When you think of wine country, Santa Rosa, California doesn’t always come to mind, but it should. Vintners Inn, located conveniently off Highway 101, is the go-to place for a wine country getaway or romantic Russian River Valley holiday. The AAA four-diamond green hotel is surrounded in vineyards, and is home to John Ash & Co restaurant, as well as the brand new River Vine Cafe.
Surrounded by 92 acres of vineyards, fruit and olive trees, this eco-friendly oasis, five miles north of downtown Santa Rosa, is the perfect place to celebrate everything. I was in Sonoma Valley wine country to celebrate the opening of River Vine Cafe, a seasonal fare restaurant serving breakfast, brunch and lunch, overlooking Vintners Inn gardens and vineyards.
This was my first time to stay overnight at Vintners Inn and I was quite pleased with the entire experience. I met a friend for dinner at John Ash & Co where we settled in at the outdoor patio.
The wine country cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Tom Schmidt showcases the farm-to-table concept with bright cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, baby squash and thumbalina carrots served up fresh from the onsite garden. I ordered Chef Tom’s Lamb trio; a spiced sumac chop, along with house made sausage and braised boneless shank, this paired with a bottle of Ferrari-Carano Siena red wine, was certainly something to celebrate. But enough about dinner, let’s talk the Inn.
There are 44 rooms divided into three, two-story buildings, in addition to the main lodge that is also home to River Vine Cafe. Another building features John Ash & Co restaurant, as well as The Front Room. The Front Room Bar & Lounge is the place for happy hour, signature cocktails and small plates. Read more about the “Crush the Rush” Happy Hour below under Insider Tips!
After an easy check in, I was shown to my junior suite fireplace room. Vintners Inn is a green hotel, so the electric fireplace may be used 24/7, even on “spare the air” no burn days because the fireplace is environmentally-friendly.
My room, 309, featured a Cal king-sized bed, double French doors that opened to a private patio looking out to the vineyards & sitting area with sofa. There was a combination shower/tub in the bathroom.
I was busy catching up with my friend, so I didn’t have time to put on the bathrobe and relax in the soaking tub or turn on the 42″ television. However, I did enjoy the complimentary bottle of Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc that is offered to all hotel guests in-room, as well as the delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies that were waiting for me after turn down service. And to think I wasn’t even celebrating anything special. Imagine what amenities must be available for special celebrations? It seems like they celebrate everything at Vintners Inn.
As I mentioned initially, my trip to the Russian River Valley was to check out the River Vine Cafe. This lovely wine country space is where guests enjoy breakfast, but it would also be a great place for a private party or small wedding reception. I’m told Vintners Inn is very popular with brides and grooms.
I was very happy with my Eggs Benedict with Shiloh Hill Farm poached eggs, toasted Village Bakery English muffin, Meyer lemon hollandaise sauce and country potatoes with Hobbs’ Canadian bacon. If you are here for lunch, order the carrot cake or the brownie – the pastry chef makes killer creations!
Next time I visit the Sonoma Valley I hope their new hotel wing is open, as well as the brand new spa. I imagine coming here for a girls spa weekend or a romantic wine country escape with my husband!
Need to know:
Check in: 4:00 p.m.
Check out: 11:00 a.m.
Hotel rates range from $275-$515, depending on season and room type. My fireplace room #309 with king bed, soaking tub & a balcony looking out to the vineyard rented for $305. plus tax, mid-week Sunday – Thursday. Rates are higher during the weekend and peak season. The property is not pet-friendly. Rates include complimentary WiFi, Baronessa Cali Oliva shampoo, conditioner & massage soap, in room safe, flat screen tv, a complimentary half bottle of Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc and, my personal favorite it, chocolate chip cookies (or oatmeal) at turn down. Some rooms have environmentally-friendly electric fireplaces. There’s also Bocce ball & a two mile vineyard loop. Check out the onsite culinary garden, too.
Breakfast is served from 7:00 – 11 a.m. Monday – Friday, weekday lunch from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and weekend brunch from 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Vintners Inn has been awarded the Environmentalist Level in the California Green Lodging Program by the State of California’s Department of General Services.
Front Room Bar & Lounge offers happy hours and specials on different days of the week. Crush the Rush happy hour on Wednesday, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. is a good deal, as is Sunday Burger happy hour.
Looking for something to bring home from your Sonoma Valley wine country vacation? The farm-to-table property sells Vintners Inn Estate Olive Oil, hand-picked and cold pressed olives from trees grown on the family estate, suggested retail $19.95. There’s also a charging station for electric vehicles. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter and Instagram @Nancydbrown and @vintnersinn on Instagram and Twitter.
If You Go:
Vintners Inn (800) 421-2584
4350 Barnes Road
Santa Rosa, California 95403
Vintners Inn hotel review, YouTube video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. As always, all opinions are my own.