Where to stay in the Napa Valley

We always like to stay within walking distance of fine restaurants and shopping. We like to enjoy our wine with dinner so we either walk or take a cab. We don’t drink and drive. The centers of the towns of Napa, Yountville, and Calistoga are giving the traveler many choices for lodging within a short distance of many restaurants.

Sunburst Calistoga: The Poor Man’s Solage

The interesting thing about the Sunburst Calistoga is that it is almost a stone’s throw away from the Solage Calistoga. The Sunburst is on Lincoln Avenue and just over the Napa River on the Silverado Trail is the Solage Calistoga. Room rates for the Solage will start about $600 whereas the typical Sunburst room will be $230 on weekends.

Wine Adventures in Yountville

Sometimes you just need a quick getaway to cure the doldrums of the winter months. And that is what we just did with a one-night getaway to Yountville in the Napa Valley. We booked a room at the Napa Valley Lodge for $149 at their special winter rate. The Lodge is very comfortable and within walking distance of the restaurants, tasting rooms, and lots of boutique shops. Although on this day it was grey and damp, it was a delight to drive along the Napa Valley floor and take in the beautiful scenery of the mountains and vineyards.

We arrived just in time for our 12:30 lunch restaurant at Redd Wood, the newest restaurant in town, owned by Richard Reddington of Redd Michelin fame in Yountville. The restaurant is located in the North Block Hotel, formerly the Hotel Piero. Redd Wood is a pizzeria with causal dining in a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. The specialties, of course, are pizzas but there are many other menu items. There were four of us for lunch. Two shared a pizza and a salad and thought they were both just okay, nothing spectacular. Janelle and I shared a pear and wintergreens salad and a sandwich with rosemary foccacia, prosciutto cotto, and crucolo cheese. They were both excellent. The Sommelier was very cool, answering my questions about a few wine choices on his wine list, and recommended a Docellto/Barbera from Piedmonte in Italy that was very tasty, medium bodied, and perfect with our meals. The Wine list is good with a wine selection at $38 and above.

Redd Wood Pizzeria

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Napa Valley – What’s Happening in Downtown Napa, Visitor Center Battle Brews

On a Wednesday morning we are off to the Napa Valley for a quick overnight stay in Napa. Traveling mid-week gives us the option of booking a hotel or B&B at the last minute in hopes of getting a great price. We have been yearning to try the Oenotri Restaurant in Napa, and directly across from Oenotri is the Avia Hotel. A quick check of the travel websites and we find that we can get a room at the Avia on Kayak for $151. That’s a great price, so we book the room and head on out.

We spend most of the day in the Napa Valley visiting and touring the Somerston Ranch off Sage Canyon Road and then a quick trip to the Clif Family Winery’s new tasting room, Vino Velo. We check into the hotel around 4 pm and begin exploring downtown Napa. We stroll the Town Center and have a look around. Boy, this place is void of people. We did find something the might become the “Battle of Visitor Centers.” The Legendary Napa Valley folks pulled up shop at the Town Center last month and moved the Visitor Center to the posh and chic Riverfront Properties. This created quite a stir for the Town Center because it took away much-needed visitor foot traffic. Now the owners of the Town Center are fighting back. They are remodeling the old visitor center and will open soon, according to the owner who I talked to as she was closing the door. “We will be back and better than ever” she says with great conviction. Stay tuned for the battle.

At Riverfront Properties the newly opened Visitor Center for the Napa Valley

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Blackbird Inn, a Four Sisters B&B in Napa + Two Good Restaurants to Try

Although the town of Napa may not be as chic as Yountville, lodging in downtown Napa offers the wine country visitor many options for activities and choices of restaurants. There are enough things to do in the downtown area to keep visitors busy for several days.

We booked two nights at the Blackbird Inn, a Four Sisters B&B. The Blackbird Inn is located on First Street and Jefferson in Napa. The B&B happens to be directly across the street from the very cool Craftsman home of the Wine Spectator’s Napa office. We supposedly got a winter/Internet special rate, if you stay two nights you get one free. Our tab came to $280 with tax for our two-night stay.

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Napa Valley on the Cheap — A Frugal Getaway

With the gloom of the economy casting a pall on just about everything these days, a trip to the Napa Valley just might be the perfect escape. Harvest is over but fermenting tanks are going strong and there is that delicious smell in the air of wine being made. The vines are turning various shades and Fall is a wonderful time to be in the Napa wine country.

There is some economic relief in sight in the Valley because as the harvest ends, many of Napa Valley’s finest lodging establishments begin their Fall and Winter rate specials. Our guess is that because of the economy there will be more specials and packages as lodging establishments and other businesses try to lure visitors to the area. Now is the time to plan a budget trip to the Napa Valley.

Here are some tips on how to save some cash visiting the Napa Valley.

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Eurospa & Inn – Calistoga

On our last visit to Calistoga, we booked the Best Western Stevenson Manor Inn with a coupon special of $79, good for during the week only. What a deal! But a strange thing happened on the way to Calistoga. We got a call from the Stevenson saying their remodeling project was behind schedule and our … Read more

Chardonnay Lodge – Budget Motel in Napa

A few months back there was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle touting the Chardonnay Lodge as a recommended budget motel near downtown Napa. Most visitors to the Napa Valley like to bask themselves in luxury at an upscale B&B or inn. For folks like us who travel often to the Napa Valley, we … Read more

Stevenson Manor Lodge in Calistoga

We travel so often to the wine country that our travel budget only allows us to stay at a fancy hotel or B&B a few times a year for special occasions. The rest of the time, we look for something reasonable in price but it must be clean and comfortable. The Stevenson Manor in Calistoga … Read more

El Bonita Motel in St. Helena

We travel to the wine country often so we try to find something moderate in price for our lodging. B&B’s are not our thing unless we are with a group or it’s a special occasion. We don’t need something luxurious because we spend very little time in our rooms. What we really are looking for … Read more