The Hyatt part is new; Hyatt just bought the high-end Avia chain in 2011, but according to customer reviews before and after, the place hasn’t changed much. The Napa Avia is still elegant, beautiful, comfortable, and friendly. There are complimentary chair massages and wine tasting in the lobby when you check in.
Have you ever had a chair massage?
Some of the rooms feature soaking tubs for two in the bedroom right next to the cozy fire place. There are waffle terry bath robes, for wearing to and from your soaking tub. There are blackout shades in case you want to sleep in. There’s complimentary wireless internet access, and a safe in your room to keep your laptop in when you go out. There’s complimentary access to a fitness center next door. There’s free parking. There’s a restaurant and a wine bar and a terrace where you can go to relax under the sky by the fire pit. We’re talking some genuinely nice stuff.
Now, chair massages and amazing bed linens are great and all, if you want to baby yourself, but what if you’re traveling with an actual baby? No problem; call ahead and arrange for a package of baby gear—diapers, baby food, whatever you need—and it will be waiting for you when you arrive. The whole idea is that if the baby gear is there when you check in, you don’t have to take as much when you travel with as much, and you don’t have to worry that the airline might lose your stuff. Less to worry about and a happy baby equals a more relaxing trip. Pretty cool, huh?
A nice perk is that the Napa Avia not only puts you in the perfect location for exploring the Napa Valley, they’ll even give you detailed itineraries to help you plan your adventures. If you’re heading up to Calistoga, for example, just pick up the Calistoga itinerary. You’ll find websites, contact numbers, directions, and reviews for half a dozen restaurants ranging from casual to upscale, two spas, the Sharpsteen Museum, a state park based around a historic mill with a short hiking trail to a neighboring park, the Old Faithful Geyser of California, and the petrified forest. At least two of the reviewed eateries feature live music. The itinerary for Yountville is similar—heavier on the eateries, though, as Yountville is home to the famous French Laundry and other noteworthy places to dine. There are separate Fine Dining and Casual Dining itineraries, not that “fine” means formal and snooty, the review is careful to note.
The Arts and Entertainment itinerary lists only destinations not listed in the itineraries for Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga. Not only does this care reduce redundancy, it also means that this list is full of opportunities sometimes literally in the same neighborhood as the Napa Avia. There are studios and galleries, such as the quirky Di Rosa, or Brown Street, which showcases artists with developmental disabilities. There are historical museums, including the Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum, which preserves manuscripts, correspondence, paintings, and memorability associated with the famous author. There are theaters, an opera house, and cinema centers. There are jazz clubs and restaurants with live music. There are also itineraries for outdoor activities, seasonal events and festivals, walkable wine tasting opportunities near the hotel, and wine-related activities around the valley. With a list like this, you have access to the kind of local knowledge you’d normally have to live here for years to figure out. Instead, you can check in, drop your bags, and know exactly what’s going on as you head out on the town.
Of course, the Napa Avia has its drawbacks, because every establishment does. But after have reading many, many customer surveys, we still don’t know what those drawbacks might be.