Downtown Napa is in the middle of a "revamp,” according to The George co-owner Kiki Theodorides, anchored by Oxbow Public Market, Napa Art Walk (a rotating exhibition of public art), new eateries and winery tasting rooms, and a growing list of options of where to stay and shop.
Opening on March 15, The George is a nine-room Queen Anne Victorian inn located three blocks from downtown Napa in the Abajo-Fuller Park neighborhood. And its opening fits right into the new vibe emerging in California wine country.
After Theodorides, along with her mother and brother, snapped up the inn in 2016, the trio embarked on an extensive renovation. Commissioned in 1891 by local businessman George E. Goodman, Sr., as a home for his son, it was later converted to apartments. This is the first time the property—on the National Register of Historic Places—has operated as an inn.
“We’re trying to change what the [concept] of a bed-and-breakfast is,” she said. “How do you make a bed-and-breakfast cool? How do you take an historic property and put a fresh spin on it without compromising integrity?”
In other words, you won’t find afternoon tea, Victorian furnishings, or frilly lace curtains. Instead, pastries and coffee from Bentley’s in Napa are grab-and-go each morning, and there’s a Peloton studio on the lower level. At night, cocktails and wine are served in a speakeasy-style space. There are four room types to choose from, and in each one, you'll find heated floors and Molton Brown amenities in the bathroom and a 55-inch Smart TV in the sleeping area. The largest of them all, the 500-square-foot George King Suite, flaunts a fireplace, wet bar, and stunning corner view.
Guests are also encouraged to spend time in the first floor’s common spaces, which might mean a game of fireside chess in the living room or enjoying a bottle of wine in the dining room. The landscaped garden is another hangout spot.
Architecture original to the home was carefully preserved throughout the restoration, such as two fireplaces, crown molding, bannisters, and stained-glass windows. “Whatever we could save or salvage, we did,” said Theodorides. “People come to Northern California to see Victorians.”
During the pandemic, self-check-in will be offered to keep travelers and staff safe. Keyless entry (none of those clunky bed-and-breakfast keys) is another modern upgrade.
Another goal is to not pigeonhole the type of traveler who would stay here. “We want it to represent everybody, make it inclusive, with modern touches for the ‘tech-savvy person’ and elegance and traditional décor for your mom or aunt,” she said.
In the final days before opening, Theodorides reflected on the journey she and her family are on as first-time hoteliers, driven by a desire to “make downtown a little more active and more hip,” she said. “When people come to wine country, it’s usually a country experience. We want that autonomous traveler who wants to explore outside the property.” Along those lines, they look forward to offering guests concierge-level service with personalized recommendations before they even check in.