First, the Cedar Gables Inn Bed and Breakfast will offer you cooking classes (you get to eat your coursework). We can’t offhand think of anyplace else in Napa that can offer something like this. The Inn occupies an historical mansion built originally for E. Wilder and Alice Churchill in 1892 as a wedding gift from Mr. Churchill’s father. The mansion was designed to echo the architecture of Renaissance England, and its style was almost unique in the region, and is still decorated to evoke an old English tavern. The nine rooms of the bed and breakfast are each named for someone connected with the property’s history. Prices and amenities vary by room. All rooms share some features, such as complimentary high speed Internet, chocolate truffles and a carafe of port, and beds with custom mattresses and really nice linens. Some rooms go above and beyond, with such treats as a whirlpool tub or a fireplace. One room has a claw-foot bathtub. Curiously, in-room massage is available only in seven of the nine rooms. If feathers cause a problem for you, you can request feather-free bedding when you make your reservation. All rooms, actually the whole building, are smoke-free, and the owners are serious about this. Anyone who violates the policy will be charged an extra night’s lodging, to cover the day the room must be left empty to air out. You are welcome to smoke outside, though.
Guests rave about this place. Cedar Gables is one of those rare establishments that gets almost entirely perfect reviews—occasionally guests will complain that they don’t like bed and breakfasts, or wish the rooms had televisions, but these are perks from another perspective. The three-course breakfast and the amazing service both win a lot of fans, and the happy hour in the evening over wine and light fare does not hurt matters at all. Possibly the only downside of the Inn is that children under 12 years old are not welcome, apparently due to fears that they might break some of the antiques. During the busier times of the year, you’ll probably have to stay multiple nights, though sometimes a single night will open up, so if that’s what you’re looking for, single nights are worth asking about. Reservations cannot be cancelled or shortened without at least two weeks’ notice. Front desk hours vary, and check in is at exactly 3:00 PM. If you want to arrive at some other time, you’ll have to call at least 48 hours ahead of time to make arrangements. This seems to be pretty typical of bed and breakfasts.
And, as is often the case in Napa, this bed and breakfast will be happy to play host for special events, such as weddings or business meetings. The property is really too small for one of those splendid “five hundred of our closest friends” shindigs, but they can host a smaller event for maybe twenty to fifty people. Their main wedding package includes all nine rooms for two nights (so you and your guests have somewhere to sleep), flowers, a minister, and cake service for twenty people, but not the actual cake. You do get local sparkling wine, optional catering, optional photographer, and such lovely add-ons as a guided wine tasting tour, couples massage at a local spa, and a hot air balloon ride for two. We have to say that although you could probably throw darts at a map of Napa while blindfolded and hit the location of several tempting destination wedding spots, we can’t think of another one that will put you in a balloon after the knot is tied. You could also do a much smaller event; they’ll provide a wedding cake for just four people. Obviously, this is what you would pick if you’re eloping, and the website refers to this option as the Elegant Elopement, but they also refer to it as Vow Renewal. For all the places in Napa where you can say “I do,” we’re not sure there are many others so prepared to help you say “I STILL do.”
We like that.