A sojourn in California wine country is virtually guaranteed to result in a satisfying of the palette, but the right place to stay is important, too. With its varying array of landscapes, Sonoma County offers lodgings that range from luxury resorts to quaint B&Bs, all framed by spectacular surroundings. Consider these, listed roughly from north to south.
Seventy miles north of San Francisco, Healdsburg is home to Madrona Manor, which is a historic 1881 Victorian mansion modernized with plush suites, Michelin-starred dinners, and extravagant service—all befitting its setting on eight acres of English gardens and wooded hillside. Take your gourmet buffet breakfast in the estate parlor, if you can bear to leave your room outfitted with antiques, pillow-top mattresses, and feather-soft linens.
If a quaint, historic B&B or private bungalow is more your style, you’ll find joy amid the vineyards outside Healdsburg at spots like the Raford Inn, an 1880 Victorian plantation where breakfast brings stuffed French toast soufflé, and evenings glide in with complimentary wine tastings from neighboring wineries.
The spa treatments at Forestville’s Farmhouse Inn use herbs and heirloom cider apples grown right at the resort.
A dozen or so miles to the south, Forestville’s Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant offers a ravishing mix of gorgeous guest rooms and a Michelin-starred restaurant fed by farm-fresh food. Its seasonally inspired spa uses massage oils enriched by herbs and even heirloom apples grown right at the inn.
Or perhaps the ocean is calling, in which case Bodega Bay Lodge beckons as the only AAA Four Diamond hotel on the Sonoma Coast. The seaside perch, about 33 miles southwest of Forestville, offers a luxury escape, in snug rooms with fireplaces, down comforters, and private balconies for stargazing. But plan time to dine too, at the resort’s Drakes Sonoma Coast Cuisine (the seafood on the menu comes from the same ocean glittering outside the windows). Or indulge in a sea-inspired spa treatment like the massage using warm tiger-clam seashells.
About 23 miles inland, at Santa Rosa’s Vintners Inn, a 78-room hotel nestled amidst 92 acres of Sonoma farmland, guests can luxuriate in spa treatments and ramble along two miles of trails. And a short drive further east, at the Landmark Vineyards Cottage in Kenwood, there are two private cottages built on the edge of the vines to choose from, and happily they both overlook an award-winning winery estate in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains.
Another notable retreat less than 10 miles down the road is the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, with its 40,000-square-foot spa built atop a natural underground hot spring.