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Hotel Highlights

  • Classic good-taste guesthouse in the heart of Napa wine country
  • Kayaking and riverside rambles from the bottom of the gardens
  • Pampering guests-only spa

Overview

A charming clapboard home in Napa Valley, set on a picture-perfect plot right on the lush banks of the Napa River, Milliken Creek Inn & Spa hotel is an idyllic base from which to explore the vineyard-ridden Silverado Trail. That said, with its organic spa, giant hydrotherapy tubs and regular visits from local winemakers offering tastes and selling their wares, you might not feel the need to leave the property at all.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Milliken Creek Inn & Spa with us:

Chocolate-covered strawberries and a quarter-bottle of champagne upon arrival

Facilities

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Milliken Creek Inn hotel - Napa Valley - USA

Need To Know

Rooms

12.

Check–out

11am; check-in, 4pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $449.00, excluding tax at 26 per cent.

More details

Rates include hot breakfast.

Also

Milliken’s exclusive spa uses all-natural, all-organic products made in Hungary and Hawaii to deliver a range of signature treatments, including aromatherapy, hot-stone massage and the incomparable grapeseed body polish.

At the hotel

Spa, gardens, library, free DVD selection, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, minibar, free Voss water, L’Occitane toiletries. Many rooms have one-touch gas fireplaces.

Our favourite rooms

For a sampling of the hotel spa in your own room, the over-sized Luxury Room in the Main House has a full free-standing spa-therapy bath tub set beside the pillow-piled canopy bed. There’s also a honeymooners’ hideaway (Room 12) which is secluded from the other rooms and guests and has its own patio area amid the grassy gardens. Better still, it’s directly under the spa so you can go straight from soul-soothing to slumber (or seduction). Luxury Rooms 7 and 9 in the South building both have river views and private balconies – ideal for summer breakfasts.

Poolside

There’s no pool, but cushioned wooden lounger and parasols have been set up on the grassy riverbank.

Packing tips

Bring a car – Milliken Creek is delightfully out of the way, so to make the most of navigating Napa you’ll need your own wheels.

Also

Non-smoking throughout.

Children

Under-18s aren't allowed.

Food & Drink

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Milliken Creek Inn hotel - Napa Valley - USA

Hotel Restaurant

There’s no actual restaurant, but guests have a wicker basket of breakfast goodies and French-pressed Dean & Deluca coffee delivered each morning, anywhere in the grounds they wish. Every evening, during ‘magic hour’, local vintners visit Milliken Creek to offer tastings of their wares, coupled with a cornucopian quantity of local cheese.

Hotel Bar

The lobby-cum-lounge also serves as the hotel’s bar area, where drinks can be provided at all times and a selection of premium ports is produced in time for a nightcap each evening.

Room service

Breakfast can be served wherever you like.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Cashmere and chinos.

Top table

Nothing beats breakfast on your own balcony, overlooking the meandering river.

Local Guide

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Milliken Creek Inn hotel - Napa Valley - USA
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The Napa Valley is the heartland of America’s wine production and there are close to 300 wineries to sip your way through – reservations are essential. Connoisseurs should head for Swanson (www.swansonvineyards.com) in the Oakville District; the exclusive Altamura winery (www.altamura.com) in Wooden Valley; or Kuleto Estate (www.kuletoestate.com) in St Helena. Aside from wining and dining, there’s no shortage of decadent diversions in Napa. Drift above the vineyards in a hot-air balloon (www.balloonrides.com), hire a bike and cycle around the region sampling the wines as you go – Getaway Adventures organises group tours (www.getawayadventures.com) – or enjoy the scenery on horseback (www.triplecreekhorseoutfit.com). For big-city thrills, San Francisco is an hour away.

Local restaurants

You’re close to a glut of Napa’s world-renowned eateries, but you’ll still need a car to ferry yourselves between them. If you want to sample the famed fare at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry (www.frenchlaundry.com), you’ll need to book a month or two in advance and be sure you have a deep wallet – the set menu starts at more than US$240 a head. Also needing advance notice, La Toque (www.latoque.com) in downtown Napa has an always-excellent menu of Valley victuals, featuring a wide , coupled with a carefully considered wine selection. Go Fish (www.gofishrestaurant.com) in St Helena is predictably seafood-centred, with a wide range of sushi and sake. Cole’s Chop House (www.coleschophouse.com) in Napa serves 21-day dry-aged steaks alongside a classic American cocktail menu. On the same street, Celadon (www.celadonnapa.co) has a friendly neighbourhood atmosphere, shabby-chic looks and a Mediterranean menu with real respect for its ingredients.

+ Enlarge
A river runs through it

Milliken Creek Inn & Spa

1815 Silverado Trail, Napa Valley, CA 94558, United States

Planes

San Francisco is the closest international airport – it's 60 miles away and around an hour in a car. American Airlines (www.americanairlines.com) flies daily from London Heathrow.

Trains

The Napa Valley Wine Train station is just down the Silverado Trail, on McKinstry Street.

Automobiles

The hotel is just north of Napa, on the Silverado Trail. Free parking is available.

Reviews

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Milliken Creek Inn hotel - Napa Valley - USA

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Our rented red Mustang convertible seemed a garish chariot in which to arrive at the sanctuary-like Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, nestled at the foot of the Silverado Trail, a 19th-century wagon route that has since become the most picturesque wine route in the Napa Valley. In horse-and-buggy times, its main house was a stagecoach stop. Now a sybaritic hotel and spa, with two additional houses on …
Read more

Milliken Creek Inn & Spa

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Our rented red Mustang convertible seemed a garish chariot in which to arrive at the sanctuary-like Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, nestled at the foot of the Silverado Trail, a 19th-century wagon route that has since become the most picturesque wine route in the Napa Valley. In horse-and-buggy times, its main house was a stagecoach stop. Now a sybaritic hotel and spa, with two additional houses on its three acres, Milliken maintains a rustic unpretentiousness that is felt immediately.

