There are so many great places to stay in wine country: Napa, Sonoma, Yountville, Healdsburg. But one of my favorites is Kenwood. Maybe it’s the small-town feel – population just north of 1,000 – or maybe it’s the natural beauty. Either way, it’s a great place to drop anchor for your wine country sojourn.
Located a little more than halfway between Sonoma and Santa Rosa, Kenwood offers a quiet locale to enjoy the valley’s beautiful vistas, hike, shop and, of course, sample some fine food and wine. You can camp at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, check out famous local vineyards, such as Chateau St. Jean, Landmark or Kunde and enjoy some of the dining opportunities.
Kenwood Inn & Spa
One of best places to stay is the Kenwood Inn & Spa, which offers a secluded Sonoma Valley setting, on 2.5 acres, surrounded by vineyards and oak trees.
The inn has a classic Mediterranean look, great service, and newly remodeled spa.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped with flowers, fruit trees, grapevines and fountains. There are two outdoor hot tubs, a swimming pool and three courtyards.
“Our inn is definitely a popular option for Bay Area visitors, who comprise 30-40% of our guests,” said David Jessup, Kenwood Inn & Spa General Manager. “All are spacious, with private entrances, lending more of a private villa ambience rather than a typical resort hotel feel. Many rooms also offer a private terrace or balcony and all have fireplaces to keep warm on cooler nights.”
Last fall, the inn unveiled a major spa remodel, adding private poolside cabanas, a vineyard view and a marble soaking tub for two. Their new CBD massage has quickly become a guest favorite, and they will soon be adding a CBD facial option.
“For a truly over-the-top winter getaway, call the spa and tell them you want to book their Rendezvous Under the Stars,” said Jessup. “This gives you the entire spa for an exclusive-use, three-hour evening session. Start with an exfoliating shower scrub for two, then bliss out with side-by-side massages in our new couples treatment room in front of the fireplace. End with a soak together in the spa tub overlooking the vineyards and night sky, a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolates.”
Dining at Kenwood Inn
Their complimentary breakfast is served in the inn’s Cucina, which has individual tables, as well as a large communal table from Italy — indoors, or outdoors in the adjacent fountain courtyard.
From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., you can order from their Small Bites menu, which offers wood-fired pizzas, charcuterie and cheese plates, vegetables with hummus, and more.
Every evening, the inn has a Magic Hour, with gourmet cheeses and local wines. Recently, they started offering Saturday night dinners with wine pairings, prepared by local Chef Sam Badolato. The farm-to-table, prix fixe menu varies each week. On Valentine’s Day weekend, Chef Sam will present a five-course Aphrodite Dinner on Friday and Saturday.
Though small, Kenwood offers some great places to eat, such as the casual Italian trattoria, Café Citti. Featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri, Café Citti is run by Luca and Linda Citti and specializes in Tuscan cuisine. Indulge in Polenta Con Porcini, Frittura Mista, Garlicky Caesar salad, Chef Luca’s fresh ravioli pasta, and Cheesecake with a chocolate sauce (all made in house)
For wine or mimosas on the patio with a beautiful vineyard view, I recommend Salt and Stone. During my visit, I had a delicious eggs Benedict. Top Chef picks include fresh oysters, double cut pork chop and for brunch Salt & Stone Croque Madam.
For something a bit meatier, check out Tips Roadside, a friendly neighborhood bar and restaurant. Enjoy a relaxed ambience while sipping cocktails, local wines and a nice selection of beers on tap. The restaurant specializes in elevated comfort food: short ribs; tri-tip bites, skillet mac-n-cheese.
Kenwood offers that perfect combination of luxury and small-town relaxation. From there you can easily visit all your favorite wineries up and down Napa and Sonoma. Or you can just stick around town, get a spa treatment and quaff the local offerings. The beauty is in the choices.