Pasadena Travels: Nirvana in Napa Valley

Historic Maison Fleurie Inn offers a quaintly polished style
By EDDIE RIVERA, Editor, Weekendr Magazine
Published on Sep 3, 2022

Driving up to the Bay Area? San Francisco? Keep driving.

Head north out of the City on I-80 for 23 miles. Cut across on Highway 37, to Highway 29 across the Napa river, then keep north. 

Yountville, California, sits deep in one of the state’s most verdant and bountiful wine-growing areas. Its neighboring towns, Napa and Helena, along the route of its famous Wine Train, are also known not only for their wineries, but for their foodie cultures. Yountville is a particularly impressive foodie burg, serving up a host of eateries, including one of California’s most notable, the French Laundry.

But first, our primary destination is the boutique inn, Maison Fleurie, or “Flowering House.”

Set in “Downtown” Yountville, Maison Fleurie—part of the Four Sisters Inns’ luxury boutique hotel collection—is three buildings situated on half an acre of landscaped gardens, deep in the  Napa Valley. 

The historic property, the oldest hotel in the Napa Valley, was built in 1873 as the Magnolia Hotel, constructed of stone from local quarries, as well as bricks from a demolished church and a balcony from San Francisco’s old French Hospital.

The Magnolia was acquired in the late 1960s by owners who hoped to make it their home, but eventually sold it to an equally ambitious couple who restored it and ran it as a six-room hotel and restaurant in the late 1970s. The Magnolia was purchased by Four Sisters Inns in 1993 , and treated to an extensive and loving restoration in 1994. 

 Local lore holds that the hotel was once a bordello. We saw no such evidence upon our arrival. We saw a quaint and luxurious hotel with an inviting bundle of amenities from bicycles to wines and cheeses throughout the day, with a terrific attention to detail. 

Not the least of which was the fact that the rear door of our Bakery Building King Spa suite opened directly on a short path that led to the inviting pool and hot tub, as if it was in our front yard. For two days, in fact, it was, as we barely encountered any other guest availing themselves of the water on a mostly sunny 70+ degree weekend.  

The king suite itself was spacious and filled with beautiful and quaint handmade furnishings, with a bed built to keep you snug and sleepy. 

We somehow managed to arise each morning and stroll through Downtown Napa across and along the picturesque Napa River, taking in the Oxbow Market for lunch, dining for dinner just a short walk away, but mostly admiring the historic architecture and smart planning of one of California’s oldest and most important historic towns, as we vowed to return .

Four Sisters Inns, of which the Maison Fleurie is part,  is a collection of small hotels throughout California , each with a unique look and style, but sharing a keen eye for style and detail, from Napa to Newport Beach. 

You can go to San Francisco yet again next year.

Maison Fleurie, A Four Sisters Inn. 6529 Yount St, Yountville, CA 94599. (707) 944-2056.


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