The diverse landscape of Sonoma Valley ranges from dramatic cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean to charming towns and majestic forests – and there are hotels that make the most of each of these spectacular settings. This is our list of the best hotels in Sonoma Valley, California.
This award-winning hotel and spa in Sonoma has everything you need for the perfect escape in wine country. There are 64 luxury guest rooms and suites with rustic-chic design details, such as barn doors and natural materials, a light-filled restaurant serving up a taste of the Mediterranean, a cosy lounge and bar, a stylish pool and a spa that offers an array of treatments featuring the fruits, flowers and herbs grown in the property’s gardens and local vineyards. There’s also a provisions shop and casual cafe in a farmhouse-inspired setting.
Located just 90 minutes north of San Francisco, on the banks of the majestic Russian River, this “campsite” elevates the camping experience to new heights. There’s a choice of new Airstream suites or luxurious canvas tents, both of which feature boutique bedding, linen and towels. Get to know your fellow campers in the modern club lounge or around one of the communal fire pit lounges. From the site, it’s an easy walk or cycle to the river and downtown Guerneville.
Drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese inns – known as ryokan – this boutique hideaway in the hamlet of Glen Ellen is a tranquil refuge in the heart of wine country. Its 23 guest rooms feature Japanese design details; the stunning grounds have meditation areas, zen gardens, fountains and a yoga enclave. The signature breakfast features a chef’s special entree alongside a delicious baked treat, such as homemade honey-buttermilk muffins. Each afternoon guests are treated to a cheese and wine picnic, with freshly baked cookies to finish.
Set on the edge of Healdsburg’s historic town plaza, this country retreat is perfectly located for enjoying Sonoma Valley’s vineyards, restaurants and boutique shopping – all minutes from the hotel. Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen has views out over the leafy plaza and offers a progressive menu, while the 60ft (18m) pool set amid a lush garden of olive and fig trees, boxwood, hydrangea and roses brings a touch of the Mediterranean to Sonoma Valley. In the evening, retire to the fireplace lounge for wine and cocktails.
This charming guesthouse is the sister property to the luxurious Hotel Healdsburg and h2hotel, bringing a modern offering to the group that celebrates the creative spirit of Healdsburg. The chic boutique accommodation is decked out with art and designer furniture by local artisans – like the reception desk, which is crafted from a giant eucalyptus tree. Similarly, the 39 rooms feature crafted design details and all boast views of the Creekside Deck, mountains or lush interior courtyard. When evening arrives, head up to the rooftop bar and gather around the firepit for sunset cocktails.
This affordable design-led hotel in the city of Santa Rosa comes from the team behind nearby restaurant The Spinster Sisters, who had a mission to transform a former rundown “neighbourhood blight” into a headquarters for creatives. Each of the 34 rooms and suites faces out to a garden courtyard and is furnished with original mid-century modern furniture. There’s a focus on local makers here, with snacks and amenities provided by the owners’ favourite producers. Located just minutes from the Santa Rosa Creek Trail, it’s also a haven for cyclists, with staff equipped to make basic repairs and Shinola Bikes for hire.
Staying in this hotel is a bit like bunking down in an art gallery. The thoughtful architecture offers a serene backdrop for eye-catching artwork by local artists, commissioned in collaboration with Oakland’s Swarm Gallery. Guests are greeted by Ned Kahn’s Spoonfall water sculpture, a dynamic piece that makes use of 2,000 espresso spoons – and which gives the hotel’s restaurant, Spoonbar, its name. As you move up through the hotel, you’ll encounter Stephen Galloway’s photographic glass installations, which make it feel as if you’re rising through the canopy of an oak tree.
There are plenty of reasons to book a stay at this upscale boutique lodge overlooking the rugged Sonoma coast. There’s Drakes, the on-site restaurant that serves up naturally harvested cuisine amid breathtaking ocean views; the nearby Doran Regional Park and miles of walking trails for exploring; and the heated pool and infinity-edged hot tub to relax in afterwards. Most importantly, it offers guests an authentic coastal retreat with spacious rooms complete with private decks and cozy fireplaces.
This Santa Rosa motor lodge, inspired by Sonoma Valley’s Spanish Mission Revival buildings, has all the convenience of a roadside inn with the charm and amenities of a Wine Country hotel. Discover local art on the walls, and light and airy rooms equipped with kitchenettes and luxe Malin & Goetz bath products. The heated outdoor pool and hot tub are surrounded by native trees and a striking redwood fence, with bamboo sofas for relaxing on with a cocktail in hand. The relaxed vibes continue into the lounge, which features eclectic artwork and bespoke furnishings.
The city of Petaluma was formerly known as the “Egg Basket of the World”, thanks to the size of its egg industry in the early 1900s. Today, it’s renowned as a gourmand’s dream, with some of the best restaurants to be found in Sonoma Valley. The Hotel Petaluma is conveniently situated downtown and within walking distance to restaurants, wineries and breweries, as well as boutiques and galleries. The lush, palm-filled lounge is the perfect spot to unwind at the end of the day.
There are just six suites at this urban oasis in Healdsburg, offering guests the ultimate luxury – privacy. The contemporary European-inspired suites are located around the impressive 50ft (15m) pool, and each has its own entrance. Foodies will love that the hotel is an easy three-minute walk from famous Michelin-starred restaurant SingleThread – and guests can book a package that includes an advance reservation for the renowned eleven-course tasting menu. If you’re planning a special event, there’s the option to hire out the entire resort.
The newest hotel in Healdsburg is Hotel Trio by Marriott, an elegant offering located where the Russian River, Dry Creek and Alexander Valley regions meet. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle bus service to downtown Healdsburg, or there are rental bicycles for guests looking to explore the surrounding area on two wheels. For a relaxed al fresco meal, pick up some local produce in town and cook it up at the BBQ area by the outdoor pool. Or, enjoy a picnic and a glass of local wine on the patio.
There’s always something going on at Timber Cove, an iconic resort perched on the cliffs overlooking Sonoma Valley’s dramatic coastline. Join local wineries pouring complimentary tastings on Wine Down Tuesdays and Thursdays, join the artist in residence in the outdoor living room for Live Music Wednesdays, or borrow a record from the vinyl library and chill out while enjoying the view from your room. Built in 1963 by architect and original owner Richard Clements Jr and featuring a landmark obelisk by sculptor Beniamino Bufano, the resort was thoughtfully renovated in 2016.
For more options, discover our guide on the best hotels in Sonoma, California, for every traveler and book now on Culture Trip.
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