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Hotel Highlights

  • Michelin-starred restaurant and impeccable wine selection
  • Whirlpool tubs in each room
  • In-room saunas

Overview

Nestled away outside Healdsburg in the winery-packed Russian River Valley, the Farmhouse Inn hotel greets guests with laid-back Sonoma friendliness and natural beauty. Understatedly luxurious rooms are the perfect place for romantics to hide away, but you'd be missing out if you stayed inside, when on-site offerings include a wrap-around porch, pool and spa, fire pit and superb farm-to-table Michelin-starred restaurant. It’s the perfect base for busy days out exploring wine country.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Farmhouse Inn with us:

A bottle of Russian River Valley wine on arrival, and a VIP wine-tasting pass for two, redeemable at 15 partner wineries

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Farmhouse Inn

4 nights for the price of 3

Facilities

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Farmhouse Inn hotel – Sonoma – United States

Need To Know

Rooms

18, including six suites.

Check–out

11am, but can be extended to 1pm for $50, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $595.00, excluding tax at 11 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $3.00 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates include a two-course breakfast of seasonal dishes and fresh pastries.

Also

The Spa at Farmhouse Inn uses produce from the hotel gardens. Try a massage with lavender body butter, or a ginger-honey rub with royal jelly. Continue the relaxation in your room’s whirlpool tub: the hotel’s renowned Sonoma Bath Bar lets guests customise their time in the whirlpool with seasonal scrubs, salts, milk bath and handmade olive oil soaps.

Please note

The hotel will be doing extensive property enhancements from March 30 until the end of September, including nine new rooms, an updated spa and a larger, more modern pool area.

Rooms 1 to 8 are along the section of the driveway that the crews use to access the work site, so from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm there is quite a bit of noise created by the back and forth.

 

At the hotel

Spa, gardens, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV with premium programming from Dish Network, Sumbody toiletries; minibar; free bottled water; fireplace; refrigerator; iPod dock.

Our favourite rooms

Straight out of a Pottery Barn catalogue, King Luxury rooms are the roomiest. Set on the main or second floor, they overlook the woods and are decked out with a steam shower, heated floors and indoor-outdoor fireplace. Number 13, on the upper floor, is particularly quiet. On the other end of the scale, the tiny Heritage Queen rooms have redwood wet-dry saunas (but be prepared for a squeeze).

Poolside

The heated outdoor infinity pool is surrounded by Adirondack chairs and gardens fragrant with herbs and vibrant with meadow flowers.

Packing tips

Bring your best campfire tales: Farmhouse offers house-made marshmallows, chunks of Valrhona chocolate and graham crackers for guests to assemble s’mores around the outdoor fire pit.

Also

Room 14 is wheelchair-accessible.

Children

Though the hotel is best suited to adults, children over 10 are welcome in certain rooms for $50 a night, with advance notice and at the hotel's discretion.

Eco‐friendly

The hotel has solar panels to heat the swimming pool, and uses local and organic ingredients, including produce grown onsite.

Food & Drink

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Farmhouse Inn hotel – Sonoma – United States

Hotel Restaurant

Steve Litke’s Michelin-starred cooking alone makes Farmhouse worth a stay. The chef uses flavoursome finds from the kitchen garden to accompany local ingredients. Meyer lemons brighten a dish of Dungeness crab with Mendocino uni, and steak tartare is made from local buffalo meat. Opt for the four-course menu with wine pairings to get the best idea of what the kitchen can do. Be sure to book a reservation well in advance for this popular, acclaimed eatery.

Hotel Bar

Limit your drinking to the room or restaurant: there’s no dedicated bar area.

Last orders

Dinner is served from 5:30pm until the last guest is finished. Note that the restaurant is not open for lunch and is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Room service

A limited selection from the ever-changing restaurant menu is available during breakfast and dinner.

Smith Insider

Dress code

California casual is welcome here. Wrap dresses and khakis are the norm. Be sure to bring a sweater: the walk back across the grounds at night can be chilly.

Top table

Book a table near the fireplace for the cosiest vantage point. Breakfast is best ordered to the room to eat on the balcony.

Local Guide

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Farmhouse Inn hotel – Sonoma – United States
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

It’s worth dedicating a full day to spa treatments, then time by the pool.

