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Recommended accommodations in Northern California
Glen Ellen (Sonoma Valley)
Beltane Ranch, 11775 Sonoma Highway, 95442
Chosen as a "Best Kept Secret" by Travel and Leisure magazine, the Beltane Ranch occupies an 1892 ranch house and cottage nestled at the base of the Mayacamas mountains.
There are five rooms in the two-story main house that each open out onto the verandahs that run the full length of the house. Staircases at either end provide private outdoor entrances to each of these rooms. There's also a private, two-room cottage with French doors opening onto a patio. At $220 a night, this is a great buy. The 1,600 acre working ranch has hiking trails through old oaks and a tennis court. And breakfast -- served on the verandah -- is included.
Phone:  707.996.6501
Doubles from:   140USD
Cottage from:  220USD

Gaige House Inn, 13540 Arnold Drive, 95442
Gaige House is one of A&E's "Top Ten Romantic Getaways in the World" and Travel & Leisure's "Number 1 Bed and Breakfast" for June 2000. And the reviews don't do it justice. The rooms are beautifully decorated and thoughtfully outfitted -- as inviting and luxurious as those costing twice as much. Data ports, wireless access and voice mail are nice features for those who wish to stay connected. There's a lovely heated swimming pool with sun decks, beautiful gardens, a hammock hung near a babbling brook, and an outdoor hot tub. Breakfast, which is additional, might be Pancetta wrapped radicchio with crisp yellow polenta, asparagus and pesto sauce or portabella scramble with smoked salmon and goat cheese. Complimentary wine is served in the afternoon and cookies and beverages are available throughout the day. An absolutely stellar property.
Phone:  800.935.0237 or 707.935.0237
Fax:  707.935.6411
Doubles from:   295USD

Healdsburg (Sonoma Valley)
Belle de Jour Inn, 16276 Healdsburg Avenue, 95448
Set on six acres overlooking the vineyards, Belle de Jour is comprised of an 1873 Italianate farmhouse where the innkeepers live, four trim cottages, and a carriage house which has been converted to a suite. Rooms are beautifully decorated and have fireplaces, CD players, refrigerators, and luxurious bathrooms. The Terrace Room, the Caretakers Room, and the Carriage House suite are standouts. A fabulous breakfast is included in the room rate.
Phone:  707.431.9777
Fax:  707.431.7412
Doubles from:   195USD

Madrona Manor, 1001 Westside Road, 95448
According to Conde Nast Traveler, "there's no better way to de-stress..." than with a stay at Madrona Manor. The Victorian estate was built in 1881 and it sits on eight acres of woods, orchards, and gardens. Accommodations are available in the main house, in the Carriage House, which also dates from 1881, and in a couple of other out-buildings on the property. Many of the antique-furnished rooms have fireplaces and eight have balconies or decks. There's a swimming pool and the restaurant is very good. A wonderful place to stay.
Phone:  800.258.4003 or 707.433.4231
Fax:  707.433.0703
Doubles from:   235USD

The Honor Mansion, 14891 Grove Street, 95448
Located in a fully restored Victorian house built in 1883, the Honor Mansion is in a lovely neighborhood in Healdsburg. The individually decorated rooms are really nicely turned out -- beautifully decorated and outfitted. Attention to details reigns with niceties like European linens, Egyptian cotton towels, and both summer and winter bathrobes. The lap pool and sun decks are great after a tough day of wine tasting. And evening sherry and biscuits and a gourmet breakfast are included in the room rate.
Phone:  800.554.4667 or 707.433.4277
Fax:  707.431.7173
Doubles from:   225USD

