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Small-town Charm in the Gateway to Napa

Hotel Winters has opened its doors in California, marking the first full-service, luxury boutique hotel in Yolo County. Located in Winters, CA, in a region often called “the gateway to Napa Valley,” the hotel aims to mirror Winters’ small-town charm. The intimate property offers 78 rooms and suites, with plans to open two additional restaurant concepts, including a rooftop bar, as well as a full-service spa and high-end retail space.

“The goal for this project was to ensure the new hotel reflected the essence, the charm, and the historical feel of the town,” said Karla Avila, owner of Avila Winters Design & Co. “We did this in various ways; first, by ensuring the facade fit within its surroundings, and secondly, by creating an environment that feels welcoming and cozy for guests and town locals. To achieve the latter, we created spaces that had the look and feel of home.”

Credit for all photos: Bernard Andre Photography

Design features in the lobby include high ceilings, grand chandeliers and a soothing color palette of whites, neutrals and cool blues. “This area was designed to feel like a living room—the selection of furniture and decor pieces go beyond the generic and sterile decor you see in most hotels,” Avila said. “We added color, played with textures, and curated the space with local art and found objects.”

In an effort to move away from the clinical lobby feel, check-in consists not of a large counter, but several smaller reception desks. “The reception area is intended to feel like a library,” Avila explained. “There is no walk-up counter; instead, you are invited to sit down when you check in, enjoy a glass of wine, and begin the welcoming experience that you will feel throughout Winters.

“As soon as you walk in, you will quickly feel a welcoming and warm ambiance within the hotel,” she added. “The public spaces and rooms feel cozy and inviting, tempting guests to sit down, unwind and fall in love with the hotel and the city of Winters.”

Both art and lighting were particularly important to the design of the hotel. “We are showcasing local artists throughout the hotel to create an interactive experience that allows guests to learn more about Winters and Yolo County— and it shows the pride that locals have for their community,” Avila said. “Providing the lighting design within the hotel was another key signature moment. This occurred in the early stages of the project, and it required a lot of foresight to ensure the decorative lighting worked with the decor and furnishings selected for the hotel.”

Guestrooms and suites offer up the same color palette as the lobby, as well as 10-ft. ceilings, plantation shutters, spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers and makeup mirrors. The suites also have what for some is a dream amenity in the bathrooms—stand-alone clawfoot tubs.

“The signature bridal suite was my favorite area to design—the design within this suite encapsulates sophistication and romance; it’s a dream suite for brides,” Avila said.

Designed to appeal to weddings and events, the hotel offers 5,000 sq. ft. of venue space for events up to 300 guests, including the 3,400-sq.-ft. Orchard Ballroom with grand picture windows, a dramatic 6-ft. fireplace and state-of-the-art Bose speaker system; the 740-sq.-ft. Vineyard Room with custom cabinetry, a large fireplace and sliding glass doors that open onto a private patio; and the 700-sq.-ft. Grove Room with elegant chandeliers, large picture windows and state-of-the-art AV.

The hotel’s three restaurant spaces may also function as private event spaces. The fine-dining restaurant, Carboni’s Ristorante, Bar and Market, as well as Abbey’s Rooftop & Lounge, will open in November. Railroad Courtyard is currently open and features a Water Lounge for soaking in the California sun or sipping sunset cocktails. The Water Lounge has a 9-ft. waterfall, in-water lounge chairs, oversized umbrellas, dining tables and romantic market lights.

Avila noted that the rooftop space is one of her favorite elements of the hotel. “This deck provides a 360-view of the city of Winters, and its beautiful landscape,” she said.

“In addition, I love the grand fireplaces that can be seen throughout the hotel—they are stunning and they help ground the decor within the hotel,” she added. “It was important for us to create an experience for the guests that feels elegant and luxurious but also unpretentious and authentic—and ensuring this balance was key for us.”