Visiting boutique wineries, charming cafes and Michelin-starred restaurants is all well and fine, but they can be even better experiences when shared with loved ones. Whether you’re planning a family reunion, milestone birthday, bachelorette party or working off-site, we’ve done the homework for you with this list of some of our favorite hotels in Sonoma Wine country for group getaways.
Featured Photo: Hyatt Regency Sonoma
AutoCamp Russian River
It’s kind of like camping, but you’ll sleep really comfortably! AutoCamp Russian River in Guerneville features a fleet of shiny silver Airstreams with a bedroom, kitchenette, and full bathroom. April through October, canvas, platform tents with a queen size bed, electric outlets, lights, and ice chest are also available. (Showers and bathrooms are available in the AutoCamp clubhouse.) All accommodations have their own patio area with fire pit.
TIP: Live music is offered on select evenings around the property’s main fire pit. The general store in the AutoCamp clubhouse offers local beer, wine, and an assortment of snacks for purchase, so you can pack light.
Home to vineyards since 1879, this 105-acre “regeneratively farmed” ranch in rural Glen Ellen also includes olive and heirloom fruit orchards, produce gardens, chickens, sheep, donkeys, bee hives and a five-room inn, where your small group will feel right at home. The light-filled guest rooms with queen beds combine Victorian and modern furnishings; some also offer a twin daybed. All have private entrances and outdoor porch seating for enjoying the complimentary, ranch-sourced breakfast.
TIP: French doors provide sweeping valley and vineyard views, while air conditioning and in-room wine cellars help guests and their wine finds stay cool on long, sunny days. Guests can also find a tennis court, horseshoe pit, fire pit, lounges and hammocks for R&R amid the spacious grounds, with treats provided for feeding the animals.
Dating back to 1905, there’s a long list of reasons this charming riverfront property has been attracting visitors for more than a century. 52 cabins dot the 15 acre property in Guerneville. Along with river access, redwood trees and long stretches of green grass, there’s an apple orchard believed to be around 120 years old.
TIP: A large fire pit, located near the property’s namesake pair of rare dawn redwoods, is the ideal evening meet-up location. S’mores fixings are supplied on request. The outdoor bandstand, located next to the property’s onsite restaurant Agriculture Public House, also offers ample seating for groups to gather.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
Named for California’s northernmost mission of the 21 founded by Franciscan monks from Spain, which lies 2.5 miles south, this grande dame of Wine Country hotels was built in 1927 on the site of an earlier hot springs resort. In more recent years, it’s been renowned for its 40,000-square-foot, European-style Willow Stream Spa, including 30 treatment rooms, mineral water baths, Watsu pool and a custom “rain tunnel.” Excellent dining and drinking options abound, from casually elegant (Sante Kitchen) to just casual (CaliForno food truck.)
TIP: Guests receive access to the otherwise members-only Sonoma Golf Club, an 18-hole course on 177 acres. Even smaller rooms — starting at 320 square feet — seem commodious, but book a suite for the most sumptuous experience; the 600-square-foot Williams Sonoma Suite, for example, showcases furnishings and accessories from the famed retailer.
Centrally located in Sonoma’s most populated city, Santa Rosa, the historic Flamingo Resort has been a beloved landmark for decades thanks to the iconic 65-foot twirling flamingo in front. A favorite destination for the swanky Hollywood set in the ’60s, and a popular conference center in recent years, the entire 10-acre property has had a major renovation to bring it back to its well-deserved glory. Shaped like a wheel, the property has 156 guest rooms, 14 suites, two on-site eateries, a central expansive heated pool as well as access to a 20,000 square-foot full-service health club and spa right next to the property.
TIP: Book one of the ground floor suites and a cabana to ensure your group has their own space to hang out.
Walking distance to what seems like countless restaurants, shops and spas, the four-story hotel offers 36 rooms. Stylishly understated, you’ll find bamboo floors, organic Coyuchi linens and robes, and all-natural signature bath products. Committed to sustainability, solar panels are used to heat the pool and hot water in guest rooms. Custom furnishings, the main stairs, and the meeting room floor were all made using salvaged lumber. A striking living roof filters rainwater. The hotel obtained the prestigious LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2012.
TIP: h2hotel is an easy stroll from Healdsburg Plaza which makes it easy to wander freely. Park your car and forget about it. Restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and shops, are steps away. The solar heated pool offers comfy lounge seating, perfect for relaxing with friends.
Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country
This 253-room sanctuary near the shops and restaurants of Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square includes six spacious suites with separate living areas ideal for gatherings and 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. You’ll also find room to relax on the 8-acre ground with lush gardens, when not out visiting area wineries or exploring a network of bike trails on one of the hotel’s beach cruisers. Renovated, expanded and rebranded in 2018, the hotel has a casually elegant, rustic-chic vibe.
TIP: The seasonal outdoor pool with its own cafe and grapevine-covered arbor provides an excellent retreat in warm weather, while the 10-foot-long crystal fire pit will take any chill off while sipping wine under the stars. Kids of all ages can enjoy playing backyard games or making S’mores at the fire pit.
The Lodge at Bodega Bay
A bluff overlooking Bodega Harbor with its busy fishing boats is the charmed setting for one of Sonoma’s iconic inns, Bodega Bay Lodge. A main lodge hosts meeting rooms large enough for 70 guests and boast timbered ceilings and massive fireplaces to warm up rainy or fog-chilled days. The onsite restaurant, Drakes, is recognized for its California coastal cuisine and a spa with fitness center, infinity-edge hot tub and sauna, means a close-by opportunity to take a break from meetings.
