A night away in a railway car

The Napa Valley Railway Inn accommodates guests in two short rows of railway cars parked on their tracks in Yountville.

The Napa Valley Railway Inn accommodates guests in two short rows of railway cars parked on their tracks in Yountville.

Room enough in the caboose rooms at the Napa Valley Railway Inn for a bed, a table for two and a small bath.

Room enough in the caboose rooms at the Napa Valley Railway Inn for a bed, a table for two and a small bath.

I had a chance to sleep in a caboose. And I jumped on it.

I saw the photo on the website of that lovely room with the curved ceiling, that big bed, that cupola above it and I signed up. Two nights.

And, guess what? It was just as nice as the photo promised.

The caboose rooms have cupolas that let lots of light in.

The caboose rooms have cupolas that let lots of light in.

I usually write about how to spend a day away but my experience at the Napa Valley Railway Inn was such a pleasure, I decided it’s time to describe a night away. Sure, I slept through most of it, but waking up in a railway car was sure fun.

The inn is really about 10 railcars linked together, five on either side of a platform. They sit on a track near what had to be the old railway station, now a collection of shops and offices. At one end, I am happy to say, is a little coffee shop.

The bathroom is a little small but everything's in its place.

The bathroom is a little small but everything’s in its place.

The cars are old but so well maintained that we can forgive a little age. The bathrooms are small. The owners, nevertheless, have managed to fill these cars with big comfy beds and a table for two. Rocking chairs and outdoor sofas just outside the door make for a welcome spot to have your coffee and danish. (Bouchon Bakery is within steps of this place if you prefer. Such croissants…)

Not your usual hotel lobby.

Not your usual hotel lobby.

The location — set right in the heart of Yountville in Napa Valley — couldn’t be more convenient. Plenty of restaurants, shops and winery tasting rooms are nearby. But you have to be content with sleeping at the edge of a parking lot. I never noticed. After a full day of food, wine tasting and tours, I fell into that big bed grateful for another day in Paradise.

ⓒ Photos and text Mary K. Tilghman

One of the pleasures of the inn was its proximity to wonderful restaurants, including Chef Michael Chiarello's Bottega.

One of the pleasures of the inn was its proximity to wonderful restaurants, including Chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega.

 

 

 

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