Best Napa Valley Hotels for Families

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Napa Valley may be a destination more geared toward couples than kids, but it's more than possible to have a fun family vacation in this beautiful California region. Take a look at our top Napa Valley hotel picks for families.

  1. The 22-room Best Western feels more like a cozy bed-and-breakfast than a mid-range chain. This stems from its home-like buildings and personal touches, such as the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, milk, and apple cider served in the lobby every afternoon (just make sure the kids don't fill up before dinner!). Adding to the coziness is the fact that some rooms offer fireplaces, terraces (though overlooking a parking lot or street), or jetted tubs, and the furniture and decor is quaint (though not especially high-quality). Rooms with two queen beds are available, as are adjoining rooms. However, the place does lack some facilities that other mid-range hotels have. For example, there is no pool (just an outdoor whirlpool), fitness center, or restaurant. It's a mile from downtown Napa, within a 20-minute walk of its restaurants and shops. Overall, this is a solid choice for families on a budget.

  2. Napa River Inn's location within the Historic Napa Mill makes it a fun pick for families: It's one of the most convenient properties for those who want to be within walking distance to great shopping, excellent dining and entertainment, and -- for the parents -- wine-tasting rooms and entertainment venues, like the Napa Valley Opera House and the renowned jazz club Silo's. Quality varies throughout the 66 rooms, however, depending mostly on the room building the room. Rooms in the Hatt Building feel high-end and romantic, while those in Embarcadero and Plaza buildings feel more mid-range (but are still cozy and have wonderful beds). Freebies include Wi-Fi, shuttle service to downtown Napa, evening tastings of regional wines, and loaner bikes. Like Best Western Plus Elm House Inn, this property lacks a pool, but it also lacks the whirlpool found at our number-one pick.

  3. While Best Western Plus Elm House Inn and Napa River Inn both lack pools, Calistoga Spa Hot Springs has several -- the mid-range hotel is located on the sight of geothermal mineral pools that feed its soaking pool, multi-lane lap pool, kids' pool, and gazebo-covered whirlpool. Day visitors can pay to experience the different heated geothermal mineral pools, but the hotel limits the number of non-hotel guests. The 57 motel-style rooms were updated in 2015, and all have king or queen beds, kitchenettes, small sitting or dining areas, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. Be aware that there's no food offered here other than a snack bar, and though the hotel is within walking distance to restaurants on Calistoga's main street, families might prefer Napa River Inn's convenient location in the heart of downtown Napa. 

  4. Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa is a three-and-a-half-pearl property renovated in 2016 and situated right off the highway for easy access to the wine region. There isn't much in the immediate area, and Napa Valley Marriott has fewer pools than Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, but its extensive on-site features are geared toward relaxation: an outdoor pool, a spa, a 24-hour fitness center, and a restaurant and bar with a patio and fire pits. A resort fee cover perks such as daily wine tastings, morning yoga by the pool, tours of the hotel's garden, and Wi-Fi throughout. The property's 275 guest rooms are fresh and contemporary, with farmhouse accents and amenities like flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. 

  5. Upon arrival, the Embassy Suites in Napa does not look like your typical chain hotel. The property strives to emulate the Napa Valley vibe with sprawling grounds, a villa-like facade, and warm decor. The 205 suites all feature separate living rooms, wetbars, mini-fridges, and microwaves. Families will likely enjoy the two nice pools here -- the indoor pool is large and has an adjacent hot tub and the outdoor pool is in a quiet courtyard, sequestered by the hotel buildings (similar chain hotels often feature roadside pools). Cooked-to-order breakfasts and evening receptions are included in the rates. Note that we gave Napa Valley Marriott the edge since it is fresh from 2016 renovations (Embassy Suites was renovated in 2012).

  6. Calling itself a "resort" might be a bit of a stretch; RiverPointe Napa Valley is a mid-range self-service property in quiet spot along the Napa River, about a five-minute drive from downtown. Its collection of 104 bright, repurposed mobile-home "cabins" are nicely equipped with kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, and furnished decks. There's no restaurant or bar, but the property has lots of open green hangout space, such as an outdoor heated pool, hot tub, small sauna, and picnic areas with barbecue grills. The central hangout spot is the clubhouse, where nightly events give guests a chance mingle. Drawbacks include a resort fee, limited housekeeping, and a fee for parking. Regardless, it's a great pick for families looking for homey, self-service accommodations for longer stays. Guests looking for a more traditional hotel might prefer Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley, which has large suites and free daily cooked-to-order breakfasts.

