If walls could talk, Napa’s Milliken Creek Inn would have fascinating stories to tell.
Tucked along a bank of the Napa River, the main house of the inn served as a stagecoach stop in the 1850s, welcoming weary travelers during the California Gold Rush. Then, at the turn of the century, horticulturist Ira McKenzie took up residence at the property and planted Japanese maples, live oaks, magnolias and other trees that still remain on the three-acre grounds. This summer, Milliken Creek Inn is adding yet another chapter to its rich history as it unveils a sophisticated redesign that makes the modern traveler feel as though they’ve struck gold.
The new lobby, furnished with sofas and armchairs and adorned with green plants and blooming orchids, feels more like a friend’s home than the entrance of an inn or hotel. The front desk — a small counter — is tucked away behind a set of French doors, and guests can enjoy some complimentary fruit cordial upon arrival. Shady paths, flanked by redwoods, bamboo, Japanese maples and magnolia trees, then lead the way to the guest rooms. The verdant surroundings inspired the inn’s redesign, and the exteriors’ neutral, earthy hues combine with natural light to create a peaceful environment in which to sit back and relax in an Adirondack chair by a bubbling fountain or a fire pit.
The eleven guest rooms at Milliken Creek Inn have been updated with modern decor and soothing color schemes, and each room has its own configuration; many have river views, decks or patios, soaking tubs and fireplaces. Four rooms now come with their own fire pit, which ignites with the turn of a dial. S’mores kits are available in each room, next to the Nespresso machine. After a day of wine tasting, guests can sink into comfortable beds, watch a movie on Apple TV, and read a magazine or order in-room dining on an iPad.
There is no restaurant on the property but guests receive a breakfast spread every morning, which can be enjoyed at one of the inn’s secluded outdoor spaces or in the room. Breakfast options include a mushroom, spinach and feta frittata; breakfast sandwiches with eggs, bacon and cheese on an English muffin or croissant; a Belgian waffle; steel cut oatmeal; and yogurt with house-made granola. Freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and tea is also included.
Before the pandemic, the inn hosted a nightly wine and cheese reception with a local vintner. Now, guests receive a cheese plate and fresh-baked cookies that can be enjoyed with a glass of wine on the property. The pandemic also has changed the check-in process. Before arrival, guests receive an email that walks them through the process: keycards will be waiting as they arrive at the property, but guests can also access their rooms by using their own cellphones. Guests can now communicate with staff through text messages and, once it’s time to check out, this can also be done via text.
Click through the above gallery for a peek at the redesigned Milliken Creek Inn, part of the Four Sisters Inns collection.
1815 Silverado Trail, Napa,707-255-1197, millikencreekinn.com. Rates start at $495.