There are a number of small hotels, inns and B&Bs to chose from when planning a visit to Sonoma, home of some of the finest wine producers in the world (check out the Top 10 Sonoma County Wineries to Visit). With perks like cookies and milk at turndown, evening port by the fire, and an exclusive wine bar stocked with local gems, these top selections promise to deliver an unforgettable experience in this premier wine and food destination.
Farmhouse Inn Forestville. Take a family-owned B&B in the heart of the Russian River Valley and pair it with impeccable service (6 concierges for 18 guest rooms) and a world-class restaurant, and you have one of the most special places in Sonoma. The Farmhouse Inn isn’t merely an experience; it’s a wine country lifestyle. The super luxe Barn rooms are regularly used for Pottery Barn photo shoots. Visit the “Sonoma Bath Bar” near reception and stock up on complimentary seasonal scrubs, salts, milk bath and handmade olive oil bar soaps to enjoy in your grand soaking tub (don’t miss the Sumbody Wholesum Bath Milk, a sweet and creamy mix of coconut milk, buttermilk, goat milk, cream and yogurt, that smells like warm sugar cookies). The 3-course farm-to-table breakfast, featuring treats like warm Blackberry Scones, perfectly-cooked eggs from the family’s nearby ranch, mascarpone stuffed French toast, and artisanal coffee from local roaster Taylor Maid Farms, will be one of the highlights of your visit. Check out one of the “Farmhouse Expeditions,” like local food foraging, peach basil jam making, or morning egg collecting. Share wine tasting stories with other guests around the outdoor fire pit while making s’mores with housemade marshmallows. Few things are as sweet as enjoying a honey and ginger massage or luxuriating in your steam shower before descending a flight of stairs to a Michelin starred restaurant. Feast on salt roasted pear and parmesan cappelletti with shaved Burgundy truffles. Then retire to your room for warm cookies and milk in front of the wood burning fireplace. The sweet surprise you receive in the mail around the holidays every December will have you booking your next trip.
Gaige House Glenn Ellen. Nestled near Calabaza Creek in the tiny town of Glen Ellen, Gaige House blends country charm with modern Asian elements. The serene “Zen Suites” – which feature enclosed atriums and massive granite soaking tubs – will transport you to the Japanese countryside. The main house hosts guests every morning for a hearty farmstyle breakfast of favorites like fluffy blueberry pancakes and warm artichoke quiche. A daily wine and cheese reception and the sugary scent of fresh-baked cookies will lure you back to the main house every afternoon. After some nearby wine tasting, stop by the fig cafe (sister restaurant of the girl and the fig in the Sonoma town square) for the roasted squash pizza with bacon and sage. An indulgent hot stone massage in your suite, followed by a glass of port near the fire in the club room is a perfect end to the day. Be sure to take home a copy of The Kitchen at Four Sisters Inns cookbook and invite your friends over for a wine country brunch featuring French Bread Custard.
Kenwood Inn and Spa Kenwood. An ivy-covered Mediterranean style villa, Kenwood Inn and Spa is a little slice of Tuscany in Sonoma’s Valley of the Moon. This adult-only retreat features lavish rooms with fireplaces, featherbeds and top-quality Italian linens, as well as an award-winning spa offering vinotherapy treatments. The signature breakfast showcases products from Sonoma’s best farmers and ranchers, accented by produce and herbs grown in the on-site garden. Chocolate lovers can stop by the nearby chocolate tasting room at family-run Wine Country Chocolates to sample rich truffles and purchase other treats like chocolate dipped figs. Don’t miss Kenwood Inn’s private wine bar (which received an Award of Unique Distinction from Wine Enthusiast) where you can try rare local wines and nibble on house-marinated olives, Marcona almonds and wood-fired pizza Marghertia. Pamper yourself with the “Sweet Surrender” in-room service, and let your cares melt away in a hot bath amid flickering candles, the calming scent of lavender, and a glass of crisp Prosecco.
– Taste of Adventure