Known as the birthplace of wine in California, the 17-mile-long Sonoma Valley prides itself in amazing wine country hotels and inns along it's scenic route. Because the area offers so much to see, do, and discover, it definitely requires finding that perfect spot to stay so you can replenish your energies overnight, and continue exploring in the morning.
Fortunately, the valley also includes a delightful array of lodgings, each offering its own unique Wine Country experience. Starting in the north end of Sonoma Valley and heading south, here are 10 hotels and inns that provide so much more than just a place to spend the night.
Discover one of Sonoma County’s best-kept secrets in this lavish 29-room resort and spa along Highway 12 on the southern edge of the small town of Kenwood. The handcrafted, Tuscan-style property includes a luxurious spa, multiple pools and hot tubs, and a private, 35-seat restaurant that is open only to inn and spa guests. Everything is designed for relaxation and retreat, making for perfect romantic getaways. Each room is different, yet all are posh palace retreats, with a fireplace sitting area, a castle-like ambience of polished concrete floors and plaster walls set with iron framed windows, and baths that are nearly large enough to live in. The private chef crafts remarkable breakfasts, such as Cajun-spiced jambalaya with sausage and bacon and topped by chive-mascarpone eggs; or creamy soft polenta topped with poached eggs, apple wood smoked bacon, and red pepper coulis.
Kenwood Inn and Spa, 10400 Sonoma Highway 12, Kenwood
Tucked on a hillside overlooking the Sonoma Valley, this historic 1892 ranch house and cottages offer a virtual Eden of gardens, vineyards, and orchards on 105 acres. Choose from five bedrooms in the main house or a cozy cottage, all with private outdoor entrances, bathrooms, and patios. Everything is decorated with family antiques and original local artwork. There’s a private tennis court, and sustainably farmed produce gardens supply the kitchen for each morning’s breakfast. Walking trails lead past grazing horses and cattle, winding through the ranch’s estate, olive orchards, and gardens.
Beltane Ranch Bed & Breakfast, 11775 Sonoma Highway 12, Glen Ellen
Built as a private home in the late 1800s, Gaige House has offered lodging for travelers for many, many years. An elegant blend of vintage and contemporary, this inn features 23 thoughtfully appointed guestrooms with a modern, Asian flair. The secluded setting along Calabazas Creek includes an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, plus lovely hidden spots with delights such as a hammock shaded by ancient oaks, a miniature pagoda in a rock garden, and a gurgling fountain. Amenities include a bountiful breakfast buffet each morning, fresh-baked cookies in the afternoon, and an evening welcome reception with wine and cheese.
One pet-friendly guestroom is available.
Gaige House, A Four Sisters Inn, 13540 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
This boutique hotel offers seven Secret Cottages along Calabazas Creek, just steps from the property’s restaurant and bar. Each cozy cottage features a gas fireplace, Jacuzzi tub, shower, flat-screen TV, fruit and pastry baskets, organic toiletries, free Wi-Fi, and an in-room coffee and honor bar. Many have a deck in a creekside setting. The Glen Ellen Oyster Gill & Martini Bar features sizzling steaks, fresh seafood, hand-cut pastas, house-made breads, locally grown produce, homemade ice cream, and house-made scones and focaccia. The full bar offers more than 600 Sonoma and Napa Valley wines, as well as innovative and classic martinis.
Glen Ellen Inn, 13670 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
Enjoy affordable luxury in one of 22 guestrooms in a quiet, peaceful setting with a pool, heated spa, and lovely gardens. Set along the tree-lined Sonoma Creek, the lodge offers beautiful views of the legendary Valley of the Moon (aka Sonoma Valley), made famous by the writings of Glen Ellen’s most notable former resident, author and adventurer Jack London. Locals love the lodge’s historic Jack London Saloon, steeped in turn-of-the-20th-century history and elegance. The saloon offers a full bar, Wine Country vintages, and Wine Country cuisine.
Jack London Lodge, 13740 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
Hidden in the hills above Glen Ellen, this small boutique hotel offers unique amenities, modern guest rooms, and an exceptional breakfast experience. In some shape, form, or fashion this hotel has been part of the landscape and culture of Glen Ellen since the early 1900s. Refurbished, updated, and renamed in 2012, the Olea delivers many of the bells and whistles of a five-star hotel blended with the casual charm and ease of a bed and breakfast. The complimentary breakfast designed by executive chef Khambay Porterkhamsy includes a two-course plated meal as well as a bountiful buffet of homemade granola, fresh squeezed juice, organic yogurt, and homemade pastries. An in-room massage menu, an outdoor hot tub nestled among the trees, complementary daily wine tastings, Wi-Fi access, and free movie and game board rentals make a stay at the Olea a proper Wine Country escape.
Olea Hotel, 5131 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen
This darling, reasonably priced, 16-room hideaway offers colorfully decorated rooms with private outdoor patios or porches, flat screen TVs, Keurig coffee makers, and mini-refrigerators. It's an affordable and casual alternative to pricey Wine Country hotels, without sacrificing style and convenience. Amenities include chess games, a pet-friendly policy, a soothing garden courtyard with a fountain, and complimentary tasting passes for local wineries. Next door, the Creekside Café (a favorite with locals) offers hearty home-style food for breakfast and lunch.
Sonoma Creek Inn, 239 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma
The ultimate Wine Country oasis, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn offers a pampering spa, world-class golf, and an award-winning restaurant. The beautifully appointed guestrooms, many with fireplaces, range from the recently restored Heritage rooms to signature suites. Guests can participate in free daily hike and fitness classes, and then relax at the daily wine tasting in the lobby. This historic luxury resort includes two swimming pools, both filled with the unique mineral spring water found underground. The inn’s premiere dining room, Santé restaurant, has earned a national reputation for its outstanding food, and is among the top-rated restaurants in the greater San Francisco area.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, 100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma
Charming, quaint, and a little bit quirky, this 3.5-acre property offers seven unique accommodations, each decorated with an assortment of antiques, collectibles, fabrics, and unique objects from a bygone era. Three private, individual cottages are spread over the hillside property. Housing four guestrooms, the main turn-of-the-century farmhouse resembles an alpine lodge, with decks and balconies overlooking the Sonoma Valley. When the weather is warm, breakfast is served on the deck under the umbrellas. A dip in the garden hot tub is a wonderful way to start the day, or relax after a day of sightseeing. This is the perfect place for those craving privacy, peace, and quiet, all just a five-minute drive from the Sonoma Plaza.
Sonoma Chalet Bed & Breakfast, 18935 5th St. W., Sonoma
Stay in one of four quiet, private, and romantic cottages, surrounded by some of Sonoma’s oldest and finest wineries, and about a 15-minute walk from the historic Sonoma Plaza. Each cottage combines the elements of a private vacation home with the amenities of a luxury hotel. Enjoy premium bed linens with lots of pillows, luxurious terrycloth robes, a bathroom stocked with all-natural bath products, a fully equipped kitchen, and a gas barbecue on a private patio. Sip a glass of wine and relax in the garden courtyard, complete with a fountain and umbrella-covered seating. Next door, the charmingly rustic Sonoma’s Best Modern Mercantile offers wines, artisanal cheeses, sandwiches, salads, soups, and many other local food products.
Sonoma’s Best Guest Cottages, 1190 E. Napa St., Sonoma
Our Guide to the Sonoma Valley is perfect for things to do and places to see while in Sonoma Valley.
Written by Sonoma Insider Patricia Lynn Henley