Luxury on the Napa River

Milliken Creek Inn and Spa, a 12-room gem hidden away on three acres of Napa River shoreline, is all about romance.

January 5, 2013 22:46
2 minute read.
Milliken Creek Inn and Spa.

Milliken Creek Inn and Spa 370. (photo credit: George Medovoy)


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NAPA – Milliken Creek Inn and Spa, a 12-room gem hidden away on three acres of Napa River shoreline, is all about romance, says general manager Connie Gore.

And when it comes to romance, Milliken specializes in what she likes to call the “awe” effect, like discovering dozens of red rose petals spread across your bed… or tiny glass candles around your room… or candied strawberries and a bottle of bubbly.

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But it wasn’t always this way around here.

In 1857, seven years after California declared its statehood, this spot was a stage coach stop on the Silverado Trail, where travelers rest in what is now the inn’s main house – since rebuilt, of course – and their horses drink by the river.

We’re in Room 12, with a wonderful view of the river and the gazebo. (Milliken has rooms in the main house and just to the south and north of it, along with its own spa).

Soft jazz fills our accommodations, which come with kitchen, bedroom area, large walk-in closet, bathroom with a big walk-in shower, free-standing tub with a built-in Jacuzzi, wide-screen TV and an electric fireplace we can turn on with the flick of a switch. Everything here reflects a kind of soft luxury, which pampers the inn’s lucky guests.

By five o’clock we wander across a small grassy area, past the small pond with its miniature waterfall, to the main house for the inn’s regular evening wine- and cheese-tasting by the fireplace – which, along with the stairway, is a relic rebuilt from the dwelling that sat on the property in the days when the stage coaches stopped here. The main house deck has several patio chairs available to guests and, when the sun is out, it’s a perfect spot to look out at the river or enjoy a good book.

Though guests do their own pouring this evening, Milliken does invite winemakers to pour their vintages, including winemakers from some of Napa’s boutique wineries. If you stay here, it’s a very good opportunity to preview some wines and decide whether to venture out the next day to personally visit the wineries themselves.

The next morning, there’s a knock at our door, and it’s a young fellow greeting us with a warm “Good morning” and a big wicker basket filled with our breakfast – scrambled eggs and potatoes for me and a bagel and cream cheese with lox, sliced red onion and capers for my wife. The breakfast also includes a morning bun from the Oxbow Market’s Model Bakery and, of course, fresh coffee.

In warmer weather we would have had breakfast on our very own patio, but since it’s a bit chilly this December morning, we choose to stay inside by the fireplace. It’s all so nice and cozy – the perfect prelude to another day of luxury here on the Napa River.

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