Wine Country is a popular destination not only for its wineries but also for its charming inns and luxury hotels. Local properties offer a long list of amenities and special perks — from onsite spas and farm-to-table restaurants to customized tours and pools with vineyard views. Some also offer guests a chance to travel back in time.
Here, we feature four historic Sonoma County hotels to check into this summer.
The Madrona, Healdsburg
This Healdsburg hotel — best known in recent years for its Michelin-star restaurant — was built as a private home in 1881. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it didn’t become an inn and restaurant until 1981. Shuttered during the pandemic, the hotel was purchased in 2021 by a group of investors, led by St. Helena-based designer Jay Jeffers, his brother, Kyle Jeffers, and general partner Cory Schisler, who renovated the historic property.
Carefully modernized with a nod to the property’s history, The Madrona includes some 30 pieces of furniture and art that date back to the early 19th century and belonged to the home’s original owners, the Paxton family. Among the many notable pieces in the collection is a piano believed to be nearly 200 years old. It’s been tuned, played and now calls the mansion’s Drawing Room home.
This table in the carriage house was the original dining room table for the Paxton family, who built The Madrona in 1881.
The remodeled Madrona has a plush look that is comfortable yet elegant.
The dramatic entry at The Madrona features an artist-crafted ceiling and rug.
The Madrona was built as a private home in 1881.
The Madrona, 1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-395-6700
Hotel La Rose, Santa Rosa
After the 1906 earthquake destroyed his renowned St. Rose Hotel, Bautista Bettini set out to build an even better property. Using stone from a quarry on the east side of Santa Rosa, Italian stonemasons built the four-story Hotel La Rose in 1907 in Railroad Square, an area of town that bustled with activity. The U.S. Department of the Interior listed Hotel La Rose on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
In August 1942, Alfred Hitchcock filmed Shadow of a Doubt on location in Santa Rosa, including scenes at the NWP Depot, now Railroad Square. Hotel La Rose appeared in the film.
Hotel La Rose, 308 Wilson St., Santa Rosa, 707-579-3200
The Stavrand Russian River Valley, Guerneville
Dating back to the early 1920s, this Guerneville property was long known to Sonoma County locals as the Applewood Inn and Spa. The Stavrand includes local landmark, The Belden House, a Mission Revival home designed by architect John Carl Warnecke as a country retreat for Guerneville banker Ralph “Rooster” Belden and his family. It was converted into a bed and breakfast in the early 1980s.
The Stavrand Russian River Valley features 21 rooms set on nearly six acres studded with towering redwoods and an orchard of fruit trees, many of which were planted by Belden more than a century ago. The new owners, Emily Glick and Santiago Appleton Ripley, purchased the inn in late 2020 (during the height of the pandemic) and renovated the entire property.
The Stavrand Russian River Valley in Guerneville was built as a private home in the early 1920s.
The Stavrand in Guerneville was previously the Applewood Inn and Spa.
The restaurant at The Stavrand Russian River Valley.
The Stavrand Russian River Valley, 13555 Highway 116, Guerneville, 707-869-9093
Hotel Petaluma, Petaluma
Just a bit shy of the century mark, Hotel Petaluma opened in 1924. It’s actually the second hotel to be built on the Petaluma site. In the mid-1860s, the Brooklyn Hotel was the first to claim the Kentucky Street location as its home.
The lobby at Hotel Petaluma.
Hotel Petaluma opened in 1924.
Hotel Petaluma, 205 Kentucky St., Petaluma, 707-559-3393 (Rebecca Gosselin)
Written by Dana Rebmann
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