Milliken Creek Inn and Spa 370.
(photo credit: George Medovoy)
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
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.
But it wasn’t always this way around
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.
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.