Glen Ellen Inn is Sonoma County Wedding Hideaway
Hiding away. It can make the perfect Sonoma County honeymoon, when the happy couple wants to focus on nothing but each other, and to keep the world at bay.
That can be hard to do at a large resort, or even a smaller hotel, though. Just by virtue of a property’s “thereness,” a hotel can feel like it’s very much part of the everyday world.
Yet Sonoma Wine Country abounds with private retreats that are not only intimate, they’re nearly unknown. Whether it’s a guest home tucked away in a vineyard, or a boutique bed and breakfast, a “hiding honeymoon” is easy to achieve in Sonoma County.
One favorite destination is so secret, it’s actually called that — as the “Secret Cottages” at Glen Ellen Inn Oyster & Martini Bar. Set behind the restaurant along Calabasas Creek, there are seven little bungalows, all stand-alone with private entrances and spacious with most offering separate bedroom, living room and oversize bath areas.
The cottages come with a bit of humor in their history, and a “secret” story of their own. When husband-and-wife team Karen and Chris Bertrand took over the Glen Ellen Inn in 1993, the property boasted only a restaurant, with just eight tables for oysters and beers. There were no rooms, literally, at this “inn.”
But customers kept calling and asking for rooms, so it wasn’t long before the Bertrands built two cottages. Over the years, they added on, to what now includes several dining rooms and a full bar specializing in martinis for the restaurant, plus an expansive garden, and the little cluster of cottages.
The romantic mood is palpable, with some bungalows boasting cozy porches or views of the creek. All have Jacuzzi tubs, separate showers, gas fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, and amenities like in-room coffee and ProNature organic toiletries.
It’s no rustic retreat, either, with the modern cottages fitted with heating and air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and daily housekeeping. Finishes and furniture are marble, tile, sleek wood, billowy drapes over French doors, plush beds, and chaises. A complimentary fruit and pastry basket makes an extra nice welcome.
When the happy couple is finally ready to embrace the world again, the restaurant awaits nearby. Chef Christian Bertrand puts together pretty Mediterranean dishes, in shareable plates like baked brie smothered in peach salsa and basil with crostini, microgreens, and spicy nuts; and Wine Country cioppino stocked with seafood, sausage, chicken, and roasted tomatoes in sherry broth.
Oysters are a must, like the Wicked Awesome Oyster Trio of one raw and splashed with Bloody Mary mignonette, one baked with Meyer Lemon garlic butter, and one fried and doused in Tabasco butter.
Even if the couple never makes it to the restaurant, there’s always this: room service.
Details: Glen Ellen Inn, 13670 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen
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