Not sure where to stay while you are in Sonoma County? Our top 10 list includes all the best luxury hotels and resorts – the places locals trust to send their friends and family.
Spanning over one million acres, Sonoma County is a vast wine growing region that offers plenty of options to make for the ultimate wine country getaway. Even if you planned on staying for 5 days, there’s no way you could possibly tour through all the popular growing areas. With a population of 500,000+ you can imagine how many things there are do, see and experience. From wine tasting to hiking mountain peaks, biking in Alexander Valley, fishing, coastal escapes and fine eateries, there is something for everyone who lives in or visits Sonoma County. If you are visiting however, you will need a place to rest your weary head after all your activity. While there are options for every price, range and plenty of vacation homes available, I’ve put together a list of some of our favorites. Those chosen were selected for their amenities, impeccable service and proximity to Sonoma’s wineries, town squares or national parks. My local friends and family also had an influence on our choices (because locals know better than anyone else). Enjoy your weekend getaway as much as we had fun staying at all these properties.
10. Kenwood Inn & Spa is one of my favorite places to stay in the Sonoma Valley. A grand renovation is currently underway at the Kenwood Spa and the Spa will reopen on September 1, 2019. I can’t even imagine how glorious the space will be – it was already gorgeous – before the remodel! Located in the dreamy Valley of the Moon, Kenwood Inn & Spa is surrounded by vineyards, old-growth oaks and apple orchards. The hotel is in the prestigious Kenwood area where some of my favorite wineries and restaurants are close by, making this the ideal crash pad. There is a lot to do in the area like hiking, biking and shopping. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you could take a day trip to the beautiful California Sonoma coast (only 40 minutes away). When you return to your posh (and spacious) room, you will relax in the lap of luxury and elegant style. After your rest, a glass of local wine at the in-house wine bar may be in order! For a classic room with a view and perfect service, stay at Kenwood Inn. If you are planning to bring your four-legged family members, you are in luck – the Kenwood Inn is pet friendly!
9. The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa is the perfect choice if you are looking for something affordable, yet loaded with charm and extra perks. Located within walking distance to tasting rooms, shops and restaurants on the Sonoma Plaza, the Lodge is in an ideal location. If you don’t like to walk, they have a free shuttle and bicycles at your disposal. I cannot tell you how convenient both options are – especially after a day of wine tasting or activities. In the morning, you can join in on the nature walk around town. These walks are quite interesting and help get you familiar with the neighborhood.
The pool and spa are remarkably awesome and full of charm. I love to sip on the cold Sangria out by the pool - which has very comfy cushions on the lounge chairs. Its so refreshing to have a decent size pool at your fingertips during triple digit summers or when you have the kiddos along. After your swim, you can sink into your comfortable room, decorated in a contemporary fashion with casual sophistication. The rustic-chic overall feel of the Lodge are right on point and will offer you everything you need for a delightful mini-getaway to wine country. Pet friendly.
8. With its French charm and welcoming vibe, Hotel Les Mars immediately captured my heart. With just 16 guestrooms, Les Mars is quaint and small, but they have big comfort and hospitality. Taking their bedding very seriously, the beds are fitted with Versai linens, custom duvets, pillows and mattresses (which are are available for purchase). Its obvious that your sleep will be dreamy and restful. The rooms themselves are Parisian inspired and tastefully appointed, with every attention to detail. Of course, there is a daily cheese and wine reception and a complimentary French breakfast. You will delight in Les Mars’ close proximity to the Healdsburg square - shops, tasting rooms and restaurants are only a block away. If you want to take a day trip, you can venture into the lush Russian River Valley, the redwood forests and the nearby state parks. You will fall in love with Les Mars and want to return as soon as you can.
7. Vintners Inn (Santa Rosa) is celebrating its 35th anniversary and offering $35 off, dinner for two, at the delightful onsite restaurant – John Ash & Co. It’s not an easy feat to have been around and so well loved for 35 years! Over the years, much has evolved on this 92-acre, lush and sprawling estate. To start, the gardens and vineyards are well established and a joy to walk through. Many people come solely to stroll along in one of nature’s finest oasis – the gardens at Vintner’s Inn. The famed bocce courts are a popular place to host a friendly game and to laugh and bond with friends and family. With ample places to sit and enjoy a glass of wine, the fun never seems to end. Vintner’s Inn also boast the coveted Environmentalist Level in the California Green Lodging Program. This ensures that every aspect of running a hotel is environmentally sustainable. Bonus! The rooms are spacious, well appointed and decorated in the finest of wine country understated elegance. I’d go for the Vineyard View Fireplace King (It has vaulted ceilings). Try one of their wine country getaway packages or their spa packages as you’ll be happier than a clam. Home? Where is that? I doubt that you will be thinking about anything but rest and relaxation – long after you leave.
