Let’s face it: As a world-renowned destination, Napa Valley doesn’t offer a lot of bargains when it comes to lodgings. You’ll find lower prices in winter and early spring, due to the cooler, sometimes rainy weather and lack of fruit or foliage on the grapevines, but weekends and holidays anytime of the year will command high prices. Still, some hotels with moderate or at least less exorbitant prices can offer good value for the money, thanks to a combination of location, charm and/or amenities. Here are some of our favorite places to find a relative deal, listed from Napa in the south to Calistoga in the north.
Featured Photo: Maison Fleurie
Within walking distance of downtown Napa’s culinary cornucopia, this Craftsman-style mansion was built in 1902 and faithfully restored nearly a century later by craftsman Scott Warren, who also created period-style furniture to match the original’s rich wood and stained glass interior. Its eight guest rooms offer king or queen beds, most with private patios, fireplaces and spa tubs. A short walk across a parking lot lies the Finch Guest House, which adds another four, similarly appointed guest rooms. Rates include individually plated breakfasts (served at 8:30am or 9:15 am), afternoon hors d’oeuvres with wine or tea, and freshly made cookies.
Highlights: The gracious staff will help with dining and activity planning and recommendations. The best-value room is the Petite Queen, a 213-square-foot room in the main house with writing desk, loveseat and shower-only bath. The tranquil hotel is oriented toward adults, but a few rooms can accommodate a third adult with a cot (request in advance) or, in the case of the Finch House loft, a twin bed in addition to its Cal King.
Brannan Cottage Inn
Entrepreneur Sam Brannan opened the Calistoga Hot Springs Hotel in 1862, taking advantage of the geothermal waters to turn rustic Calistoga into a resort destination. Some 150 years later, the family-run Anvaya Group bought the remaining cottage on site and thoroughly renovated it, adding sophisticated modern style to its Victorian detailing. The six rooms feature pillow-top beds with plush headboards and high-end linens, with antique prints, headphone jacks and USB ports above beadboard walls. Bathrooms offer heated tile floors and rainforest showers.
Highlights: Book through the hotel, and breakfast is included at Sam’s General Store in the former drawing room, which serves housemade quiche, avocado toast and fresh pastries from Bouchon Bakery plus espresso, coffee and tea. Each room has use of cruiser bikes; loft rooms include a fireplace as well as the most contemporary decor.
El Bonita Motel
The glowing neon art deco sign and location off busy Hwy. 29 in St. Helena don’t deter the loyal guests of this often sold-out budget inn, who often nab a room by calling 72 hours before they want to stay (when free cancellations end). The dark carpets and homey furniture are a bit of a throwback, but many rooms also feature crisp white linens, vineyard-themed painted headboards and modern baths with marble vanities, as well as small patios. The garden-filled grounds hold a heated pool, Jacuzzi and sauna.
Highlights: Continental breakfast is included in the rates; all rooms also offer a microwave, fridge and coffee pot. The deepest discounts are found in the poolside rooms, closest to the road, but the quieter, two-story Homestead and Garden units are still more affordable than many area lodgings even on peak weekends.
The oldest hotel in Napa Valley, thanks to its extensively renovated main building dating to 1873, this charming, light-filled 13-room hotel lies in the heart of walkable Yountville. It’s now part of Four Sisters Inns, an attractive and well-managed California boutique hotel brand that includes Yountville’s similarly intimate Lavender bed-and-breakfast hotel. A former carriage house and bakery complete the compound, whose gardens contain a discreetly placed hot tub and compact pool.
Highlights: Complimentary bikes make all of Yountville’s attractions even more accessible. Choose the coziest rooms for the best values; all rates include delicious breakfast (Grand Marnier french toast, anyone?) and provisions for an afternoon picnic of wine and cheese.
Napa Valley Lodge
At the northern end of Yountville, this 55-room, Tuscan-style boutique inn provides a surprising array of complimentary amenities, including continental breakfast with Champagne, afternoon tea and cookies, and a wine tasting hour Thursday and Friday evenings. Hop on a free bike (first-come, first-served) to visit nearby tasting rooms and restaurants or work off a day’s indulgence in the compact but well-equipped fitness room. All rooms have private patios or balconies, and some have wood-burning fireplace; all have Nespresso machines and bathrooms with large walk-in showers and limestone floors.
Highlights: Bathrooms in the five luxury suites feature two-person soaking tubs, double vanities and separate walk-in glass showers. Everyone can enjoy time by the spacious pool with lounges and daybeds, plus seasonal food and drink service Memorial Day till September. Courtyard fire pits and bocce ball also provide onsite diversions.
UpValley Inn & Hot Springs
Opened as a 55-room Comfort Inn Calistoga in 1987, this surprisingly stylish hotel underwent a dramatic transformation three decades later under the same family’s ownership as Brannan Cottage Inn. Mid-century-inspired furniture adds urban pop to rough-hewn headboards, wood-plank floors and wallpaper with a gray-and-black forest print above white batten board. The courtyard pool and Jacuzzi draw from the thermal springs onsite; when Covid restrictions relax, the European dry sauna and tiled eucalyptus steam room will reopen.
Highlights: Rooms include a wine refrigerator for proper storage of your finds, and complimentary passes to the on-demand Calistoga Shuttle for carless visits to area wineries. Book the nearly 500-square-foot King Fireplace Suite for a ledge stone gas fireplace in the roomy living area; a wet bar with counter seating, refrigerator and freezer drawers; and views of Mount St. Helena.