It’s tough, but not impossible, to keep costs down on a visit to Northern California wine country. All hotels are not created equal, and often the lowest rate isn’t the best deal for your vacation buck. Location and amenities should be at the top of the list when deciding where to stay in Napa Valley on a budget.
Not that long ago, many visitors and locals avoided Downtown Napa. Oh, how times have changed. Gourmet restaurants, sleek tasting rooms and coffee houses brewing wine infused Joe has turned Downtown Napa into a hip destination with a plethora of lodging options all close to Napa’s Top Wineries. While at first glance the nightly rate may be higher than you’d like, take time to check out the extras that often come with the bill. More than two dozen bed and breakfasts call Downtown Napa home and many offer an incredible lists of guest perks.
Location, Location, Location
When you arrive, you’ll find complimentary sparkling wine in your room at The Inn on First. Chef and Proprietor Jim Gunther, (a graduate of Cordon Bleu in San Francisco) is known for sweet extras like house-made truffles and chocolate chip cookies. Breakfast is a gourmet affair, but if you absolutely have to hit the road early, let him know and a to go bag will be ready when you are. There are also water bottles and picnic baskets in every room for guests to use during their stay.
There’s a good chance you won’t be hungry for lunch after the breakfast they serve at the White House Inn & Spa. Regulars know to request the addictive lemon cookies made by Innkeeper Kim Fox. The Evening Wine Social will easily appease any hunger pangs that might crop up before dinner. Enjoy a glass wine and then go for a swim; it’s the only B&B in town with a pool and hot tub.
After enjoying a welcome glass of wine during check-in, guests will find another bottle waiting in their room at the Inn on Randolph. The gourmet breakfasts often use ingredients from the Inn’s garden and are gluten-free. And just like all of the B&Bs I’ve mentioned, the Inn on Randolph is easy walking distance from Downtown Napa.
If your wine country plans include activities in both Napa and Sonoma, a good home base is Calistoga. Family owned and operated since the day it opened its doors, Dr. Wilkinson’s is exactly what the outside façade promises; updated rooms that have a comfortable, vintage feel. There is one indoor and two outdoor pools, saving you from opening your wallet again to soak in Calistoga’s famous hot springs. All rooms have refrigerators and some even have kitchens.