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“A Perfect Fit for Our Special Night”

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Southbridge Napa Valley
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in St. Helena
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 20, 2014

The Southbridge Inn is located in an attractive, interesting complex at the south end of St. Helena, on the east side of Hwy. 29 and the railroad tracks where the Wine Train travels. The nicely landscaped, fountain-filled complex that has a creative mix of older buildings and contemporary ones is home to Southbridge, Tra Vigne restaurant and their separate Pizzeria (which provides the in-room dining for Southbridge), Health Spa Napa Valley, Merryvale Winery, and the small tasting room of Handwritten Winery. We had lunch at Tra Vigne’s Pizzeria and their ravioli and pizza were both fresh and tasty. The excellent location of Southbridge provides guests with an array of dining, wine tasting, and shopping choices. Just walking thru the complex as well of strolling St. Helena’s Main St. is a fun experience.

My choice of Southbridge for lodging was single-minded, however. It’s a sister property of nearby Meadowood Resort and we were celebrating a special occasion with dinner at The Restaurant at Meadowood. I had read on Southbridge’s web site that there was a complimentary car service to and from Meadowood and that seemed ideal for our situation. When I called Southbridge initially, the rep didn’t seem to be fully aware of the car service and I had to pursue the arrangement. All was then taken care of and we had prompt, very congenial service from the Meadowood drivers the night of our dinner. Our dinner was absolutely perfect in every way and we even received a short tour of the kitchen at the end of the evening.

Back to our Southbridge experience: We arrived a couple hours prior to the official check-in time of 4 p.m. and our room was ready. The check-in process was a breeze and the reception staff couldn’t have been warmer or more helpful. This continued throughout our stay. There is ample parking in front of the building with designated parking spaces for inn guests. The exterior of the building has an unembellished, contemporary look. The lobby and reception areas didn’t occupy a large space and possessed a serene ambiance; furnished simply but attractively.

All guest rooms are located on the 2nd floor and there is an elevator if one wants to bypass the stairs. Our room was #11 located about mid-way down the hall in the same building as the lobby. It was a comfortable size (425 sq. ft. according to the description). The vaulted ceiling, French doors and angled wall made the space seem even more airy and spacious. My favorite feature was the little Juliette-style balcony that over looked the courtyard. Trellises and walls were covered with beautiful wisteria--both white and lavender varieties. The vines were quite large and the blossoms’ sweet scent drifting thru the courtyard and into our room when we had the French door open. It was a very special treat! Altho’ our doors faced directly toward busy Hwy. 29, the sound proofing was excellent and only a very soft, muffled sound of traffic could be heard when our French doors were shut. At night--and this seems incredible--I heard no traffic at all because there wasn’t any. I was up at 12:30 a.m. and was gazing out for at least 5 min. and never saw a single vehicle on the highway. Needless to say, sleep was very peaceful.

Furnishings included: King bed, 2 bedstands, a small desk and chair, 2 upholstered arm chairs and a small table, and a large bureau chest with 3 drawers (TV was on top of the chest). I did notice a few small nicks and scrapes on the wooden furniture, but in general things looked well-maintained. Amenities included: Fireplace (not gas, a real one that used pressed logs), large flat panel Sony TV, (2) phones, iPod dock, clock radio, in-room safe, hairdryer, 2 spa robes, single-serve coffeemaker, honor basket with a small selection of snacks, small refrigerator with honor bar liquors, wine (limited selection) and sodas. Complimentary bottled water, 2 chocolate-topped cookies and 2 crisp apples were provided in the room. I have to say that the Illy coffee maker was the most inconvenient and difficult to use in-room machine I can recall ever having. Added to that, I had the ill luck to have popped in a defective coffee cartridge that didn’t puncture, so all I got (twice) was a cup of steaming water. Fortunately, the coffee in the downstairs breakfast room was really good! The wi-fi was spotty at times and I usually had to walk closer to the lobby stairs to get a strong signal. Wi-fi and net connection were free.

Decor and colors were subdued, natural and contemporary. Soft yellows, greens and browns were the predominant colors. Artwork on walls was varied but restrained: B/W vintage-look photographs of vineyards, watercolor prints of rural landscapes, and a mundane map of Napa Valley wineries above the hearth.

There was a rather small closet, made even smaller since it housed the in-room safe. The space would be cramped for hanging clothes if one were staying more than a couple of nights. A single luggage rack and limited hangers were provided.

