If you’re looking for a cozy and convenient spot to call home while exploring downtown Napa, The Inn on First fits the bill. A short walk from just about everything a visitor could want to see and do downtown, the local neighborhood location is a big plus for guests. But check-in and you’ll soon discover, there’s much more to love about this bed & breakfast than just its location. Innkeepers Jim Gunther and Jamie Cherry have a recipe for success that includes sweet perks like complimentary port, gourmet breakfasts, chocolate chunk cookies and friendly conversation.
The Inn on First has ten rooms. Rooms one through five are located in the main house. Rooms six through ten are located in the Garden Suites building on the back of the property.
I stayed in a first floor Garden Suite called the Heritage Estate. The ADA-friendly room was large, with an easy to operate gas fireplace and a nice sitting area. On warmer days, the room’s outside private patio has the makings to be a perfect place to relax or enjoy a quick afternoon nap. Along with double sinks and a large walk-in shower, the room boasts a whirlpool tub shaped like a heart. All rooms include a complimentary split of sparkling wine and Jim’s homemade chocolate truffles.
With so much to do in downtown Napa, it’s unlikely most guests spend many waking hours in their rooms or at the Inn, but there are a number of complimentary amenities that may lure you from a winery tasting room to the Inn’s living room. Coffee, hot chocolate and more than a dozen loose leaf teas are available in the lobby at all hours. Port wine is up for grabs in the living room and then there’s the insanely tasty homemade chocolate chip cookies that just seem to magically get restocked when your sweet tooth kicks into gear.
Breakfast is served daily from 8:30am to 10am. Guests are encouraged to start off with fresh fruit, homemade granola and fresh baked pastries, but consider yourself warned, main entrées worth skipping lunch for are being created in the nearby kitchen. The possibilities includes recipes like Applie Pie Pancakes with roasted apples and homemade caramel sauce, to macaroni and cheese topped with a poached egg, or maybe a Homemade Focaccia Sandwich with egg, pesto, tomato and fresh mozzarella cheese. Jim is the master chef and Jamie delivers it all to the long family-style table, while chatting and helping guests plan their day in wine country.
You don’t want to miss breakfast, but if you need to checkout before 8:30am, let them know and they’ll pack you a breakfast-to-go bag.
Food photos are fine, but otherwise, leave your phone in your pocket. Phone calls are not allowed in public areas of the Inn. Computers and texting at the breakfast table is a refreshing no-no.
The Inn on First is a member of the Green Hotels Association. Stainless steel water bottles are available for guests to use during their stay. There are no small, plastic toiletry bottles. Large dispensers in the showers are stocked with The Beekind®Collection from Gilchrist & Soames. (The toiletry line contains no parabens or petrol-derived ingredients.) Each room also has a picnic basket and innkeepers are happy to suggest picnic locations. The kitchen even has icepacks to lend.
Three miniature schnauzers call The Inn on First home and dog-friendly rooms are available for other pampered pooches to join in on the fun. The dog fee is $50 for one dog for any length of stay. Each additional dog is $10, with a maximum of three dogs per room. There’s even an outdoor dog shower available.
The internet isn’t the speediest in town, but will suffice to check email and send some “wish you were here” type photos.
Complimentary parking is available in the lot behind the property. Two things you won’t find though – televisions or kids.
Rates for the Heritage Estate room (and all other rooms on the lower floor of the Garden Suites building) start at $225. The larger, upstairs rooms in the Garden Suites building run $25 more per night.
Review and photos by Dana Rebmann. Her stay at The Inn on First was hosted by the Napa Tourism Improvement District and the Downtown Napa Association, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.