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About Maison Fleurie, a Small Hotel in Yountville
Maison Fleurie was built in 1873 as the Magnolia Hotel, constructed of stone from local quarries. A few decades later, bricks from a demolished church and a balcony from San Francisco’s old French Hospital were added. It is the oldest hotel in the Napa Valley.
In the early days, the Magnolia was not only a place for travelers to lodge but also, according to local lore, a bordello. With its central Yountville location adjacent to the railroad, and its popular saloon, it was a lively gathering spot. One of the outbuildings reportedly housed a bakery for some years (the name “Bakery Building” is still used for that part of the inn today).
After years of disrepair, the Magnolia was purchased in the late 1960s by owners who hoped to make it their home. However, the project proved too ambitious; they in turn sold to a couple who restored it and ran it as a six-room hotel and restaurant in the late1970s.
In 1993, the Magnolia was purchased by Four Sisters Inns. An extensive remodel took place the following year, with designers careful to preserve the old stone. Four Sisters Inn's President Shelley Post's love of Provence is evident in the interiors; many of the decorative items on the property were acquired during her frequent travels to France. The inn’s lavish gardens, overflowing with roses and other colorful blossoms, led to its new name – Maison Fleurie – which means “flowering house.”