Not enough electrical outlets were available. I found only one unused outlet in the main area of our room and there were none at desktop level. Multiple devices would need to be charged at the coffee bar or in the bathroom--not exactly convenient. The lamps on the bedstands, desk and small table provided limited light. They really weren’t bright enough for comfortable reading at night. Ceiling spotlights provided overall area lighting.

A wall thermostat controlled heat and A/C. With a minor adjustment, the temperature remained comfortable during our entire stay. The system’s fan was pretty quiet too.

Our bath was fairly small but functional. What took it beyond the ordinary was the 2-story light well with skylight that flooded the room with brightness during the day and made the space seem twice as large as it actually was. At night a wall sconce and a light bar above the counter area provided adequate, even lighting. The wall-mounted magnifying mirror had its own light. The bath had white tile flooring, rustic looking, ochre colored concrete counter and backsplash, and soft yellow painted walls. A couple of patches of paint were chipped/worn and the a floor tile was also chipped. I don’t recall any artwork at all in the bath. There was a standard shower/tub combo (the length of the tub did seem longer than most). A really nice, practical feature was the shower curtain rod which bowed outward, providing much more comfortable space instead of allowing the curtain to press in on you. The water temperature held steady, but the hot setting needed to be turned up to the maximum to achieve a comfortable temperature. Water pressure was borderline due, I assume, to the low-flow showerhead. Counterspace plus a ledge above the toilet was limited, but together provided enough space for storage of our cosmetic/bath items. There wasn’t a manual fan, only ventilation registers, but they got the job done effectively and there was no steam buildup when the shower was used. There was one aggravating thing--the showerhead dripped for a long period of time and the water drops fell directly onto the tub faucet, making a high-pitched tinny sound that resonated thru the entire room. It took a while before I figured out what was causing the annoying sound and stopped it by putting a towel over the faucet.

The next morning we were still pretty full from our superb dinner at Meadowood, but sauntered into the breakfast room (adjacent to the reception area) to avail ourselves of the complimentary Continental breakfast that is set out each morning at 7 a.m. We arrived about 8 a.m. and there were ample amounts of everything: Coffee, orange juice, dry cereal inc. a granola, soy milk as well as regular, hard-boiled eggs (shelled), a very nice assortment of various pastries, muffins, crunch rolls and bagels, and a fruit bowl filled with delicious fresh strawberries and pineapple chunks. I wished that I had been hungrier!

During our brief stay, we walked into the Health Spa located right across from Southbridge’s entrance and took a peek at the outdoor lap pool and the fitness center (both looked inviting). Altho’ we didn’t take advantage of the amenities, Southbridge guests have complimentary access to the pool, whirlpool, steam bath and exercise equipment.

Southbridge’s convenient location, interesting complex, comfortable and quiet rooms, friendly and helpful staff all contributed to our very enjoyable stay. Without a doubt, I would love to go for a return visit!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Forestvillian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 - 94 of 161 reviews

Reviewed March 6, 2014

It was certainly not a "luxury" hotel but got the job done. I paid for the room prior to my stay but Southbridge charged me again during checkout. Southbridge did recognize the problem and assured me the pending status of the second charge "would not clear my account and to call if there was a problem." Well, there were many problems. I was charged and it took a week and SEVERAL phone calls from both me and my bank before they reversed the charges. Their accounting/billing department is antiquated and they acted as though they were inconvenienced by my persistence in getting this matter handled. It's a nice location but don't stay here! Plus there were ants in the room.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BBLafay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014

Southbridge is the place to stay if you are visiting the Napa Valley. It is right one the Main Street in St. Helena and close to everything you would want to do during your stay. Their rooms are amazing and their staff is extraordinarily accommodating. I will be staying here every time I visit.