  7. The 50-room Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa is a family- and pet-friendly property that pays homage to the great American road trip of yesterday. The 1940s motor lodge has been modernized to offer attractive amenities -- like a full-service spa, two outdoor mineral pools, and a whirlpool -- and comfortable rooms with a fun camper motif. Room decor mixes modern style with retro pieces, like bench-style seating and tables commonly seen in camping vehicles. Amenities include coffeemakers, mini-fridges, free snacks, 42-inch flat screen TVs, robes, rainfall showers, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel is within walking distance of downtown Calistoga, and offers bicycle rentals, concierge services, and free weekly wine tastings. Rates are competitive but don't include breakfast or the daily resort fee, and there is no guest laundry room. RiverPointe Napa Valley has lower prices and may be better suited for longer stays, as it offers free self-service laundry.

  8. Located along a shady river path, the 106-room River Terrace Inn has a distinctly lodge-like atmosphere. The adjacent Napa River is slow and quiet, giving the inn the aura of an idyllic retreat, yet the path along the riverfront leads to dozens of restaurants and tasting rooms in downtown Napa in minutes. An outdoor seating area overlooking the river is the hotel's main attraction; it's popular with guests who want to socialize and admire the scenery. An on-site restaurant, Terrace Cafe and Wine Bar, specializes in locally sourced comfort foods. Guests can dine indoors near the fireplace or outdoors by the fire pit for panoramic views. Some rooms have balconies, and all come with earthy decor, coffeemakers, refrigerators, microwaves, minibars, and free Wi-Fi. (Try to get a room facing the river, which are quieter than those facing the parking lot.) Overall, the River Terrace is a terrific value for the price, though it doesn't have the pools or spa found at Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa. (However, both properties have bike rentals and weekly wine tastings.) 

  9. The 180-room Westin Verasa reads more boutique hotel than major chain. From attractive rooms (most with kitchenettes) and elegant restaurants to the outdoor bocce court and spacious pool and patio with private cabanas, everything feels nice and upscale. The hotel is located in a secluded area near Napa's downtown, right on the western bank of the Napa River. Even if you don't have a car, you can still easily access Oxbow Market and dining options by foot -- and the Wine Train is right outside the hotel. Note that starting rates here are a bit higher than those at River Terrace Inn, and they don't include a daily mandatory resort fee.

  10. The no-frills, low-key Napa Winery Inn is located right off of Highway 29 (the main road that runs through Napa Valley), within driving distance of wineries. In addition to a prime location, the mid-range property offers a friendly staff and reasonable rates. The 59 rooms are unremarkable in style, but some have kitchenettes and jetted tubs. There's a small, well-maintained outdoor pool and hot tub that's regularly supplied with fresh towels. Unfortunately, the proximity to the highway means there's often traffic noise, especially in the pool area and in the rooms facing the road. Napa Winery Inn's free breakfast buffet includes hot and cold entrees, along with pastries, bagels, and fruit, and there are nightly wine and cheese tastings. In all, it's a generic but comfortable spot that should suit families wanting to explore the larger Napa region.

  11. Best Western Plus Stevenson Manor Inn is a good pick for budget-minded families. Its 34 rooms are clean and spacious, with balconies, kitchenettes, and jetted tubs or fireplaces, as well as decor in tan, chocolate, gray, and cream hues. The main areas of the hotel, including the heated outdoor pool (with whirlpool and sauna) and the breakfast area (where a free breakfast buffet is offered daily) are pleasant, but it's the convenient location of this hotel that's the real draw here -- walking to downtown Calistoga or driving to wineries in St. Helena and along the Silverado Trail is a breeze. Like Napa Valley Inn, there are some complaints of traffic noise from street-facing rooms, but don't plan on the nightly wine tastings offered at that hotel.

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