So, if you’ve decided to join us at this year’s Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival, the next question on your mind is probably, where shall we stay? Fortunately, there’s no shortage of options here in the Napa Valley. But, keep in mind that autumn is the busiest time of the year here (and the most beautiful) and places (especialy the less expensive ones) fill up quickly. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment, make your reservations now.
Alert — Alert — Alert — Alert — Alert
Thanks to the Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District, yurts are now available at Bothe/Napa Valley State Park, which is just a few miles north of St. Helena! This is a fabulous alternative for folks seeking affordable and comfortable accommodations in the Napa Valley! Here’s the scoop:
Yurts are 21 feet in diameter and include a queen-sized bed frame and mattress, 4 individual cots, a table, and benches. (Bring your own bedding, and regular camping gear: flashlights, lanterns, cook stoves, coolers, chairs for around the fire ring, etc.) No cooking or fires are allowed inside the yurts. One small- to medium-sized tent will be allowed outside the yurt and you can have two vehicles per site. The yurts are 100 yards from the creek.
For those wanting more luxurious digs, you might want to check out the Westin Verasa Napa, just a stone’s throw away from the Napa Valley Opera House, in historic downtown Napa, with all of the luxurious appointments you might expect to find in the Wine Country and an outdoor heated pool, a hot tub with a view, bocce ball courts, a 24-hour gym. It is also home to “La Toque,” hailed by the Wine Spectator as “one of the finest reaturants in America.” The Westin Verasa Napa is also one of our very generous sponsors.
The Napa Valley Mariott is another hotel that has been a very generous sponsor of the festival. A recent renovation has turned this into one of the finest resort-style properties in the Valley, complete with Spa and restaurants to match. This, too, has a heated, outdoor pool and whirlpool, extensive fitness center, VINeleven Restaurant and Bar, and complimentary daily wine & cheese tasting. From here, it’s just a short drive to the Opera House in downtown Napa and up Highway 29 to St. Helena, Festival Central.
For the budget-minded there’s a very good option up at Pacific Union College (PUC), which is 10 – 15 minute drive away, up in the eastern hills. The college rents rooms in its residence halls to “guests.” PUC is a Seventh Day Adventist college so it is important to note that smoking and alcohol are not allowed anywhere on the campus. But this is a great option if all you need is a place to rest your head at the end of a busy day. So, if you can live within the parameters and honor the traditions of the school there are some great deals to be had, starting at about $71/night for single occupancy. Click here for more information.
Here are a couple of choices in Calistoga that are under $200 a night:
Calistoga also has a number of quaint B&B’s that fall in the under-$200-a-night category: Wine Way Inn, Brannan Cottage Inn, Washington Street Lodging, Hillcrest Bed & Breakfast, Scarlett’s Country Inn, Oakwood Bed & Breakfast, Calistoga Inn. There’s also one B&B in St. Helena with reasonable rates: Judy’s Bed and Breakfast. The number is 707-963-3081.
Here in St. Helena we have one relatively low-priced option, El Bonita Motel, it’s the wine country’s answer to the old-style motor lodge. It gets mixed reveiws depending on the guests’ expectations. Rooms start at $119, but it, too, fills up very quickly. You can call them at (707) 963-3216.
Napa is a little farther away from St. Helena, anywhere from 20 – 40 minutes, depending on where you stay. But this a great option if you plan on attending the Friday night concert at the Napa Valley Opera House and/or you’re on a budget. Check out The Chablis Inn, John Muir Inn, Wine Valley Lodge, Chardonnay Lodge, Best Western Inn at the Vines, Napa Discovery Inn, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Napa Valley, Travel Lodge Napa Valley, Napa Valley Redwood Inn, The Chateau Hotel & Conference Center. Remember, these are all in the under-$200 category. If you’re on a very tight budget and don’t mind driving a little further, you might want to look into American Canyon or Santa Rosa. (On-line resources will tell you that Santa Rosa is just 11 miles away, which it is if you’re a bird! Even so, the drive is a lovely winding mountain road, but plan on 45-minutes, at least.)
And remember, there are loads more places to stay in Napa, St. Helena, and Calistoga if you want to pay more.
And, for you hardier souls, there is always:
Skyline Wilderness Park in Napa (Tent & RV) 707-252-0481
Napa Valley Expo in Napa (RV Only) 707-253-4900
Napa County Fairgrounds in Calistoga (RV Only) 707-942-5111
Lake Berryessa Marina Resort (Tent & RV) 707-966-2116
Putah Creek Resort (Tent & RV) 707-966-0794
Spanish Flat Resort (Tent & RV) 707-966-7700
Good luck, and we’ll see you in September!