Oyster knows what travelers look for in hotels. When we review properties in person around the world, we evaluate how every feature stacks up against the competition, from the rooms to the pools to the restaurants. So if you’re planning a getaway and need a place to start, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at our expert top boutique picks in Sonoma County and get inspired!
This gorgeous, upscale property evokes beautiful Tuscany, with elegant decor, impressive lush gardens and courtyards, exquisite fountains and pools, and European-style rooms. The 29 private and spacious units are individually decorated with romantic Mediterranean-inspired style, and are furnished with cozy fireplaces, quality Italian linens, oversize showers, and personal balconies (some with stunning vineyard views). Extensive freebies (such as in-room drinks and gourmet snacks), plush robes, and an ultra-luxurious spa help ensure that guests feel pampered. The beautiful setting and views give it a slight edge over the Hotel Healdsburg.
It's hard to find fault with this 55-room property in charming Healdsburg, which delivers an outstanding restaurant by renowned chef Charlie Palmer, a convenient location within walking distance of tasting rooms, and ample free perks. Attractive rooms have a contemporary design with exposed concrete, pecan wood floors, Tibetan rugs, and teak platform beds, and all but the Standard Rooms have big soaking tubs. The homey lounge serving wine, cocktails and light fare in the evenings, the tranquil pool, and the great spa, make up for a great upscale boutique experience.
This upscale property feels like a European mansion, and exudes elegance on every level, from the rooms' high ceilings with exposed wooden beams, to the dark cherry wood furniture. Its 16 rooms feature European-style design that includes draped four-poster beds, Italian linens, and antique-style furniture, plus fireplaces and gorgeous marble bathrooms (some with soaking tubs.) The hotel offers free wine and cheese nightly in the cozy library, and a wonderful location close to many restaurants and bars. It's more intimate than the Hotel Healdsburg and some may prefer the decor style here, but that in itself isn't enough to give it the edge, especially when Hotel Healdsburg offers more features for a lower price (including a restaurant and spa, both of which Les Mars lacks.)
This 36-room property in the heart of Healdsburg is a good pick for eco-conscious folks looking for something convenient to wineries with a modern, hip, relaxed vibe. The rooms are all done in a minimalist style, using sustainable materials, and are equipped with all the high-tech amenities you could want, plus private balconies or patios. The hotel offers a long list of interesting freebies -- from "water stations" on each floor offering flat or sparkling water, to free loaner bikes, to free weekend yoga classes in the Green Room -- as well as a solar-heated pool and a Mediterranean restaurant.
This quaint, luxurious B&B is made up of six homey and attractive individually decorated bungalows. Some have wood-burning fireplaces, others have Jacuzzi tubs, separate living areas, or full kitchens, but they're all comfortable and upscale, with Aveda toiletries, great linens, and private outdoor patios. Amenities are scarce, but location is prime, and there are lots of freebies.
This charming property is located right off Highway 101 just a few minutes outside Santa Rosa, but it feels a world apart. It is part of the renowned Ferrari-Carano winery, and has some of the most beautifully landscaped grounds in the area, with fountains, an overall old-world feel, and a two-mile jogging trail around the vineyards. The 44 rooms have warm decor, wood beams, high-tech amenities, and either a balcony or a private patio. There’s a full-service spa and a couple of nice freebies, but the highlight is definitely the acclaimed John Ash & Co. restaurant.