Magazine

Go Modern or Traditional in Wine Country Inns in Sonoma County, California

  • Written by Birgitt Vaughan



Found in a variety of settings from urban to rural, amid vineyards or tucked along the scenic coastline, Sonoma Wine Country inns offer a rich variety of distinctive options for vacation and business travelers.

Many Sonoma County inns are cute, quaint, and traditional, whether it's rustic comfort or Victorian elegance; others offer sleek contemporary elegance. Here's a quick overview of just some of the possibilities.

With a Modern Touch Masterfully blending the past with the present, these Wine Country inns offer contemporary ambiance and amenities set within Sonoma County's timeless natural beauty.

Alexander Inn, downtown Cloverdale: Originally built in 1879, the Victorian-style building and grounds of this modern luxury bed and breakfast inn have been restored and updated to a modern farmhouse design. The décor of the public areas and the four luxurious guestrooms reflect a contemporary take on a classic style. Located within walking distance of the town of Cloverdale's popular bars, restaurants, galleries, and shops, the inn includes a dog-friendly backyard cottage, as well as a vegetable and herb garden, flowers, a spacious yard, and a Tesla charging unit for electric vehicles.

Gaige House, A Four Sisters Inn, Glen Ellen: Built as a private home in the late 1800s, Gaige House offers an elegant blend of vintage and contemporary styles with a modern Asian flair. Its 23 thoughtfully appointed guestrooms include eight Zen suites that feature granite soaking tubs and private Japanese-style bamboo gardens that are perfect for in-suite spa treatments. Nestled along the Calabaza Creek, the secluded property includes an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, a hammock shaded by ancient oaks, a miniature pagoda in a rock garden, a gurgling fountain, and other delightful garden accents. Each morning features a bountiful breakfast buffet; freshly baked cookies are available in the afternoon; and each evening includes a hosted wine and cheese reception.

Olea Hotel, Glen Ellen: Surrounded by oak and olive trees on a hillside in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country, this 15-room boutique hotel offers unique amenities, modern guest rooms, and an exceptional breakfast experience, in an intimate and tranquil environment. The organic, locally sourced breakfast includes a two-course plated breakfast of the day, along with a delightful buffet. Hotel amenities include an outdoor hot tub, Wi-Fi access, and a daily newspaper and computer access in the lobby. There's a free weekend wine tasting featuring a local winery, and free local wine (red or white) is available daily in the lobby.

Steeped in History For a more historical setting, several Sonoma Wine Country inns offer a delightful variety of styles and locations.

Case Ranch Inn, Forestville: Stay in this 19th-century ranch house in the Russian River Valley, and wake up to an organic breakfast. Visit the property's miniature horses and perhaps feed them an apple from a nearby tree. With two guest rooms in the main house (which includes central air conditioning throughout) and a luxury garden cottage, this “green” bed and breakfast inn uses solar to produce 40 percent of its power, and offers personalized service and warm Wine Country hospitality.

CazSonoma Inn, Cazadero: Tucked away in the serenity of a woodland canyon, this truly sequestered bad and breakfast inn offers comfortable lodging and fine cuisine nightly. The Inn's main building—the small, peaceful, and romantic Millpond Cottages—offers four uniquely appointed guestrooms, and two additional guest cottages are nestled among the trees. The music of nearby waterfalls and creeks create a relaxing ambiance.

Inn at Occidental, Occidental: Nestled under towering redwoods, this bed and breakfast inn specializes in luxurious rooms with whimsical touches. Folk art and family heirlooms are displayed through the common areas, while antiques, replicas, and original artwork enhance the ambiance of every guestroom. The inn offers 16 guest rooms (several are pet-friendly), three suites, and a 2,200-square-foot two-bedroom cottage with full kitchen. A full gourmet breakfast and an evening wine and cheese tasting is included.

Kelley & Young Wine Garden Inn, Cloverdale: Enjoy a historic atmosphere with modern amenities in a lovingly preserved Queen Anne Victorian, built in 1901. Choose from seven uniquely different guest rooms, which includes four tower suites with fireplaces. Sit on the swing on the 40-foot-long veranda, or explore the beautiful gardens, with a demonstration vineyard, Mediterranean courtyard, gazebo, pavilion with fire pit, Koi ponds, and flower and vegetable gardens.

Raford Inn, Healdsburg: Located on four acres in a quiet residential area amid the Russian River Valley vineyards, this beautiful Queen Anne Victorian mansion was built in 1880. The property includes luscious gardens, a working estate vineyard, and towering palm trees that are home to some of the region's most exotic birds. Named after medicinal herbs with healing properties (Angelica, Sage, Blueberry, Strawberry, and Lavender), the five rooms are decorated with period antiques to complement their surroundings. Some have fireplaces and others offer private patios.

Sonoma Orchid Inn, Guerneville: This fully restored and exquisitely furnished 1906 farmhouse in the Russian River Valley offers all the modern conveniences (Wi-Fi, hot tub, fireplaces, and more). The main house includes six guest rooms on three levels, and the nearby cottage offers three spacious rooms, each with a private entrance. Each morning enjoy a gourmet breakfast with eggs from the inn's own organically fed chickens, fruits and vegetables from the organic garden, and seasonally fresh local ingredients. There's also 24-hour coffee and tea service, and afternoon baked treats.

Village Inn & Restaurant, Monte Rio: Built as a private summer vacation home in 1906, this small inn served as the backdrop for several scenes in the Hollywood film Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Many of the 11 unique guest rooms overlook the Russian River, while the others offer peaceful garden views. The full bar serves hand-crafted cocktails, and the onsite restaurant features classic American cuisine using fresh local ingredients, like Dungeness crab croquettes or tender duck breast in Cabernet plum sauce over rice pilaf.

In a Class By Itself

Some places just defy tidy categories. Neither traditional nor contemporary, this inn offers deliberately rustic serenity in a truly spectacular coastal setting.

River's End Restaurant & Inn, Jenner: Enjoy incredible vistas, spectacular sunsets, and cabins designed for couples looking to rejuvenate (no television, no telephone, no data ports). Built in 1927 as a restaurant and inn for loggers and fishermen, this property occupies a one-of-a-kind location where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. The only sounds are the river and the ocean. All the cabins offer private balconies with stunning views of the romantic Sonoma Coast, and most include a gas fireplace. Wonderful views are also available in the restaurant's small and intimate dining room, where an eclectic menu blends international influences with fresh seasonal ingredients.

Of course, this is just a sampling of Sonoma County's varied and distinctive Wine Country Inns. For even more options, check the complete directory of Sonoma County Inns. # # #

Find your passion in Sonoma County, located only 30 miles/50 kilometers north of San Francisco and featuring more than 400 wineries, 100-plus organic farms, and 50 miles/80 kilometers of stunning Pacific Ocean coastline.

For a free visitors guide or information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and dining in Sonoma County, visit www.sonomacounty.com or call +1-707-522-5800.

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