Inverness (Point Reyes)
Blackthorne Inn, 266 Vallejo Avenue, 94937
Set in a wooded canyon near Inverness, the Blackthorne Inn is as much a tree house as an inn. There are decks on four levels crafted from local cedar, redwood, and Douglas fir, and turrets, gables, and beams galore. Each of the five guestrooms is different and none is suitable for those who have trouble with steps. The Eagle's Nest, perched like an aerie in the trees, occupies an octagonal tower and has a private sundeck. The bath is reached by a catwalk. The main room of the lodge has a large stone fireplace and the hot tub on the top deck is perfect for star gazing. The Blackthorne has a loyal following and you'll need to book well in advance for summer or weekends. It's more rustic than luxurious, but the forest setting is spectacular. Breakfast is included in the room rate.
Phone:  415.663.8621
Fax:  415.663.8635
Doubles from:   245USD

Dancing Coyote Beach, PO Box 98 , 94937
The least expensive of our recommended accommodations in the Point Reyes area, Dancing Coyote Beach is actually four self contained cottages on Tomales Bay. Each cottage has a deck, a sky-lit loft bedroom, a wood-burning fireplace, and a kitchen stocked with breakfast supplies. The Beach Cottage with a deck overlooking the bay from the upper level is the best choice. The property is shielded from the road by a grove of pine and cypress trees, but it's just a three-minute walk to restaurants. And the beach is at your doorstep. Reserve well in advance
Phone:  415.669.7200
Fax:  415.663.8783
Cabins from:   150USD

Manka's Inverness Lodge, 30 Callendar Way, 94937
Far and away the most expensive place to stay in the Point Reyes area, Manka's has a variety of accommodations and a fabulous restaurant. Built in 1917 as a hunting and fishing lodge in the California Arts and Crafts style, Manka's is cozy, woodsy, and unpretentious. There are four rooms upstairs in the lodge -- numbers one and two have private decks, fireplaces, and two-person tubs. An additional four rooms are available in the Redwood Annex. The cabins are the most luxurious accommodations in terms of space and amenities and these are booked as much as a year in advance. Look at it this way, it's a lot cheaper than owning a second home at the beach, and staying in one of the cabins feels a lot like that. For those with the money, Manka's offers the opportunity to step back in time and enjoy spectacular natural beauty in complete comfort.
Phone:  415.669.1034
Fax:  415.669.1598
Doubles from:    215USD

Sandy Cove Inn, 12990 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., 94937
Sandy Cove Inn is one of the most inviting places to stay near the Point Reyes National Seashore. Travel and Leisure calls it "one of the nation's best small seaside inns." And with doubles starting around $200, it's not overpriced. With a stretch of sandy beach on Tomales Bay, stables, and beautiful grounds, you could have a wonderful weekend here without ever leaving the property. The weathered Cape Cod style inn has just three rooms, each with a fireplace and its own private entrance. Breakfast here is outstanding and you can enjoy it in the solarium or in your room.
Phone:  800.759.2683 or 415.669.2683
Fax:  415.669.7511
Doubles from:   200USD

Ten Inverness Way, Ten Inverness Way, 94937
Located in a 1904 Craftsman, Ten Inverness Way is a cozy base from which to explore. There's a large stone fireplace in the living room of the shingled house and an inviting library. The five guest rooms are nicely decorated. And guests can reserve a secluded hot tub in the garden. Breakfast, which is included in the room rate, is very nice and you can have it delivered to your room.
Phone:  415.669.1648
Fax:  415.669.7403
Doubles from:   150USD

Kenwood (Sonoma Valley)
Kenwood Inn & Spa, 10400 Sonoma Highway, 95452
Resembling a Tuscan villa, this 12-room inn has a full service spa on site. There are four rooms in the original stone building, which is now covered in ivy. And another two to four suites in three new buildings. Rooms have fireplaces and either balconies or terraces. The buildings surround a central courtyard with a fountain leading to a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and arbor. This is a terrific property for those who prefer something intimate. Sitting on the terrace overlooking the vineyards, it's not hard to imagine that you're in Italy. Breakfast is included in the room rate and children are discouraged.
Phone:  800.353.6966 or 707.833.1293
Fax:  707.833.1247
Doubles from:   400USD

