A 2017 remodel transformed the nondescript former Comfort Inn Calistoga into a spiffy member of parent brand Choice Hotels' Ascend Hotel Collection. Although the UpValley still feels and operates like a motel, for the most part the inn achieves its budget-boutique aspirations. Bonus amenities include the pool and hot tub fed by geothermal waters drawn from an on-site well.
The same owners operate the historic and more upscale Brannan Cottage Inn a few blocks south.
Rooms with laminated wood floors, crown molding, and rustic touches like rough-hewn headboards are furnished with Ikea-like furniture and very comfortable beds. Uncluttered and contemporary with cheery wallpaper above white wainscoting on one wall, the rooms have refrigerators, free Wi-Fi, flat-panel TVs with satellite channels and free HBO, and Keurig coffee makers with Starbucks coffee. Most rooms have a patio or balcony.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel sits right on Lincoln Avenue, so noise can be an issue, though less so if you ask for a room away from the street.
Brightly lit with tile floors and walk-in showers with rainwater heads, the bathrooms are clean and have new fixtures. Colorful 1-inch-square wall tiles add panache that's undercut by the thin-ply toilet paper and slender soap bars, a bleed-through, perhaps, from the motel days. Overall, though, the bathrooms rate as a plus.
Chairs and a sofa positioned around a fireplace lend the lobby the feel of a living room, though this isn't a place to linger. Coffee and tea are available nearby.
An irregular polygon, the small pool here is noteworthy as well for its water source, a private well that's fed by a geothermal hot spring under the property. The same well feeds the adjacent hot tub.
Front-desk staffers provide guidance about area spas, but there isn't one on-site.
There is no bar here.
The inn sits on Lincoln Avenue (aka Highway 29) ½ mile north of downtown Calistoga and ¼ mile south of the Silverado Trail. VINE Bus 10, which terminates a 3-minute walk south of the inn, serves Calistoga and other Napa Valley towns. With short notice, the free on-demand Calistoga Shuttle (schedule varies depending on the day and time of year) will take you anywhere in town and a few spots beyond.
Sam's Social Club (5-minute walk) and the Calistoga Roastery (10-minute walk) are good stops for breakfast—Sam's also for meals and bar bites throughout the day and the Roastery for lunchtime sandwiches. Splurge on spa cuisine at Solbar (2-minute drive) or enjoy ribs and cornbread at Buster's Original Southern BBQ (3-minute drive).
Susie's Bar (10-minute walk) is the friendly local dive bar in town. Head to Sam's Social Club (5-minute walk) or the bar at Solbar (2-minute drive) for a fancy cocktail.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The inn's owners deserve credit for upgrading this property with an eye toward adding style that didn't require a huge boost in room rates. The sensibility may be more Ikea than Restoration Hardware, but the color palette is pleasing and the staffers are uniformly polite and helpful.