The Magician at Milliken Creek Inn
Wine Country Personality
Check into the most luxurious, romantic spot along the Napa River and you are bound to have nearly every aspect of your unforgettable stay overseen by one woman, Connie Gore. As General Manager of Milliken Creek Inn & Spa (www.millikencreekinn.com), her everyday duties include upholding the inn's philosophy: to marry the quality, service and amenities of a five star resort with the intimacy, sophistication and exclusivity of a grand estate.
Since opening in 2001, Milliken Creek Inn & Spa has garnered rave reviews for its sophisticated service, pampering spa that is exclusive to guests and elegant decor. Connie and her staff strive to keep their discerning guests happy by meeting their every need and want. She tries to personally greet guests and inquire about their Milliken experiences; she particularly enjoys meeting people from around the world and sharing her knowledge of Napa Valley. "My guests are experienced travelers and most of them have stayed at many luxury hotels. So it's my job to ensure that they do not forget Milliken Creek Inn."
Connie's secret weapon may be that she knows the area better than most, having lived nearly her entire life in Napa Valley. She enthuses, "I love the scenery, the summer weather and fall colors, the flourishing wine industry and burgeoning culinary scene; plus it's a great place raise kids."
Orchestrating romantic moments is another area of expertise for Connie. One memorable romantic request that she and her team fulfilled entailed a private dinner a deux on the Zen deck prepared by the inn's chef, accompanied by a fine bottle of wine that featured the etched words, "Will you marry me?" The enchantment continued with flickering candles and scattered rose petals in the couple's guest room. For another couple's romantic retreat, surprises appeared throughout their stay, such as: flowers and champagne upon arrival; chocolate-dipped strawberries, candles and rose petals at turndown; a basket of butterflies to release outside at breakfast; and a candlelight picnic laid out in their room. For Connie and her team, it's all in a day's (not to mention, a night's) work.
Connie credits her mentor, Art Housley-owner of Napa's Ranch Market, whom she says "taught me how to work hard and have a great work ethic." Her background as a restaurant owner and business bookkeeper has also prepared her for the demands of managing an inn. She admits that, "all of these things have made me the GM that I am today."
While her passion for work is undeniable (and she is almost always working), she loves to spend time with her husband and blended brood of five children. She also makes time to travel abroad-Greece is her favorite destination-experience the vast array of restaurants in the valley and take walks with her best friend.
Connie believes that Milliken Creek Inn & Spa is a truly special place "because it's beautiful, relaxing, peaceful and we have captured 'romance.' Milliken is like a diamond in its natural habitat." That natural habitat includes restful chaises, soothing massages, aromatherapy facials, gourmet breakfasts and unobtrusive luxury. There is even a daily sunset "Magic Hour"-a complimentary wine and cheese reception with local vintners who pour their favorite wine selections. Although it may seem to guests that every hour spent at Milliken Creek Inn & Spa is magical.
Guests can slow down and soak up the atmosphere of this idyllic oasis or venture forth and discover all that the region offers. Milliken feels far removed from everything, yet the inn is just minutes from COPIA, the Opera House, internationally-acclaimed restaurants, shopping, golf, tennis, cycling, ballooning and historical places of interest. It sits at the foot of the winery-lined Silverado Trail, known as one the world's most beautiful drives and the gateway to the wine country.