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“Paid WAY too much. this place was a joke”

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Cabernet House, an Old World Inn
Ranked #16 of 30 Hotels in Napa
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Paid WAY too much. this place was a joke”
Reviewed August 2, 2005

My husband and I were so irritated when we arrived. The pictures are nothing like the inn photos. Our room was so small, and we had a view of a parking lot! We were there for 2 nights and on the first morning we were there, we were awaken by the people power washing their parking lot next door at 6:30AM. We had breakfast delivered to our room, but there was no place to eat it. We basically had to eat, using the bed as a table. The shower was a joke, you couldn't move in it, and the knobs were backwards... the wallpaper was peeling off the walls. We paid close to $300 per night, but then ended up having to pay $100 more for some reason. I could go on and on but I won't. Let's just say you should save your money and stay somewhere else. Don't waste your hard earned money on this dump.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Innkeeper at Cabernet House, an Old World Inn, responded to this review, August 10, 2005
These guests arrived shortly after our Inn was filmed for the TV show "Trading Spaces". Working with Trading Spaces was lots of fun, but we had to promise not to publish any new photos of our Inn until after the episode had aired (it aired several weeks after these guests stayed with us). We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience, especially since these guests were unhappy with the changes they saw. To be fair, virtually all of our guests love the improvements, and we do, too!

For their two day stay, these guests initially booked a different room, then later requested an upgrade to a room with a Dolby Digital surround system, 80" Hi-Def screen, and a 2-person Jacuzzi tub. We were happy to accommodate their request, which we told them would run an extra $50 per day, plus taxes/charges. They asked us to put the additional $100+ on their charge card.

One of the most requested items by our guests is a treat called "Breakfast in Bed"-- our signature 2 course gourmet breakfast delivered hot to your room on a special bed tray. We specifically call this experience "breakfast in bed", since it's designed to be enjoyed while in bed. Had we known these guests had wanted breakfast on a table in their room (and not in bed), we would have been happy to accommodate them.

We are sorry these guests found the operation of our tub and shower unsettling. In keeping with the Old World nature of our Inn, we have Victorian style showers built inside antique cast iron claw foot tubs, with period brass piping and porcelain knobs. Many guests actually choose to stay at our Inn because we have these types of period details. As a side note, the peeling wallpaper had been repaired long before this review posted.

We recognize that the B&B experience is not for everyone. Since our Inn is a historic home, we do not have a large parking lot, hotel-sized bedrooms with multiple beds, or spacious bathrooms with large counters for toiletries. When folks call and ask what it's like to stay here, we say the experience is much like staying in a guest bedroom at a friend's house: Our rooms are small, but homey, and the overall atmosphere is very warm and friendly.

Since we have a lot of first time B&B guests, we talk about what to expect when they come for a visit, especially if they are accustomed to staying at a hotel or motel. B&Bs typically don't have some of the amenities common to hotels: We don't have valet parking, or 24 hour room service, or a bellboy to carry your bags. We welcome guests into our home, and want them to have a great time while they're here. We warn guests about local tourist traps, and draw maps for folks to route them around the wine country traffic. We recommend small, out of the way wineries and restaurants known only to locals. We call and make reservations for special meals, balloon rides, horseback rides through the vineyards, or even one-of-a-kind picnic lunches at the wineries. And each day from 5:30 to 6:30, we have a wine and cheese social in our parlor. We offered all of these items to these guests, but they declined.

Every B&B has its own charm and character. The Old World Inn is known for its friendliness and welcoming attitude. We are truly sorry these guests did not enjoy their stay.

We really want everyone that comes to Napa to have a great time. We hope that this guest's review is helpful to those who are considering the Old World Inn for a getaway. We are not a hotel, and we do not offer hotel type rooms or amenities. We are truly sorry that this guest did not have a good time. It is our most heartfelt wish that all who visit the Napa Valley are able to enjoy all that the wine country has to offer. It is a magical place.

Sincerely, Russ, Sharon, and the entire staff of the Old World Inn

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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571 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Level Contributor
67 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2005

Cozy Old home
Sitting room nice
Dining room beautiful
B&B Feel to it
Walking distance to downtown napa
DVD theatre each room (get instruction on use)
Wine tasting which does not consistently occur nightly
Nice robes and towels for use

No dresser for clothes in rooms, luggage scattered around beds
Routine maintenance (Ie loose tiles, burned out bulbs, cracked windows, blinds missing, cracks in hall walls) Lacking
Spa not working
Rooms smaller then described & pictured
TV amounts to a portable 13inch TV with VCR on Cart table
Wine and Cheese as described was sparse with off label wines poured into decanters of poor quality wine
Desserts recycled daily until gone
Oversold and billed on internet
Overpriced for what you get
What its worth about $109-150/night, not a penny more
Inn keepers not available week days until late since they work other full time jobs
Not enought staff during check in
Stingy with coupons for winerys (Had to push Inn keepers to get many coupons discussed on phone before check in)
Cookie variety amounted to recycled 1x1inch size (world smallest?) Chocalate chip cookies we've ever seen. (Not baked fresh daily as far as we can tell)

Overall pleasant but lacking in the HIGH end qualities of a $200/day+ B&B they promote.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7 Thank chicritic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falls Church, VA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2005

My husband and I traveled to Napa in April with 2 other couples. I was in charge of finding our hotel while we were in Napa for 2 nights. I did a lot of research and based on the wonderful reviews of the Old World Inn, I decided to make reservations.

