In Sonoma County, luxury isn't about flaunting it, it's about private moments enjoying the finer things in life.
Sure, film stars and the international elite come to Sonoma County to stay in private villas, relax at amazing spas, and eat at Michelin-starred restaurants. But they also come to stroll farmers markets, enjoy amazing farm-to-table cuisine, and try some of the best wines in the world.
Here’s the lowdown on luxurious places to stay or dine in Sonoma County …
Recognized as one of the world’s top villa rental companies by leading travel experts, Beautiful Places’ portfolio ranges from cozy vineyard farmhouses to hilltop resort-like estates accommodating up to 14 guests, with minimum stays from two to three nights.
On request, Beautiful Places can arrange for a private chef, in-villa spa services, and behind the scenes wine tours. Guests receive complimentary wine tasting passes.
Hidden in the rugged foothills of the Mayacamas mountains, Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery blends extraordinary scenery, a sense of serenity and seclusion, cooling maritime breezes, and a perfect climate for growing grapes.
More than 1,300 acres are devoted to vineyards, a winery, a hospitality center, a culinary garden, a residence, stables, an equestrian pavilion, sports fields, fishing and swimming ponds, guest houses, and expansive wilderness areas.
One of the best ways to experience this extraordinary place is the 1.5-hour Culinary Tour & Tasting. It begins with an amuse-bouche of organically-farmed produce sourced fresh from the estate gardens, which provide the culinary inspiration and ever-changing seasonal influences behind the menu.
Next, enjoy a seated, four-course, farm-to-fork tasting of estate wines, expertly paired with culinary offerings from executive chef Larry Forgione. He was an early pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, and is commonly known as the "Godfather of American Cuisine." Each course is precisely paired by Robert Smith, master sommelier, who works closely with Forgione to ensure that the complexities of the cuisine complement those of the wine. This tour is available by appointment only, at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday (call for private seatings or alternate times), with prices starting at $120 per person.
Or, book a private estate luncheon for your family and friends. The experience begins with a driving tour around the estate, ending at a magnificent conservatory with panoramic views of the Chalk Hill valley. Here your group will enjoy a decadent meal prepared by the executive chef and expertly paired with Chalk Hill wines.
Estate luncheons are available by appointment Tuesday through Saturday; for pricing quotes, reservations, and other information, contact [email protected] or 707-657-4859.
10300 Chalk Hill Road, Healdsburg, 707-657-4837
For hundreds of years, ancient thermal mineral waters have graced this site. Today, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is one of the only luxury spa resorts in the country with its own source of thermal mineral water.
Before relaxing at this world-class spa, take in a round of golf at the nearby 18-hole championship golf course, the Sonoma Golf Club. Or check out the Inn's spa facilities; spa packages include unlimited fitness classes and use of fitness facilities, private locker and locker-room amenities, a plush terry robe, reflexology slippers and refreshment bar access. Choose from a variety of services — a guided morning hike, fitness training, guided meditation, an aromatherapy foot soak, a 90-minute wine and rose retreat, massage, and more.
Then end your day at the Inn with a fantastic meal at its acclaimed Santé Restaurant. Guests enjoy a seasonal menu, in a warm and casual yet stylish setting. The menu showcases the region’s abundant local products and world-famous wines, and the chef creates elegantly simple dishes that let the natural flavors of the food speak for themselves.
100 Boyes Boulevard, Sonoma, 707-938-9000
One of Sonoma County's finest country inns, the Farmhouse offers 18 rooms with a full-service spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant on site. Sophisticated comfort and classic elegance on six acres of gardens give visitors a sense of renewal.
The inn is located in the heart of the Russian River Wine Country and is convenient to more than 200 wineries, towering redwoods, and the wild Pacific coastline. The spa offers facials, massages, body work, and more.
Sublime, farm-fresh breakfasts are served each day. A true farm-to-table experience awaits the gourmand, and a master of wine sommelier has created a wonderful wine program to enhance the dining experience.
7871 River Road, Forestville, 707-887-3300
Under the direction of second-generation vintner John Jordan, the estate has evolved into a working ranch with chickens for eggs, cattle for beef, bees for honey, olive oil, and a floral garden.
There are 100 acres of grapevines, 18 acres of olive trees, gardens, lakes, and pastures. Still, more than three-quarters of the property is natural habitat, with craggy oak trees surrounding the neat rows of vineyards, geese and herons swimming in the lakes, and rabbits and deer roaming the hills.
Explore this unique space on the Estate Tour & Tasting. This three-hour excursion, by foot and luxury vehicle, ends up at the wine tasting pavilion atop a knoll at 650-feet-elevation with 360-degree views, where guests will enjoy wines paired with an array of delicacies prepared by the estate chef. The cost is $125 per guest, by appointment only.
1474 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-5250
Designed with hand-crafted artistry, the Inn has the allure of a Mediterranean villa, enticing guests along walkways that meander from courtyard to terrace, from patio to spa to create the ultimate escape.
A favorite among bon vivants, the Kenwood Inn and Spa is routinely listed as one of the best spas in the United States.
10400 Sonoma Highway 12, Kenwood, 707-833-1293
Take a historic romantic inn, add a Michelin-starred restaurant featuring inventive New California cuisine made with the finest local ingredients, mix with gracious service and luxurious accommodations, and you have the Madrona Manor Wine Country Inn & Restaurant.
Nestled in the hills above the Dry Creek Valley, Madrona Manor was named one of the top 10 hotels in the continental US and Canada by Travel+Leisure. This lovely 1881 Victorian mansion is surrounded by eight acres of wooded and landscaped grounds. Relax in front of the fireplace in winter, or splash in the pool in summer.
Elegant, candle-light dinners are served Wednesdays through Sundays in five dining rooms. An award-winning wine list highlights both exceptional local vintners and global sources.
1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg, 707-433-4231
Located among 92 acres of lush vineyards, the intimate, four-diamond Vintners Inn offers its guests the chance to sample a magnificent wine country lifestyle in a luxurious setting. Stroll beautifully landscaped grounds with courtyards and fountains, or savor a quiet retreat in your deluxe guest room.
Enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine upon arrival, and either visit the nearby spa for relaxing treatments, or have a massage therapist come to your room.
And just steps away is Sonoma County's legendary John Ash & Co. restaurant, which first introduced Northern California Wine Country to the concept of cooking seasonally with fresh, local foods and produce, pairing these exceptional recipes with wines from the region.
4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa, 800-421-2584