CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY
Continued (page 6 of 13)
25 Matheson St.
The town of Healdsburg is north of the main Napa-Sonoma action, making it a great choice if you're looking for a low-key honeymoon. And with places like the lively Hotel Healdsburg anchoring the adorable downtown, you don't have to sacrifice style to achieve tranquility. The rooms are spacious and have clean lines and soft colors (celadon, chocolate, cream), and the pool area is intimate, with potted lemon and olive trees and a separate semi-enclosed hot tub. Star chef Charlie Palmer oversees the Kitchen, where you can feast on specialties like Hog Island oysters, roasted organic baby beets with Laura Chenel goat cheese fondue and venison with hoisin glaze.
KENWOOD INN AND SPA
10400 Sonoma Highway
Imagine Tuscany as interpreted by a whimsical artist who has read Much Ado About Nothing, and that’s Kenwood. Once you enter the resort you leave the world behind. There are no televisions in the spacious rooms, but there are velvety chairs, heavy wooden furniture custom-made in Italy, fireplaces, deep bathtubs and tiny, witty windows that create delightfully framed views of trees, water features and sculptures. There's a spa, but the best treatment is the in-room ti amo togetherness massage, with grapeseed oil, sparkling wine and candlelight. A special treat, only for guests of the inn, is dinner with Venetian chef Renzo Veronese. Sit at a table near the open kitchen and watch him turn out flawless pasta, chops, roasted fish and minestrone.
MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY
900 Meadowood Lane
New England meets California at this longtime favorite. The whitewashed lodgings, with their fireplaces and fluffy comforters, sit amid a bowl-shaped valley. The spa and pools are practical rather than trendy, and there is a croquet glen (where you can have a wedding) as well as tennis courts, four miles of hiking trails and a golf course whose adjacent grill serves fabulous American food (have the burger, the grilled artichoke and the soup du jour). The main dining room recently lost one award-winning chef but gained another, Christopher Kostow, who features cuisine based on regional ingredients. Besides sports classes, the resort also offers comprehensive information on its flora and fauna as well as wine courses and a nightly tasting in the lobby.
1600 Atlas Peak Rd.
Tel: 707-257-0200, 800-532-0500
This is the place to come if you are golfers or just like a lot of space. Anchoring the 1,200-acre country club is a white-columned Southern-style mansion—complete with two restaurants, private party rooms, a lounge and a dance floor—that overlooks the two championship golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The 280 units, simply furnished, have fireplaces and full kitchens. The resort also has 10 swimming pools and 17 tennis courts. The spa is across the road (you can walk or take a golf cart), so you feel separate from fellow guests who want to wield themselves. Instead, you can bathe Roman style, have a couples massage or just roam around the 16,000 square feet of space at your disposal.