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“Absolute Bliss!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Inn On First

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The Inn On First
Ranked #2 of 23 Napa B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Sykesville, Maryland
1 review
“Absolute Bliss!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2012

From the gourmet breakfast, warm cookies and delicious port to the quiet, private setting, our 20th anniversary stay at The Inn on First was first rate. Jim and Jamie were gracious, helpful hosts assisting us with reservations and recommendations throughout our 5 days in Napa. We can't wait to plan our next stay!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Teresa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tiofinnkeeper, Owner at The Inn On First, responded to this review, November 2, 2012
Dear Teresa L: We're so happy your 20th anniversary here in Napa, at our inn, was so enjoyable. We are hoping you'll be here again on your 21st anniversary, and we can't wait to top the 20th! It will be our pleasure! Thank you so very much for posting your review on tripadvisor. We are most grateful! Jamie
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1,431 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (254)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2012

My wife and I spent three nights of our one year anniversary trip to Northern California at the Inn. If asked whether we'd return, the answer is unequivocal yes. Jim's breakfasts were very welcome in the morning. The macaroni & cheese with fresh made pasta was the best. Jamie's recommendations for wineries and eateries were spot-on. He'd go to every table and chat at breakfast. The chat usually involved a plan of the day. The B&B is a few blocks from "downtown" and the Oxbow Market (go there), but the walk is level and looked safe (esp. compared to D.C. and Baltimore). This was the first time that my wife and I had stayed at a B&B and I think we made a good choice. I wished the bed felt a little sturdier, but the wine should take care of sleeping. Jim and Jamie had some interesting stories to recount at breakfast and were careful to ask about our food preferences. I especially appreciated talking to Jim about wading into the waters of homemade pasta. He gave us one of the Italian food magazines which was thoughtful. The chocolate chip cookies are addictive.

Room Tip: The main house area is fairly quiet at night being in residential neighborhood. The Sweet Reserve r...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ajay P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tiofinnkeeper, Owner at The Inn On First, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear Ajay P: Thanks very much for posting the review of your experience at our inn. We're happy you enjoyed not only Jim's breakfast but your experience at our Oxbow Public Market here in town. So much wonderful food to be enjoyed there as well. And thanks for acknowledging that we do help guests plan their days here in Napa. We want everyone to enjoy Napa as much as we do. Thanks again, and don't forget to let Jim know if he can offer any more tips on homemade pasta, he'd be happy to help. Jamie
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columbus
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

We have stayed in B& B's in napa before, and chose Inn on First as it was rated number one. We were disappointed from the moment we saw our room, which was dated, and had a bed that was the worst I have EVER slept in, something a Holiday Inn would not use. The breakfasts were very good, the Inn was clean, but we never felt the service we would expect from a top quality inn. Questions and suggestions for places to go never seemed welcomed, and we felt like we were bothering them. We finally gave up and made plans on our own. The Inn is well located next to the wine spectator and within walking distance from downtown. We left there and moved to B & B in Sonoma, that was a fantastic experience, the total opposite from what we experienced here.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank winetraveler73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tiofinnkeeper, Owner at The Inn On First, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Dear brownsnut: We are so sorry your experience in your room was so poor. We can easily fix any bed situation with a new mattress (if the bed was too soft) or with a pillow topper (if the bed was too hard), or by tightening screws and bolts (if the bed is squeaky) but we're feeling a bit like a Goldilocks story and not sure what it means for your bed to be "just right". It always helps when guests are direct with us about their needs so that we can do something about it while they are still with us.

We were a little surprised that you thought the room was dated (not to your liking) as the photos on the website clearly represent a mixture of old and new in all of the rooms, and that you would have looked elsewhere for lodging if you didn't like what you saw. As for dated we can only ascertain you are referring to the antique armoires and bureaus in the mansion rooms. We realize that with the modern features in the room, such as whirlpool tubs for two and gas fireplaces, that these may seem incongruous to you with all the other contemporary furniture in the mansion. As most of these bedrooms don't have closets, armoires are the best answer for storage of clothing and luggage and the bureaus add a bit of a homey feel to the rooms.

We're most disappointed to hear you say you felt you were bothering us. We offer our concierge services on the phone when taking reservations, in our confirmation letter, in our email reminder sent a week prior to arrival, at check-in when we ask guests if they have dinner plans, and after breakfast when we inquire if they have "a plan for the day" . As stated repeatedly here on tripadvisor helping guests have a good time is one of our favorite aspects in what we do, and with so many reviews here on tripadvisor where guests have had that positive experience, we are really sorry that you didn't feel comfortable taking advantage of that service any time along the way.

