First time visitor to Napa Valley? There is no more perfect an introduction to the epicure’s playground than a stay at the Old World Inn.
The Old World Inn is comprised of several of Napa’s Historic Landmark houses that have been lovingly restored into Bed and Breakfasts in the heart of Napa Valley. The rich, Victorian stylings of the Main House – originally built in 1874 and where I had the pleasure of resting my head – are maintained with warm wooden molding and original wood and tile floors throughout. Carefully chosen antiques and elegant décor flow from room to room as seamlessly as a fine, 5-star hotel. In each of the 12 guest rooms, you will also find the amenities you would expect in a hotel: feather beds with high-thread count sheets, fireplaces, flat screen TVs, updated plumbing and heating/cooling with independent thermostats and private bathroom with Jacuzzi tub. The combination of modern luxury and cozy B&B was a pleasant and welcome surprise.
But, here’s what a B&B like the Old World Inn – one of Napa’s first – can offer you, that a hotel can’t: friendly, experienced inn keepers who will guide you to the very best wineries, restaurants and entertainment recommended by locals.
As a guest of the Old World Inn, you get the benefits of the special relationship the innkeepers have developed with top Napa wineries. Just let those wineries know you’re a guest of the Old World Inn with a special card, and they’ll pour you a free taste or two. Oh yeah, in case you didn’t know… tastings haven’t otherwise been free in Napa for the past 10 years. Rumor has it, there were just too many bachelorette parties that ruined all the fun for the rest of us.
Speaking of special relationships, the Old World Inn will even bring some of the finest wineries to you. The basement of the Main House is now a wine cellar where each day at 5:30 p.m., a different winery will host a free tasting for the guests. During our stay, we tasted several Mark Herold wines that – no lie – were my favorites of Napa Valley.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go far for dinner after your afternoon wine tasting. Dozens of award-winning restaurants and even the foodie favorite, Oxbow Marketplace are just a short walk from your front door. You can explore the many unique downtown shops and pick up some wine country souvenirs, see a movie or take-in a concert at the Opera House all without hopping in a car. The Napa Valley Wine Train is also a quick walk.
After dinner, return home to a choice of two decadent chocolate desserts. Freshly baked Ghirardelli chocolate chunk brownies and homemade chocolate truffles are just two of the desserts we indulged in.
So, who doesn’t love the breakfast part of a Bed and Breakfast? The Old World Inn does it better than any other B&B I’ve ever stayed at. Also served in the wine cellar along with coffee, tea and fresh-squeezed juices, enjoy a gourmet, two-course breakfast that won’t slow you down as you taste your way through the valley afterwards. High in protein, taste and texture, but low in fat, breakfast was always just enough to satisfy and not leave me ready for a nap by the afternoon. Here is an example:
If you do decide to return to your room during the day, you’ll always find fresh baked cookies, coffee, tea and bottled water available for refreshment.
I’m already making plans for a return to Napa Valley. Next time, I’m ready for romance at the Old World Inn’s private, French country themed, Walden Cottage. In fact, the innkeepers have many repeat guests who never stay anywhere else. For once you’ve been a guest at the Old World Inn, it becomes home.
Disclosure: Farmstead Restaurant hosted me for the purposes of writing this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are my own and without influence by Farmstead Restaurant.