Four-Star Mediterranean-Style Bed and Breakfast with Gourmet Cuisine
Located one hour south of California’s wine country, the European-style Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa is focused entirely on romance. Tucked away on a quiet country road, the four-star hotel sits on 60 acres of rolling pastures, terraced gardens, and walkways lined with wildflowers. When they’re not serving delicious housemade dinners, the innkeepers here can arrange private horseback rides and spa treatments onsite. Optional add-ons with this getaway include a private dinner for two, a couples massage, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a wine tasting.
Junior suites and deluxe villa rooms set the stage for romantic evenings with wood-burning fireplaces. You’ll find a jetted tub or marble walk-in shower in the spacious bathroom, as well as Italian slate floors enhanced with radiant heating. A network of stone walkways connects guest rooms to the hotel’s other facilities, which include an indoor jacuzzi and The Courtyard Spa, which specializes in massage treatments.
Austrian-born innkeeper Johannes Zachbauer is passionate about food and wine. Every day, he prepares gourmet meals using fresh Pacific seafood and vegetables plucked from the hotel’s organic gardens. Dishes include garlic shrimp or grilled pork chop with pinot noir pineapple chutney, all served in the poolside dining room. The staff can also deliver à la carte meals to your door and set your table for an intimate fireside feast. A thoughtful wine list accompanies the menu; afternoon tastings showcase Sonoma Valley’s reds and whites. In the morning, a decadent breakfast buffet overflows with housemade treats, such as sugar-dusted danishes and spinach frittatas.
While you’re here, inquire with the staff about a Sonoma Coast Villa & Spa membership, which can get you discounts at the spa and for onsite dining, as well as guaranteed reservations.
Bodega Bay, California: Rugged Beaches and Whale Watching near Sonoma Valley Wineries
This stretch of the Sonoma Coast—about an hour south of California’s wine country—is an ideal spot for strolling, fishing, and spotting a variety of unusual birds, especially on the Sonoma Coast State Beaches. One of the best views of the rugged seascape can be found at Bodega Head, a craggy beachfront cliff located 9 miles from the hotel. This region also produces some of the Pacific Ocean’s tastiest oysters. A half-hour drive down the coastal highway will take you to Tomales Bay Oyster Company, where locals slurp down the raw shellfish at waterside picnic tables.
Considered the birthplace of the California wine industry, Sonoma Valley is also home to more than 300 wineries. A seemingly endless patchwork of vineyards is set against a backdrop of mountain ranges, creating a magical setting for sampling some of the world’s best wines. At B.R. Cohn Winery, a hillside estate owned by the former manager of the Doobie Brothers, you can sample cabernet to a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack. Or taste bold zinfandels at Ravenswood Winery, where the motto is “no wimpy wines.”