Little River (Mendocino)
Glendeven, 8205 N. California 1, 95456
Built around a Federal clapboard farmhouse dating from 1867, the Glendeven is surrounded by lovely gardens, a headland meadow, and Van Damme State Park. Country Inns magazine named it one of the 12 best inns in the country and it made USA Today's list of "Ten Great Places for a Romantic Weekend." There are five rooms in the original farmhouse, three with fireplaces and balconies or porches. The Stevenscroft building has another four rooms with fireplaces and ocean views. And with two fireplaces, the Carriage House suite combines privacy and luxury. There's also a two-bedroom, two-bath rental house. Breakfast is included in the room rate, as are evening wine and hors d'oeuvres. This is a great choice for those who enjoy peace and quiet and prefer to be away from the bustle of Mendocino.
Phone:  800.822.4536 or 707.937.0083
Fax:  707.937.6108
Doubles from:   145USD

Heritage House, 5200 N. California 1 , 95456
Like the two lovers in the Alan Alda movie "Same Time, Next Year" which was filmed here in 1978, the Heritage House has aged gracefully. The 37 acres of oceanfront property overlooking a cove are as stunning as any place on the Mendocino coast. And thankfully, most rooms here have wonderful views. The farmhouse was built in 1877, and extensively rebuilt in 1949. There are three types of accommodations, most in private cottages scattered around the property. Many of the cottages have fireplaces, Jacuzzi tubs and private decks. The restaurant is so good that you need never leave and there are walking trails on the propery. Book well in advance. Some of the most desirable cabins are reserved a year ahead.
Phone:  800.235.5885 or 707.937.5885
Fax:  707.937.0318
Doubles from:   299USD

Agate Cove Inn, 11201 N. Lansing St., 95460
Set in two acres of cottage gardens on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, Agate Cove Inn has the most heavenly location imaginable. In fact, the inn is so picturesque that it frequenly graces the cover of inn and B&B guides. Almost all of the ten rooms here -- which are located in a farmhouse dating from 1860 and in single and duplex cottages -- have ocean views and amenities like VCRs, CD players, fireplaces, and private decks. Once you get settled in here, you may never want to leave. Breakfast is always delicious and served in a room with glorious views of the crashing surf. Avoid cottages at the back of the property, which are subject to street noise.
Phone:  800.527.3111 or 707.937.0551
Fax:  707.937.0550
Doubles from:   139USD

Joshua Grindle Inn, 44800 Little Lake Rd., 95460
This lovely New England-style clapboard house was built in 1879 by the town banker. It sits on two acres overlooking the ocean and is walking distance to shops and restaurants. Six of the ten rooms have fireplaces and several have spa tubs. Five rooms are in the main house, three are in the water tower, and two are in a saltbox cottage. Breakfast here is one of the most scrumptious you'll ever enjoy and the hosts are very gracious. The Joshua Grindle has won numerous "Best Inn" awards and deservedly so.
Phone:  707.937.4143
Doubles from:   179USD

Mendocino Farmhouse, Olson Lane, 95460
Surrounded by redwood forest, gardens, meadows, and a pond, the Mendocino Farmhouse is a lovely spot for unwinding. Chances are, you'll be greeted by Sage, the yellow lab, at the door. There are four antique-furnished rooms in the farmhouse, one has a fireplace and one has a private deck. There are another two rooms in the Barn Cottage; both have stone fireplaces. A farmhouse breakfast with goodies like Pesto Eggs is included in the room rate, making the Mendocino Farmhouse a very good value.
Phone:  800.475.1536 or 707.937.0241
Doubles from:   139USD

