We've visited the Napa Valley for many years and have stayed at Lavender multiple times. Previously, this small, well-located hotel was charming (if quirky) and had luxurious touches that made one feel justified in paying close to $300 per night. No more. It appears that management has decided to cut costs, but not in a smart way.
The biggest issue is the staff. A staff that was once lead by a friendly English woman has been replaced by a cook (a charitable description of whom would be surly and who apparently is also the Four Sisters supervisor for the entire area) and 20-something receptionists who don't look up from the computer and don't speak unless spoken too. I actually heard the cook around 9am one morning counting down the number of guests to the receptionist that had eaten breakfast as if we were cattle--she clearly wanted to be done with her duties for the day. I was also told that I should bring my own tea if I didn't like the hotel's tea offering--I thought my request for English breakfast tea was pretty reasonable.
It's simply unacceptable, and if I were management, I'd be up there today either cleaning house or requiring serious attitude adjustment of the staff. There is such a wonderful opportunity given the layout of this particular property to be friendly and accommodating to guests in a manner that engenders loyalty--that has been completely lost since we last stayed in 2010.
Although not a huge deal, they have replaced what were very nice L'Occitane bath amenities with bulk liquid soap and shampoo dispensers. I felt as if I were showering at the YMCA. I'm sure this change saves a bit of money and is viewed as an environmentally-sensitive move. However, it is a very noticeable change that smacks of thriftiness and makes one wonder where else cuts are occurring (I can assure you, it is not in the room rates).
The grounds, which were once beautiful, have fallen into disrepair. I've seen landscaping at Motel 6 properties that is better. It's not as if it is terribly difficult to have a well-maintained landscaping in this lush part of California. I simply can't understand why management would let this happen to what was once beautiful grounds
The wine selection in the afternoon is pitiful. Sutter Home? Really? In Napa where at least a fair number of people that come to visit have some level of sophistication when it comes to wine, this borders on being offensive and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the typical guest. My suggestion is to either nix the wine altogether or spend $10 more on a decent wine. Putting out some nice iced tea would be better.
Also, there used to be a refrigerator with water/cokes in the living room, and that has disappeared. Does it really cost that much to provide a nice amenity like this? These little things are noticed by loyal guests, and, in my view, are not intelligent changes.
On the positive side, I must say that the breakfast is still very good--egg dishes are always first-rate.
I may try Lavender again, but it won't be without hesitation. Four Sisters needs to straighten this one out, and fast.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Intimate and luxuriously cozy, Lavender, a Napa Valley bed and breakfast hotel, combines the warm colors of Provence with contemporary design elements to create a vibrant setting that blends old and new. A lovely heritage home is the centerpiece of the inn's four buildings; the warmth of its wraparound porch is echoed in the enclosed veranda where breakfast is served daily. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lavender - a Four Sisters Hotel Yountville
- Lavender - a 4 Sisters Inn