8 Earth (Day)-Friendly Hotels in Sonoma County
In 2023, Earth Day falls on April 22, and this year's theme is "Invest In Our Planet." At Sonoma County Tourism, one of the ways we invest in our planet is championing local businesses that honor the three Ps of sustainability: People, Planet, and Profits.
The following Sonoma County hotels are not only lovely and comfortable, but also serve as good stewards of their surroundings, foster positive connections with both visitors and locals, and share the fruits of their success by sourcing materials, products and more from other local businesses. Celebrate Earth Day in style with a stay at one (or more) of these eco-friendly Sonoma County hotels!
The Astro Motel, Santa Rosa
Built in 1963 in the heyday of the American motor lodge, The Astro has been remodeled to a 34-room urban motel, with original mid-century modern furnishings, reclaimed materials, and an edible garden. Set across the street from the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens in downtown Santa Rosa, it's a haven for bike enthusiasts, with in-house bike mechanics and Shinola Bikes on site for rental.
In October 2017, The Astro was all set to open for business when the Tubbs Fire broke out, inspiring them to instead serve as a refuge for locals and visitors. This kind gesture, coupled with their ongoing support of local artists, artisans, and producers, has earned them a beloved place in our community.
Continental breakfast is served each day, and around the corner, partner restaurant The Spinster Sisters creates delicious New American cuisine made with ingredients sourced from throughout Sonoma County.
AutoCamp Russian River, Guerneville
Tucked into a grove of 100-year-old redwood trees along the Bohemian Highway, just a stone's throw from the Russian River, this high-end camping site is home to 24 classic Airstream trailers and several canvas tents, all lavishly equipped. Founders Ryan Miller and Neil Dipaola (who own five other AutoCamps) are designers and environmentalists who are inspired by the Tiny House Movement, and strive to use recycled and compostable materials as much possible. Rather than assembling AutoCamp's central clubhouse, spa, and other buildings on-site, they had them pre-fabricated at a factory that minimizes waste and lowers CO2 greenhouse gases.
Committed to helping people better connect with nature, AutoCamp's landscaping features native California species like redwood trees and red-bark manzanita, and wildlife use the property as a common cut-through. The campsite's goal is to promote environmentalism by ensuring that you have an amazing experience, then leave more mindful of your footprint on Earth.
Dawn Ranch Resort, Guerneville
The rare Dawn Redwood tree was thought to have been extinct for more than 15 million years, until the 1940s, when it was rediscovered in remote parts of China. A handful of saplings were then reintroduced to North America, including the two now-mature trees found on the grounds of the century-old Dawn Ranch Resort.
Reopened in Fall 2021 after extensive renovations, the individual cottages here blend pretty darn harmoniously into 15 acres of redwoods, bamboo, vintage apple orchards, and meadows on the banks of the Russian River.
At this dog-friendly resort — an area favorite for weddings and family reunions — you can cool off on hot days with private river access and a pool. When you get hungry, hit their Agriculture Public House, a farm-to-table restaurant that uses organic produce from their own kitchen garden. Or just chill in the bar, where the extensive list of local offerings includes Russian River Valley AVA wines.
Farmhouse Inn, Forestville
Going green doesn't have to mean compromising luxury: Case in point, this Four-Diamond country inn set on 10 wooded acres in the Russian River Valley. Originally built in 1876 as a mere farmhouse, the Farmhouse Inn is now a stunning 25-room property with a Michelin-starred farm-to-table restaurant, a full-service spa, and a firm commitment to sustainability.
The Farmhouse Inn is owned by siblings Catherine and Joe Bartolomei, 5th-generation members of a Sonoma County winemaking family who source most of the property's seasonal produce, herbs, flowers and livestock from their own gardens and farmland.
Property-wide, you'll find low-flow restroom fixtures, energy-efficient lighting, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, biodegradable "to go" containers, and reusable dispensers of organic bath products. The inn has its own still-and-sparkling water filtration system; kitchen waste feeds its flock of 80 egg-laying hens; and most of their coffee, tea, wine, beer, and in-room snacks are locally sourced. You'll make such a light footprint staying here, you may just want to make it a way of life.
Flamingo Resort, Santa Rosa
Originally built in 1957, the 170-room, 10-acre Flamingo Resort more recently underwent a $20 million renovation to preserve its mid-century modern vibe with an eco-friendly twist. Certified by the California Green Lodging Program, the updated version of the Flamingo includes reclaimed building materials, low-flow fixtures, hydration stations, refillable toiletry dispensers, and energy-efficient lighting.
The two on-site bar/restaurants, Lazeaway Club and Wild Bird, serve Cal-Pacific comfort fare with locally sourced organic ingredients and both vegetarian and vegan options. Star attractions include the heated on-site pool and use of the adjacent fitness center/spa, which offers wellness programming like yoga, meditation, and sound-bath healing. Take a big deep breath, and enjoy your stay.
Mine + Farm, Guerneville
Updated from a 1906 farmhouse that previously served as the Sonoma Orchid Inn, Mine + Farm is set on 2.5 redwood-forested acres not far from downtown Guerneville. It's a 15-minute walk to Korbel Cellars, and a five-minute stroll to the Russian River.
This adult-focused bed and breakfast offers nine guest rooms (some dog-friendly) with private bathrooms, and the local, organic breakfast includes house-made juices. On-site amenities include an outdoor hot tub, 24-hour access to a kitchen, and a market selling locally crafted wares.
Mine + Farm's husband-and-wife owners, Bryce Skolfield and Suzanne Szostak, enjoy connecting guests with local businesses, including practitioners of yoga and massage. Their responsible sourcing of materials in the property's design helps make a low impact on these pristine surroundings, and electricity here is powered by large solar arrays.
Sea Ranch Lodge, Sea Ranch
Set on 53 acres of spectacular Pacific Ocean coastline in the northern reaches of Sonoma County, the Sea Ranch Lodge serves as the community hub for the Sea Ranch community, which consists of 2,200 private homes clustered at intervals across 10 miles of Pacific coastal shelf; each cluster is marked by cypress hedgerows, undeveloped lots, sprawling meadows, rolling hills, redwood and Douglas fir forests, nature trails, and ocean views.
Designed in 1964 to exist in harmony with its natural surroundings, The Sea Ranch Lodge reopened in Fall 2021 after a multi-year, multi-million-dollar revitalization project that sustainably spruced its restaurant, solarium, bar, lounge, café, general store, and post office. In pursuit of a fully self-sustaining system, they turn their food scraps and tree-trimming wood chips into compost, employ a herd of sheep to control invasive plants, and recycle their restaurant's used cooking oil into biodiesel.
Vintners Resort, Santa Rosa
This intimate, four-diamond, 78-room luxury resort was recently upgraded to the California Green Lodging Program's Environmentalist Level, its highest certification, for its superior efforts at minimizing waste, recycling and reusing resources, energy efficiency, land conservation, safely managing hazardous materials, and adhering to environmentally and socially sensitive purchasing policies. Vintners Resort is the only hotel in Santa Rosa to have achieved this honor.
The lushly landscaped yet sustainably managed grounds of this 92-acre property rim courtyards and fountains, and a working vineyard with jogging/walking paths unfurls beside the cozy guest rooms. Treatments at the Vi La Vita Spa feature organic products, and John Ash & Co., which was the first Sonoma County restaurant to introduce the concept of cooking seasonally with fresh, local foods and produce, remains a favorite with area winemakers.
Happy Earth Day from Sonoma County, everyone!