History reimagined in downtown Napa
65 Rooms / 1 Suite
It may have only 66 guest rooms, but the boutique Napa River Inn has left an outsized footprint on the heart of downtown Napa, both literally and figuratively. The large riverfront complex the hotel occupies began life as the Historic Napa Mill in 1884, opened by ship captain Albert Hatt to sell grains, fruit, vegetables and, later, wines from local vineyards. More than 125 years later, Hatt’s building is once again an anchor of neighborhood development; Napa River Inn debuted here in 2000 as one of the first hotels in the then-newly-revitalizing downtown. Like the roster of restaurants and shops under its awnings today, the luxury inn is locally owned and operated, and offers a host of unique experiences.
Though Napa River Inn exudes history — right down to bricks formed from Napa River clay and, in the Captain Hatt Suite, floor planks crafted from the building’s 1880s skating rink — it delivers some particularly plush modern amenities. This dichotomy, plus a prime waterfront location on walkable Main Street, makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to explore the many charms of downtown Napa, past and present.
Napa River Inn’s guest rooms occupy three adjacent buildings, each with its own personality. In the main building, where the inn’s intimate lobby is located, seven Historic Deluxe rooms showcase exposed brick walls, fireplaces and clawfoot tubs. The Captain Hatt Suite, also located in the main building, is equally the picture of historic luxury with its canopy king bed and handsome seating area. The design in these and all accommodations at the Napa hotel is a 21st-century take on classic finishes and patterns (think brocade, wood paneling and studded leather chairs) in deep wine-country hues such as burgundy and sunflower. In-room amenities include Keurig coffee makers, iPod docking stations, local NV Organics bath products and complimentary Wi-Fi.
The Plaza and Embarcadero buildings house the balance of the hotel’s 66 guest rooms; each holds Deluxe, Executive and Standard rooms, some with river views, fireplaces or balconies. For a unique setting, reserve one of the Embarcadero Deluxe rooms, which stand out with their yacht-themed design. Large, round mirrors with ropelike frames recall a ship’s window and nautical prints complete the seafaring feel.
Some of the best perks here highlight the hotel’s connection to Napa’s food and wine industries. There’s no waking up hungry: Complimentary daily breakfast in bed comes courtesy of Sweetie Pies Bakery, located on Napa River Inn’s first floor. Start your day with a spread of goodies such as fresh-baked scones, quiche, oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches. (And don’t forget to stop in the bakery later to ogle some of the most beautifully decorated cakes around.) A wine tasting featuring local vintners livens up the lobby each evening, and an organic day spa offers treatments — many, including the wine peel facial, inspired by Napa’s local bounty — with products milled from grape seeds. Even animals are pampered here. Napa River Inn’s Very Important Pet program provides everything from bones to pet sitters to doggie massages, and includes a custom dog blanket embroidered with the inn’s logo. When it’s time to explore the Napa area, take advantage of the hotel’s bicycles, house Lexus, complimentary shuttle and five electric vehicle charging stations.
A tour of Napa’s downtown core begins at Napa River Inn itself, as the Historic Napa Mill is also home to the charming Napa General Store; Silo’s, a wine bar and music venue; Vintage Sweet Shoppe; and restaurants Celadon and Angèle. Stroll down the Napa River Walk just outside the inn and you’ll find more shops, galleries and eateries, with foodie favorites Morimoto, The Pear Southern Bistro and Fish Story just steps away from the hotel. Of course, this being the heart of wine country, tasting rooms dot downtown, and all are walkable from Napa River Inn. Between the luxury hotel’s concierge and its next-door neighbor — the excellent Napa Valley Welcome Center — rest assured you will discover all there is to love about this vibrant town during your stay.