Let’s face it—there’s always room for improvement when it comes to romance. Our intentions are good, but it’s the execution that’s lacking. Well, here’s a little nudge to get you moving in the right direction—a roundup of some of the most romantic hotels, B&Bs, spas, and restaurants in Sonoma County. These are all sure things; all you have to do is show up and be sweet. So sit down in front of your iPad with a cup of coffee and spend a few minutes armchair traveling among the websites listed below. You’ll be amazed how much you never knew about Sonoma’s Wine Country.
Beltane Ranch, Glen Ellen
Surrounded by vineyards at the foot of the Mayacamas Mountains, this century-old buttercup-colored clapboard farmhouse/bed-and-breakfast has a huge wraparound double-decker porch equipped with hammocks and a swing. Blissfully calm and beautiful, the whole place makes you feel as though you should be wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sipping a mint julep.
Hope-Merrill House, Geyserville
At this beautifully restored two-story 1870 Eastlake Stick you’ll want the Peacock Room: Images of gold, rose, and gray-blue peacocks strut around a ceiling border, a gas fireplace dominates one wall, and French doors open into a bathroom with an immense marble-topped two-person whirlpool tub. A hearty breakfast awaits those who can leave the sheets.
The Inn at Occidental
Covered porches, wainscoted hallways, antique wicker furniture, walled-in English gardens, sitting parlor, fluffy down comforters, sitting areas, fireplaces, spa tubs for two, private decks, heirlooms, and a full gourmet breakfast. Yes, you’ll score major points with your better half at this inn.
Sarah’s Forestville Kitchen, Forestville
Foodies will think they have died and gone to heaven when they discover this little gem. Chef Gregory Hallihan’s Peruvian grilled with a beer and citrus marinade is so good even the locals fill the place night after night. It’s open for breakfast and lunch too (Wed-Sun).
Avalon Inn, Sebastopol
Like to role play? This luxury Tudor-style B&B conjures up images of a magical forest reminiscent of the Knights of the Round Table. Each room or suite comes with separate entrance, gas fireplace, king-size bed, a large private bath, CD player, and local handmade soaps. French Babies in the morning, a soak in the outdoor hot tub at night.
Vine Hill Inn, Sebastopol
The rolling vineyards will remind you of Tuscany at this beautifully restored 1897 Victorian farmhouse. Get cozy with your lover in a whirlpool tub or hammock for two. Wake up to the clucking of hens, Egyptian cotton bathrobes, and the aroma of a hearty country breakfast.
Farmhouse Inn, Spa & Restaurant, Forestville
Wood-burning fireplaces, CD players, saunas, thick robes, featherbeds with down comforters and fine linens, European “rain” showerheads, and jumbo two-person Jacuzzis—all the accoutrements you need for a romantic weekend in the Wine Country. Did I mention the superb on-site spa and restaurant?
Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary
It’s de rigueur when you’re visiting the Sonoma Coast: Relax in wood tub filled with hot, fragrant cedar sawdust. The tea service, meditation gardens, cooling room, and massage will put you at peace.
Timber Cove Inn, Jenner
Bring a ring. The seaside walking path here has such phenomenal views of the coast that the urge to pop the question is overwhelming. Dinner, cocktails, Sonoma wines, seaside rooms, and spa tubs—what more do you need?
Village Inn & Restaurant, Monte Rio
Romance in the redwoods. Even Bing Crosby swooned at this romantic hideaway perched along the Russian River. Cozy rooms with private balconies overlooking the river & redwoods, superb candlelit cuisine, full bar, and one of the best wine lists in the region.
Applewood Inn & Restaurant, Guerneville
A grand old 1922 California Mission Revival mansion is the centerpiece of this tranquil inn and restaurant. Picture Mediterranean-style villas surrounded by redwoods, apple trees, and vineyards with bedside fireplaces, whirlpool baths, couples’ showers, and private decks. They’ll have to drag you away.
Boon Hotel + Spa, Guerneville
Nestled among the serene redwoods with soothing feng shui vibe, the Boon is priced for repeat customers. Good luck finding a more comfortable bed. Eco-friendly EO bath products, fluffy cotton robes, TVs, DVD players, fireplaces, refrigerators, an outdoor bar, and massage treatment rooms. Even pets love it here.
Bodega Bay Lodge & Spa
Spacious rooms swathed in handsome hues of cardinal red and forest green with fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs for two, private balconies, flower gardens, full spa, heated swimming pool overlooking the bay, wine hour, and a damn fine restaurant—easily the Sonoma Coast’s top romancer.
MacArthur Place, Sonoma
Romance Defined: A luxurious MacArthur Place suite with fireplace, porch, wet bar, six-speaker surround sound, and whirlpool tub set on a 5-1/2-acre “country estate” with a full-service spa and the best steakhouse in Sonoma County. Yes please.
Zazu Restaurant, Santa Rosa
Chefs/owners Duskie Estes and John Stewart take roadhouse dining to gastronomic heights at this destination restaurant. Get cozy with your lover at a comfy banquettes while feasting on balsamic pork shoulder with creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes. And nothing says I love you like sharing a chocolate fondue.
Glen Ellen Inn Oyster Grill & Martini Bar
Christian and Karen Bertrand have made this place so cozy that you feel as if you’re dining in their home, and that’s exactly the place’s charm. Spend a few hours at their oyster grill and martini bar and you’ll be ready for romance.
For more information about romantic restaurants, hotels, spa, and wineries throughout Sonoma County, visit SonomaCounty.com. And if you have romantic getaway tips that you’d like to share, feel free to add your own comments to our blog below. We’d love to hear from you.