Stanford Inn by the Sea, Highway 1 and Comptche Ukiah Road, 95460
This is a special property with lots of unexpected bonuses. The Stanford Inn is a certified organic garden and farm on 11 acres bounded by the Big River. One of the greenhouses contains an indoor hot tub, a pool, and an exercise room. Top quality mountain bikes are available for rental, and kayak and canoe rental are available at the property. All 33 rooms have fireplaces or Waterford stoves and private decks with ocean views. Rooms are furnished with antiques, CD players, wirelaess access and VCRs. The restaurant is vegetarian and very good and a full breakfast is included daily.
Phone:  800.331.8884 or 707.937.5615
Fax:  707.937.0305
Doubles from:   265USD

Rutherford (Napa Valley)
Auberge du Soleil, 180 Rutherford Hill Rd., 94573
When money's no object, this is the spot. It seems to have been plucked from Provence. The luxury is understated and the entire property is overwhelmingly romantic. Each room has a huge tub, a wood-burning fireplace, a wet bar stocked with goodies and French doors leading to a private deck with beautiful views of the vineyards and olive groves. The swimming pool is glorious. There's a full service spa for even more pampering and the restaurant is fabulous. The patio is one of the nicest places in Napa for a cocktail. And service is everything you could hope for. Exceptional. Stunning. Glorious.
Phone:  800.348.5406 or 707.963.1211
Fax:  707.963.8764
Doubles from:   500USD

St. Helena (Napa Valley)
Meadowood, 900 Meadowood Lane, 94574
Trying to decide between Auberge du Soleil and Meadowood is a matter of aesthetics. If you can afford one, you can afford the other. It's more a matter of whether you prefer a gray shingle-style New England country club or a Tuscan villa. The other key factor is golf. Meadowood has it, Auberge du Soleil doesn't. But other than that you can't go wrong at either property. Rooms here also have fireplaces and private terraces. There are lots of recreational opportunities, including croquet. A full service spa offers every imaginable health and beauty treatment. And the restaurants are very good. Overall, Meadowood feels a little more casual, and a little less Napa than Auberge du Soleil. Take bushels of money to either one.
Phone:  800.458.8080 or 707.963.3646
Fax:  707.963.3532
Doubles from:   450USD

The Ink House, 1575 St. Helena Highway, 94574-9775
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ink House was built in 1884. Rooms, which are on the second floor, are nicely decorated and furnished with antiques. A gourmet breakfast is also included. The two least expensive rooms share a bath. The top floor of the house is a glass observatory where you can enjoy a glass of wine while drinking in the 360-degree view of the surrounding vineyards. The downside here is the proximity to Highway 29, but with doubles starting at $125, Ink House does offer good value for money.
Phone:  707.963.3890
Fax:  707.968.0739
Doubles from:   125USD

Wine Country Inn, 1152 Lodi Lane, 94574
This pretty wood and stone inn has 14 rooms in the main building, 6 in the Brandy Barn, and 4 in Hastings House. All of the rooms are nicely furnished with antiques and home-made quilts and many have fireplaces and balconies or decks with vineyard views. Some have private hot tubs and there's a heated outdoor pool. A country breakfast and evening wine and hors d'oeuvres are included in the room rate. This is a lovely place to stay.
Phone:  888.465.4608 or 707.963.7077
Fax:  707.963.9018
Weekend doubles from:   195USD

Yountville (Napa Valley)
Maison Fleurie, 6529 Yount St., 94599
The three ivy-covered buildings that comprise this cozy Yountville inn were built in 1873. It's one of the prettiest inns in Napa. Rooms are nicely decorated in the French country style. There's a pool and a spa. And some rooms have fireplaces, spa tubs, and balconies. Maison Fleurie provides many thoughtful extras like complimentary bicycles, cookies, and bathrobes. With doubles starting at $115, it's a great value, especially when you consider that a full breakfast and afternoon hors d'oeuvres are included in the rate. Less expensive rooms are on the smallish side.
Phone:  800.788.0369 or 707.944.2056
Fax:  707.944.9342
Doubles from:   130USD