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“Disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of La Belle Epoque

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La Belle Epoque
Ranked #14 of 23 Napa B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Caspar, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

From their website: Our guest services and amenities are second to none and our goal is to always exceed our guests expectations. FAIL. After reading all the great TripAdvisor reviews our expectations were high and were not met.

The room was fine -- nothing special -- but we weren't expecting special.
Breakfast was a major disappointment -- the main reason we chose this B&B -- some overcooked dry egg thing and a sausage that had seen better days -- it was not even worth eating.
Another disappointment due to high expectations: the port and sherry were not good -- probably from cheap gallon jugs.

This was a very strange B&B experience -- no staff except at breakfast -- we wanted to learn a little of the history of the house but unlike most other places there was no "history book" and no staff to ask.

The Inn is located in a nice quiet residential area -- it only has 2 dedicated parking spots in the lot but on street parking was easy. We did enjoy sitting in rockers on the porch and there is a nice outdoor patio area.

Definitely would not stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FWT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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467 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2014

We just got back from 4 nights (with another couple, so 2 rooms for all 4 nights). The rooms were very nice and clean and overall we had a very good experience. The young lady who seemed to be overseeing things (Jocelyn) was very friendly and nice and did what she could to be helpful, but she was clearly not in charge. We were disappointed not to meet whoever the innkeeper is, especially since we were there for quite a while.

We asked about the wine tasting (we had read about it and heard from others in Napa about it). We were offered the opportunity (after we asked) but it was not the innkeeper who was going to host so we wound up declining. We also had issues with some of the details (i. e., one room had a blow dryer that didn't work and no iron - neither was resolved for a couple of days), so this lowered the rating.

The location was excellent - we walked into downtown Napa two nights and there is also a Safeway two blocks away. There is a cute area out back with a table and chairs, and we enjoyed relaxing there one evening. We also enjoyed the nice sitting room stocked with Sherry and Port a couple of evenings after dinner.

The breakfasts were good, but did not appear to be created by any kind of "chef" and were all an egg creation and sausage three of the four days.

In summary, we definitely would stay here again, but might check to see about the innkeeper's availability.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DaveGfromMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2014

This place really, really disappointed my wife and I. We came to Napa for our third wedding anniversary, and previous reviews of La Belle Epoque were really positive. Our experience was mostly negative. The room was nice, as was our second (and final) breakfast. Everything else, though, was disappointing.

First, the experience was extremely impersonal. We let La Belle Epoque know it was our anniversary when we reserved the room...and literally no one said a word to us the entire time we were there. We arrived at about 4 in the afternoon, only to find a note welcoming us (no one was around). The rest of the time we stayed there, no one so much as even said "hello" to us. Now, I've been to a lot of B&B's, and this is unacceptable. B&B owners/managers are usually around and very nice and accommodating. That's part of what's so nice about staying at a B&B. Not here. The only time we spoke to anyone was when *we* entered their office to cancel our wine tour (to which they brusquey asked, "You don't want a refund, do you?"). That was all. Not even the women who served our breakfast said anything. They just walked out, plopped the food down in front of us, and left us to eat. Nice, personal service, right?

Oh, and the breakfast. We had read that this place serves amazing breakfast. It was one of the main reasons we booked here...and our breakfast the first day was truly awful. Nothing more than a grilled grapefruit, overcooked/dry eggs, and a rubbery sausage. When my wife went to look at Trip Advisor again she saw that another visitor had a similar experience...and reported that apparently La Belle Epoque's head chef was out of town. It showed...and thanks for letting us know, La Belle Epoque!

Finally, our room was ridiculously hot. No air-conditioning, just a standing fan. And the champagne that came with the room was not on ice, and they didn't leave our champagne glasses so we could drink our second bottle.

Basically, we were incredibly upset about how we were treated. The room was nice...but for $550 (2 nights), we expected far more than the shoddy, impersonal service we received. A stay like this is worth maybe $100, not $225 a night.

The only thing that kept us from marching into the management office to complain the day we left was the spectacular breakfast (an awesome french toast souffle) we received on our second day. Something tells me they were trying to impress us on the way out so we wouldn't complain...

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MarcusTampa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

My husband and I booked two nights at this B&B as part of the Napa Getaway Wine Tour special. We planned a visit to Napa to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. Unfortunately, La Belle Epoque was the worst part of our anniversary getaway. I trust Trip Advisor and booked La Belle Eqoque because of it, so I am having a hard time reconciling our experience with these awesome reviews. I know the latest reviewers have mentioned that their head chef was recently out of town. Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for the poor service we received. From the start to finish, our experience was completely impersonal, disappointing, and not even remotely worth the $600+ we paid for it.

I'll start at the beginning. We arrived at 5 PM on Sunday to find a letter from the staff posted by the door that apologized for missing us and gave us instructions on how to gain access to the building using the key pad. It didn't bother us initially, but it was a hint of things to come: completely impersonal and lackluster. Our room (the Pinot Noir room) was clean and nicely decorated, with a mounted flat screen TV. The attached bathroom was nice and spacious, and had a vanity and a Jacuzzi bathtub. However, our room was unbearably hot. We had to strip our bed, open the window, and blast the standing air fan to get comfortable enough so we could finally fall asleep. We understand that there are some aspects of old buildings that you can’t help, such as poor air circulation, so we weren’t too perturbed. However, things started to turn sour for us after breakfast the next morning. Breakfast was just awful. My husband and I aren't picky eaters, but I literally could not finish my breakfast the first day because it was that bad. We were served a flavorless roasted grapefruit, cold, dry eggs, and a rubbery sausage. We were eating with two other couples and everyone fell completely mute while we were eating. There was just nothing good about it and no one knew what to say. I found this particularly disappointing because I had just been bragging to everyone about the fantastic reviews I had read about La Belle Epoque’s breakfast. It was one of the reasons my husband and I chose La Belle Epoque over the 20+ other nearby B&Bs with good reviews. To have it fail my expectations so spectacularly was such a let-down.

