Mike Smith of Cottages of Napa Valley

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My first job was building boats in Santa Cruz. Then, between construction jobs, I built sets for the Mountain Theatre on Mt. Tam. I loved being able to make large fantastic worlds quickly, and then tear them down even faster. I came to Napa Valley during my teenage years and did a project on cupolas on the historic barns here. How fun to come back later in life and add cupolas onto the cottages of napa valley.
I've kept a low profile in my business life and waited until things came together enough to put all I learned into one project requiring style, comfort, and design. It was special because it was based simply on what I thought I would like in a vacation cottage. That faith in its potential is being rewarded by the confirmation that other visitors like what my partners and I did here, and they return home with a great experience of Napa Valley in their hearts.

nvcottages.jpgThe cottages are unique in that they are like your own private home, not a row of rooms in a motel. They couldn't be more comfortable, inside or out. It's hard to describe the combination of casual comfort of an earlier era and the top luxury of the interiors that match the feel of the great homes that we now live in. Why would you want to stay in a place that has less comfort than what you enjoy at home?

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The accomplishment here was not just putting the cottages together, but making it a family atmosphere where all of us love to be. The guests feel as welcome as if they were coming over to my own home. In my past, I'm proudest of teaching: Art for the Homeless; English to the Mien People; and currently, meditation at the Napa Senior Center.

Are you a Thinker or a Feeler?
Can you be both? I feel empathy even with mechanical things, but I love to imagine new things into existence. Is that thinking? My teachers used to call it daydreaming.
Hmph! I was being productive with my time!


Your favorite place?
My second choice would be doing design work in Milan, Italy and house on Lake Como.
But, how lucky is this, Napa is at the top of my list. It took me 15 years of looking to find these cottages, and I couldn't believe finding them in the perfect visitors' destination.

 
What do you like most about your work?
The cooperative spirit of all the businesses in Napa. I credit Robert and Margrit Mondavi for much of that spirit, and am delighted that it continues in their honor. What a perfect blend of art and culture; may it continue forever.

Any regrets?
After traveling the world and having a unique life, I miss not having kids.

nvcottages2.jpgTop qualities that draw you to someone new?
That's a huge spectrum. Either similar interests or completely opposite ones.
And, I notice that I like to spend more time with those who think of others more than themselves.


If money were no object, what would you do?
Build! Design! Starting with a huge workshop, and then tinker with projects. Ah, the list is long. What do you need built?

What is your favorite way to spend your time?
Dreaming up weird car designs, or solar boats, or bread ovens, or stone bridges. I would love to build a huge Roman catenary arch stone bridge.

What's the worst way you spend your time?
Surfing the internet for other weird designs.

Best compliment?
That I am a caring person.

One thing you would still like to learn?
About three more languages. No, how about thirty?
I should say 'business,' but I hire out what I'm not good at!


Stupidest thing you've ever done?

Um, besides swimming in the Grand Canyon without a life-jacket? Falling into traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge from my bicycle? Kayaking the Old Mill Creek in a flood? I can't think of anything.

Something others would be surprised to know about you?
That I'm a complete sucker for sentimental moments. I will remember touching scenes from my earliest childhood, and forget what I did for dinner two days ago.

                                                                                          
Special Lodging Offer!

Week Night Special

limited weeknight special
2 nights in a cozy king cottage
$395 (plus tax)

sunday thru thursday; expires 6/1/2009
some restrictions apply
please call for details (707-252-7810)
or visit online at www.napacottages.com
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4 Comments

remember jimi hendrix ? well this guy has nothin in common with him besides the fact that he's one of the hardest workin dudes around and all ways ready with a smile. seriously ~ check him out at the napa cottages. you will never regret it.

This is the Real Mike. The cottages are THE most romantic place to stay in Napa and close enough to Sonoma to consider for either valley. He put his whole heart and soul in this yet still has an enormous amount left to give everyone he meets. Great Man, Great Place!

When you read what Mike wrote is like talking to him one on one. My wife and I have stayed at the Napa Cottages and if you are planning to stay you are in for a real treat. I will let you experience this for yourself and have you enjoy it. The Napa Cottages location is easy to get to and convenient to head out to your favorite place in the Napa Valley.


One real great place and one great man with one enormous heart of love this is the secret of Napa Cottage. I knew Mike when he spent some time here in Brazil (good time). Last year I had visited USA and spent some time at Napa Cottage and I enjoyed it very much, tanks Mike. Thanks Mike.
Luiz Fabreti - from Brazil -

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