He wants elite dining. World class wining. He knows where he’s going. Skimping is not part of the plan.
She wants the layer beneath the luxury – to sip into something sublime, yet quaint. Hear the homespun stories of growers generations deep, be lavished with heritage and history, clink glasses al fresco, recline in Adirondacks beneath the regaling Redwoods.
They wanted the extraordinary.
They found The Farmhouse Inn. Sonoma’s sacrosanct showstopper, the hush-hush hallmark of high-end hospitality in the shadows of The Silverado Trail. For those who desire more than standard issue Napa, there is Sonoma. Living your vacation as the vine always intended.
Approaching Farmhouse Inn is sensory alchemy – winding woodlands defining their turf as the unsung sister to Napa, uniquely Sonoma, sky scraping Redwoods open up to vast vineyards, infinite vistas, art worthy bridges, and alas, there you are. The Farmhouse Inn before you.
The warmth in welcome is distinctive; palatable in and with every sense. The canorous crackle of the fire (you’ll make s’mores there before you leave. Valrhona chocolate and vanilla bean marshmallow s’mores. (On the house). The redolent rosemary, primrose, hummingbird mint, violas. The gardens are as lush as they are edible. Expect a petal or two atop your lemon curd – it comes with the homemade scones. Ours was served with strawberry soup, part one of a two-course breakfast, also included in your stay. And not the least of which, the sound of your own breath being taken as you open the door to your impeccably designed, artfully architected haven atop the trees.
It is truly, definitively, breath taking.
The physical warmth from the ground up is no illusion – the Carrera marble floors are not just stunning, they’re heated. The shower converts to your own personal steam room. And the lusciously fragrant Sumbody Products? Designed especially for Farmhouse guests. Downstairs, help yourself to the spa bar. Slice yourself as many bars of soap as you wish: milky rich, lavender, or aaahvocado. Don’t forget to scoop up some lavender bath salts and brown sugar scrub from the giant glass apothecaries. Your Jacuzzi tub experience is built for it. It’s there for you. Help yourself.
With a fireplace marrying our room to our private terrace amongst the trees, leaving this sanctuary of muted linens and lisianthus, translucent muslin sheaths and heated marble floors, it’s a challenge. But this rustic Russian River Valley retreat gets to be your anchor as you acquaint yourself with the redwood crowned ranches, storybook stone houses, famed farmland and wine winning saturation of Sonoma’s boundless bucolic bounty. Let it live in the Napa shadows no more.
The ominous opulence of the wine region speaks softly here, with good taste and greater appreciation. Michelin has regaled awards upon both the Inn and it’s restaurant. AAA? Four diamonds to both. But that is not what will capture you. The lure is in the genuine pleasure the staff takes in making this gem of a property shine. It feels like family because it is run by family. The pride is unmistakable. The privilege, yours to preserve.
And when you return home, fresh from The Farm, prepare to exhale wistfully. As you sip from the bottle of wine you sentimentally brought back with you, affix the reusable cap they gave you as a parting gift, and muse your indigenously calming, farm to table championing, altogether captivating time for the true gift that it was.
And wonder why there’s no bucket of cookies by your bed.
Farmhouse Inn, 7871 River Road, Forestville, CA 95436, USA.
Tel: 1-800-464-6642 / +1 707 887-3300
Located just off Route 116 northwest of Santa Rosa and about an hour and a half from San Francisco, and a world and a half away from the city. Napa Valley is 25 miles due East and the Redwoods just 8 miles West with Russian River immediately to the North.
Type of Hotel: Four Diamond AAA Luxury Boutique Inn
Number Rooms: 18 rooms and complimentary Wi-Fi
Price Band: High
Insider Tip: Tuesday Spring Special. An extra night here is like a week away anywhere else. If you can make the timing work, it’s well worth it. If you can stay in Room 18, it’s well worth it. And don’t write the Wine Region off if you’re not into wine. The Dry Creek General Store is worth the trip all by itself, as is all the farm to table fare, and the majestic hikes throughout the woodlands.
Reviewer’s Rating: 10/10
Jolie Loeb is a Luxury Lifestyle columnist based in Los Angeles.
Photographs courtesy of Farmhouse Inn