At the Hillview Country Inn, you’ll be welcomed into the innkeeper’s homes—quite literally. They live at the Inn, and the common areas are essentially their living room. This is both good news and bad news.
If you like the homey touch, they’ve certainly got it. By all accounts, the couple who owns the Hillview are excellent hosts, always delighted to share their home and the whole, marvelous Napa Valley with visitors. They’ll give you a tour, offer you cookies and candy and homemade apricot brandy, and happily keep you company at breakfast if it’s company you want. There are even four cats wandering about. Homes always seem homier with cats.
If you like cats, that is. The cats are not allowed in guest bedrooms, but they get pretty much everywhere else, meaning that cat hair is a fact of life at the Hillview. This won’t bother people who keep cats themselves, but not everyone would choose to live with cats, and therein lies the other side of the Hillview’s hominess. The place is a home, and along with that comes the pets, the mild clutter, the occasional dirtiness and mustiness, and the minor but cumulative maintenance problems that homes typically have. We don’t mean the place is a pit, but—look, isn’t there something around your house you’ve been meaning to get to for years? It’s like that. Not everybody wants to vacation in someone’s home. Some people vacation to get away from home.
But of course, if you want to stay in a hotel, there are plenty available to choose from. The Hillview Inn provides a different service, and by all accounts the innkeepers provide it very well. And we like cats, so to us it sounds like a great place to stay.
The Inn is a converted 100 year old farmhouse. It no longer has its own farm, but the grounds still sport fruit trees and gardens. There’s a narrow stairway to negotiate to get up to the rooms, which will cause an obvious problem for some, but for others the stairs will be a charming reminder of the property’s farmhouse history. And the innkeepers will be happy to carry your bags up if that helps.
There are only four rooms at the Inn, each with its own bathroom. Each has its own character, but they are fairly similar in terms of their amenities; queen-sized bed, phone, TV, a nice view of either the garden or of nearby vineyards, and often sitting rooms or a little nook where you can curl up and read on rainy days when you don’t feel like going out and exploring Napa.
When you do feel like exploring Napa, there are, of course, the wineries. Everyone knows the Napa Valley has hundreds of world class wineries. You can explore on your own, or join any number of tasty organized tours. Critically acclaimed restaurants, live music, art galleries, theater, and museums of history and art also spice the region with culture. What you may not realize is that Napa is also a great place for outdoor recreation. Get out on the network of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, or take a road bike for a spin on the Valley’s miles of quiet, scenic roads. Do you like white water padding? Get out on the river. Prefer quieter water? Farther upstream, the Napa River has that, too.
And however you spend your day, you’ll have this friendly little home to come back to.
The Hillview Inn is a bed and breakfast, and as such, check-in is at precisely 4 00 PM. If you want to arrive at some other time, you need to call at least 48 hours ahead to make arrangements. Front desk hours will vary, too. If you have questions about this, you can call the property, and if you do, be sure to say hello to the cats.