After that, visit some of Farmhouse’s winery partners. The staff can provide a wine passport, which gives guests free tastings and special offers at wineries including Hartford Family Wines (www.hartfordwines.com), Sonoma-Cutrer (www.sonomacutrer.com) and the nearby Porter Creek Vineyards (www.portercreekvineyards.com), which pours excellent pinor noir. The dedicated concierge staff can also help plan a custom tour of other wineries in the Russian River, Alexander or Dry Creek valleys.

Plan a visit to 1970s bohemian hangout, Sebastopol. Once surrounded by orchards, the town is home to dozens of tiny shops and museums, and hosts an annual apple festival each August. Vintage clothing boutique and café Aubergine (www.aubergineafterdark.com) is set in a former apple processing plant.

Sonoma is an excellent spot for cycling. Rent bikes from Healdsburg’s Spoke Folk Cyclery (www.spokefolk.com). The staff can help organise a group ride or winery tour.

Local restaurants

A 10-minute drive from the hotel in Santa Rosa, Willi’s Wine Bar (www.starkrestaurants.com/willis_winebar.html) is a roadhouse serving a hodge-podge of international small plates and local wines. Up in Healdsburg, Madrona Manor (www.madronamanor.com) serves New California cuisine, with a menu broken up by flavour and texture (including smooth, soft, crisp and clean). Also in Healdsburg, try modern haute Mexican cuisine at Mateo's Cocina Latina, from acclaimed local chef Mateo Granados, formerly of the highly acclaimed Dry Creek Kitchen (+1 707 433 1520).

Local bars

Repurposed school desks become bar stools at Bergamot Alley (+1 707 433 8720), 20 minutes away in Healdsburg. The bluegrass bar pours old-world wines and local craft brews.

Local cafés

Sebastopol’s bright and open Peter Lowell’s (peterlowells.com) serves Italian-inspired fare from breakfast to dinner, with many ingredients sourced from local farms.

+ Enlarge
Rolling Russian River Valley

Farmhouse Inn

7871 River Road, Forestville, Sonoma, California 95436, United States

The Farmhouse Inn is located in the small winery-speckled town of Forestville, just south of Healdsburg, California.

Planes

Santa Rosa’s small airport, which serves West Coast destinations, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Seattle, is six miles from the hotel. For longer hauls, head for San Francisco International, 60 miles away.

Automobiles

Cars are nearly a necessity. The hotel is a 20-minute drive from Santa Rosa, just under two hours from San Francisco. There’s free parking.

Other

Farmhouse Inn can arrange limousine tours of local wineries.

Reviews

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Farmhouse Inn hotel – Sonoma – United States

Anonymous review

by Laura House , Gotham wordsmith

It was the perfect travel storm: a wedding invitation in California’s wine-soaked Sonoma County + Mr Smith’s birthday + one grandmother enthusiastically volunteering to mind our toddler. This confluence of good fortune could only mean one thing: the world was ending soon. So, we promptly sent in our response card and booked flights. And, if the end of days was imminent, I was further …
Read more

Farmhouse Inn

Anonymous review by Laura House , Gotham wordsmith

It was the perfect travel storm: a wedding invitation in California’s wine-soaked Sonoma County + Mr Smith’s birthday + one grandmother enthusiastically volunteering to mind our toddler. This confluence of good fortune could only mean one thing: the world was ending soon. So, we promptly sent in our response card and booked flights.

And, if the end of days was imminent, I was further cheered by the chance to stay at the Farmhouse Inn, a former family farm reimagined as a luxe boutique retreat by siblings Joe and Catherine Bartolomei.

Cruising into sleepy Forestville, just 20-minutes from the now-bustling town of Healdsburg, we wound our way along back roads surrounded by tidy vineyards, towering pines and waving palm trees and rolled up to the inn. At reception, we were greeted by one of the rotating cast of smiling local women (one sunnier than the next, so noted Mr Smith). Welcomed with a glass of local chardonnay (a preview of the afternoon tasting to be held in the garden), we were encouraged to slice a hunk of house-made herbal bath soap and scoop up sugary scrubs for our tub.