A fire roared in the salon, soft jazz gave way to Nick Drake’s sentimental hum, and a quartet of leather club chairs and Buddha statues cued the colonial-meets-spiritual décor. Weary from travel, we made a beeline for the wine and cheese (Humboldt Fog, something resembling dark marble—an Irish porter cheese, we learned) set out in the adjacent foyer. The hotel hosts a complimentary ‘magic hour’ in which a local vintner pours choice bottles and guests discover places to visit, or just indulge in the here and now. We had missed the evening’s vintner but thankfully not the spoils.

Emboldened by a light chardonnay, we checked in quickly and dashed out to catch the last gasp of sunset on the patio overlooking the languid Napa River. Redwoods and Japanese maples cast silhouettes on the water’s surface, and the chill (this was March) staved off my buzz.

Milliken has just 12 rooms, and ours was considered luxury. No hyperbole there: it was a sprawling suite in a palette of khaki and white, appointed with British campaign furnishings – rattan chairs, leather-handled travel boxes, king-size bed draped in a gauzy canopy – and 21st-century coups such as a massive plasma TV. A fleet of votive candles, pre-lit as part of nightly turndown service, flickered from strategic perches.

The bathtub – more like a small ship possessing hydrotherapeutic powers – called for instant action. My still-newish raced to the front desk to procure the rubber duck noted in the hotel literature as a gift. Mind you, the hotel has a no-kids policy… The bath ruled, though the hot-tub pressure was titanic and we couldn’t figure out how to reduce it; the hand-held showerhead meant I didn’t bother with the room’s actual shower once during our stay. We sampled L’Occitane products, dried off in sumptuous robes and realised we would go to bed hungry if we didn’t bust a move.

No restaurant on the premises would be a bummer if Napa weren’t foodie Xanadu, a reputation owing much to cult chef Thomas Keller. His French Laundry isn’t recession-friendly and reservations can be hard to come by, so it’s a good thing its sibling restaurant, Bouchon, is superb and more affordable. Milliken seems to have thought of everything and prints cute cards with driving directions to local haunts. We navigated the 20-minute journey to the neighbouring town of Yountville and devoured a first-rate seafood platter and an entrée of sausage and prunes, abetted by excellent regional whites.

Reveling in Frette linens and down pillows, there was only one thing that could entice us to rise and shine: the siren song of bacon. The scent wafted in through the window as if a vapour from the river, which we could see clearly from bed. Why had I ordered granola and yogurt? Breakfast was delivered in a wicker basket, and I promptly commandeered half the beau’s Belgian waffles, fortified with French press coffee. (The following morning we made sure to order bacon.)

Milliken is conveniently situated not only on the Silverado Trail but also near the equally winery-studded Highway 29. We targeted a few spots recommended by the hotel and friends, and drove the Mustang past fields of wild mustard flowers. At the biodynamic Robert Sinskey vineyard, a ‘flight attendant’ won us over when he distinguished two cabernets as ‘the difference between Scarlett Johansson and Judi Dench’. He recommended we check out Elizabeth Spencer, a winery housed in a former post office, and a must if you prefer intimate to Robert Mondavi-type monoliths. In need of a sponge, we stopped into the Oakville Grocery, a popular spot to grab gourmet sandwiches for picnics at wineries or to eat at tables out back.

On our final morning, we walked the pebbled path, ogling the waterfall and the daybeds resting on the lawn below, to the hotel spa, exclusive to Milliken guests. Our tag-team of estheticians presented a tray of custom-blended essential oil concoctions, the lube for our aromatherapy couples’ massage. Because even on vacation I seem to pack my ‘baggage’, I opted for Stress Reliever. I suppose there is an unspoken erotic charge to a tandem rubdown, but lying on a heated table, lulled by choral music and expertly tended to by strong if unfamiliar hands, I was consumed by my own bliss. No offence, Mr Smith.

Post-massage, champagne and chocolates awaited us in the lounge, but I wasn’t ready to re-tox, and someone had spent the previous night conveniently forgetting that port is better sipped then guzzled. And, anyway, we couldn’t delay the inevitable. The staff helped pack up the Mustang, Mr Smith took the top down, I tied my hair in a scarf and off we went – gloating Zen-dilettantes setting forth on the Silverado Trail for another rough day of wining.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Milliken Creek Inn & Spa from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I couldn't fault the Milliken Creek Inn, a peaceful, leafy haven where all wants and expectations are fulfilled and service is so personalised it's as if you have your own butler service. Upgraded again (thank you Mr & Mrs Smith!) to a sumptuous suite leading out onto a private patio (where breakfast is served and suntans gained while sipping fizz and nibbling strawberries). Our room's private patio looked out on to the most divine English-style garden, which then lead down to a meandering creek… pure bliss. Details included L'Occitane amenities, sparkling wine, strawberries, VOS water, soft jazz playing on our arrival and coming home at night to candles lit everywhere – although somewhat wasted on two friends! If you've had enough of trawling the vineyards, there are wine tastings every evening from a different vineyard, with delectable cheeses and fruit platters. It's a great way to mingle with other guests. I cannot forget the port cabinet, which is yours for the taking if you come back in the evening and fancy chilling out in the lounge with a languid night cap. It's one of the loveliest places I've stayed; I'll be back.

Rating: 10/10 stars