6. MacArthur Place Inn & Spa completed a full renovation in July 2019. To say the very least, its extraordinary. I love staying at a hotel that has just been renovated because its like anything new – sensible, fresh, clean and ready for me to make it my own. Make it your own you will – the MacArthur Place now has two popular restaurants- giving you plenty of reasons not to leave the property other than for wine tastings. The rooms have all the expected amenities, but with style and an outdoor shower (there is an indoor one too, if that’s not your thing). Should you decide to venture out into Sonoma, the Sonoma Plaza is just two blocks away. Another great addition is MacArthur Place has electric bicycles for their guests – how cool! Now you can buzz around town and not worry about finding a parking space. The service is exemplary and meets the best standards for customer-centered service - meaning, they dote on you from head to foot. Sink into the ultra-comfort zone at MacArthur Place Inn & Spa and let it become your new favorite place in Sonoma to stay. Pet friendly.
5. Location. Location. Location. Hotel Healdsburg is located on the storied Healdsburg Square and allows for easy access to adorable shops, delicious farm-to-table restaurants and world-class tasting rooms. The décor is modern, sleek and minimalist. The standard rooms aren’t huge, but they have everything you will need for a good night’s sleep and luscious Freté bathrobes! Let’s face it, you won’t be hanging out in the room much anyway, so who cares if the square footage is on the smaller footprint. Right? Recently remodeled, the rooms sparkle and if you go for a suite, you will have 700+ square feet to spread out in. Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen is connected to the hotel and its easy to get take out or have it delivered to your room. The Hotel Healdsburg Spa offers the latest in treatments with seasoned and highly trained personnel. When you feel like taking a leisurely spin around town, escape on the trendy public bicycles. Pet friendly.
4. Farmhouse Inn (Forestville) has more than just all the regular things that hotels have. Farmhouse Inn carries within its compound the spirit of Sonoma. With five generations of family involved in the project, no one else can even compare to the way that the activities, service and comfort dial in to quintessential Sonoma hospitality. Having said that, Farmhouse Inn has all the things that most hotels have – just super elevated. The rooms come with light and airy linens, local Sonoma bath products, oversized tubs with jets and beautiful fireplaces. The feel is ultra-luxurious meets wine country chillax- right up my alley! The service is top notch and staff will all address you by name and make you feel like you are at home. As if that is not enough, there is a top-rated spa on site, which offers a wide range of treatments sure to renew you body and spirit. Tucked away, off River Road, you will need transportation if you want to go shopping or venture out to the nearby wineries and parks. However, when I go to Farmhouse Inn, I never want to leave – it’s perfect in every way imaginable.
3. H2 Hotel (Healdsburg) doesn’t just have a ”green roof.” From linens to lighting the entire hotel is LEED NC 2.2 Gold Green Certified. Everything, I mean everything at H2 is sustainable and even their cleaning practices are conscientious of the environment. It’s so refreshing to stay at a hotel that cares about their carbon footprint! Another nice touch is that the décor at H2 reminds me of an art exhibit. There are beautiful displays of creativity to discover in every nook and cranny. As you zone in on the guest rooms and suites, you will quickly see that the amenities are purposeful and well appointed. Tasting rooms, restaurants and specialty boutiques are all within walking distance from H2. Pet friendly.
2. Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn has graced Sonoma for decades and has always remained one of the best places to stay or spa. The compound is clean and full of amenities. Located in an odd area of Sonoma, it’s close to all the things you will want to do while you are in town. Over time, the neighborhood around the Mission Inn has grown and expanded making it more residential than anything else. You will want to have access to transportation if you stay here. That is, IF you ever leave! The resort includes tons on-site activities, two restaurants, a bar, a 40,000 square foot spa and access to the world-renowned Sonoma Golf Club. You can pick from a range of guest rooms or suites. The rooms have everything you could imagine and then some, most with in-room fireplaces. Complimentary wine and cheese receptions and daily morning walks are always a nice touch! DO yourself a favor and stay at the iconic Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and you will not be disappointed! Pet friendly.
1. Gaige House & Ryokan is nestled in the sleepy village of Glen Ellen, near the heart of the Sonoma Valley. With not so much as even a gas station, Glen Ellen is a quiet (yet centrally located) place to stay. On the upside, there are several excellent restaurants, a high-end grocery store and a French bakery in town to satisfy your grumbling belly. You’ll definitely want to grab lunch at Café Citti- yummy Italian dishes! The Hotel is sleek, clean and has a Zen-like quality. I have had many of my guests stay at the Gaige House, as the rooms are comfortable, the pool is relaxing, the Spa is divine. The service, rightly so, is out of this world. The Gaige House may be small, but it delivers the same level of luxury and hospitality that others strive for. Turns out the Condé Nast Traveller has the same opinion as the Gaige House has been listed (on their Gold list) as one of the top hotels in the world.
As a nice bonus, the Gaige House room rates include breakfast and they have a wine and cheese reception in the lobby, daily. With only 23 rooms, you had better make your booking well in advance as rooms go quick! The Gaige House is very popular! Staying at the Gaige House may be on the higher end of your budget, but believe me, it’s totally worth every penny. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. For the ambitious wine taster or active person, the Gaige House will provide a luxurious, yet down to earth, place to hang your hat while you are in Sonoma. There is one pet-friendly room on site.