Checking In: Archer Hotel Napa
In many ways, Archer Hotel Napa is the anti-boutique hotel: There are few gimmicks to this design-centric, five-story stay that brings a mix of New York City chic meets Las Vegas glamour to the heart of California’s wine country.
Archer Napa’s draws are its laidback, sophisticated style, top-tier service, and proximity to the wining and dining of the vibrant downtown riverfront. For the longest time, downtown Napa had been considered a pass-through to other popular wine locales. Redefining downtown Napa’s renaissance, the hotel is an anchor for a historic, mixed-use destination bringing world-class dining, shopping, art, live music, and chic wine tasting rooms just footsteps away from your room.
As soon as you walk through its doors you’re immediately immersed in the artistic touches that combine Old World tradition with modern wine country. You enter the hotel through an archway that evokes a grape arbor, passing glass-fronted curio cabinets displaying retail and wine partner items. Looking down from the mezzanine, you’ll catch the lobby’s mix of stone, wood, glass and metal to set the tone for this urban social hub where the infusion of wine country design elements feels more modern than kitschy. The central, circular bar at the marquee ground-floor restaurant, Charlie Palmer Steak, spills out into the lobby where people hang out on plush furniture sipping glasses of bubbly, beers on draft, or any of the specialty cocktails near a roaring fireplace.
Every inch of the property is a work of art, from the massive topographical map that lines one entire lobby wall to the custom grapevine chandelier inset into the lobby sky light to each of the five floors in the hotel that features local art and collectives.
Business travelers, wine lovers, locals, and laidback weekender trippers come together under one roof in this space that is a bit of a Jack-of-all trades: hotel, restaurant and lively nightlife hotspot. It’s bustling with activity and guests know that: The property attracts vivacious visitors who want a boutique hotel experience perfectly positioned within the downtown crush.
The real draw and crown jewel of the hotel is the Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar—the place to see-and-be-seen, whether it’s at mimosa brunches or post dinner libations. It opened in April 2018 and it’s massive: 7,000-plus square feet make up this destination rooftop bar with expansive 360 views of Napa Valley, bar bites from Charlie Palmer Steak, fire pits, a shallow ledge pool, cabanas, an indoor-outdoor fitness studio and spa, and an alfresco chef’s kitchen for private events.
These elements ring somewhat familiar as far as trendy rooftop hangouts go, but there’s truly nothing like it, as it’s the only rooftop bar in Napa—and possibly all of wine country.
Nightly turndown service is special and a signature ritual of the Archer brand. A different local snack is featured every night. Our Napa-specific treats included regionally made sweets like caramels and coconut merengue candies. It’s believed that Archer is a real person and although his true identity is a mystery, his taste is exhibited in whimsical touches like our bedside reading: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which is believed to be his favorite book.
We stayed in a Deluxe King Balcony, which is spacious and filled with understated furnishings and opens to a private balcony with a fireplace and view of downtown Napa. The accent wall above the bed leaves an impression, as do the playful photography in the bathroom.
At 365-square-feet, our bright room is separated by the elegant bathroom tucked behind a frosted-glass, sliding barn door. The bathroom featured backlit vanity mirrors and makeup mirrors, walk-in rain shower, large soaking tub, Frette bathrobes and Malin and Goetz bath amenities.
The only drawback to our room was that it was facing the front side of the hotel and exposed to the noisy street below.
What we loved
The his-and-hers slippers are clever: His are black and embroidered with a mustache and Hers are purple with puckered lips. They’re also complimentary to take home.
Wi-Fi is strong and free, as are the shoe shine, newspapers and Nespresso coffee experience.
Our in-room temperature controlled wine refrigerator.
No pillow top mattresses here—all 183 rooms (39 with balconies) have plush Eurotop mattresses for an extremely deep, relaxing sleep.