California’s Top Getaways
California is becoming even more appealing to those seeking top getaways within the US.
An itinerary starting in San Francisco then driving to beautiful Napa and Sonoma offers new properties, stunning re-dos, impressive wellness options, innovative chefs delivering elevated cuisine, plus those famed wines – sure to delight even the most discerning traveler.
It’s not hard to linger in this picturesque, hilly epicurean epicenter. After feasting my eyes on the remarkable art including the spellbinding Diego Rivera exhibit at SFMOMA, I went on a foodie feast at one of the city’s hottest newcomers. Everyone is talking about Chef Scott Koranda who helms the kitchen at 1 Hotel’s new signature indoor/outdoor restaurant, ‘Terrene’. The menu showcases the bounty of the region with fresh, local, organic, and sustainably sourced ingredients that are impeccably spiced and prepared. Many of the herbs for both the dishes and the craft cocktails grow on the rooftop chef’s garden. Guests can enjoy organic tequilas and mezcals, biodynamic wines from the Sonoma and Napa Valley regions as well as local craft beer and microbrews.
1 Hotel San Francisco, centrally located right on the Embarcadero and part of the luxury lifestyle brand inspired by nature, launched June 2022. The building formerly housed Hotel Vitale and has been totally transformed using repurposed materials. The vibe is soothing; woodsy with plants and living walls everywhere. Stylish rooms and suites are bright and sunny, done in neutral tones with reclaimed wood, organic textures and materials and capture glorious views of the iconic ferry building, San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge. The jewel in the crown, the Ferry House Suite has a fabulous eighth-floor deck with sweeping bay vistas. This lovely new addition to the city by the bay, a sophisticated eco friendly urban oasis – features an excellent full-service Bamford wellness spa to relax and rejuvenate, spacious multi room lobby with lots of leather and upholstered couches along with woven chairs for the stylish guests to linger and chat, trendy bar and cool negroni lounge. www.1hotels.com/san-francisco
Yountville may well be Napa Valley’s most precious jewel. It looks like Tuscany and is famed for prized grapes and top eating establishments. The picturesque town in the heart of California’s most famous wine region has become a chic lifestyle destination, attracting premier tasting rooms, starred chefs, voguish boutiques, luxe hotels and fashionable habitués. And the small upscale enclave of 3,000 still feels intimate. You can literally park your car upon arrival and enjoy all the delights strolling the scenic streets, taking in the lush foliage, colorful flowers and vineyards while meandering about. Everything is within walking distance.
Top accommodations in this tony hamlet include Bardessono, a stunner set in its own vineyard and fabulously Zen-chic. The lush five-acre property boasts water features, out-door sculptures, artwork, heated rooftop pool and hot tub that create a scenic ambiance. Sleek and refined, the luxurious boutique hotel contains 62 suites with handsome interiors done in warm earth tones with custom-crafted furniture, striking art, photography, plush linens, floor to ceiling windows, fireplaces and verandas. The latest additions are three gorgeous, spacious villas built last year that can be connected for extended families or made separate. Each is exquisite and supremely comfortable with a stately living room, king bedroom, spa bathrooms, courtyard and a virtual surround speaker system. Some have outdoor showers or soaking tubs. Environmental considerations are key for everything on the property
In addition to their acclaimed on site spa for ultimate pampering including a new medical grade oxygen machine for facial treatments using Linda Meredith Skincare – all of the swanky guest rooms are designed to transform into Spa Suites prepared by a spa Butler. And the spa bath butler prepares a blissful aroma bath and bubbles experience in each room.
The hotel’s superb farm to table restaurant, Lucy, sources all ingredients within a 110-mile radius and has an onsite garden which executive chef Jim Leiken visits daily for use in his inspired cuisine. The bar, with a great selection of wine, cocktails and yummy bites including delectable guacamole is a favorite hangout for the fashionable locals as well as guests. www.bardessono.com
Stanly Ranch, the third Auberge Resort in Napa, opened April 2022. Set on 712 sprawling acres of vineyards and ranch land with 135 cottages, guest rooms and 110 villas, 3 restaurants plus a wellness center with leading sports experts – the resort offers guests unique experiences such as tracking mountain lions with a wildlife conservationist and hands on falconry. www.aubergeresorts.com/stanlyranch
Sonoma wine country is more than double the size of neighbor Napa and with its gorgeous scenery, superb farm to table dining and esteemed grapes, it’s easy to fall under its spell.
The Madrona, a new boutique hotel by renowned designer Jay Jeffers located in Healdsburg in the heart of Sonoma County, debuted April 2022. This utterly charming property set on eight acres of lush, layered grounds feels like a magical wonderland amid glorious nature. Twenty-four stylish rooms and private bungalows, each delightfully unique, some with soaring ceilings, bay windows, original fireplaces plus balconies overlooking the hills of Dry Creek Valley are spread across six buildings, including the Mansion. Originally built as a gabled private residence in 1881, the historic estate has been spectacularly re-imagined with lively and whimsical eclectic design. This includes animal motifs in fabric and art, creative carved furnishings, antiques, fanciful lamps, chandeliers and an impressive art collection.
Michelin-starred chef Jesse Mallgren helms the restaurant with delectable dishes that highlight the season and Northern California while drawing inspiration from international influences with superb creations. Mallgren uses the freshest ingredients grown in the estate’s on-site garden for his eclectic tasty fare.
Some of the many amenities and experiences that make The Madrona such a gem include: inviting indoor/outdoor lounge areas in the Mansion with fireplaces including intimate parlors and cozy Hannah’s Bar, picturesque grounds with citrus groves and a half acre garden for guests to wander, enjoy and commune with nature, heated swimming pool with chaise loungers, fire pits and breakfast with homemade goodies on the scenic patio for taking in the gorgeousness and serenity. www.themadronahotel.com
For more information about travel to The Golden State: www.visitcalifornia.com