Like many business travelers, I frequently travel to San Francisco for business. The city is a hub for conferences and conventions, and home to thousands of innovative companies. And while I love visiting San Francisco, I also love taking a few extra days once a year (or maybe once every other year) to tag on a side trip from San Francisco to nearby Napa Valley, California for a few days of rest and relaxation (and perhaps a touch of wine).
If you’re a business travel heading to San Francisco, it’s definitely worth considering taking the time to make the one hour and a half (or under) trek north east to Napa and Napa Valley for a day or two. Napa is wine country central and a great jumping off point for a wide range of activities, from the ubiquitous tastings at wineries to hot air balloon rides to incredible dining. Of course, there’s enough to see and do in the Napa Valley to last a week, but you can easily enjoy yourself with just a day or two if that’s all you have.
Or you can spend your time scouting out great locations for future company meetings or events, since there are so many amazing outdoor settings.
While there are plenty of lodging options in Napa and the Napa Valley, from high-end hotels to budget motels, the Inn on Randolph, right in downtown Napa, is an amazing choice for any business traveler who wants a first-class stay, an incredibly clean room, helpful service and a beautiful and comfortable like-home experience.
The Inn on Randolph is also an excellent choice for any allergy-conscious business traveler who is looking for gluten-free options, since the Inn is completely gluten-free. While it isn’t large enough to provide lunch or dinners, the Inn does serve an amazing fully-gluten free breakfast that unparalleled.
Downtown Napa is located just under an hour and a half from San Francisco, making it an easy destination for a pre- or post-business trip vacation. The city of Napa is basically at the bottom of the Napa Valley and start of one of the premier California wine growing areas.
The Inn on Randolph is conveniently located in downtown Napa, on a tree-lined street walking distance to the core downtown area with bars, restaurants, and shops. The Inn has a nicely manicured front lawn, and the small surrounding grounds are very well maintained. There’s a nice deck in the back as patio areas for sitting and relaxing (perhaps with a nice bottle of wine).
The Inn itself is a historic, Victorian house that has served many purposes over the years (including as a woman’s health center in the early 1900s!). The Inn was completely renovated in 2012 and updated again in 2014 and it shows. It’s not only clean from top-to-bottom, but it’s beautifully designed to highlight historic features (such as woodwork and windows) while having a feeling of being completely up to day. The design, paint colors, and architectural touches are all very clean, very modern, and wonderfully integrated with the historic roots of the Inn.
The hotel is also ADA compliant.
Rooms include a free, cooked breakfast (more on that later), a welcome glass of wine, complimentary coffee and tea, the use of a conference room, and more.
The Inn on Randolph provides a boutique hotel experience in the form of a bed-and-breakfast. The hotel has a total of ten rooms: five small (and very pretty) cottages and five rooms in the original house.
The rooms in the house are all very nice and newly renovated with features such as heated floors in the bathrooms. While the rooms are part of the original 1860s house, they look more Pottery Barn tan-and-cream chic than Victorian. Rooms in the main inn do not have TVs, but you can fire up your laptop to watch Netflix via WiFi.
All rooms have individual heading and air conditioning units, bathrobes and slippers, luxury linens and duvets, gluten-free bath toiletries, heated bathroom floors, and even a free 375ml bottle of wine! Other basics like hair dryers, ironing boards, and different types of pillows are available. Be aware that four of the rooms are on the second floor of the inn, upstairs.
The Inn’s other set of rooms are five cottages (some are connected) that surround the main house. The cottage rooms are very similar in design to the main inn rooms, but are larger, with larger bathrooms and private entrances. Each of the cottages has its own, private outside sitting area or garden.
During my visit, I stayed in the Inn’s Randolph cottage, which had a gas fireplace and an outdoor sitting area. The room was clean, very well designed, and modern. The air conditioner worked well, the drapes kept the early morning sun out, and the bathroom was amazing.
Business Traveler Perspective
The Inn on Randolph provides free WiFi service in the rooms and public areas and same-day laundry and dry cleaning services. Although the inn isn’t big enough to have a gym, it does provide discounted gym passes for a local gym. But since this is California, it’s a great place to get some exercise by taking a walk or going for a run.
Rooms include free daily subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, or the Napa Register. Private dining experiences can also be arranged, and concierge services are available (they provided me with a great tip on a local hiking trail!).
While the Inn doesn’t have a full service restaurant (there are plenty nearby in downtown Napa), it does serve a full, two-course breakfast daily in the main house. The breakfast is completely gluten free for people with allergies or celiac disease. Breakfast is served in the Inn’s cozy dining room or outside on the deck. Ingredients are sourced locally and organically when possible.
Breakfast is served in two seatings, at 8:30 Am and 9:15 AM, so book the night before. The Inn will also prepare a breakfast to go if you need to get back to San Francisco early or catch a flight.
Meetings and Events
While the Inn on Randolph is certainly not a big convention hotel, it does have the capabilities of hosting small corporate events, with both indoor and outdoor areas.
The Inn’s Cabernet Room is a separate meeting room on property, with space for a small group. It seats fifteen for dinner. The room has a private bathroom, a mini-fridge, complimentary WiFi, and a large-screen TV. Breaks can be coordinated with one of the outdoor areas such as the nearby patio or back deck.
The Inn on Randolph
411 Randolph Street
Napa, California 94559