Boutique Retreats in the Wine Country

Every trip to Napa and Sonoma begins with a great stay.

By Willow Taylor Chiang Yang

A trip to the Wine Country is arguably the most quintessential Northern California experience; Napa Valley alone boasted almost 4 million visitors in 2018 and Sonoma County reported a whopping 10 million. For good reason—the combination of classic vineyards, culinary landscape, and relaxed atmosphere make for unforgettable solo, couple, or family vacations.

The pandemic brought all that tourism to a screeching halt. In 2021, Napa and Sonoma counties will reopen with more manageable crowds and all the same incredible offerings. Need the latest on the best wineries to visit? Check out the San Francisco Chronicle’s 2021 list.

So, after a long year of quarantine, don’t you deserve a weekend escape to one of these classic retreats?


The Harmon Guest House, Healdsburg, Sonoma

With a gorgeously designed, mid-century modern boutique hotel such as the Harmon Guest House, it’s easy to just stop and stare at the wood slats, floor-to-ceiling windows, open floor plan, and look no further. But while it might be hard to tear your eyes away from the building, the hotel’s other features are worth it too. Set in the heart of Wine Country, the hotel enjoys close proximity to vineyards as well as views of Fitch mountain and the surrounding hills, viewable from the rooftop patio or private balconies. It is, predictably, quite expensive—averaging a pricey $450 per night—but if you’re looking to splurge on a fancy, artistically contemporary stay, Harmon would be it.

Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford, Napa Valley

As one of the older and more famous resorts in Wine Country, the Auberge has perfected their traditional luxury stay. The allure of 33 acres and 50 ranch-style rooms and residences comes from its dazzling views, vineyard, spas, South-of-France feel, and culinary reputation. (The resort was the first fine-dining restaurant in Napa Valley in 1981.) The pricing, however, may be enough to give you a heart attack—most rooms are over $1,000 per night. If you can afford it, go for it! If not … dream.

H2Hotel, Healdsburg, Sonoma

While its sister hotel, Harmon Guest House, focuses on architecture, H2 showcases the eco-friendly. In addition to its rippled living roof, the LEED Gold–certified hotel stands on the site of a former gas station (they cleaned up the land); the H2 also works with local environmental groups to rehabilitate creeks and the environment. The bohemian-modern “eco studios,” “eco-kings,” and “eco-suites” highlight the hotel’s sustainability goals and the site provides a bike-borrowing service. It’s a little less expensive than Harmon at around $300 per night.

Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, Calistoga, Napa Valley

“Motel” stereotypically holds a utilitarian connotation, but the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa turns that on its head. The lodge is a seamless trinity of boutique hotel, retro style, and Napa. The lodge is just a short walk or complimentary-bike ride from the main drag, and offers “camper” rooms inspired by camper vans or more spacious vista rooms. (The camper rooms allow pets.) They also have three geothermal pools and a spring-fed spa. The lodge runs between $250 and $400 per night.

Gaige House, Glen Ellen, Sonoma

The Gaige House is all about zen. Staying at the Gaige is an everything-in-one experience: clean-lined, big-windowed rooms; stony, Asian-modern bathrooms; massages; complimentary breakfast-in-bed, and an evening wine and cheese reception. From the $300 guestrooms to the $700 Ryokan suites, the Gaige is meditative luxury at its architecturally gorgeous finest.





 Willow Taylor Chiang Yang 

ROAM Editorial Assistant 

Though a passion for politics and economics normally drives Willow Taylor Chiang Yang (she/her/hers) to more politically oriented endeavors, we somehow convinced the SF Bay Area native to try something new through interning at ROAM.

March 2021

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