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Stay at Farmhouse Inn in Russian River Valley

 It’s an hour-long, vineyard-view drive from our Valley of the Moon home to Farmhouse Inn in the Russian River Valley, and one that completely transported us into relaxing bliss on our wedding anniversary. Greeted at Farmhouse as if we were family, we were shown to our 700-square foot, second-story Luxury Barn Room, secluded in a grove of trees.  

The poetically appointed, white-walled suite with soaring ceilings, and a marble bath with a window-surrounded tub-for-two, were the ultimate in simplistic elegance. The perfectly rolled, plush white towels were like a still life painting sitting in front of a picture window. The rooms at Farmhouse are by Healdsburg’s Myra Hoefer Design, and the neutral, natural fabrics, and furniture with clean lines complement the natural surroundings. So chic and carefree.

We are huge fireplace fans so having a roomy deck with comfy chairs and a two-sided gas fireplace that also can be enjoyed indoors from the four-poster bed was heavenly.We basked in the romantic glow under the stars, and then slipped inside with the fire still blazing.

A note from the owners, brother and sister team Catherine and Joe Bartolomei reads, “We hope to surprise and delight you with our attention to detail and genuine desire to carefully attend to your every need.” You know they are sincere when you see the gracious tray of wine and gourmet goodies and the cozy spa robes. The surprise comes when we return to our room after dinner to find homemade cookies and a friendly note, “For sweet dreams just add milk.  It’s in the fridge.”

The property dates back to 1873, and was originally used to grow hops.  Since then it has been a horse ranch, a campground, a boarding house, a bathhouse and a bed and breakfast.  The Bartolomei’s bought it in 2001 and have transformed it into the treasure that Travel and Leisure has ranked the fourth best inn in America.

Guests are treated to a three-course complimentary breakfast at the Farmhouse Michelin-stared restaurant.  After sleeping in and a few laps in the garden-surrounded pool, we strolled across the beautifully planted grounds to the homey dining room.  The menu changes to meet what’s farm-to-table fresh and we had bienenstich with pluots and golden raspberries, white gazpacho, and eggs benedict with house made English muffins and eggs from the chicken coop out back.  Jim declared it, “The most fantastic breakfast I’ve ever had in my life.”

The Farmhouse has just undergone a renovation, and there are now more of the very popular barn-style rooms with indoor/outdoor fireplaces. The spa has been made more opulent as well. “The renovation has brought the quality of the facility up to the quality of the overall experience at Farmhouse.  Now the spa, the grounds, and the new rooms really bring our guests a property that’s in line with the feel of our concierge-themed service,” Catherine Bartolomei said.

We were at Farmhouse for less than 24 hours, but the experience was so wonderful we felt we’d been on a true vacation, and now know of a gorgeous escape where everyone is made to feel extra special.  We absolutely can’t wait to return.

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