The location is good if you want to stay in near downtown Napa. I don't know why people have said it sits on a very busy street. I thought it was quiet but then again, we live near Washington, DC so our frame of reference might be skewed. The downtown area is a brisk 10 minute walk but very manageable. The breakfast served each morning was top notch. Great food and great presentation.

The inn itself is very nice. It was all so charming and well decorated EXCEPT for our room. We stayed in Starry Night on the 1st floor. I was hesitant because of the skylights over the bed but I was assurred by Sharon that it was one of their most popular rooms for return guests. I couldn't believe it when I walked in, not only were the furnishings and carpet out-dated and old, but the room was miserably hot. We were told upon checkin that we should run the portable AC that sat on the floor if we got too hot. The "hot tub" is a bathtub dropped in the floor of a 2 1/2 foot wide deck. My husband and I tried it out one night and it was so loud and uncomfortable, we gave up. If you like to sleep in past sunrise, don't stay in this room. There are no retractable shades for the skylights so you will wake up at dawn. Also, don't look at any of the other rooms in the inn or you will be envious.

Our friends stayed in La Biblioteca (trading spaces room) and Impressions Sunrise. Both of their rooms were gorgeous and the room temperature was consistently comfortable. While we were happy they liked their rooms, it was a bit difficult for us not to be envious especially because we paid the most for our room! It did not seem equitable at all.

Sharon & Russ are doing a good job redecorating the inn and maybe if we had stayed in another room, we would have a different opinion of the inn itself. I felt Sharon was quite nice but not very sympathetic to our complaints/comments. Russ seemed bothered just to have guests in the house. When we were trying to make restaurant reservations, he was belittling to my friend and somewhat put out.

I wouldn't stay here again. I know I'm in the minority based on the other reviews but we travel a lot and don't have unrealistic expectations. I just don't think the inn lives up to all the hype.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank Hokie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2005

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Old World Inn in the bella tuscany room in June 2005. The Inn is beautiful, loved everything about the house. Our room was amazing (had a look at some of the others and I believe ours was one of the best along with Secret Garden.) The room was spotless, bed gloriously comfortable and top end linens and towels. We had brownies and chocolate dipped strawberrys on arrival, very lovely and a fabulous touch.

We arrived at 6pm but were not greeted by either of the innkeepers. A lady (i don't remember her name) checked us in and said she was the deputy innkeeper. That was fine, everyone needs a day off. The next morning after breakfast we sat by the reception and patiently waited whilst Russ the innkeeper was on the phone. It would have been obvious we were waiting for him but he continued with a quite lengthy conversation and didn't acknowledge us. After he had finished on the phone we stood up to say hello and he just walked by us and said 'oh you want recommendations, someone will come over'. A young girl came out of the kitchen and helped us with choosing a vineyard and making a restaurant reservation. She was very friendly but we were a little disappointed with the innkeeper and I felt quite upset by it. I had never been to Napa before and was really looking forward to it. I was advised on this website to stay at a B&B as we would get an extra service not provided by larger hotels. I had read about the charismatic innkeepers and was looking forward to talking to them and maximising my stay in Napa with the information they could provide. I was also told that B&Bs recieve special tastings with the vineyards but we recieved none of this service.

We felt that perhaps because we were a young couple we were not valued as highly as some of the older more mature guests.

The Old World Inn goes through all the motions and the place itself oozes charm but on our visit at least, the innkeepers were not too charming. In fact we hardly saw them our whole stay. I have given the review 4 stars because I believe in the potential of this hotel and from the other reviews it is evident that the service provided by the inn's in Napa is not an Urban Myth. We were upset that the place did not live up to our expectations and as a result our stay in Napa was slightly tarnished.

  • Stayed June 2000
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10 Thank citychick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 24, 2005

My husband and I just took our first trip to Napa Valley a couple of weeks ago and had a fabulous time! I think our trip was so great because our first decision in planning this vacation was to stay at the Old World Inn.

When we started planning this trip, I did an on-line search of all the B&Bs in the area and the one thing that caught my eye was that the Old World Inn had been featured in Oprah's magazine. With a recommendation like that, who could go wrong? I immediately called for reservations and was extremely pleased with the warmth and welcome I received just over the phone! I was invited to call or e-mail with any questions and the Innkeepers, Russ & Sharon, would even make reservations for tastings, restaurants, etc. for us since things book up pretty quickly in the area. I knew right away we made the right choice. All of our most pressing questions were answered before we arrived and we started our vacation knowing we were in good hands!

