been there in a few years, and I know some have changed hands. Perhaps someone else can address that point.

Hope this list is helpful. If you'd like some Napa recommendations, there are several Napans on this board that can help, and, being a part-time Yountvillian, I could also make some suggestions.

Enjoy your stay!

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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if you're in the russian river valley, you MUST eat dinner at The Farmhouse (full disclosure, a buddy of mine's wife owns it). but seriously, one of the best meals i had last year. the chef is really on top of it: creative without being silly. ingredients are great. wine list is phenomenal.

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Forgot to mention the STERBA site, which has restaurant & lodging listings for Napa & Sonoma counties. Check it out...I think you'll find it helpful.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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Yes, we are staying at The Kenwood Inn and Spa for an entire week. Has anyone been there to stay or eat? It looks beautiful from the website and brochures. Is it true that this area is much more laid back than Napa? Other than our spa treatments, we have nothing set in stone as of now. Do you think we should make all of our restaurant reservations in advance?

I am on the waiting list for French Laundry so if we get in, I know that we will be travelling to that area. I would imagine we will though regardless. Places that have been recommended for dinner is La Haye or something to that effect and The Girl and The Fig. There is also a restaurant that is somewhat new that just opened in a Sonoma Square Hotel that I read about....

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