4 Historic Sonoma County Hotels to Check Into This Summer

The Madrona in Healdsburg

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

Exterior of The Madrona in Healdsburg
The Madrona – Photo by Matthew Millman

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.

Interior of The Madrona in Healdsburg
The Madrona’s interiors include furniture and art that dates to the early 19th century – Photo by Matthew Millman

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. 

Table in the carriage house of The Madrona - Photo by Matthew Millman
Table from 1881 in the carriage house of The Madrona – Photo by Matthew Millman

This table in the carriage house was the original dining room table for the Paxton family, who built The Madrona in 1881. 

Plush interior of The Madrona - Photo by Matthew Millman
Plush interior of The Madrona – Photo by Matthew Millman

The remodeled Madrona has a plush look that is comfortable yet elegant. 

Dramatic entry of The Madrona - Photo by Matthew Millman
Dramatic entry at The Madrona – Photo by Matthew Millman

The dramatic entry at The Madrona features an artist-crafted ceiling and rug. 

Bedroom at The Madrona, circa 1881
Bedroom in The Madrona, circa 1881 

The Madrona was built as a private home in 1881. 

The Madrona, 1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-395-6700

Hotel La Rose, Santa Rosa

Hotel La Rose in Santa Rosa's Railroad Square district
Hotel La Rose in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square district

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.

Alfred Hitchcock filming Shadow of a Doubt in Santa Rosa
Alfred Hitchcock filming Shadow of a Doubt in Santa Rosa — The Press Democrat archive

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 Rose308 Wilson St., Santa Rosa, 707-579-3200

The Stavrand Russian River Valley, Guerneville

The Stavrand Russian River Valley and Cazadero House - Photo by Emma K. Morris
The Stavrand Russian River Valley and Cazadero House – Photo by Emma K. Morris

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.

Renovated bedroom at The Stavrand Russian River Valley — Photo by Emma K. Morris
Renovated bedroom at The Stavrand Russian River Valley 

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 used to be the Applewood Inn
The Stavrand was built as a private home in the 1920s

The Stavrand Russian River Valley in Guerneville was built as a private home in the early 1920s. 

The Stavrand was formerly the Applewood Inn
The Stavrand was formerly the Applewood Inn and Spa – The Press Democrat archive

The Stavrand in Guerneville was previously the Applewood Inn and Spa.

Restaurant at The Stavrand — Photo by Emma K. Morris
Restaurant at The Stavrand — Photo by Emma K. Morris

The restaurant at The Stavrand Russian River Valley. 

The Stavrand Russian River Valley13555 Highway 116, Guerneville, 707-869-9093 

Hotel Petaluma, Petaluma

Hotel Petaluma in downtown Petaluma - Photo by Rebecca Gosselin
Hotel Petaluma in downtown Petaluma – Photo by Rebecca Gosselin

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.

Lobby at The Hotel Petaluma—Photo by Rebecca Gosselin
Lobby at The Hotel Petaluma—Photo by Rebecca Gosselin

Hotel Petaluma opened in 1924. 

Hotel Petaluma circa 1924
Hotel Petaluma circa 1924 – Photo courtesy of Hotel Petaluma

Hotel Petaluma205 Kentucky St., Petaluma, 707-559-3393 (Rebecca Gosselin)


Written by Dana Rebmann

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