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“Fourth Visit & Still A Gem”

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Shady Oaks Country Inn
Ranked #6 of 12 St. Helena B&B and Inns
Reviewed 18 October 2011

We stayed here in 2000 for the first time and thought it was wonderful - lovely room, beautiful patio with wisteria-covered pergola for wine & cheese in the afternoon, and fabulous home-made gourmet breakfast. We returned a few years later, and once again had the same experience, staying in the main house. In 2005, we returned with my brother-in-law and his wife. With their budget tight, they wanted to book an inexpensive hotel, but we wanted them to enjoy the same experience we had at this B&B. Fortunately, the inn had a suite with 2 bedrooms (the Sunny Hideaway) above the winery retreat that we could share. Once again, the same fabulous experience.

Since it had been 6 years since our last visit, and knowing that B&B owners change due to burn-out, I consulted the reviews on TripAdvisor. They were still consistently high, so this time, I booked the winery retreat for 3 nights. The room is large yet cozy, comfortable and pretty, and when we return, I'd choose to stay in this room again. The only thing that is problematic in this room is the free WiFi because the structure is solid stone; we'd sit at the bistro set outside our door under the canopy of ivy - not too much of an inconvenience.

Breakfast rotates for 3 nights - eggs Benedict, French toast, and waffles - all fabulous and home-made. Each morning, you begin with either orange juice or a Mimosa. We lived in Brussels for 3 years, have been to Paris 25+ times, and Lisa's croissants (served with the eggs Benedict) are exceptional even by French standards. I'm not a big fan of French toast, but this was wonderful and served with a berry coulis that I couldn't get enough of. We missed out on the waffles this time, but I'm sure they were equally as good.

The first late afternoon wine & cheese offering was outside on the patio; the owner, John, came and visited with everyone. The weather turned a bit iffy the next 2 afternoons, so we enjoyed the camaraderie of the guests and the wine in the salon - both times with Lisa. In the past, we had not met either of them, as they have someone who works for them and they own the Ambrose Bierce House as well. It seemed they made an effort to be at both properties during the afternoon to visit with guests and facilitate conversation. I was surprised to learn that John and Lisa have owned Shady Oaks from the beginning - a feat quite uncommon in the B&B industry. One B&B owner told us that the industry standard is about 7 years because it's exhausting and all-consuming. John and Lisa have turned their passion into an art. One afternoon, John opened his "garage/winery" to show us his wine press, barrels, and let us sample the wine - while explaining the process to everyone.

Location is great for touring Napa, the inn is a wonderful place to stay, and the breakfasts are wonderful - what more could you ask for.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank luvnormandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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103 - 107 of 187 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2011

July 3rd, four couples from Wichita, Kansas stayed at the lovely Shady Oaks Inn in St. Helena, California for 2 nights over the 3rd and 4th of July, 2011 while we took on some wine tours. Lisa, the owner gave us outstanding service. The Inn was in a perfect location, we were smack dab in the middle of wine country, was so easy to get around.

We stayed in the winery retreat room which was a separate building detached from the main house with it's own entrance. When we arrived on July 3rd, we were greeted by Hope and she showed us all our rooms and had wine and cheese waiting for us.

Our breakfast on the 4th was served outside on their patio. Lisa, the owner served us mimosas first, followed with fresh fruit. Next we were served homemade, I mean homemade and the best croissants made by John her husband. We all wanted to take some home with us! Then, the grand finale was Lisa serving us eggs benedict. I have to say the breakfast was perfect, absolutely perfect.

Next, we had Magnum Tours picking us up at 10:00 a.m. for a full day of wine tastings. Which I would highly suggest Magnum Tours. The owner Jim totally arranged all of our wine tastings. We had an awesome driver who put up with us the entire day!

Lisa was very helpful giving me advice on where to eat, making our reservations for us and exchanging many, many emails with me prior to our arrival. Our favorite lunch Lisa suggested was at Bistro Jenty's in Yountville and we ate dinner at Bottega, which she handled this reservation as well. Both restaurants were our favorites!

In the front yard was a bocce court set up which our guy's had fun attempting to play. We had the most beautiful display of fireworks we could watch from the bed and breakfast on the 4th.

This was our first time to stay at a bed and breakfast. John and Lisa did an outstanding job, we enjoyed their lovely Shady Oaks Inn. Sorry I took so long to get this review posted. We are hoping to return some day!

Thank you again from the Wichita, Kansas group!

Debbie

Room Tip: I think any of the rooms would be perfect. I really liked the "winery retreat room" which...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Debbie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2011

We started our bike trip through the Russian River and Shady Oaks. The rooms were very comfortable and spacious. The prices very reasonable. Lisa is a no b.s kind of person. Very hospitable. Their 5-6 pm wine tasting with cheese is set in their beautiful back yard.

