In a nutshell: the Embassy Suites Napa Valley is a great Hilton option in the expensive Napa area, offering large, comfortable rooms and a nice complimentary breakfast in the morning. The property has a relaxing atmosphere with their interior atrium and landscaping and all the amenities you’d expect for a solid family-friendly hotel.
Some trips are planned months in advance, while others are thrown together at the last minute. This quick trip to Napa and San Francisco with my two older kids was one of the latter. With limited time to drive to the city and back, I decided that we’d spend our first night in Napa where we could get to bed at a more reasonable hour and enjoy the breakfast and pool in the morning before continuing on into the city.
The Embassy Suites Napa seemed a good choice with all the amenities the brand offers. I’ve only had one other Embassy Suites stay at the one near SFO, and while it was an overall negative experience (horrible neighbor room noise that the hotel couldn’t resolve), the room size and layout was great.
I used a Hilton free weekend night certificate for the Saturday night stay. Although it was certainly not the pinnacle of uses with cash rates around $300 per night, it is a very good use of certificate in terms of points required for a standard night at the hotel. The Embassy Suites Napa was asking 70,000 points per night(!) for a standard room reward. Hilton has moved to a variable pricing of sorts, but this seems to be the floor for award nights at this particular hotel.
Napa is a pricey area. I’m not surprised that awards are this much, and I’ve seen the Embassy Suites Napa going for over $400 per night on the weekends which simply boggles my mind. Definitely a place to burn points on the weekend. During the week, cash rates are often in the range of $150 to $200, which is much more reasonable.
Arrival at the Embassy Suites Napa Valley
We ended up making it to the Embassy Suites Napa at around 6:45 PM, substantially later than anticipated. I’d hoped we could enjoy the evening “manager’s reception” offered at Embassy Suites hotels, but we were cutting it rather close. The hotel is just three stories, with a very large central area that consists of both an atrium and an outdoor area.
The front desk was kind enough to comp our parking since they couldn’t offer us an upgrade. Even though rates were lower than I’d typically seen, she stated they were very full this weekend. I was actually completely unaware that the hotel charges parking, but I guess when everything else costs a pretty penny, hey, what is another $20 per night. Valet parking is not available.
As it was just after Thanksgiving, the hotel was festively decorated for Christmas.
I thought we’d have some time to enjoy the managers reception, but it only runs until 7:00 PM. We rushed to the atrium with just five minutes remaining, and there were staff already cleaning up the food.
The evening reception isn’t really a dinner at the Embassy Suites Napa. The offerings include chips and salsa, crackers, snack mix, hummus, and cold veggies. Definitely snack foods. But the kids didn’t care!
You can also order drinks from the atrium bar, all complimentary. Wine choices include a Cabernet and Chardonnay. I went with the former, and it was excellent, which I’d hoped would be the case, given we are in Napa. The paper cup brought the experience down a few notches. The hotel had run out of wine glasses, for which the bartender apologized profusely.
You can also have glass of draught Bud or Stella Artois, or a number of other cocktails offered. The kids had soft drinks. There are a number of choices, mostly Coke products.
Embassy Suites Napa Standard Room
We were given room 352, a standard king suite at the very end of the floor. It is on the side of the hotel closest to the highway, and the noise was fairly noticeable.
The layout of this Embassy Suites hotel is similar to a couple other hotels I’ve visited. It brought back memories of our stay at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in the Phoenix area. The room opens into a living and dining area that includes a nice sleeper sofa. Traveling with my two older kids, we always either need two beds or a large sofa/sofa-bed.
Across from the sofa is the tiny dining area/work desk. Embassy Suites is not quite an extended stay brand like Hyatt House or Residence Inn with a full kitchen and dining area, but the extra (and separated) space is nice.
The living and dining area also features a wet bar and coffee maker. Having cooked in hotel rooms multiple times, a wet bar is extremely nice, as it keeps you from having to do dishes in the bathroom sink. I was also happy the hotel has a Keurig, which is about the only place I think they are appropriate since it keeps everything nicely individually packaged.
This wasn’t the only sink, however. Walking into the bedroom, I found it odd that there is another here, as well as the sink in the bathroom.
The Embassy Suites Napa Valley rooms feature either a California king bed or two double beds. In our case, there were only king bed suites rather than two double bed suites, which would have actually been the nicest for the three of us, as they still include the sleeper sofa.
The bathroom is not especially spacious, but it is very nice. I really liked the tiled shower. Our standard suite did not offer a bathtub. The bathroom and closest also help provide the separation between the front living area and the rear bedroom.
Our view…was nothing special.
I found that the WiFi was fairly poor in our room. It was enough to stream Disney+ on my computer for the kids to watch a movie, but my phone struggled to stay connected.
We also killed the power at 10:20 AM before we took off for the morning. Turns out that two kids using hair dryers at the same time trips the breaker to your room. Luckily, it was easy to have the front desk reset.
Overall, I was entirely satisfied with the standard rooms offered at the Embassy Suites Napa Valley. They offer a good amount of space, and the separation between the living area and the bedroom is nice.
Embassy Suites Free Hot Breakfast
One of the other primary features of the Embassy Suites brand is the complimentary cooked-to-order hot breakfast the hotels serve. We unfortunately had to depart before breakfast time at our previous Embassy Suites stay, so this was a first experience. There was a laminated card in our room regarding the breakfast traffic to expect based on the time you plan to head downstairs and the day of the week.
Like the evening reception, breakfast is served in the large atrium area.
I let the kids sleep in, so we pretty much hit the 9:00 AM predicted “moderate” traffic time. The line was quite long when we arrived, to my dismay. I’d hate to see what the heavy traffic looks like.
There are cold items you can grab for breakfast without waiting, but if you want hot food, you have to wait in line and order. I decided to have the kids plate up the other things they wanted and start in on breakfast while I braved the line to get eggs and potatoes. At check-in you’re given breakfast slips to give to the staff so that each person gets one hot order.
Even though it was nearly a 20-minute ordeal to get through the line and sit down, breakfast was worth it. The portions are huge, and the omelets were fantastic. The potatoes could be a lot better, but the excellent salsa doctored everything up nicely. The one bummer was…by the time I finally sat down, the kids had had their fill of cereal and pastries.
Other Hotel Features
We were in no rush to get into the city, so I decided that we had ample time to enjoy a morning swim. The Embassy Suites Napa features both an indoor and outdoor pool. The indoor one is heated, and given that it was late November, swimming outside simply wasn’t in the cards. Both the pool and hot tub are overly chlorinated, in my opinion.
The Embassy Suites Napa also features a paid pantry area next to the lobby. We ended up needing advil, and I was very glad the hotel had that any many other items easily at hand for purchase.
Outside the atrium is a central outdoor area with a pond and other nice landscaping. We wandered out here after breakfast, as the kids wanted to see the ducks and swans.
I warned my kids that swans can be quite mean, and not three minutes after we arrived, they had the perfect lesson. Another kid leaned way over the pond to try and get a close-up shot of our pal here, and he almost got nipped in the process! They are quite lovely creatures to look at. Just not friendly.
Even though it may not have been the best use of a Hilton free night certificate, our one night at the Embassy Suites Napa was highly enjoyable. From the excellent room, to a nice hot breakfast, to the other features and amenities of the hotel, we had a nice stay.
Given the cash and award rates, however, I’m not sure when we will have a chance to return. This isn’t the sort of hotel where I’d be willing to burn 70,000 Hilton points for a night, as there are so many amazing locations around the world available for that. A midweek night for $170 or so seems doable. But the weekend rates of $350+? Can’t justify that.