Madrona Manor: Romantic Wine-Country Escape
Madrona Manor, located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, might just be the most romantic getaway in the Sonoma wine country. The manor is perched on a hilltop overlooking vineyards with beautiful grounds and gardens. Breathing deeply, I inhale the smells of the country – flowers, grass, soil, trees. From my balcony, I watch the sun setting over the valley, while sipping a glass of wine. Later I gaze up at the night sky scattered with stars. Life is great!
The estate has 22 guest rooms and suites in a park-like setting with more than 200 wineries located a short drive away. Guest accommodations are located in the original manor house and in buildings scattered throughout eight acres. The three-story Victorian mansion contains nine guest rooms, with private bathrooms and fireplaces. Some of the rooms in the mansion contain antiques from the original owners. My room had soaring 14-foot ceilings, beautiful antique furniture, including a stunning headboard, and a fireplace and balcony. The claw-foot bathtub transformed a bubble bath into a decadent daily ritual. Designed to encourage conversation and romance, there are no televisions in any of the rooms or on the property.
While rooms are individually decorated with antiques and artwork, the amenities are wholly modern, with comfortable pillow-top beds, down comforters, and pillows and linens that are so soft and luxurious, you might never want to get out of bed. Soft terry robes are perfect for lounging in comfort or sitting on the balcony while sipping a beverage and enjoying the view. I was delighted to find house-baked chocolate chip cookies left in the room by the housekeeper upon returning from a day of wine-tasting.
The breakfast buffet served in the elegant dining room is a wonderful start to the day. The coffee, a French roast, is the color of dark chocolate and so delicious. Served with a hot entrée, the fruit, pastries, meat, cheeses, and breads provides a satisfying meal before heading out to the wineries.
The three-time Michelin-starred restaurant is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. There are several dining rooms creating an intimate ambiance. Each are decorated with antiques, there are several fireplaces, and outdoor dining is available during warm weather. But it’s the food and the service that makes this a memorable dining experience.
Executive chef Jesse Mallgren prepares an ever-changing feast for the senses. He combines his classical culinary training with a wine country sensibility, using organic produce from gardens on the estate and from local Sonoma County purveyors to create magic. A series of small courses leave guests satisfied and delighted at the same time. Choose your own four-, five-, or six-course meal with or without wine pairings. It’s no wonder that they received consecutive Michelin stars – it’s exceptional.
The manicured grounds are beautiful at any time of year, with a profusion of flowers, colors, and scents. The outdoor pool is surrounded by an orange grove and heated from May through October. After a day of wine tasting, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beautiful setting. The mansion is a popular place for weddings and special events.
This beautiful property is a historic landmark, celebrating its 126th birthday this year. Built as a mansion in the 1880s, it wasn’t until the 1980s that it was converted to an inn. The current owners bought the property in 1999 and have lovingly preserved its character while ensuring that it lives up its reputation for luxury, romance, and fine dining. Staff are happy to help customize the perfect wine-country experience by arranging spa visits, providing restaurant recommendations, and helping to create memorable wine-tasting experiences.
Travel + Leisure named Madrona Manor one of the Top 100 Hotels in the World in 2008, Top 10 Hotels in the Continental U.S. and Canada and the #1 in Napa and Sonoma – I can attest that it lives up to its ranking.
Details: Madrona Manor is located at 1001 Westisde Road in Healdsburg, California 95448. Phone 707 433-4231 or 800 258-4003. More information can be found on their website.