Vacation rentals in United States, Canada, Mexico (condos, cottages, houses, apartments)
Review 3559: Owner, Napa Valley Condo (Shelter Creek)
3bed/2bath condominium in Napa Valley, California
June 2008, 2 nights
The condo (town house type) is about 3 miles from the center of Napa in a residential neighborhood, near the Queen of the Valley hospital. The surroundings are quiet and attractive, although there isn't a lot to do in the immediate vicinity outside the condo itself (i.e., no cute little restaurants within walking distance). There are two covered parking spaces available for renters' use.
We stayed here for two nights in June 2008, while prospecting for long term winter rentals around Napa.
It's too far for an easy walk to Napa center, but there is a fully-equipped shopping area less than a mile away, with Starbucks, Peets, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Safeway, and Target, among others. There weren't any great restaurants within walking distance, but Napa has tons of great places to eat.
The condo is on two floors -- kitchen, dining room, living room downstairs, and three bedrooms upstairs. Everything seemed fairly new and in good shape. It is clean and functional, with nice outdoor space. There are quite a few other units in the condo, but we never saw many people and had no problem with noise. It is a very quiet area.
The rooms were a bit on the small side compared to some other houses we saw, but it was fine for the two of us, and there is lots of outdoor space.
There are two enclosed private patio areas with seating, one off the dining room (with a gas grill), and another off the living room. The owner has planted very pretty flowers in the patio area, and there is an orange tree in front of the house. The condo complex also has a pool, and quite a large green-space. I am posting a picture of the grounds and pool behind the condo, since the rooms are pretty well documented on the web site.
The condo is fully furnished, with pretty much all you would need. You can see photos of all the rooms on the web site. The multi-armed lamp in the living room is not the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, but it gives good light. There was plenty of seating in the living room and outside, and six chairs around the dining table. We found everything quite clean and comfortable.
The master bedroom has a comfortable queen-sized bed. There is another bedroom with a queen bed, and a third with a desk and twin beds. The price is based on how many bedrooms you use, although we were told that we could use one bedroom for storage without paying extra. The closet in the master bedroom was a decent size. I didn't particularly care for the drawer storage, which was a cheap plastic container in the closet, but that probably wouldn't bother you if you were there for a short time.
The bathroom setup is a little strange. There is a half bath on the first floor. The second floor has one toilet room with a bathtub/shower. This room opens on either side to a room with a sink. The room connecting to the master bedroom also has a walk-in shower. On the other side of the toilet/bathtub room is a room with just a sink, also opening to the hall, for the use of the other two bedrooms. In other words, all the bathroom areas upstairs are connected, and the toilet room has a door on both sides. This was fine for us, as we were just one couple, but there could be a privacy issue if all the bedrooms were in use.
The kitchen is compact and well-equipped. It has an electric stove, microwave, coffeemaker, and toaster. There is a nice new front-loading washer and a dryer in the kitchen, as well as a dishwasher. We didn't actually do any cooking to speak of, but everything appeared reasonably new and in good condition, and there seemed to be plenty of dishes, knives, and cookware.
Problems or Bonuses
I was pleasantly surprised to see how much outdoor space there was around the condo. There are a lot of brochures and magazines with wine country info in the house. A beautiful sight was a hot-air balloon floating by one morning; the owners said this is quite common in the area. Another bonus was that the owners were exceptionally nice. The WiFi and TV worked fine, and I can't think of anything that presented a problem to us.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We rented from the owners, who were extremely nice and accommodating. They met us at the condo, showed us around, and since they live in Napa themselves, are available in case of any problems.
The cost for using one bedroom is $175/night, or $980 a week. Add $50 a night or $300 a week for each extra bedroom. Cleaning is included in the rate, which is not the case with many rentals we looked at. The owner will adjust the rates for long term rentals, depending on the season. We were quoted a price of $2500 a month for a winter rental, using two bedrooms. Credit cards are not accepted; payment is by personal check. There is a security deposit (based on the length of your stay) which is refunded after you leave if everything is okay.
We chose to stay here originally because it was a much more economical option than a place closer to the center of town. If you want to visit Napa primarily to get out to the wineries and other activities away from town, it would be a good choice.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely recommend the condo as a nice place to stay in Napa, if you don't care about being walking distance to town. It would be a good place for a family with kids, since it has the pool, and lots of running-around space right outside. We opted not to rent it for the winter, since we really wanted to be closer to town, but it was a nice place to stay while we were checking out other rentals.
Things to do in this area
We were here mostly to check out possible winter rentals, so we didn't have a lot of time for sightseeing. But of course there is no shortage of activities in Napa: wineries galore, Copia (the Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts), Napa Valley Premium Outlet Stores, plenty of excellent restaurants, and many special events going on in Napa.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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