We arrived at the Inn on the morning of June 7th and although we could not check in until the afternoon, we were invited to come in and pick up maps of the area. We met Russ that morning and he welcomed us and sat down with us and mapped out a plan for our day. We received a very detailed map of the wineries and he made suggestions as to where we should start since this was our first time to the area. He told us a little about most of the wineries, what the tours were like, and the major highlights of each one. He also recommended different restaurants along our route so that we could grab lunch. With Russ' instructions we didn't get lost and we indeed had a great day! We started out at the Robert Mondavi winery because it has the best technical tour and with our new knowledge about wine making in hand, we were ready to explore. We toured three wineries that day before heading back to the Inn. I was very happy and contented with our day, but little did I know that things were just going to keep getting better and better!

We arrived back at the Inn around 5pm and found that we were going to enjoy a private pouring with John Citoli from the V. Sattui Winery! We were gathered in the living room of the Inn with the other guests and had a great time learning more and talking with everyone. We had a great time talking with John and planned to visit the Sattui Winery the next day.

After the tasting, we asked Russ for dinner recommendations and found ourselves at a magnificent restaurant in town called Pilar's. The food and service was so spectacular that we made reservations for the next night before we left the restaurant! The nicest thing was that Russ had informed the restaurant that it was my birthday and Pilar served us a great dessert with a personalized Happy Birthday written in chocolate on the dessert plate. Okay, so now I'm really happy and how could things get any better? Well, let me tell you...

When we arrived back at the Inn after dinner, we found a Post-It note on our bedroom door telling us to call John Citoli in the morning for a private tour of the V. Sattui Castle! We were stunned and so excited! The next morning we called John and found out that he would take us on a tour of the Sattui Winery, do a private tasting with us, and then take us on a tour of the Sattui Castle. He was doing this for us and another couple on his day off and he said, by the way, Happy Birthday! We had a fabulous day seeing and doing some amazing things. We tasted wines straight from the barrel that were still aging and hadn't even been bottled yet. We toured the castle and later found out from Russ that the locals in the area haven't even been allowed to see it! It's still under construction, and has been for 10 years, and will finally open next year. We took some great photos and were just in awe the entire day!

On our final night in Napa Russ recommended Julia's Kitchen to us for dinner. We originally had reservations for another restaurant, but Russ felt we would have a better experience at Julia's Kitchen. He made reservations for us at the Taster's Table where we had a 6-course menu selected for us by the chef, a great waiter who brought us our courses and explained each dish to us in detail, and wine pairings for each course that were out of this world! Oh yeah, and I had one more Happy Birthday dessert. Russ made sure I celebrated my birthday all week long!

Our stay at the Inn was truly amazing. From the moment we arrived we were well taken care of. We had tasty homemade breakfasts to look forward to every morning in the dining room, yummy fresh baked cookies in the afternoons, private pourings in the evenings along with various cheeses and crackers, and decadent chocolate desserts set out for us at night. The recommendations that we received from Russ were always right on the mark. He is very knowledgable and has actually tried everything that he recommends and gives you an honest opinion. We were never steered in the wrong direction. The Inn is very quaint and welcoming and we were surprised to find out that our room, La Biblioteca, had just been redone by Doug Wilson from Trading Spaces. Everything about the Inn, the Innkeepers, and the atmosphere they create is just phenomenal! We're trying to figure out how quickly we can visit again!

4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, MA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2005

My wife and I stayed in the Walden Cottage at the Old World Inn for two nights during our honeymoon. Our stay was excellent.

The cottage is beautiful. There is a very small patio right in front of the cottage, the fence around the patio provides plenty of privacy. IT gives the opportunity of being able to stay in a private cottage, yet still experience the B&B. The room was very clean and comfortable. The home theaeter system is awesome. IT is built right into the bed. There are plenty of movies to choose from at the inn.

Russ enthusiastically provided us with some restaurant recommendations and helped us plan our tours in Napa. His advise was excellent. We had breakfast in our room one day, and the food was also very good. It was a great start to our day. OVerall, we hope to come back some day and would definitely recommend the Old World Inn

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank Cookers78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabernet House, an Old World Inn

Property: Cabernet House, an Old World Inn
Address: 1301 Jefferson St, Napa, CA 94559-2412
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Napa Valley > Napa
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 30 Hotels in Napa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Cabernet House, an Old World Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in 1979 in a historic Landmark building built in 1906, Old World Inn's Cabernet House was one of the first small hotels in the Napa Valley. Choose from 8 rooms or a Private Cottage, all with fireplaces and featherbeds. Discover tips and secrets of the Napa Valley from innkeepers who are locals and love sharing their favorite spots. Enjoy a gourmet "wine taster's" breakfast each morning, come back and relax in our wine cellar at the afternoon wine reception at our sister property (Hotel Napa Valley, just one block away). Walk to dinner (choose from 50+ restaurants!), Then stroll back to find handmade chocolate nibbles waiting for you. Discover the Napa Valley from a different perspective! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Old World Hotel Napa
Cabernet House, An Old World Inn Napa, Napa Valley, CA

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