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Sonoma, California is best known for its lush vineyards and wine selection, but visitors to the area who need a break from the region's Cabernets and Chardonnays can find just that at the chic Hotel Healdsburg.
Their newly-launched "Wine Country Holiday Tea Experience" is available from now until Christmas every Saturday from 2 to 4pm.
The hotel, which is a favorite of Anne Hathaway and Hilary Swank, features a sparkling fireplace, festive decor and a live pianist playing a mix of easy listening and Christmas carols that transforms the lobby into a relaxing, casual spa-like experience.
The afternoon tea attracts everyone from the casually-dressed shopping crowd in jeans coming off the square to patrons in their Sunday best who take their tea-sipping seriously. Think formal jackets on the men and hats fit for the Royal Wedding on the women. The hotel encourages children to partake in the experience, offering little girls white gloves and fans and boys stick-on moustaches and top hats.
What's better than a stunning 50-room property clinging to the top of a cliff overlooking the breathtaking Sonoma Coast? One with a new owner who is re-vamping the property and wishes to give you the best experience ever.
Less than a two hour drive from San Francisco, Timber Cove Inn boasts unparalleled views of the Pacific and the Sonoma Coast. The exhilarating, twisting drive up to the Inn is a prelude to this "road less graveled" vacation. But you've got to be ready to appreciate that there is limited cell service at the inn (there are phones in the rooms)
To that end new owner, R. D. Olson Development has hired general manager Keith Hill to take Timber Cove to the next level. While the complete "revitalization" of the property will not be completed until 2013, Keith has four very good reasons for you to visit right now:
We like watching the Tour de France. The cute bike short-clad men (ahem) we mean, the gorgeous countryside makes for a great spectator sport. But while the world watches overseas action, there are biking events almost every week in Sonoma.
The Farmhouse Inn, an award-winning Four Diamond luxury boutique property in Sonoma County wine country decided to celebrate cycling in a big way so they combined their popular "Sip 'n Cycle" biking package with their "Free Tuesday" special to create the new “Bike Like a Local” package.
We love luxury hotels but we can't always afford to stay in them. Thankfully, hotels these days are way more than just rooms for paying hotel guests. Between visiting the lobbies, bars, restaurants, and spas inside these upper echelon hotels, it's practically as good as staying the night. Here's our latest installment of how to quench your champagne tastes on a Coca-Cola budget with a Hotel Day Trip.
Wine-tasting in Sonoma can get tiring--the hot sun, the dry heat and the constant light-headed buzz can start to wear you down after even just a day. Which is why we popped into the Hotel Healdsburg for some much needed R&R from um, our vacation.
We booked a pedicure at the hotel's spa which ended up being one of the best hotel pedicures in recent memory. The treatment was simple--just an aromatic foot bath, the usual cut-file-trim procedure, followed by a generous foot scrub and massage and finished off with the polish.
Yet there were a few touches that made it not just memorable but deeply relaxing. The spa chair was a vibrating massage chair but it wasn't clunky or loud--just a smooth, low roll up and down our backs. The treatment room itself was quiet. There's only two chairs and the other wasn't occupied during our visit. Our therapist also left us alone to sleep, er, read in peace--no silly small talk was made.
Mmm bacon. Mmmmm wine. Could there be a more mouth-wateringingly named hotel break than Pigs and Pinot? Ok, maybe dark chocolate and champagne, but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
Pigs & Pinot is the name of the annual weekend held by chef Charlie Palmer at the Hotel Healdsburg in California wine land, where he has his restaurant Dry Creek Kitchen.
This year, it’s being held March 18-19, and over 60 wineries will be showcasing their wares, along with 10 chefs who’ll be cooking various pork-themed dishes to go with the wine. It kicks off on the Friday with a sampling of all 60 of the wines, with pork dishes like sausages and pates to (try and) soak up some of the booze. At the end of the night, one wine will be crowned winner of the Pinot Cup. The Taste of Pigs & Pinot costs $150, but we’re pretty sure you can make most of your money back if you take it seriously.
The other events (from $75) include cooking workshops with the chefs (where you get to sample), more wine tastings and a final five course gala dinner at Dry Creek Kitchen. For full info, see here.
Earlier this week, we told you about the saunas at the Russian River Valley’s Farmhouse Inn, but we didn't mention the delicious meal we had in the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant, Santa Rosa. We were invited by the Wine Road of Northern Sonoma County to eat at Chef Steve Litke’s table (after poking around the Inn’s rooms) and we wanted to tell you about some of the dishes we got to try...though we weren't quite so willing to share the actual food!
Litke aims to “tell a story about Sonoma County” with each meal, so he incorporates all kinds of sustainable, locally farmed produce, like the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes that went into a tri-color gazpacho topped with lump crab meat. In fact, Litke claims that the 10-mile commute from his home to the restaurant takes him about two hours usually because he makes so many stops at gardens, farms, markets and dairies to check on the latest produce.
Like many restaurants in the area, Santa Rosa’s menu changes seasonally, as evidenced by the chanterelle mushrooms that adorned the appetizer of Atlantic sea scallop wrapped in Berkshire pork belly on a bed of Romano and marrow fat beans.
Hotel Packages / Fairmont Hotels / San Francisco Hotels / Sonoma Hotels / Wine-Tasting Hotels / → All Tags
Fairmont Hotels may have opened up three new hotels along the ancient silk road yesterday (Cairo, China, Abu Dhabi) but they still have a special place in their hearts for California with their new “Chocolate at Pinot” Package available at their San Francisco and Sonoma hotels.
Some people get their antioxidants from green tea, and others get them from blueberries. Us? We prefer fight free radicals with red wine and dark chocolate. Hey, it still counts, so don’t judge us. Now thanks to Fairmont, we can indulge our (healthy, we swear!) cravings with this new four-day package.
With it, you can spend the first two days, Willy Wonka-ing it up at the Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square, which is actually in the former world-famous Ghirardelli Chocolate factory facility in the heart of San Francisco. Then take the second two days to relax from the bustle of the big city out at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, a grandiose pink resort with a nearly century-long history of gentrified rustication near many of Sonoma’s most famous wineries, and just a couple miles from the town of Sonoma itself.
Last month, we told you about the flight rebates for staying in the new “Barn” rooms at the Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, but this past weekend, we actually got the chance to poke around for a spell and check out some of the different rooms.
Ahhh...wouldn't it be loverly...if we could afford to stay at this hotel?
You might already know the award-winning Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley thanks the Michelin-star designation as a preferred destination its restaurant has earned for its the farm-fresh cooking, but now there’s an even better reason to visit this idyllic spot in Forestville: a flight rebate.
When guests book one of the eight rooms or suites in the new Barn addition for four nights or more from now until December, they will receive up to a $400 flight rebate for their travel to wine country.
LA.com recently wrote up the winery scene in Sonoma County and guess what? This place has just as many good vineyards and restaurants as Napa Valley. And of course, once you're up there gorging and boozing you are in no condition to drive home or even be driven home. (Wine-tasting, eating and car rides don't go together at all.)
So LA.com's Eric Rosen checked out the hotel scene in Sonoma and spent a night in Gaige House, the Northern California step-child of the Thompson Hotels group. This hotel was acquired by Thompson back in late 2006 and since then it has been officially "Thompsonized." As Rosen writes:
Gaige House is hands down the hippest place to stay in Sonoma. It was built in 1900, and after a checkered career as a private home, schoolhouse and bed and breakfast, it was converted by the Thompson Group into one of its signature modern-style properties.