We do want to thank you, though, for acknowledging that we are in a prime location, within walking distance to downtown shops and restaurants, and that the food we serve here is good and the inn is clean. We agree with you on all accounts. Thanks also for taking the time to post your review. Jamie & Jim
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redding, CA, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2012

We spent three nights at the Inn on First in early October to celebrate my dear husband's 70th birthday. Being from N. California, we had spent many nights in the valley during the last 20 years, but never in Napa! This was absolutely our best wine trip to the valley. Jim and Jamie were wonderful hosts and were always there to help when we needed it. Jim is a marvelous chef and prepares a full breakfast each day. Jamie prepared to the most amazing tasting itinerary for us! The Inn is beautiful and we always felt at ease. We met many wonderful other guests and we all agreed it was the "place to stay"! You will not be disappointed!!! Thank you Jim and Jamie for a terrific few days!! We will return.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Diana M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tiofinnkeeper, Owner at The Inn On First, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Dear DianaM: We're so happy to hear that such a special occasion as a 70th birthday turned out to be a great experience! As frequent visitors to Napa Valley we're hoping you'll return and let us do it all over again for you; that would be our most sincere pleasure! Until then, thanks for taking the time to post your review. As always we are grateful. Jamie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2012

Wow! Best Bed and Breakfast in Napa, bar none!!!! Jim and Jamie were both excellent at what they do. They both were welcoming and helped without asking. Jim was an awesome chef and his meals every morning were creative and tasty!!!!! Every morning I looked forward to what Jim would be making! Jamie was always available and was a wealth of knowledge. The B&B was comfortable, clean, and location was perfect! Don't look any further when deciding on a B&B, you will not find another comparable!!!
Thanks Jim and Jamie for a memorable experience!!! Bob and Audrey

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank audreyew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tiofinnkeeper, Owner at The Inn On First, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Dear audreyew: Thanks for sharing your stay at our inn with the tripadvisor community. We're so happy you enjoyed your stay, the meals, and I'm glad I could be of service in planning your itinerary. Honestly, it's the favorite aspect of our "job", which we both see more a labor of love. When will you return so we can share more of our Napa experience with you? We appreciate you taking the time to post your review, we value each and every one. Jamie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012

When I started scouting hotels for our honeymoon in Napa, I decided on a ritzy inn on the Silverado Trail...but then a friend told me about the Inn on First. After researching the hotel online, I told my now-husband that I wanted to change our reservations and spend our last three nights in Napa at the Inn on First instead. When he asked why, I told him that everything I had read made the place sound amazing. I also confessed that I'd read so much about Jim and Jamie and how wonderful they are that I felt like I knew them already!

We arrived at the Inn around 2:45 and were immediately greeted by Jamie, who offered us some cookies and port, gave us a tour of the property, and asked us if we had dinner reservations that night...which we did not. Despite it being Saturday, Jamie was able to secure us reservations at Carpe Diem for 9 pm. Later that afternoon we met Jim and their three miniature schnauzers. Jim was so gracious and welcoming, it was like talking to an old friend.

Our room was spacious and lovely, with a complimentary split of champagne and a spa tub. But of course the real treat here is Jim's inventive and delicious breakfast. Our first morning, we had an egg sitting atop a delicious house-made ravioli with herbed cheese filling; the second morning brought us the most amazing macaroni and cheese dish (no, I'd never eaten mac and cheese for breakfast, but yes, now I want it EVERY morning!). Jamie also took time to recommend some wonderful off-the-beaten-path wineries for us to visit, many of which turned out to be some of our favorites during our whole time in Napa. Our third morning, we had to leave early to make our flight, but Jim prepared us a wonderful to-go bag filled with fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, and house-made tortillas filled with scrambled eggs and green onions. We'd forgotten that we told them 8:30 and actually showed up a little early, but Jim and Jamie didn't flinch, and made sure we had everything ready to go as soon as possible.

Our only regret is that we didn't stay at the Inn on First for our entire seven days in Napa. This is an amazing property and we can't wait to return.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JupiterKLP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tiofinnkeeper, Owner at The Inn On First, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Dear JupiterKLP: Thanks so much for posting your review, we appreciate each and every one! Obviously we're thrilled you enjoyed the room, the amenities, the concierge service, the breakfast, all of it! This is very affirming, and we are grateful for the feedback. We ask many questions of our guests both prior to arrival and when they arrive in an effort to ensure they have a wonderful experience. We're so happy you had a great time, and we look forward to seeing you in the future. Thanks again, Jamie.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2012

I have traveled all over the world - and I have yet to find a property/experience that can top the one that we had with The Inn on First!!!