When we had originally booked our stay a couple of months earlier, I had called and spoken to one of the staff members about the group wine tour that was included in our package. The man I spoke with was unable to tell me the wineries we’d visit, the exact length of the tour, or even the name of the company they’d be using (he said that they use one of several companies). However, he had assured me that everything would be taken care of and that all the companies they partner with do an excellent job.

After the horrible breakfast, my husband and I became increasingly nervous about the wine tour. Despite the staff’s earlier assurances that everything would be taken care of, we hadn’t heard one peep from them about the tour. In fact, we hadn’t even seen any staff member besides the woman who served us our breakfast, and we couldn’t ask her about the tour since she did not speak English. We had no idea about the company, the pick up/drop off times, or if they’d even scheduled the tour for us at all. We only had one full day in Napa, so we decided we weren’t willing to chance it by leaving our big day of visiting wineries in La Belle Epoque’s hands. We decided that we would find a staff member and let them know that we wanted to back out of the tour. We finally found a staff member in an adjacent room after breakfast. It took her a full minute to acknowledge us, and when we explained that we wanted to cancel our tour, another staff member came out. The first staff member didn’t know if our tour had been booked, and the second staff member said that the tour had been booked, but she couldn’t remember whether she had booked it for that day or the next day. When they finally figured it out and said that they would be able to cancel it, one of them turned to us and brusquely asked if we were looking for a refund. We explained that no, of course we weren’t looking to be refunded. We just wanted to let them know as a courtesy. The women visibly relaxed and then brushed us off, making it clear that our conversation was over.

At this point, my husband and I felt totally deflated by La Belle Epoque’s disinterested and flippant manner of treating us. We resolved to get out of there quickly and spend as little time there as possible for the remainder of our 48-hour stay in Napa. Thankfully, we visited some wonderful wineries and restaurants that gave us the personal, service-oriented, and intimate experience that La Belle Epoque so clearly lacked. Not once during our two-night stay did La Belle Epoque’s staff initiate any interaction with us or wish us a happy anniversary (although we told them at the time of booking that we were celebrating our anniversary). In fact, after our beautiful day visiting wineries, we came back before dinner looking to enjoy our unopened mini bottle of Mumm Napa champagne that they had left in our room (as part of our Getaway package)… only to find that housekeeping had cleared our champagne glasses and that we had nothing to drink our champagne out of.

On the morning of our departure, we debated speaking with a manager about our poor experience. We hoped that someone would come out during breakfast (which to be fair, was MUCH better this time- it was a French toast-like soufflé of some sort)… but of course, no one did. My husband and I decided to just cut our losses and hit the road.

I hate leaving negative reviews, but this one was truly warranted. My husband and I had a disappointing experience for a getaway that was supposed to be special. We have stayed at Hennessy House before and shouldn’t have looked elsewhere, because La Belle Epoque paled in comparison. I hope that ours was a one-off experience for the sake of future travelers. However, we won’t be returning.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Maryana A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

We enjoyed our stay at this gorgeous B&B. We stayed in the Zinfandel Room. It was very cute. Perfect location to get to the downtown area as well as the Napa wineries. The staff recommended a fabulous winery that we loved - Artesa! We are glad we stayed here. FYI - We read all of the amazing reviews about Jas (the innkeeper) but he is currently not there. However, the staff that was there was great. We would certainly stay there again!

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

We had heard all of the reviews about receptions and special treatment that Jas offered. While our experience was good, there were missed opportunities by the staff. We were told that Jas was out, and I think it showed. For example, we were told there was a wine reception on Saturday only to have it suddenly cancelled for no reason. They kept bringing our breakfast late because they thought we wanted to eat in the dining room, when we told them repeatedly that we were happy to have it delivered to the balcony. Despite these hiccups, the food was GREAT and it's the perfect location to walk to downtown Napa.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Patrick Suite which was across the street - a little more modern, but we liked havi...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Don T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

We stayed at La Belle Epoque for 3 nights at two different rooms. Rooms were beautifully decorated, sheets were extremely soft and staff very helpful and friendly. One of the best parts was a gourmet breakfast offered by Jas Barbe. Presentation and taste were well above my expectations and better than many restaurants I had breakfast at.
The place overall was very nice and welcoming, we enjoyed wine in both of the outside patios La Belle Epoque offered. It is located within 10-15 minute walk from downtown Napa.
We would definately recommend this place to friends and hope to come back soon.

Room Tip: If you prefer cooler (in terms of temperature) room, choose the one on the first floor.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank zavinta m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Belle Epoque

Property: La Belle Epoque
Address: 1386 Calistoga Ave, Napa, CA 94559-2552
Region: United States > California > Napa Valley > Napa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Napa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — La Belle Epoque 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For over a century this stunning Napa Valley Queen Anne Victorian has reigned over Napa. Today, La Belle Epoque is a luxury Napa Valley boutique inn - ideal for romantic getaways, family reunions, small weddings and solo retreats. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Belle Epoque Hotel Napa
La Belle Epoque Napa, Napa Valley, CA

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