Arts and Crafts style infuses this 1902 home, from the lobby's enormous fieldstone fireplace to the lamps that cast a warm glow over the impressive wooden staircase. Across from Wine Spectator magazine's Napa offices (in another historic home), the inn is within walking distance of Napa's restaurant-rich downtown area.
Book well in advance, especially in summer and early fall.
In the 1990s, the local craftsman who founded the Blackbird Inn created the attractive guest rooms' period-accurate sturdy oak beds, matching night tables, and other furniture. Six rooms have gas fireplaces, four have private patios (a fifth has a balcony), and three have private entrances. All but two of the rooms are less than 300 square feet in size, with the largest room topping out at 309 square feet. Ask for one of the larger rooms if size is an issue.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The inn is at a busy intersection; ask for a room facing away from Jefferson Street, which runs along the property's west side.
All the bathrooms have marble-tile floors and marble countertops. Some bathrooms have large tubs with showers, with a few of the tubs equipped with whirlpool jets. One room has only a shower.
A stained-glass door with a floral motif opens into a living room with hardwood floors and wood-framed furniture. A sofa and chairs near the huge stone fireplace, aglow on cool days with a warming fire, encourage conversation over coffee, tea, or water, available all day, or wine served each afternoon. The full breakfast is served in this area, too.
Room rates include the inn's only meal, a breakfast buffet with a hot entrée like French toast, Dutch baby pancakes, a standard egg dish, or chilaquiles, along with scones, muffins, or other baked good. Yogurt, cereal, and fresh fruit are among the additional items. Complimentary coffee, tea, and water are available throughout the day, freshly baked cookies starting in the afternoon. The innkeepers serve wine and hors d'oeuvres in the late afternoon.
Wine and hors d'oeuvres are served in the late afternoon, and cookies are set out around this time, too. There's no bar here.
The inn is located at the intersection of Jefferson and 1sts streets. The walk east to downtown takes less than 10 minutes, and several VINE buses serve the area. If driving, head west on 1st Street to reach Highway 29.
Dining options near the inn abound, including these four restaurants all a 5-minute walk away: Grace's Table for eclectic, vegan-friendly American cuisine; Norman Rose for salads, burgers, chili, and sandwiches; Oenotri for pizza and rustic Italian; and Tarla Mediterranean Bar & Grill for traditional (baba ghanoush, Angus beef moussaka) and contemporary (kale salad, baby back ribs) dishes.
Mercantile Social (5-minute walk) at the Andaz Napa hotel emphasizes artisanal spirits, local wines, and craft beers. The upbeat vibe at Cadet Wine + Beer Bar (6-minute walk) pairs well with its highly sippable selection. The 860-seat Uptown Theatre (8-minute walk), a 1930s art-deco former movie house, hosts top music and comedy acts. Blue Note Napa (10-minute walk) and Silo's (10-minute walk) both present live music and have full bars.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Distinguished architecturally but also warm and homey, the Blackbird Inn vividly recalls the Craftsman era but also the late 20th-century heyday of the traditional bed-and-breakfast, with a handful of rooms, welcoming communal areas, and caring, enthusiastic innkeepers. The rooms are cozy, the beds are comfy, and the bathrooms are clean. The convenient location is the added bonus.