It’s easy to find luxurious lodgings in Sonoma Wine Country — just head to Healdsburg to the north or Sonoma to the south. Charming Healdsburg offers easy access to the wineries of Dry Creek, Alexander and Russian River valleys while historic Sonoma is an ideal launchpad for exploring 17-mile Sonoma Valley, including vintners in Carneros, Glen Ellen and Kenwood. Here are our top picks for the best luxury hotels in the Sonoma Valley.
Featured Photo: Montage Healdsburg
When siblings Catherine and Joe Bartolomei purchased the late 1800s vintage farmhouse more than 20 years ago, it needed a lot of work. Today, the Russian River Valley property is a regular on annual lists of top hotels in the world.
There are two rooms in the original farmhouse, but the most sought after accommodations are arguably the spacious Barn Rooms toward the back of the property. They feature striking private patios, double-sided fireplaces, and spa-like bathrooms.
- In between wine tasting appointments, lounge by the pool or treat yourself to a treatment at the spa.
- Make a reservation for dinner at the sought-after Farmhouse Inn restaurant; the menu is shaped by produce and livestock from the Bartolomei family ranch.
- Downtown Healdsburg, loaded with restaurants, wine tasting rooms and shops, is just a 10-minute drive.
Harmon Guest House
Set in the charming thick of things in downtown Healdsburg, this modern, eco-friendly hotel with 39 rooms is loaded with thoughtful touches at every turn. All rooms have balconies or patios with views of the mountains, interior courtyard, or Creekside Deck. Works created by California artists are displayed in guestrooms as well as public spaces including halls and the main stairwell. Green elements and amenities include LED lighting, a solar thermal water heating system, electric car charging stations, and a rainwater harvesting system. The property earned the prestigious LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2019.
- Rooms boast unique amenities including TREKO hand-loomed bed throws and handmade felt rugs.
- A fleet of PUBLIC Bikes is available for guests to check out for free and cruise around town.
- Every floor features a water bar with complimentary sparkling and flat purified water.
- Complimentary yoga is offered on Sundays.
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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
Originally built as a private home in 1881, the boutique hotel and restaurant recently reopened after a $6 million renovation. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, preserving the property’s original elements — like the wrap-around porch — was a priority. The Madrona offers 24 accommodations; along with a pool, pair of fire pits, and fitness center with Peloton bikes.
- Previous guests will be thrilled to know that chef Jesse Mallgren is still in charge of the kitchen The Madrona restaurant. Prior to closing the restaurant for the remodel, he earned a Michelin star every year for 13 consecutive years. Stretching eight acres, the estate boasts an eye-catching garden and orange orchard. More than two dozen antiques spread throughout the hotel, belonged to the Paxton family, the homes original owners.
This sophisticated yet relaxing hotel facing Healdsburg Plaza helped put both the town and the town square on the map as a Wine Country destination when it opened in 2001. Newly renovated, its 56 rooms offer subtle reflections of the rustic surroundings with salvaged wood dressers and bed frames and original cloud paintings among the modern, neutral-toned furnishings. Oversized bathrooms and balconies with country and city views also add to the sense of spaciousness. Dining at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen draws patrons from miles around, as does the first-rate spa.
- The 60-foot pool and Jacuzzi, lined by shaded lounge chairs, lie amid a Mediterranean-style garden, with drinks and dining available in summer.
- Hop on one of the hotel’s iconic chartreuse bikes to explore Healdsburg’s boutiques and tasting rooms, then cozy up by the Fireplace Lounge in the evening for cocktails before dinner at Dry Creek.
Hotel Les Mars
Just a block away from Healdsburg’s town square, but brimming with French charm, this elegant 16-room inn opened in 2005 with 16 individually appointed rooms, featuring 17th and 18th century antiques, four-poster beds with custom linens, sitting areas with gas fireplaces and handsome writing desks. Complimentary continental breakfast and afternoon wine and cheese bracket a day’s foray into Wine Country; valet parking is also included.
- The hotel’s Chalkboard restaurant features the creative seasonal cuisine and personalized wine pairings of executive chef Forest Lee Kellogg. Sleeping on the hand-carved beds is bliss, thanks to the exclusive mattress, high-end Italian linens and locally sourced pillows and duvets.
The new kid on the block, opened in late 2020, is actually not on a block, encompassing instead 258 acres graced by groves of oak trees and vineyards. Floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, and stone and copper elements in the spacious 130 rooms and suites create a sense of connection to the rural environs, while the zero-edge resort pool, elevated spa, and three casual-chic restaurants and bars add worldly sophistication. Bocce ball, pickleball and archery are fun onsite activities for all ages.
- Families will especially appreciate the bungalow-style suites with sofa beds and terraces with fire pits; there’s also a separate family pool, as well as the half- and full-day programs for ages 5 to 12.
- Don’t miss the yoga garden surrounded by vineyards.
The Stavrand Russian River Valley
During the pandemic, hospitality veteran Emily Glick took the opportunity to completely reimagine the popular six-acre, historical property nestled amongst the redwoods minutes from downtown Guerneville. Formerly Applewood Inn, the property is now The Stavrand Russian River Valley Inn and Hotel. Stavrand, her family name, means “church on a hill” — very apropo once you visit the property. Her efforts have been rewarded with accolades, including being listed as one of Afar Magazine’s most exciting new hotels of 2021. The 21-room compound can be rented out entirely for weddings or corporate events with multiple meeting spaces throughout including fire pits, living room and private garden
- Many rooms have a soaking tub, jacuzzi or cedar hot tub and some have a fireplace.
Timber Cove Resort
And with 23 acres to wander, Timber Cove takes full advantage.