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Lodging Advice

Rhode Island
5 posts
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Lodging Advice

My fiance and I are traveling to Napa/Sonoma for a few days next month to celebrate our recent engagement. I've already outlined numerous wineries we must visit (thanks for the great post and map link WVU!) and I know several restaurants I want to try, but can't seem to figure out where to stay. We know we're going to end up spending a fortune on wine and food (because we just know this about ourselves) so we're trying to keep our lodging costs down. The trouble is not knowing the area very well and therefore not knowing how far out of the way any less expensive B&B's or hotels/motels are. Any recommendations of inexpensive lodging in the area would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance to all!

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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29,110 posts
6,099 reviews
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1. Re: Lodging Advice

We have enjoyed Best Western Elm House


when we did not want to spend a fortune. The lobby area feels like a bed and breakfast. Warm Chocolate chip cookies and apple cider when we were there last December. Nice magazines, and couches to sit by in the area. They have a nice continental breakfast.....

small spa.

The rooms are on the smaller side - but we had a lovely time with a fireplace in our room; basket full of goodies and local magazines to read; and the amenities in the bathroom (again smaller size) were first rate.

It sort of gives you the B&B atmosphere but at a lower price.

I don't know about September's rates, but we found a great rate in December.

Enjoy your trip.

Napa, CA
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4,740 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Lodging Advice


This is a reply I made to an earlier post this year, with the same question ("how much to spend on a nice place, but nothing extravagent"):

"Napa is a place where you can sleep in a dive for over $100 a night, so be very, very careful.

Reviews here help, but here's the advice I give to friends:

Think of where you like to stay locally, or in other parts of the world (Paris, New York, Rome, LA). Now think of that price range. Got it? Now, here comes the wacky part: *double* it, and that's what the same accommodation will cost you in Napa during the busy season (from April-October).

Why? In large part because real estate here is crazy expensive-- a 2 BR, 1 BA house on a lot the size of a postage stamp costs over $500,000.00. So it's no wonder that hotels/motels/B&Bs (sitting on that same expensive land) are so pricey.

In fact, that's probably the greatest shock that visitors from other parts of the US get when they stay here-- they just can't believe it costs so much. For that we get low marks in value :( But we are the hotspot of activity for California wine & cuisine, so you kinda gets what you pays for (location, location, location).

A brief survey of prices, in April (Dec-Mar is lower, May-Oct is higher):

    $50-150/night Basic Motel (mostly motor courts)

$100-$300/night Basic B&B or Inn (depends on length of stay)

$100-500/night Basic Hotel (Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden)

$300-1000/night Basic Upscale Hotel or Inn (also resorts)

$500-$4000/night Top-flight Hotel/Resort (Ritz class)

Pretty crazy, eh?

I wish more travel writers would explain this to folks, because we'll have a guest every now and then who stays and, based on the fact that their room is $225-275 per night, is expecting the equivalent of a suite at the Four Seasons (which we're not, we're just a small, friendly B&B).

It's also important to note that there is a real difference between hotels/motels and Inns/B&Bs. Hotels are designed to give you privacy, space, and have staff on hand at all times.

B&Bs/Inns are much more social, have tiny guest rooms (because they're built in historic homes), and have amazing concierge services, but typically only between 9 am and 7-9 pm.

It's not that one is better than the other-- they're just different.

If getting a clean cheap room is your biggest priority,you may want to consider staying in Fairfield and driving the 20-30 min extra each day to get here. You should save around $50 a day.

If you're only going to be here for a short time, however, spending it driving back and forth is costly. Staying in the center of things becomes a better bargain at that point, especially if you stay somewhere with "freebies" like complimentary tasting passes to wineries, and extra food/services.

That's one of the reasons B&Bs and small Inns are popular here-- their prices include these kinds of services and amenities (and would easily cost you an additional $40-70 per couple per day).

But the biggest reason most folks stay at a B&B is the personalized attention they get. Not everyone want this, though.

I hope you enjoy your stay in this beautiful part of the world. Please do read the stories/reviews on tripadvisor-- and note that many folks remark on either a) they feel they spent too much, or b) they stayed at a cheap place, and really regretted it!

I wish you only good things and wonderful accomodations, wherever you may stay.


-Russ Herschelmann


Napa Old World Inn

Canton, Georgia
Level Contributor
81 posts
21 reviews
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3. Re: Lodging Advice


Consider using priceline.com to book your travel plans. It's the best site if you wish to stay in a quality hotel in a specific area but don't particularly care which brand. Check out biddingfortravel.com for ideas on which hotels are listed for the area and what others bid and secured. Good luck!!!

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