“A superb hotel offering the best of gourmet hospitality in haute Healdsburg”
All 55 chic rooms and suites are similarly decorated: warm yellow-olive walls, Tibetan rugs, dark wooden floors, and louvered shutter doors giving onto Juliet balconies (in all but 2 rooms), which overlook the town plaza, courtyard or gardens. Slumber in beautifully comfortable teak platform feather beds with down duvets and 500-thread count Frette sheets. Low-level lighting in the room worked for us (there are lamps and bedside lights) but may not suit everybody.
Ample wardrobe space hides safes, iron and ironing boards, hairdryer, sewing kit, umbrellas, Frette dressing gowns and slippers. A coffee maker and champagne bucket plus corkscrew and two wine glasses ensure your drinking requirements are catered for. Freshly-baked cookies appear bedside at turndown.
Rooms begin with the Standard King and Premium King (in which we stayed) - these differ little in configuration. Double Queen rooms (with 2 queensize beds) are almost as big as a suite.
Junior Suites have a seating alcove, and overlook downtown Healdsburg. Courtyard Suites look over the interior courtyard and have a separate sitting room. Top of the range Plaza Suites have an entrance hallway with a half-bathroom, and face the town plaza with larger sitting room, and big bathrooms with double showers. All suites have sofabeds for additional guests.
Bathrooms are sleek with poured concrete sinks and counter tops, walk-in glass showers and Hotel Healdsburg's organic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, lotion and shower gel). John Youngblood photos of wineries adorn the walls. The Premium King and all Suite categories have 6-foot-deep soaking tubs, big enough for 2 people.
A help-yourself 'Gourmet Harvest' breakfast is served in the Grand Fireplace Lounge from 6-10am daily. One buffet station had a choice of cereals, yoghurt, fruit salad and fresh fruit; another had bread, croissants, sweet muffins and pastries, smoked salmon and all the trimmings required for that classic lox bagel, including a toaster. Hot plates have sausages, eggs, bacon and sauteed potatoes. Waitress service brings you tea, coffee, orange juice and hot chocolate to your table.
Lunch is best spent sampling one of the many eateries in town, or out exploring the countryside. You can pick up good quality sandwiches, snacks, treats and drinks from Cafe Newsstand at the base of the hotel, for a picnic lunch.
For dinner, celebrity chef Charlie Palmer's excellent Dry Creek Kitchen is open nightly (and for lunch Fridays-Sundays), and showcases the best of Sonoma County's seasonal and artisanal fare in a style known as Progressive American - which is built on classical French techniques.
The menu changes frequently. After an amuse bouche of beet soup topped with frothy goat's cheese creme fraiche, we had Seared Hawaiian Ahi Tataki (dressed beautifully with local watercress and toasted corn) and the House Made Charcuterie Platter with mustards (the chef de cuisine is licenced as a charcutier). For main, the Pork Loin and Slow Cooked Belly accompanied by apple soubise and caramelised parsnips simply melted in the mouth. We had no room for dessert but somehow forced down the signature Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bar (3 kinds of cocoa confections topped with gold leaf). No way could we even look at the artisan cheese board - it was all we could do to waddle back to our room and collapse onto our (extremely comfortable) bed.
There's a 6-course tasting menu which is wine-matched all the way, for the whole table; selected dishes are also paired with the evening's Focus Wines. There are complimentary wine tastings at 3-5pm Thursdays and Fridays in the lobby. The Wine Cellar has over 600 Sonoma wines, including limited production wines and vintages going back to 1985. You can also BYO - the mark of a friendly and civilized establishment!
Healdsburg is a mecca for food and drink, with over 15 good quality restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. Top of the scale is 2 Michelin-starred Cyrus. For somewhere more affordable try Bovalo for its local sustainable fare. There's a new Japanese restaurant, Shimo, which serves melt-in-the-mouth steaks. Or you may want to try the Healdsburg Bar & Grill opposite for its classic Americana menu, or ask the concierge about local chef Mateo's new pop-up restaurant.
Families are welcome at Hotel Healdsburg and kids will enjoy the pool. There are connecting rooms, pack n'play cots and extra beds available. However, this is a hotel primarily aimed at couples and groups of friends and there are no dedicated spaces for children, who if running around may not contribute positively to the intended ambiance!
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Families should take one of the suites as these have sofabeds. You can also ask about the one Courtyard Suite which connects to a Double Queen, and there are also 2 Standard Kings that connect.
There are plenty of family friendly activities nearby including kayaking on the Russian River, and the safari preserve, Safari West, and the Charles M Schultz (Peanuts) museum and ice rink all in Santa Rosa.