6 Best B&Bs for a Wine-Filled Getaway in Napa and Sonoma
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Warm, sunny and lush with endless, rolling hills of perfectly groomed grapevines, Napa Valley and Sonoma County are two of the world’s most recognized wine regions, set in the heart of California just an hour’s drive from San Francisco. They’re both worth a short detour if you’re considering a trip out to the West Coast this summer and want to experience a different side of northern California.
For travelers hoping for a more homey Napa and Sonoma experience, be sure to check out the area’s inns and bed and breakfasts: Napa Valley and Sonoma County not only feature some of the world’s most luxurious resorts and hotels, they’re both home to some of the most sought-after rooms at some of the country’s most charming B&Bs, many among the most highly-ranked lodging experiences in the state. Here are a few of our favorites, including both higher-end and budget-friendly B&Bs.
1. Southbridge Napa Valley: Go High-End in the Heart of St. Helena
This boutique inn is a sister property of the Meadowood Napa Valley, and provides free on-property access to exclusive perks like golf, tennis, trails and even pro-level croquet at the nearby Meadowood Club. Located in the heart of St. Helena, Southbridge Napa Valley is within walking distance of wineries, fine dining and gourmet markets. The rooms are cozy yet spacious, all on the second floor with plush king-size beds, vaulted ceilings and fireplaces. There’s an adjacent health spa and free parking for guests, and did we mention there’s a Michelin-star restaurant on the Meadowood property? That perk alone is worth the trip out to Napa Valley. Rates from $225 per night.
2. Brannan Cottage Inn: Keep Cozy in Calistoga
This six-room inn sits right in the middle of Calistoga, a town just north of Napa. Upscale amenities like designer toiletries and heated floors combine with classic charm, lending a feeling of the 19th century meeting the 21st. Originally built in 1862 by Calistoga founder Samuel Brannan, the Brannan Cottage Inn still sits on its original site and has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The stylish, individually decorated rooms have private baths and come with fireplaces, garden views and ceiling fans and/or skylights. The rooms also feature mini-fridges, flatscreen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi, and guests are greeted in the morning with complimentary morning pastries, coffee and tea. Rates from $299 per night.
3. Maison Fleurie: You’re Always a Walk Away From an Amazing Meal
A part of the Four Sisters Inns group in California, Maison Fleurie is a charming and centrally located B&B in the heart of Yountville. My favorite feature of the property has to be its location: Just a stone’s throw away from the best restaurants in Yountville, it ensures that a wine-filled dinner won’t require more than a few steps to get back to your room. Renowned for its hospitality and gourmet buffet breakfast, the property is set amid landscaped gardens and is composed of three brick buildings built in 1873. Rooms feature elegant, provincial French furnishings, free Wi-Fi and TVs, and some include fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and private patios. The list of complimentary amenities is lengthy: an evening wine hour with hors d’oeuvres, freshly baked cookies, coffee and tea, parking and bikes to get around Yountville. The property also has a rooftop deck. Rates from $165 per night.
4. Madrona Manor: Live the Versailles Life in Sonoma
The European-themed Madrona Manor is a 22-room mansion that sits on top of a hill in Healdsburg, an up-and-coming town in Sonoma County. Surrounded by vineyards, the property also features a Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name. The staff, led by general manager Kevin West, are in love with the property and their service shows. Madrona Manor is surrounded by eight acres of wooded and landscaped grounds and includes a peaceful veranda and pool for guest use. Most rooms at the Manor feature 18th-century fireplaces, stately antique furniture and pillow-top mattresses that are reminiscent of furniture from Versailles, with some featuring French-door balconies with vineyard, mountain and garden views. Rates from $200 per night.
5. Milliken Creek Inn and Spa: Soak in Intimate River Views in Napa
Another Four Sisters Inn, the Milliken Creek Inn and Spa is set on three acres away from bustling downtown Napa, overlooking the Napa River. Of all the properties listed in this article, the Milliken is probably the most intimate — there are no other lodging options within a one-mile drive and its setting right on the river means you have a greater chance of waking up to sound of the river flow than a passing car. The 12 elegant rooms feature free Wi-Fi, 42-inch flatscreen TVs, minibars, whirlpool tubs and designer toiletries. Some rooms have gas fireplaces and river views, upgraded rooms and sitting areas, while others also have private terraces or decks. Gourmet breakfast and evening wine receptions are complimentary. The spa offers select treatments in a seasonal riverside cabana. Rates from $299 per night.
6. Gaige House: Achieve Zen off Sonoma Square
The last Four Sisters Inn featured in this article, the Gaige House is favorite among travelers because of the two room choices: modern, Zen-like rooms that are found in a separate building, and more traditional rooms found in the main house where the breakfast and wine reception are held. This property is a personal favorite of mine because of how uniquely serene it is throughout. Its location just off the main road from Sonoma Square means it’s just a short drive to a bustling city center, yet it’s far enough removed from the action for a peaceful getaway. Rates from $275 per night.
Other notable B&B properties in California’s wine country include the Napa River Inn in downtown Napa and the Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza in nearby Healdsburg. All in all, Napa and Sonoma wine country offer amazing B&B experiences that are often more affordable and feel more local than their hotel siblings, so consider staying at one of them on your next visit.
Have you ever stayed at a local B&B in Napa or Sonoma? Tell us about it, below.
Featured image courtesy of Calistoga Ranch, an Auberge Resort.
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