When it comes to interaction with your guests before they have even stepped foot on the property - Jamie is the very best!!!!!!! I can't say enough about all of the help that he gave me in planning a trip for six from the connection to limo company - to the suggestions on some incredible restaurants - to suggestions on awesome wineries/vineyards to visit - along with anything else that I needed answered!! Once I came up with the itinerary that I wanted to follow - he made all of the calls to set up any of the reservations that were needed - an invaluable service indeed!!!! And each of the suggestions beginning with lunch at Gott's on Wednesday after we landed to the 'educational tour' at Mondavi to give our group a great background how wineries go about their business - to an awesome meal at Carpe Diem (DON'T miss out on visiting this one!!!!) - and so on and so on - they were all hits out of the ballpark indeed!!!

Once we arrived - we were greeted by Jim and made to feel as if we were truly at home. A simple tour of the main house was given - followed up with a more detailed tour of our rooms out back in the carriage house - all the while answering any questions that we had about anything and displaying hospitality at its finest!

Then came breakfast - if you have a food allergy or particular desire/liking - not a problem, it's covered for you. If you like your eggs scrambled versus over easy - not a problem, it's covered for you. No was detail is left for the wondering as the brief questionnaire that was sent in the initial email after booking regarding all likes/dislikes/allergies/etc helps to alleviate any concerns. Then you get to the fact that the food is all made from scratch and PHENOMENAL seems likes a word that isn't strong enough to describe each meal that we had.

And I can' believe that I have made it this far in the review and haven't mentioned the chocolate chip cookies!! :-) Always replenished and warm - whether it be when we came back after a long day of wine tasting - or especially delightful coupled with a glass of port that is left out for each guest to enjoy in the main sitting room after walking home after an awesome meal in downtown Napa. A special treat that is quite simple - yet definitely gives you the feeling that they truly care about you and making your stay as close to home as they can.

The last thing that I need to mention - is about the genuine and good hearted nature of Jamie and Jim - as they sat down with all of us after breakfast on our last morning at the table, shared a cup of coffee with us and openly shared anything we wanted to know about them and their whole experience at becoming innkeepers at it's very best. Again, an invaluable quality that just adds to the whole experience that we had in 'being at home.'

Bottom line here -- is that we are all now ruined for any other property that we visit as we travel to any other destination. We will always compare it to our visit with Jamie and Jim - a first class operation for sure!!!! Don't take the time to compare them with other B&B's in the area (trust me - I did hours of research prior to choosing - and feel foolish for wasting the time) -- make your reservations at IOF and enjoy every minute of your experience from the moment you hit return on your keyboard!!!

A huge Thank You again guys --- we can't wait to come back and visit!!!!!!

Jim, Whitney, Joe, Steph, Russ & Joanne

Room Tip: Check out the rooms in the carriage house out back --- all wonderful indeed!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jim W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tiofinnkeeper, Owner at The Inn On First, responded to this review, October 28, 2012
Dear Jim W: We can't thank you enough for your very generous review of our inn. We enjoyed all of you very much, and you really made it easy for us to be successful because we worked together in advance of your arrival. When you returned every day it was obvious everyone was enjoying themselves, and that's what it is all about! We very much look forward to having you all here in the future. Thanks again, the pleasure was ours. Jamie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Inn On First

Property: The Inn On First
Address: 1938 1st St, Napa, CA 94559-2351
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Napa Valley > Napa
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Napa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Inn On First 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are setting the new standard for the American Bed and Breakfast Inn. This is not an inn for traditional B&B people. We are attracting the next generation who want great food for breakfast, well beyond the traditional omelets, frittatas, and egg bakes of old. This is where you get to experience a chef's creative innovation each morning, one of his 130 recipes for breakfast, such as Corndog Omelets, Tomato and Egg Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons, or S'mores French Toast with house made Marshmallows.WARNING: we do not cater to people who want to stay connected to the television. We purposely removed all televisions so that couples can enjoy the intimacy of whirlpool tubs in the rooms with gas fireplaces, or sit out in the garden sipping on wine and enjoying great conversation. Yes, WiFi is available for those who feel they must stay connected to the outside world, but our hope is that you will learn to leave all that aside to enjoy great Napa hospitality here at the inn and at the wineries. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Inn On First Hotel Napa
The Inn On 1st
The Inn On First Napa, Napa Valley, CA

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