Brand-New Boutique Hotel with a Focus on Gourmet Food
Most boutique hotels don’t hire an executive chef to prepare their complimentary daily breakfast, but that’s exactly what Olea Hotel has done. The brand-new hotel—which opened in the summer of 2012—brought on trained pastry chef Khambay Khamsyvoravong to concoct two-course plated breakfasts each morning and stock the buffet with fresh-squeezed juice, organic yogurt, and her housemade pastries. Khambay sources ingredients from the hotel’s own garden and local Sonoma County vendors, indicative of Olea Hotel’s broader commitment to sustainability and local commerce.
Every evening, you’ll have the opportunity to taste another one of Khambay’s housemade treats during a complimentary dessert paired with one of Sonoma County’s many locally produced wines. The hotel also has an outdoor hot tub, and staffers perform Swedish or hot-basalt-stone massages. In each luxurious hillside king or queen room, you’ll find a bathroom with a heated floor and an outdoor porch area; king rooms have a second patio area with picturesque views of the valley.
Sonoma Valley, California: Relaxed Wine Country and Majestic Redwoods
Located about an hour north of San Francisco, the Sonoma Valley is best known for its wine. The mild climate allows winemakers to grow cool-weather varietals such as pinot noir and chardonnay. But the valley has a varied landscape; some areas are prime for growing hot-weather vines, too.
Follow country roads to the Carneros Appellation to explore more than 40 boutique wineries. Most are small and family-owned, and many are tucked amid oak forests and wildflower meadows. Compared to its Napa Valley neighbor, Sonoma feels a little more relaxed and remote: the wineries here are generally more secluded from one another than those in Napa, and tasting rooms tend to be less crowded, even on the weekends.
Even if you aren't visiting for the vineyards, Sonoma Valley's gentle climate and diverse natural landscape make it worth a trip. Hiking trails wind past redwood trees as high as skyscrapers, and popular excursions include canoeing on the Russian River and sightseeing at the craggy Pacific coastline and its unspoiled beaches.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.