Lodging is divided into two groups. Further up the hill near the main lodge are two hotel floors, all with private entrances, balconies and ocean views and many with fireplaces. Below the pool area, suites and rooms are set closest to the water. All have vaulted ceilings and gas fireplaces and some have soaking tubs and whirlpool baths.
TIP: A heated swimming pool and hot tub are set into the middle of the property, giving the resort a community vibe. Sheltered from the Pacific’s sometimes chilly winds and fog by a clear but solid wall, swimming and hot tubbing are a pleasure, even on winter’s chilliest days. Whether you are swimming or sunning, the atmosphere is amiable and downright social and makes getting to know your coworkers or family a breeze.
The Lodge at Sonoma
Now part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the low-rise, Spanish Colonial-style hotel recently poured millions into an update of its lobby, guest rooms and secluded cottage suites. Views of lush gardens brighten the neutral palette of the fresh, contemporary decor. Revered chef-restaurateur Michael Mina’s Wit & Wisdom is his first restaurant in Wine Country, a wonderful place to unwind with a hearth-fired meal and wine or craft beer. A dip in the heated pool or hot tub is also refreshing after a day of wine tasting.
TIP: One of the region’s very best, the Raindance Spa at the Lodge takes its inspiration from the area’s abundant vineyards and farms. Bean & Bottle in the lobby serves artisan coffee and breakfast to fuel your explorations. Book one of the cottages with private entrances, just a short walk from the hotel, for maximum privacy and creature comforts.
MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa
This art-driven, 64-room compound near downtown Sonoma completed a $25 million transformation in 2019, turning a somewhat dated boutique inn into a stylish luxury getaway with destination-worthy dining. The six-acre resort, abloom with rose gardens and other lush landscaping, includes a seamless mix of renovated historic buildings and more recent additions. Book a garden shower suite, set in a farmhouse-style cottage, to enjoy a private patio with discreetly shielded outdoor shower, or pick a premium suite to relax in residential proportions.
TIP: Fireplaces in rooms, fire pits on the ground and large windows make this a warm and light-filled oasis year-round. The Spa at MacArthur prides itself on “farm to massage table” treatments, based on the herbs, flowers and fruits from the gardens. Make a reservation for a seasonal, locally sourced Mediterranean meal at Layla, created by award-winning Chopped chef Cole Dickinson, or settle into the clubby bar for craft cocktails and burgers.
The Sandman Hotel
This quirky, playful modern motel lies just off Highway 101 in urban Santa Rosa, but wineries and tasting rooms are closer than you think. The 135 stark rooms are lightly furnished, brightened by mid-century-modern furniture with navy or peach accents and abstract wall hangings. A large, heated year-round pool and spa beckon guests to linger outside; dog owners can book one of the pet-friendly rooms with convenient access to a grassy area and complimentary doggy bags among other amenities.
TIP: Adults will appreciate the light fare and libations at the indoor-outdoor Pool House and Bar, while all ages will gravitate to the pool and large lawn with bocce court and fire pit. The Family Suite, which can accommodate up to five guests in three beds, provides a large seating area and comes stocked with games for kids.
Sea Ranch Rentals
A collection of individual homes on the dramatic Sonoma Coast, Sea Ranch is an ideal getaway for groups in western Sonoma County. Family-sized houses — some of the charmingly named getaways include Seascape, Moondance and Breaker View — are designed and built with strict guidelines around environmental sustainability and stewardship for the land. Homes are set into the rugged landscape, spaced to ensure privacy and a low impact on the land. Set into 3,500 acres, individual homes are situated near the ocean’s edge while others are nestled in the rolling hills. All have ocean views. Family groups can often rent homes next to each other to maximize ease of community gatherings yet ensuring each party has their own space.
Lodging is designed with reverence for the ruggedness of the California coast. Many homes are tucked into stands of trees or hedgerows and set back far enough from the ocean on what Sea Ranch calls ocean meadows, to allow natural processes to continue. Interior redwood walls and hot tubs are a feature of most homes with large windows to enjoy the wildlife.
TIP: Sea Ranch is stretched along 10 miles of coastline and hiking is a must-do activity. Trails wind through woods, fields and ocean meadows with ample opportunity to spot migrating whales, bobcats and other local wildlife. Hidden inlets and coves abound, places where you are likely to be the only visitor.
Overlooking the resort’s 98 acres of vineyards or courtyard gardens, the 44 rooms and suites of this Santa Rosa boutique inn are ideal for grownup get-togethers, featuring king beds with down bedding and perks like sitting areas with fireplaces, patios and balconies, and large bathrooms with double vanities. The serene Vi La Vita spa, added in 2018, provides five treatment rooms with special arrangements for groups of four or more. The sunny patios of River Vine restaurant (expected to reopen soon) make an easy option for breakfast, lunch or brunch.
TIP: The olive trees and vegetable gardens on the Tuscan-inspired grounds not only create produce for the resort’s restaurants, but are also part of its overarching green philosophy. Before or after savoring Wine Country cuisine at John Ash & Co., the pioneer in Sonoma farm-to-table dining, check out its intimate Front Bar & Lounge for happy hour or late-night nibbling.
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