Clean rooms in a convenient setting draw travelers willing to pay more than at comparable lodgings in the city of Napa to be within walking distance of Yountville's tasting rooms, restaurants, and shops. The yellow exterior, Mediterranean-style roof, and vineyards that flank the property on two sides lend this motel-style property a touch of Tuscan grandeur. Some rooms have views of the pool or a garden courtyard, others of grapevines.
The lodge's spacious rooms, their walls in muted yellows or beiges, occupy twin two-story buildings. The furnishings aren't flashy, but they're well made. All rooms have balconies or patios, writing desks, flat-screen TVs, minibar refrigerators, Nespresso coffee and espresso makers, and complimentary bottled water. More than half the rooms have gas fireplaces, and second-floor accommodations have vaulted ceilings.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There's no elevator to the upper floors, so if this is an issue ask for a ground-floor one.
Bathrooms have vanities with one or two sinks depending on the room category, all with granite countertops. Even the smallest bathrooms are fairly large, and all are stocked with bath products by Zents, whose owner became inspired to create them after a transformative healing experience. The products all have evocative scents.
Guests enter the lobby from a broad portico near the corner of Madison and Washington streets. Full wine bottles from top Yountville wineries are displayed on a table beyond which lies the front desk. To the left a room with a vaulted ceiling and a molded-concrete fireplace surrounded by puffy leather chairs and a sofa contains a computer for guest use, a wine honor bar, and bath products and other items for sale. Daily newspapers are available all day, as are coffee, tea, and freshly baked cookies. Many guests enjoy playing chess or checkers on a table near the front door designed for that purpose.
A landscaped interior courtyard whose centerpieces are a large rectangular pool and an adjacent hot tub rivals the lobby as the lodge's most impressive public space. Lounge chairs line the pool, and on days when winery touring seems like too much effort, you can recline on one of the daybeds. Three fire pits keep guests warm on chilly nights, and there's a boccie ball court.
A small space off the pool area contains treatment rooms for various massage experiences for singles or couples. Popular sessions include the Lodge Massage, for which the therapists use oils and aromas to physical and spiritual relaxation, and the Royal Treatment, which includes a full-body massage, a scalp treatment, a foot-softening scrub, and reflexology. Deep-tissue, Thai, and other massages are also offered, as are facials and other rejuvenating regimens.
The lodge's fitness room has a treadmill and a few other machines all with views of the interior courtyard. There are also free weights and a dance bar, and purified water and towels are provided.
Breakfast is the lodge's only meal, but it's a filling one, served buffet-style with unlimited mimosas among the bonuses. Guests assemble in Vintage Hall, an indoor space, but on sunny days many take advantage of outdoor courtyard seating to enjoy scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, waffles from an old-fashioned machine, and biscuits and gravy, along with hot and cold cereals, yogurt, and fresh fruit and pastries.
There's a self-serve honor bar in the lobby with white and red wine in a temperature-controlled holder. On Thursday and Friday evening, winery representatives pour complimentary wine in the lobby.
Downtown Yountville lies just east of Highway 29 about 9 miles north of the town of Napa. VINE Bus 10, which travels between Napa and Calistoga, stops along Washington Street. Although most tourists don't use the bus, many do hop aboard the motorized Yountville Trolley, which circles through town providing door-to-door service. Ask at the front desk about how to catch a ride. Most of downtown's shops, restaurants, and tasting rooms are along several blocks of Washington Street, so you may not need any vehicular transportation until heading out to wineries beyond downtown.
Staffers identify Ciccio (1-minute walk) and Bistro Don Giovanni (7-minute drive), both for Italian, as the two restaurants guests consistently praise, along with Southside Yountville (2-minute walk) for reasonably priced American comfort food from pristine ingredients, Redd Wood (2-minute walk) for pizza and other Italian comfort food, and Bouchon Bistro (9-minute walk) and Bistro Jeanty (11-minute walk) for French.
Redd Wood (2-minute walk) is one of Yountville's best bars, especially for the piquant Mad (Moscow) Mule, made from house-infused jalapeño-cilantro vodka. Ciccio (1-minute walk) has a Negroni bar, the indoor-outdoor bar scene at R+D Kitchen (1-minute walk) is usually lively, and Bouchon Bistro (9-minute walk) and Bottega (10-minute walk) are good stops for well-crafted classics.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Although larger than the average country inn, the Napa Valley Lodge has the feel of one, in part because the staff seems eager to please, often ending up on a first-name basis with guests by the time they check out. Many guests cite the location on the northern end of town, away from the heaviest foot traffic yet not too far from restaurants and shopping, as a reason to stay here. Another plus: there's no resort fee.