Sonoma County is home to a wonderful array of charming B&Bs, quaint cottages, intimate hotels, value inns, and luxury resorts. For accommodations that speak extra-eloquently of California's Wine Country, though, let us guide you to these one-of-a-kind destinations.
This rural property is a ravishing mix of gorgeous guest rooms, a restaurant fed by farm-fresh food, and a seasonally inspired spa. The owners, siblings Catherine and Joe Bartolomei, come from fifth generation farmers, too, making this place a true Sonoma County-grown treasure. Recently, the property underwent an expansion and redesign of the circa-1870 hideaway, where, amid the towering redwoods of the Russian River Valley, crews added eight new guest rooms housed in an elegant new “barn,” refreshed the Inn’s original ten guest rooms, and brightened the Michelin-starred restaurant that fronts the property.
Baths are gussied with large jetted tubs and saunas or steam showers, morning starts with full breakfast and fresh flowers in your room, and in the afternoon, you can take wine tasting classes with a Master Sommelier, then finish the day with a bedtime snack of homemade cookies and milk. Be sure to visit the luxury spa, for such farm-to-table spa signatures as massages with oils using heirloom cider apples from the inn’s home ranch plus herbs grown in Farmhouse's kitchen garden.
This oasis is so romantic and serene on its seaside perch. As the only AAA Four Diamond hotel on the Sonoma Coast, it offers a luxury escape, in rooms outfitted with real fireplaces, warm, snuggly down comforters, and private balconies for stargazing.
Continuing the romantic atmosphere, the resort’s Drakes Sonoma Coast Kitchen restaurant offers spectacular ocean views and a seasonal menu highlighting local, sustainably farmed produce, seafood, and meat. Indulge in delights like Dungeness crab cakes with tomato ginger chutney and smoked paprika aioli, or Madras curry-dusted local petrale sole.
The onsite spa beckons as a stone building sitting in a stunning setting, overlooking the Sonoma coastline and anchored by an outdoor heated swimming pool and whirlpool spa. So embrace your location, and indulge in beach-theme signatures include the warm shell massage with Tiger Clam seashells.
The drive to Timber Cove is an exhilarating one, hugging Highway 1 on the edge of the cliffs soaring above the crashing waves and jagged rocks of the Sonoma Coast.
But just a bit north of Fort Ross and Jenner awaits a miniature town with a very big reason to visit: this secluded inn and its Coast Kitchen restaurant. Recently renovated for a more modern lodge mood, the inn offers rooms with ocean or forest view rooms, private spa tubs, fireplaces, skylights, and the drama of ancient wood trim against crisp white bedding.
The restaurant is celebrated for its organic seasonal menu and rustic luxury charm with extraordinary ocean views from floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room – indeed, guests travel from all over for a spectacular cliffside meal, relaxing before a roaring fire in the huge stone fireplace in the Sequoia Lounge, then taking a brisk, post-dinner stroll in the crisp Pacific air.
Resort owner Carlos Pippa put a lot of love into his gracious, hillside property, and it shows in every detail. The spa suite is pure luxury, down to the curved black tile and glass rain shower, couples treatments on plush side-by-side beds, and signature pamperings like Jurlique biodynamic facials and warm river stone massages. The rooms are elegant, as well, in creams, golds, moss green and polished wood with views and balconies overlooking the manicured gardens.
With just 22 rooms, this intimate inn on the tree-lined Sonoma Creek captures the heart of Sonoma County.
A tribute to the legendary author and longtime Glen Ellen/Valley of the Moon resident, Jack London, the furnishings are cherished antiques, yet rooms offer all the modern conveniences like Wi-Fi and cable.
Highlights include a pool and spa located in a garden setting at the edge of the creek, and The Saloon at Jack London Lodge, which offers a rustic, warm, and unpretentious setting, great cocktails, and upscale Italian cuisine from the menu at Umbria Glen Ellen, located next door.
Surrounded by a canopy of redwoods in the charming village of Occidental, this pet-friendly retreat is quiet enough to bring your dog for a vacation of his own, but still AAA Four-Diamond caliber. With 16 guest rooms and a two-bedroom cottage, the graceful clapboard mansion is larger than a typical B&B, but just as cozy, surrounded with English gardens and framed by towering redwoods. The feel in the spacious rooms is laidback, in whimsical themes like American folk art replete with a colorful collection of quilts, quirky rooster pillows, and draped four-posted beds. For breakfast, the daily changing menus showcase Sonoma-harvest ingredients, and as an extra amenity, guests enjoy a free wine tasting passport good for two at many area wineries.
All stays in the newly remodeled luxury rooms include a breakfast buffet and free wine tasting passes. That’s just a few of the values found at this 1950’s retro-chic destination marked by a revolving, neon trimmed 50-foot tower capped with a spindly legged pink bird. Today, the kitschy landmark is a point of pride, and a beacon of all that’s fun and funky in Wine Country. In 1996, in fact, the hotel was designated a Historic Landmark.
Though it now caters more to families and groups than A-list stars, it’s still a beloved destination for its stylish wood-trimmed rooms and lovingly restored ballrooms that once welcomed celebrities like Jayne Mansfield and now play host to fun activities like salsa dancing lessons. The low-slung style of dramatic stone and glass spans several wings of suites around a lavish pool and expansive gardens, and all the rooms are contemporary, furnished in sleek fixtures in cozy palates of gold and cream.
Written by Sonoma Insider Carey Sweet.