Nestled above the hotel’s restaurant, the placement of our King Standard room was reminiscent of classic country guesthouse. Well, one with a Michelin-starred chef in its kitchen. How quaint. A plump four-poster piled high with pillows and white bedding took center stage. That is, until we stepped into our ginormous bathroom with double farm sinks, a slate Japanese soaking bath and walk-in-closet-sized double rainfall shower. Oh yes, we would be sampling those scrubs and potions later…

But, the most charming details were the freshly cut sunflowers in a vase, the glass cake stand displaying two intricately frosted cupcakes and a birthday card for Mr Smith, all set in the alcove in front of the gas fireplace. I had mentioned that we were celebrating Mr Smith, but certainly didn’t expect such a reception. Thanks for making me look good, Farmhouse.

Room sorted, we moved on to our next order of business: a dip in the placid pool, a splash of blue artfully trimmed with reaching rose bushes. The grounds throughout are a botanical wonderland tended to by Jana, the on-site gardener. Shaded beneath her sun hat, she can be heard rhythmically clipping native wildflowers and heavy-headed hydrangeas, her nose nuzzled deep as a bee in a thicket of flowering plants or fruit trees. She even stepped in to help a bumbling Mr Smith attempting to pluck a bouquet of fragrant herbs and blooms from the chef’s garden for me.

We would have been content to hang around the tranquil, jasmine-scented grounds all weekend, but we had a happily packed schedule of nuptial-related events, tasting room stop-offs and lingering picnics at stellar wineries on our list. 

There was still time, though, to take a recommendation (along with loaner flip-flops for me and an insulated cooler for snacks) from the concierge and spend the better part of a day paddling down the Russian River on a five-mile kayak ride. Turns out there’s more than grapes to the wine country… Of course, we threw ourselves into this athletic pursuit only after an elegant three-course breakfast – featuring Nutella crêpes and eggs benedict on homemade English muffins – served in the garden.

And, naturally, we couldn’t dive into our outdoor activity without a hands-on warm-up of sorts at the Carriage House spa. Creating individualized treatments with oils and infusions – many made from plants just steps away – our therapists worked their magic. Suffering from a cold, I opted for a Wellness Solution massage that rid me of my ailment faster than the most lethal amounts of Vitamin C and antibiotics ever could. No small miracle, to be sure, and one that left me in tip-top shape for our adventures.

Saving the best of the inn for last, I surprised Mr Smith with a birthday dinner at the hotel’s restaurant – a destination in its own right – on the final night of our stay. Strolling down one flight of stairs to the tastefully barn-inspired dining room, we were greeted as regulars by the host. The personalized birthday menu helped Mr Smith feel even more like a VIP. Very nice touch. 

Deliberating over the right-outside-the-door-to-table menu from award-winning chef Steve Litke, our patient waiter guided us towards a knock-out meal of rabbit three ways and Piemontese rib-eye. And, having a sommelier so uncomfortable with empty glasses (he classified it as a disorder) was right in line with our glass-clinking mood; each course was expertly paired with local, small-batch wines hardly available outside that room.

Opting out of dessert at the table, we instead grabbed the s’mores kit left in our room at turn-down. Cosying up by the outdoor fire pit, we smushed together the house-made marshmallows, Valrhona chocolate and graham crackers – the ideal night cap, and infinitely better than a mint on our pillows.

Between the wedding (that dress…the dashing couple…a cinematic winery reception), a toddler-free weekend and memories of our own Sonoma honeymoon seven years earlier, love was very much in the air. Against the vineyard backdrop and bunking at a romance-reviving inn with delightful little surprises at every turn, how could it not? Ultimately, we’re pleased that this fortuitous escape did not signal the worst – because we’re going to need to come back here to mark another seven years. Or, better yet, next year if the stars align…

The Guestbook

Reviews of Farmhouse Inn from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The service is great, the spa was very good, and the rooms had everything you need. Breakfast was something special. The concierge team will recommend and book ad much ad you want them too and they were spot on. The deals the hotel had with the wineries means they wave the tasting fees saved me a fortune. The restaurant was very good, but we almost got caught out as they aren't open until Thursday. Great location to see the variety of Sonoma.

Don’t expect

The rooms are very good but they aren't amazing. This hotel is about the location the service and the restaurant.

Rating: 9/10 stars