Before the Michelin reviewers, luxury resort developers, and tech billionaires descended upon Napa Valley, the region was a rustic farm community with vestiges of the Wild West. The oldest hotel in the valley, Maison Fleurie’s Victorian house began its life in the 1870s as a lively hotel and saloon—and, if you believe the stories, a bordello.
Needless to say, no vestiges of its scandalous past remain in the current incarnation, but the central Yountville B&B has resisted the Disney-fication of the town around it. Maison Fleurie reopened in its current rustic, French country style the same year that Thomas Keller opened the French Laundry, and it has similarly remained a beloved (if less internationally acclaimed) local fixture. No, it doesn’t have a luxury spa or a Michelin-starred restaurant, but with a glut of both in this tiny enclave, it doesn’t need them. Instead, the charming inn has curated Provençal antiques, fragrant flower gardens surrounding its swimming pool, and a gourmet breakfast buffet so popular that the chefs wrote a cookbook. Oh, and it has that killer central location. In wine country you can’t beat that.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Back in the old days, Maison Fleurie sat across the street from the Yountville train station; now, the train station is gone, but the inn is still just as central, with the ritzy town’s Michelin-starred restaurants and winery tasting rooms all within a few blocks. Thomas Keller’s world-renowned French Laundry is just a quick walk away, as are other well-known spots such as Ad Hoc, Bouchon, and Ciccio. The tasting rooms of Domaine Chandon and Heston Vineyards are also close by, and the winery-lined Silverado Trail, which runs through some of Napa’s most scenic terrain, is just a short drive away. Borrow bikes from the hotel to cycle out through the wineries for winetasting and a picnic, or go hiking on the many nearby trails.
Need to Know
Rooms: 13 rooms. From $170. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: As a bed-and-breakfast, Maison Fleurie doesn’t have a full restaurant, but its kitchen is still renowned for its sumptuous homemade breakfast spreads, served each morning in the rustic dining room and lounge area; breakfast can be delivered to your room for a fee. Coffee, tea, and sodas are available throughout the day, and freshly baked cookies and other baked treats are set out in the dining room every afternoon. Each day at 5 p.m., the inn also hosts a wine and hors d’oeuvres aperitif hour. Spa and gym details: The B&B has neither a spa nor a gym, but it does have an outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as bicycles for guests to borrow for tooling around town.
Who it’s best for: Laid-back, independent culinary aficionados. Our favorite rooms: Each of the 13 rooms is distinctive in size, amenities, and style; for example, Rooms 8 and 9 have direct pool access, Room 12 has a working fireplace and private entrance, and Room 1 has an oversize, jetted tub. Take home the recipes: Can’t get enough of the blueberry–sour cream scones or artichoke quiche at breakfast? The chefs at Maison Fleurie and its sister inns had so many guests ask for recipes that they wrote a cookbook, available for purchase at the B&B.