What We Love
- WiFi and a delectable full breakfast are included in the Jetsetter rate
- Only a short stroll from downtown eateries, wine bars and the riverfront
- Pluck fresh fruit from the citrus trees; the oranges, lemons and kumquats are also used by the chef in marmalades and creams
- READ MORE: A Guide to Napa Valley
What To Know
- This is more of a romantic getaway
- Your view is of the historic neighborhood, and Napa's rolling vineyards and top wineries are nearby
- The carriage house and cottages flank an outdoor lounge area, which is typically tranquil but sometimes chatter can be heard if a group gathers there at night
- Early check-in times cannot be accommodated
- Adults Only
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Victorian modern. On a corner lot in a historic residential neighborhood, this B&B feels more like a sophisticated family home than your standard issue hotel. Spread over a 1906 Queen Anne Victorian, a carriage house and two cottages, the hotel plays up the historic details — chair rails, carved columns, window seats, stained glass — but keeps things airy and light with muted color schemes. And there’s nary a fusty antique or lace doily in sight.
Bed & Bath
The five suites in the main house, both upstairs and down, have soaring ceilings and details that old house lovers will adore, such as original crown moldings and wood paneling. Out back you’ll find a pretty pair of cottages built in the ’40s, and the property’s original carriage house; these feel slightly more contemporary but are equally comfortable, with French doors and vaulted ceilings. All rooms have cozy nooks for reading, fireplaces, beds you’ll never want to climb out of and oversize soaking tubs (in one room the tub is tucked away in the turret; in another it’s separated from the bedroom by a sexy two-way fireplace).
Every morning the kitchen turns out delicious offerings that do the second B in B&B proud. A light fruit-and-granola parfait and classic eggs-bacon-potatoes plate is always on the menu, but the chef comes up with specials — maybe eggs benedict over grilled polenta or brioche french toast. As there’s no full restaurant here, offerings beyond breakfast are limited to small free bites, like canapés or charcuterie set out with red and white wine from 5:30 to 6:30 every afternoon (some Fridays a master sommelier stops by to lead a tasting class). We love the outdoor lounge, where you can kick back with a glass of wine on comfy rattan chairs beneath fragrant citrus trees. There’s no on-site spa, but treatments ranging from stone therapy to Swedish massage can be arranged in your room.
In the Area
The in-the-know concierge will set you up with wine tours or provide you with a detailed map and great insider tips so you can go it alone. (Nearby Clos du Val, on scenic Silverado Trail, has an insanely gorgeous tasting room in an ivy-covered 19th-century building.) Downtown Napa is but a few blocks away, and walkability is key when you’ve been wining all day. Locals love Oenotri’s southern Italian fare; plus, the wine list includes back vintages and cult Napa wines. ZuZu dials up tapas with spicy Latin American flavors, and Ninebark is a newcomer serving fresh California cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Matthew Lightner. For days when you’re not tasting, the Oxbow Public Market, crammed full of artisanal food sellers, gift shops and small outposts of famed Bay Area restaurants, is worth a spin. You can also rent bikes or kayaks from Napa Valley Adventure Tours, catch a performance at the Opera House, or pop into one of the area galleries, such as the Di Rosa Preserve, on 200 landscaped acres.
How to Get There
My husband and I recently stayed in the Garden Cottage at 1801 First. I searched for a place that would feel comfortable for a five night stay and be walking distance to activities as my husband was attending a nearby conference and wine tasting wasn't our priority. I feel I hit the jackpot choosing 1801. The Garden Cottage was comfortable and private with a nice patio area. Carrie, the owner, was gracious and personable, offering a glass of wine at check in as she gave us a tour of the beautiful accomodations. Her assistants, Laura and Shirlee, were also wonderful (special thank you to Shirlee who emailed me before I had even landed back home that housekeeping had found my jewelry which I hadn't yet realized was left behind!). There is a delicious filling breakfast every morning (they will even pack up a breakfast for you to take if you need to leave before the full breakfast is served); heavenly cookies (no, really, I think I ate a dozen), coffee, and tea out at all hours, as well as port in the living area of the main house; and, a nice social wine hour with snacks where you can chat with the innkeepers as well as other guests.
The location was ideal for us as it was walking distance to everything downtown Napa has to offer such as dining, tasting rooms, and shopping. We also loved waking up every morning for our run along the river and seeing the hot air balloons in the distance.
The people and attention to detail make 1801 First a great place to stay.
This B&B is well situated in the city of Napa, convenient to downtown, the highway, and the wineries. The rooms are all located on the first floor, so that one does not need to navigate old stairwells. The room we were assigned was large and comfortable, and included a refrigerator. Carrie, the owner, as well as the others, were friendly and accommodating. The breakfasts were plentiful and well prepared, with a choice of three meals every day, and the ability to make personal modifications of the ingredients.
This is the second time we have stayed with 1801 First, and it won't be the last. The historic inn has been lovingly restored and cared for and is an absolute gem. Our room was large, comfortable and beautifully appointed with everything you could want or need. Breakfast was delicious, and the complementary cookies were addictive!! They were honestly as good as any cookie I've ever had - my husband and I gained weight just from sneaking so many of those cookies! Carrie, the owner, was a delight and is a wealth of knowledge. You cannot go wrong staying at 1801 First.
My husband and I were in town and had a wonderful stay at 1801 First. The property is nicely furnished and the staff easy to talk to and very helpful. We loved the garden cottage as it was private and walking straight out into the gardens was very peaceful. An easy walk into downtown for dinner, drinks, or shopping. The entire staff was helpful in recommending winery visits and even went out of their way to research the parking options for Muir Woods. Breakfast was delicious and exactly what's needed for a day of wine tasting. We highly recommend 1801 First and look forward to a future visit.
1801 first provides every comfort and luxury you could want. From the enormous tub, to the delicious breakfast, one is surrounded by beauty and every amenity. The people who run this B&B have tried to think of everything one could desire. I was greeted with a delicious snack laid out in my room, and then found another gourmet tray in the refrigerator! Shirley Is the sweetest, most accommodating, friendly woman! She really bends over backwards to make your stay a delight. I enjoyed the location, which is a few blocks from the center of town. Easy walking distance! I can only think of positive comments, and highly recommend 1801 first.