Not too long ago, bed and breakfasts were synonymous with images of grandmothers, doilies, and dusty floral linens. Luckily, bed and breakfast inns have come a long way, especially in Wine Country, where B&Bs bear little resemblance to the antiquated lodgings of the past. In fact, Sonoma County has quite a few cozy, relaxing bed and breakfasts — and some that are downright chic — run by hospitable locals who are ready to share their gourmet cooking, wine tasting itineraries, and insider information with visitors looking for a more personal, intimate getaway to Sonoma Wine Country. Here are our picks for the seven best B&Bs in Sonoma County.
3657 Church Street, Occidental, CA 95465, (707) 874-1047
Inn at Occidental provides a relaxing respite in an English-style inn, situated amongst towering redwoods and surrounded by gardens. Larger than a typical B&B, the Inn boasts 16 rooms in the main house, three private suites, and a two-bedroom cottage rental. Breakfast is made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, such as orange cream-stuffed French toast and Eggs Benedict. Use the Inn as a home base for taking day trips to nearby Bodega Bay and Santa Rosa, or plan to keep it local by spending time exploring the tiny town of Occidental.
Insider tip: Make some time to drive the nearby winding ten-mile route known as the Bohemian Highway, which weaves through the majestic redwoods and past serene pastoral landscapes.
13540 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 927-4036
With an atmosphere that helps channel your inner calm, this chic, modern oasis in Glen Ellen is certainly not your average bed and breakfast. Featuring 23 thoughtfully-appointed guest rooms with modern Asian accents, bamboo lined paths, private zen gardens, and meditation areas, everything at Gaige House + Ryokan works in harmony to create a relaxing, retreat-like vibe. Expect boutique hotel amenities like granite bathtubs and fine linens, as well as fabulous breakfasts such as banana walnut pancakes and veggie frittatas.
Insider tip: For the best visit to Gaige House + Ryokan, try to spend as much time as you can on property to really embrace the feeling of serenity. Little details, like Jasmine green tea and matcha cookies at check-in, as well as local wine and artisan cheese at the nightly “Magic Hour,” add to the overall experience.
211 North Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 800-4332
Camellia Inn, named for the 50 varieties of camellia plants on-site, is as charming as it is beautiful. Located within walking distance to Healdsburg Plaza, this Victorian home is decorated with antique furnishings, but equipped with modern technology like en suite iPads for guest use. Each of the nine rooms feature a private bath, and some with whirlpool tubs for two. Breakfasts are focused on locally-sourced, organic homestyle fare served in the dining room, but for those wanting to get an early start to the day, Camellia Inn offers “to-go” breakfasts, as well.
Insider tip: Take the self-guided garden tour to really explore the beauty of the property, which includes Japanese Maple, Blue Spruce, and a 65-foot Cedar of Lebanon tree.
12850 River Road, Guerneville, CA 95446, (707) 869-4466
This Guerneville bed and breakfast is situated on two acres of beautiful countryside, just a few minutes from Armstrong Redwood Reserve State Natural Reserve. Innkeepers Brian and Dana are longtime California residents and have created a welcoming and cozy Russian River Valley bed and breakfast. Guests love indulging in fabulous breakfasts like oatmeal souffle and eggs from the Inn’s own organically-fed chickens, as well as seasonal baked treats placed in the guest kitchen in the afternoon. Extra touches, like the inviting living room with a fireplace and the Jacuzzi tub under the oaks, put an elevated spin on Sonoma Orchid Inn’s old-fashioned hospitality.
Insider tip: Sonoma Orchid Inn is a five-minute walk from Korbel Champagne Cellars. Be sure to schedule enough time to do a sparkling wine tasting during your stay.
10630 Wohler Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448, (707) 887-9573
This beautiful Queen Anne Victorian mansion, built in 1880, provides a cozy place to retreat off the beaten path, yet is not too far from fun activities in Healdsburg and the Russian River. Five elegant guest rooms each offer queen or king-sized beds, robes, and private bathrooms, while perks like free concierge service and evening wine receptions further enhance a stay here. A gourmet country-style breakfast is served each morning, featuring organic ingredients (some of which is sourced from their own garden), to provide guests with a delicious, hearty start to the day.
Insider Tip: Whether or not you end up in a room with a private patio, don’t miss spending time on the peaceful, wrap-around front porch overlooking the vineyards, especially while sipping estate wine made from the vines in front of you.
11775 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, (707) 833-4233
This restored, Southern-inspired Victorian Ranch House from the 1890s is operated by fourth and fifth generation owners, who seek to ensure each guest has a magical stay in Wine Country. Complete with 105 acres of vineyards and olive orchards, Beltane Ranch offers inviting rooms with private entrances, signature linens, and outdoor seating with vineyard and/or garden views. Breakfasts showcase heirloom garden produce, eggs from heritage breed hens, and homemade jams.
Insider Tip: Beltane Ranch offers several food and wine experiences exclusive to Inn guests and wine club members, such as private al fresco dinners overlooking the vineyard and ready-to-go, chef-made picnic baskets featuring four courses of farm-fresh picnic fare.