New (and Recently Renovated) Places to Stay
While not a lot of brand new lodging opened in Sonoma County in the last year (Napa Valley saw more new hotels), there were some stunning renovations that completely transformed hotel properties and charming inns from totally out-of-date to very of-the-moment. The Stavrand Russian River Valley in Guerneville (formerly the Applewood Inn) still sits on a historic piece of Northern California property surrounded by a redwood grove, but now the luxury boutique hotel, which opened in February of 2022, has 21 modern rooms across three buildings, many with freestanding soaking tubs or outdoor cedar hot tubs. The property also has fantastic resort amenities, including a pool and hot tub, bicycles and kayaks, lawn games, and a restaurant with meals centered around the culinary garden that is only available to guests. And though the Stavrand doesn’t have a spa, they do offer rejuvenating massages either in your room or under the serenity of the redwoods.
Also in Guerneville, Dawn Ranch, a 1905 resort, reopened in late April 2022 after flooding in 2019 forced its closure. The 53 cabins have been redesigned for maximum rustic-meets-luxe California comfort (Frete towels, Le Labo toiletries, a small Smeg refrigerator), and the expansive riverfront property with redwoods, a babbling creek, a working orchard, and lots of walking paths is very much meant to be explored by resort guests. The restaurant, Agriculture Public House, is a true Sonoma County farm-to-table experience that can be enjoyed in the dining room or on the outdoor deck.
The Madrona (formerly The Madrona Manor) in Healdsburg also had new life breathed into it by Jay Jeffers, interior designer and co-owner with his business partner Cory Schisler. The bones of the 1881-era mansion are still very much present, but now the space is much more vibrant and airy, with dramatic moments at every turn. Hotel amenities include access to Vanmoof electric bikes, a swimming pool surrounded by lush foliage, a gorgeous lounge to enjoy late-night cocktails, and 24-hour concierge service. As for the beloved restaurant, The Madrona’s longtime executive chef, Jesse Mallgren, remains with a new menu of food that is decadent but approachable, featuring ingredients from the estate’s garden, plus a bar menu for those who want to experience what The Madrona is all about without the hefty price tag.