Downtown Napa has a range of accommodations ranging from international resort chains to boutique hotels to historic inns in landmarked districts, so you are bound to find something that suits your interests.
On Main Street at the Historic Napa Mill is the jewel of Downtown Napa hotels, the Napa River Inn. It is made up of three buildings, each with its own character, with the Embarcadero and Plaza Buildings right on the river. The restoration of the historic landmark and surrounding properties in 2000 by Harry Price marked the beginning of the Downtown Napa revival. It is the only family-owned boutique hotel, and the only Michelin Guide-recommended hotel, with strong community ties. In the Historic Napa Mill is Silos, the main jazz venue in Downtown Napa, the Napa General Store for souvenirs, as well as the best riverside patio dining – there as well as the adjacent Riverfront restaurants.
In the Oxbow District, the River Terrace Inn and the Westin Verasa are your best choices. They are off the main Soscal Ave. artery with easy access up-valley and into the city, but far enough off the street to be quiet. These two hotels are adjacent to each other, fronting the Oxbow Preserve, and both are just down the street from the Oxbow Public Market, the Napa Valley Wine Train and local tasting rooms. River Terrace Inn is a friendly, boutique hotel while the Westin Verasa has the standards and amenities one would expect of an international resort chain including a Michelin star restaurant La Toque and plenty of room for families and for business events.
In the West End District, AVIA Hotel is a boutique hotel with B&B service and luxury amenities. Ever since it opened in late 2009, it has seen a steady stream of loyal business. AVIA is steps away from some of the best restaurants in the Napa Valley as well as the Uptown Theatre.
While up-vally has its luxury resort spas, Downtown Napa has its grand Victorian mansions. Downtown Napa after all is over 150 years old and was the most prosperous town outside of San Francisco from the 1890′s due to heavy commerce in grains, fruit, timber and tanning. Many of the impressive buildings and residences built during that time still stand and give one a sense of history more than any other part of the valley.
Most of the oldest and grandest Victorian-era mansions built during that time are located in the Abajo-Fuller Park District – on the National Register of Historic Places – just south of Downtown with some of them completely restored and converted into Downtown Napa’s historic inns. Two classics are Churchill Manor and Cedar Gables Inn. Churchill Manor with its Empire architecture was the first residence in Napa to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has 10 spacious rooms beautifully restored by Brian (a contractor) and Joanna Guidotti with much of the original detail intact. Around the corner is Cedar Gables Inn, built in 1892 with old growth redwood in the English style. When Ken and Susie Pope restored the residence, they made sure to install a modern, professional kitchen for fabulous breakfasts as well as for cooking classes (Susie used to run a culinary school in Los Gatos).
Two other notable inns in the district, McLelland-Priest and The Inn on Randolph, are on one of the most impressive residential streets in Downtown Napa, but still within easy walking distance to Downtown activities.
To explore the full range of inns and B&B’s in Downtown Napa, check out the Historic Inns website.
Special thanks to our guest blogger Annette Hanami