Looking forward to a leisurely weekend in wine country, I was keen to book a hotel in a good location. I settled on Andaz Napa, touted as a boutique hotel with over 15 wine-tasting rooms within easy walking distance as well as Oxbow Public Market.
Although valet was $24, I chose self-parking which was complimentary in a lot just behind the hotel, and I was glad for the free parking in the busy west end district. The lobby was airy and bright, with check-in counters resembling wine barrels. A huge map of the Napa area was painted across an entire wall. I was offered lemon and lime flavored water, and the friendly hostess pointed down the hall to the Mercantile Social bar and recommended their artisan burgers and beer that started at 4pm. She also mentioned that there were just 141 guest rooms, and already it felt like a boutique hotel.
I had used a confirmed suite upgrade, and had read about some of the room terraces online. The hostess said that my room didn’t have a terrace but that it was a very nice Andaz Tower Suite.
Even though the website boasted about 12 foot ceilings, the bedroom was definitely on the “cozy” side and felt small. A Geneva docking station was bedside, and a 42” flat screen TV was in the bedroom so the electronics offered were very good. There was plenty of natural light, and there was a shared living room/bedroom fireplace that turned on with the flip of a switch. The room didn’t have a good view, as it simply faced another room. It wasn’t totally closed off from the bathroom or sitting room, so it felt like a small Jr suite and I wasn’t wowed at all.
The bathroom was cheery with creamy yellow walls, and there was a large marble rain shower and extra towels. There was a deep standalone tub, but since the bathroom had an open design it was next to the bedside table. It was within line of sight of the fireplace though so you could enjoy a glass of wine in the tub while watching the fire. The grape seed bath amenities called 29 were by the local company Preserves which uses natural ingredients.
The couch, table and bedroom dresser all reminded me of college dorm room furniture, but there were nice hickory hardwood floors throughout the suite. The minibar was complimentary (except alcohol), so I enjoyed a Mandarin/Seville orange juice, Ginger soda, a cookie and some chips. There was also a selection of wines and hard liquor available for an extra cost.
Breakfast the next morning was served at the relaxed farmer’s table restaurant on the first floor, which had large tables and a fireplace. The breakfast menu featured farm fresh items, including freshly squeezed juices and pumpkin spiced buttermilk pancakes. I settled on the house made granola and fresh banana bread, freshly squeezed orange juice and a green vegetable smoothie. They were all delicious. There was no fitness center or pool, but guests are given complimentary access to a fitness center with pool right next door.
Elite Status Recognition & Benefits
I liked that snacks and drinks were complimentary, and I think this hotel is in a great location. After driving from SFO, once I parked at the hotel I was able to walk everywhere I wanted to go. Complimentary Diamond breakfast in the restaurant was great, with lots of local and fresh items. I didn’t care for the room much though, as I prefer more space especially when using a suite upgrade. The bedroom, bathroom and sitting room weren’t totally separate since the tub was next to the bed, and there was a fireplace between the bedroom and sitting room but no door separating. The view was disappointing as well.
Cost & Summary
The paid rate for a regular room hovers around $472, so I expected a lot by redeeming a confirmed suite upgrade. Although I loved the breakfast and restaurant, lobby, and boutique feel to the property, I would not choose a suite at this hotel again. The room location was poor with only a view of another room, and in hindsight the Andaz Loft Terrace room type seemed like a better (bigger) choice (though photos of the Andaz Tower Suite on their website are few). The Andaz Tower Suite felt small and more like a dorm room or a Jr suite, which is what it was since the bedroom wasn’t really separate from the sitting room, or separate from the bathroom. The breakfast was great and as a Diamond it was comped, but it showed up on my credit card statement even though it hadn’t been on the bill. It was a fluke, but it did take several phone calls and a couple weeks before the charge was removed.