- Style Cockle-warming wine retreat
- Setting Sonoma vineyard country
In the charming little town of Healdsburg in the heart of the gorgeous Sonoma wine country, the aptly named Hotel Healdsburg is welcoming and contemporary, with luxurious oversized rooms that highlight high-quality details and picturesque surroundings. Chef-owner Charlie Palmer's on-site restaurant, Dry Creek Kitchen, serves progressive California cuisine paired with a stellar all-Sonoma wine list.
Need to know
- Rooms 55.
- Rates Double rooms from $305.00, excluding tax at 14 per cent.
- More details Rates include breakfast.
- Facilities Spa with six treatment rooms and a Jacuzzi, gym, free DVD library, free WiFi throughout, valet parking. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, iPod dock, 500-thread-count Frette linen, bespoke organic toiletries.
- Poolside The hotel’s secluded garden pool is lined with extra-comfy loungers and surrounded by olive trees.
- Check–out Midday.
Children Kids stay free, and extra beds can be provided for US$35 a night. The hotel can recommend babysitting services (about US$15 an hour) and its restaurant can prepare dishes for younger palates on request.
- Also There’s a two-night minimum stay during weekends between March and October. Small dogs are welcome for a US$150 fee including doggy bed, doggy bowl and doggy snacks.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Although the hotel’s suites are, of course, larger and have added sitting rooms, for the price, we’re still more than happy with the Standard King rooms – these all feature six-foot bath tubs, similarly generous beds, French doors opening onto private balconies and oak floors covered with Tibetan rugs.
- Packing tips Pack the shades – it’s blindingly bright round here – but leave the perfume/aftershave at home – artificial scents hijack your palate when sampling wines. No lipstick either – it’s a nightmare to scrub off the tasting glasses.
- Also If you’re lucky enough to be staying in March, you can attend Charlie Palmer’s annual ‘Pigs and Pinot’ event, a celebration of fine wine and quality pork raising money for child hunger (ending it, that is).
Food and drink at Hotel Healdsburg
- Hotel restaurant Light, glassy, airy, Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen is renowned for its progressive Californian fusion dishes, accompanied exclusively by Sonoma wines.
- Dress code Connoisseur casual.
- Top table At lunchtime, you’ll want to secure a spot outside to watch Healdsburg society drift by. In the evening, settle down on the banquette in the far corner of the restaurant for extra-plush comfort.
- Last orders Dinner is served until 9.30pm during the week, and 10pm at weekends. The bar’s open until 11.30pm – occasionally later if the guests.
- Room service The Dry Creek Kitchen’s dishes can all be served in room during restaurant opening hours.
- Hotel bar A relaxed woody nook of a fireside drinking den, Healdsburg’s lobby bar is an easygoing jazz-soundtracked joint. Its cocktails – all made with local, seasonal ingredients – are almost as impressive as the wine selection.