Hotel Finds: California Wine Country

Madrona Manor

1001 Westside Road, Healdsburg

The fairytale-looking Madrona Manor sits on eight acres of gardens and woods.

A stay at Madrona Manor transports you to another era. The majestic three-story Victorian mansion is tucked into wooded hills above Dry Creek Valley. Surrounded by eight acres of fragrant flower beds, orchards, and vegetable gardens. The gardens add to the fairytale look of the place, but they have a practical purpose as well. The produce and herbs are used in Chef Jesse Mallgren’s Michelin-starred restaurant.

The Victorian mansion is filled with elegant carved wood accents, fireplaces, and antiques.

Rooms in the mansion, carriage house, and collection of cottages are splendidly ornate. All rooms have elegant carved wood accents, fireplaces, and antiques.Terraces and over-size balconies are perfect spots for lingering over evening nightcaps or morning coffee. Gourmet buffet breakfasts are served daily with a wide choice of pastry, cheeses, meats, and a main dish.

Candlelight dinners are served in formal dinning areas with chandeliers, gilt mirrors, and 19th century furniture. An outdoor veranda provides additional seating with views of the surrounding woods and gardens. Chef Mallgren’s menu includes: Wagyu beef carpaccio; seared mackerel with estate fava beans, ramps, and walnuts; Sonoma lamb paired with artichokes, polenta and green garlic. Diners looking for the ultimate culinary adventure can also order Mallgren’s Grande Dame menu, which features an 11-course tasting.

Healdsburg locals have long referred to Madrona Manor as the Grande Dame. And certainly this regal property wears that title well.

Gaige House Inn

13540 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen

A rural retreat in Glen Ellen, the Gaige House Inn is bordered by woods and a creek.

Rooms directly overlook the woods and creek.

A rural retreat, well off the beaten Wine Country path, the Gaige House is an 1890 Queen Anne Italianate, that sits on wooded land bordered by a creek. Several of the cottages directly overlook the water and have large decks to take advantage of the sounds and views. Deer sightings are not at all uncommon, and the creek chortles happily along.

Soaking tubs are one of the many luxuries  at Gaige House.

In addition to the natural beauty of the Inn’s location, the rooms themselves are sleek and stylish. The appropriately named Zen Suites have fireplaces, large soaking tubs, and double showers with skylights. The spa provides a variety of treatments, including Swedish and hot stone massage.

A complimentary breakfast is ample and excellent. The Inn also provides wine and hors d'oeuvre each evening. A plate of gourmet cookies is always stocked as well. The property doesn’t have a restaurant, but The Fig Bar is a short walk from the Inn, so a delicious dinner is guaranteed.

The Gaige House is Michelin-recommended and appears on the Condé Nast Traveler list of “Top Small Hotels in the U.S.” But one of the best features of the Gaige House Inn is its proximity to author Jack London’s favorite hangouts, especially the hills above Glen Ellen, now renamed in his honor: Jack London State Historic Park. So, if you feel like taking a break from wine pilgrimages, it’s easy to answer The Call of the Wild.

Auberge du Soleil

180 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford

The Auburge du Soleil is situated on a hillside with sweeping views of Napa Valley

Since it was first opened, Auberge du Soleil has set the bar for luxury in Napa. Moreover, the property is situated on a hillside with, what is arguably, the best vantage point in the valley for sweeping, dramatic views of Napa’s lush scenery. Each room or suite has a terrace and private entrance, fireplace, and large, indulgent bathrooms. Fresh fruit is delivered daily, along with complimentary snacks and beverages. Nespresso machines, toasters and teapots are on hand also.

The spa provides a full range of body and facial treatments. Guests enjoy the “Auberge Water Ritual,” a soak in each of three springs overlooking the Napa vineyards and Auberge’s own olive groves.

The Auberge Restaurant's terrace is one of Napa's most sought-after dining spots for unparalleled sunset viewing.

The Auberge Restaurant existed for several years before the inn, and Chef Robert Curry leaves no doubt that food is still the primary focus. His Michelin-rated menu draws from regional produce, accented with Mediterranean flavors. If you can manage to reserve one of the tables on the famous terrace (some of the most sought-after dining spots in Napa Valley) you’ll find an unparalleled view of the evening sunset.

The Auberge du Soleil is a member of Relais & Châteaux and is listed on the Condé Nast Traveler “Gold List.”


755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga

Solage, located in Calistoga, has a hip, minimalist look.

Unlike many of its Provence or Victorian-inspired neighbors, Solage has a hip, minimalist look, with high ceilings, polished concrete floors, and natural fabrics. The 22-acre complex features a wide array of sports options: Two bocce ball courts, 130-foot pool and hot tub, complimentary bicycles, hiking trails, state-of-the-art gym, and Yoga studio.The Spa Solage is renown for its mud baths and geo-thermal soaking pools.

Solage, located in Calistoga, has a hip, minimalist look.

A wide array of sports options are featured at Solage, including an impressive 130-foot pool.

The Michelin-starred restaurant, in another surprising twist, features an updated, California version of Southern Soul Food: Gently cooked duck breast and cracklings, orange-poached sweet potato, spicy green curry; crispy slow-cooked pork belly broccoli salad, apple-miso soubise, scallion vinaigrette, pickled shiitake.

Solage was recently listed on the Condé Nast Traveler “Gold List.”

Maison Fleurie

6529 Yount St., Yountville

Maison Fleurie is utterly charming and an easy stroll from Yountville's many top-rated restaurants.

Cute and utterly charming, the Maison Fleurie is filled with trompe-l’oeil, French-country prints, armoires, and an interesting past. Built in 1873, it was once a bordello and a speakeasy. Today, it’s an easy stroll to Yountville’s constellation of Michelin-Star restaurants.

Ammenities include an outdoor pool and hot tub, a large breakfast buffet, afternoon wine, tea, and hors d' oeuvres, evening turndown service featuring delectable Le Belge chocolate. The largest rooms on the property have a private entrance, decks, and fireplaces. The smaller rooms are still quite comfortable and offer some of the best values in Napa.