Behind the yellow 1873 farmhouse, home to fine dining (order the calamari à la plancha), there’s a nouveau barn of plush rooms, some guest cottages and a spa. Try a Gifts from the Vines treatment: a Russian River honey face mask and a rose geranium-and-grape-seed-butter body wrap on a heated waterbed.
Here, burrow neck-deep in a steaming, fragrant tub of finely ground cedar, rice bran and evergreens, naturally warmed by fermentation to break down toxins in your body. We paced the meditation garden (with resident turtle), then went Zen in the relaxation room and understood why Spirituality & Health named this America’s most spiritual spa.
3 Kenwood Inn and Spa
“We allow drinking in the hot tubs. We kind of encourage it,” says the attendant who leads us to our fireplace-and-featherbed room. In the girly spa, the Wine Country Facial includes a face mask with a grape-seed-oil massage and Hollywood-secret Arcona products. In the morning, enjoy the view of the hilly vineyards surrounding this Mediterranean-style villa with your fresh-baked breakfast scones.
4 Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
In a spa-rich county, this is one of the few with a natural source of mineral-rich thermal water. Create your own Bathing Ritual by going from the exfoliating shower with rosemary-eucalyptus shower gel to the herbal-steam room, dry sauna, two indoor mineral pools and outdoor Watsu pool. A vigorously administered Chardonnay Sugar Scrub treatment, drenched with olive oil, left us feeling as smooth as a freshly peeled grape.
5 The Spa at Hotel Healdsburg
Even solo spa guests should angle for the couple’s room – an airy space with a sliding barn door and a giant brushed-aluminum soaker tub. The seasonal Autumn Garden Massage uses products infused with lavender, rose geranium and sandalwood from Stellaflora Botanicals in nearby hippy-dippy enclave Sebastopol. A dry-mitt exfoliation, a warm foot wrap steeped in a “tea” of the same botanicals and a cooling hydrosol spray elevate this beyond a regular rubdown.
The Trees for the Forest
You think to yourself, I’ve seen redwoods before. But you haven’t, not really. At the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, old-growth giants can be more than 1,400 years old, three metres in diameter and 94 metres tall. Much of this region was covered by primeval redwood forest before logging began in the 19th century. Fortunately, this rainy, damp pocket remains a protected area for the ancient trees, often veiled in coastal fog, adding to the mystical aura that draws all sorts of seekers to this place.
Treats Between Spa Treatments
1 Explore alternative energy sources at hip h2hotel – maybe an artisan cocktail made with local spirits to go with merguez sausage served with harissa and tomato dip at Spoonbar?
2 Taste or buy some Tuscan-style DaVero olive oil, especially the inimitable Meyer lemon variety, by appointment at the Healdsburg-area grove.
3 Fill your tank with the best clam chowder at Spud Point Crab Company in Bodega Bay, but watch out for The Birds. (Hitchcock filmed here.)
Here are the addresses you’ll need for a memorable spa weekend in and around Sonoma County, California.Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve Just north of Guerneville
DaVero Olive Oil 766 Westside Rd., Healdsburg, 707-431-8000, davero.com
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa 100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma, 866-540-4499, fairmont.com/sonoma
Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant 7871 River Rd., Forestville, 707-887-3300, farmhouseinn.com
Kenwood Inn and Spa 10400 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood, 707-833-1293, kenwoodinn.com
Osmosis 209 Bohemian Hwy., Freestone, 707-823-8231, osmosis.com
The Spa at Hotel 327 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-433-4747, hotelhealdsburg.com/spa
Spoonbar Within h2hotel, 219 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-433-7222, h2hotel.com/spoonbar
Spud Point Crab Company 1860 Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay, 707-875-9472, spudpointcrab.com