The only slight drawback is that the front lawn is situated on a pretty busy road in the morning.

Would recommend this place to anyone who is in the area.

Amit

Room Tip: Book as early as possible. Room rates do increase as the months warm up
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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Thank hasak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2011

This place could be a lot better with just a little more attention to the details. We stayed in the Rose Room. Nice, clean room and the size was fine. BUT.. Both my husband and I needed plugs for our computers--we have to work even when on vacation. We had to pull one plug from behind the bed and to get another one, something else had to be unplugged. An adapter would have fixed that problem. Also, there is no control over the temperature in the room and at night it got hot. It was fine when we went to sleep, but they must turn the A/C warmer during the night. Both nights we woke up sweating. No ceiling fan. Opening a window meant dealing with street noise. The bathroom has a window facing outside. There is no shade on it only a lacy see-thru curtain. I got out of the shower and saw a man walking around outside. Luckily it was my husband cooling down from his run. However when we were eating outside, men that worked there were right by that window. Put a shade there! Very simple to do! Water pressure left a lot to be desired. Speaking of water, to get water, you had to buy a bottle for a dollar. That was nice if you wanted it "to-go" but why not just have a pitcher of water out by the coffee pot. The water in the bathroom had a metallic taste--not good. The water served with breakfast (if asked for) was fine. The food at breakfast tasted good although white waffles with peach compote doesn't rank up there on the healthy chart, but one morning of bad eating won't kill me. The Inn Keeper, Hope, was a delight to talk to and be around. She did everything possible to make our stay a joy. The things we had issues with were more policy and things for the owner, not her. She was always smiling and willing to help with whatever we needed. Not a bad place, just average. Would try somewhere else next time or go back to where we usually stay. We come about 4 times a year and just wanted to stay in a different area.

Room Tip: Bring a plug extender if you need outlets.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank magnolia1e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2011

We stayed not once but twice over the course of the 4th of July weekend. Both experiences were wonderful. Hope was quick to make us feel at home as we arrived the first evening. She was serving wine and cheese to a houseful of other guests and got us introduced and feeling like we were part of the family right off the bat. They were a very lively group indeed.... headed to a wedding at V. Sattui. We had another party to go to, and asked for a restaurant suggestion in St. Helena. Hope had several choices off the top of her head, and made quick work of getting us a reservation. We went to "Market"....the food was wonderful and the service attentive. Our room at the Inn, "Rose", was spaciousand quiet, the bath very large, and immaculate. Oh, let me mention the bed......so comfortable , I made it a point to ask Lisa about who it was made by. I will be getting one for my house! The owners, John and Lisa were our hosts for breakfast the next morning. Mimosas, fresh fruit, homemade croissants and jams, and to die for Eggs Benedict. On our second visit, the breakfast was Belgian Waffles. Such a treat! And they have an old-fashioned swing hanging from one of the tree limbs in the backyard. So fun, and we met such interesting people on both stays. As I said at the top....we will be back! And we will tell 2 friends and they will tell 2 friends and so on and so on.

Room Tip: We stayed in the guest house off the main house on our 2nd visit. 2 bedrooms, very comfortable. Gr...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank katrinaballina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shady Oaks Country Inn

Address: 399 Zinfandel Ln, St. Helena, CA 94574-1635
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Napa Valley > St. Helena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in St. Helena
Price Range: ₹ 15,364 - ₹ 26,273 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Shady Oaks Country Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We invite you to experience the warmth and romance of Shady Oaks Country Inn secluded on two acres nestled among some of the finest Wineries and restaurants in Napa Valley. Relax and enjoy the elegant ambiance, the wine country tranquility and our cozy amenities during your stay. Shady oaks Country Inn offers the hospitality of a bed and breakfast along with first class amenities like romantic fireplaces, flat screen satellite television free Wifi and a full champagne breakfast. Our goal at Shady oaks Country Inn is to offer you the finest combination of luxury, hospitality and history. To enhance your stay, we serve full champagne breakfasts and premium Napa wines and cheeses each evening on the Roman pillared patio. Awaken to the Inn's own blend of coffee and our breakfast complete with Eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles, fresh fruit, our home baked breads, fresh baked croissants, fresh juice and champagne. After spending your day exploring the beautiful Napa Valley vineyards, we invite you to browse through our collection of restaurant menus that include fine dining and casual restaurants. We are more than happy to make recommendations and reservations for you! Book a stay with us at Shady Oaks Country Inn, and experience the perfect blend of luxury and comfort in Napa Valley! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shady Oaks Country Hotel St. Helena
Country Inn St. Helena
St. Helena Country Inn

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