  • Stayed: February 2014
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Thank Kirby B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2014

It is a charming hotel, with a pool and spa. Great location. You cam walk into downtown St. Helena and visit Model Bakery, which is a must! A block from Gotts Roadside Burgers. Make an appointment to taste at Handwritten, best pinot hands down. In the winter the rooms over looking Tra Vigne are nice, windows open above the courtyard. I imagine when the weather is warmer, that could get loud. Helpful staff and a breakfast to boot.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

We have stayed in many Napa Valley hotels over the years. Although this hotel has a wonderful location, I was surprised it is a member of the SLH (small luxury hotels) chain. While it is a small hotel I take exception to the "luxury" title. The rooms are indeed large but furnished with Motel 6 furniture, stained industrial carpeting and a tiny old style bathroom with missing tiles and minimal counters pace. The room has zero style or personality. Given the location a major renovation would make this my "go to" hotel in the mid valley. Until they remodel this is just an overpriced Holiday Inn.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank JillSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2013

Like another reviewer, we had Room 9. Even though the furniture and decor was dated, the room was a nice size, comfortable and in good shape. The bathrooms had a cathedral ceiling with a sun roof. This left the room very cold at night even with the heater going on.
It was another spare the air weekend so we could not use the fireplace.
The continental breakfast is okay and is available until 10:30. There is a spa steps from the front entrance of the hotel which guests could use.
I would visit this hotel again.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank scootercus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2013

I probably should have trusted my instinct based on prior reviews and paid a little extra to stay elsewhere. For over 20 years my husband and I visit Napa once to twice yearly. We have stayed at B & Bs; Vintage Inn, Villagio, Silverado, Embassy Suites, rental homes in Napa, St. Helena, Yountville, and Sonoma.

Napa Valley Reservation rep gave a lovely room description and a complimentary massage at the spa next door so I pre-paid one night at $360/ weekend nightly rate. Upon entering, the room reminded me of a budget chain hotel with nice linens. I have never stayed in room with some many problems as outlined below.

Front desk gal seemed distant on check in and check out; we were not allowed to use fireplace despite the weather being very cold, damp and rainy; electrical sockets were loose so that plugs for hotel hairdryer and cell phone charger kept slipping out; dead light in alcove of coffee maker so next morning we struggled to operate the unit using dim alternative lighting (maintenance was called to fix); room clock had wrong time by at least 5 hours which I thought housekeeping would fix but never did so I did it; volume on some TV channels did not work; peeling paint and scuffed cabinet in bathroom; stale pastries, yogurt, and fruit in the a.m.; mediocre deep tissue massage at spa; front desk did not have plastic bag for ice bucket; front desk was absent when leaving and arriving on excursions. I thought about changing rooms but based on description by Napa Valley Reservations about how it was upgraded I decided this was the best it was going to get. The decor was plain craftsman and bed was firm.

If you don't mind a mediocre room that will guarantee you can light the fireplace for a remarkable deal then it is a good location in St. Helena. Since breakfast was unsubstantial, we ordered breakfast sandwiches at Gotts Roadside across the street that serves from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and has great burgers, fries, shakes, wine and beer. There is heavy traffic on weekends so take Silverado Trail to get to other locales quicker. The city fire station alarms went off 3-4 times when we were there although not late at night. You will also hear the wine train rumble and blare when it goes by. Otherwise it was relatively quiet compared to hotels that back to Highway 29.

Press Restaurant is located a mile south on Highway 29 which serves delicious salads, steaks, and sides with a substantial wine list. Do not recommend the chicken.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Villanik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MeadowoodNV, General Manager at Southbridge Napa Valley, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your comments regarding your stay – certainly, every guest room should be free of any maintenance issues. Your specific concerns have been corrected. Our breakfast pastries are freshly baked and delivered early every morning – thank you for letting us know that you felt they were sub-par. We regret that you were unable to use the fireplace. This restriction was not imposed by the hotel, but rather by the Bay Area Air District. During your stay with us multiple “Spare the Air Day” alerts were issued. These alerts are issued due to poor air quality and subsequently the burning of solid fuel is illegal. We are glad that you got to enjoy the post harvest hustle and bustle of the upper Napa Valley. We would look forward to welcoming you back to Southbridge.

Marcelle Adderley
General Manager
Southbridge Napa Valley

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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 Southbridge Napa Valley

Address: 1020 Main St, St. Helena, CA 94574-2011 (Formerly Inn at Southbridge)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Napa Valley > St. Helena
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in St. Helena
#5 Luxury Hotel in St. Helena
Price Range: $258 - $450 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Southbridge Napa Valley 4*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Southbridge Napa Valley is located on Main Street in the historic town of St. Helena in the heart of America's most famous wine growing region. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn At Southbridge Hotel St. Helena
Southbridge Inn
Southbridge Napa Valley St. Helena, CA

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