BAFT Review  
A Romantic Napa Valley Getaway: The Wine Country Inn

By Tim Polk  

 Let’s face it—parents need a break from their kids once in awhile, and vice versa. For the couple wanting a quiet, romantic retreat that’s close by, it’s hard to beat the Wine Country Inn.

Nestled in the northern part of the Napa Valley between the towns of St. Helena and Calistoga, the Wine Country Inn offers casual country elegance at its best. Guests can lounge by the pool, indulge in one of the many on-site spa and massage treatments, and, of course, take advantage of the plethora of nearby wineries, restaurants, and shops.  All this while staying in a nearly thirty-year-old inn which sits practically in the middle of a vineyard. 


Wine Country Inn has more than thirty rooms. About half are located within the main building, and are small, cozy, and impeccably decorated. Almost every room has a patio or balcony looking out at the surrounding vineyards.
In addition, the inn has newer, cottage-like rooms all located within a few steps of the main building. These rooms, newer, larger, and many with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs, offer guests a feeling of being "all alone" yet still on the Inn’s immaculate grounds.

Each stay includes a complimentary gourmet breakfast. On a recent visit, we were treated to fresh fruit, the Inn’s signature granola mixture, two kinds of fresh-baked nut breads, and a sourdough egg casserole that was out of this world.

Each afternoon the inn also offers guests a complimentary wine service, in which a local winery brings a selection of wines for guests to taste or drink. Home made snacks and local cheeses also are served. 


While the grounds, rooms, and ideal location make the Inn a special getaway, what probably sets it apart the most is its friendly staff. The Inn was founded in 1975 by Ned and Marge Smith. Their son Jim is now innkeeper, and many of the staff members have worked at the inn for more than ten years. The result is a very family feel while at all times being attentive and professional.



Wine Country Inn
1152 Lodi Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574
Tel: 888-465-4608


  • For the husband who wants to score points with his wife, ask the inn’s staff about their new "Thoughtful Husband" wife pampering packages. They range in price from $95 to $395, and can include special gifts, spa body treatments, and breakfast in bed complete with red silk rose petals as decorations.
  • In the winter, dress for cold. In the summer, dress for the heat…and bring a sweater. The Napa Valley has extreme temperature swings. Temperatures can soar above 90 degrees during the day, and drop into the 40’s at night.
  • For great restaurant recommendations, ask a staff member. Most have lived in the area for years, and all are very familiar with the nearby wineries and restaurants.
  • Bring something to read. The rooms do not have televisions, making them ideal for reading, relaxing, and reconnecting as a couple.

Writer Tim Polk lives in Santa Rosa and is a husband and father of two girls. This is his second article for BAFT.

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