Napa Valley is a household name for parents-only getaways. What people don’t realize is that Sonoma Valley offers similar beauty, fine wine and phenomenal food … and is the same distance away from San Francisco.
Because it’s less well known than Napa, Sonoma is quieter and many accommodations are less expensive for the same quality level as you find in the iconic Napa towns like Yountville and St. Helena.
The Kenwood Inn and Spa is a great example of this in action. A Italy-inspired hideaway, this boutique property is one of our favorite options for a parents-only getaway in the California Wine Country. So much so that we got married here 15 years ago! We went back to celebrate our milestone anniversary last month. The property has changed over time in various ways, but it has retained its romantic, wonderful bones. And in the spirit of a getaway without kids, the minimum age to stay here is 18.
The main swimming pool is an idyllic place to spend an afternoon or evening. It’s small but charming and sits directly outside the Kenwood Spa, which offers extensive individual and couples face and body treatments.
We indulged in their Ti Amo Couples Massage and loved it. The massage takes place on a private outdoor terrace overlooking the pool and garden. Curtains are pulled back when the treatment begins, but the feeling is one of being in an open-air setting. Candles, a bottle of Prosecco, and the dreamy setting establish the mood. Add in excellent therapists who provided customized massage treatments, and we both emerged in a new state of relaxation.
Without something like this to facilitate mental decompression, we find that it’s hard to be present and not be thinking about work or kids. Ti Amo does the trick!
The dining area at the Kenwood is set around a courtyard with outdoor fireplaces and plenty of heat lamps to enable guests to eat outdoors much of the year. The Wine Bar serves both Italian and local varietals expertly selected by the Wine Director, Ann Davis.
Wines can be paired with a glorious cheese plate with chutneys, honey, nuts and local cheeses. Ann is a gem and provides exceptional insight; her one-on-one recommendations made our meal special and gave it a strong sense of place.
The Kenwood Inn’s restaurant is casual and cozy, with a constantly evolving menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. Given the plethora of farms in Northern California, this is a treat. Italian-inspired specialties are the theme.
Breakfast has always been a highlight, with homemade breads/pastries, smoothies, fresh fruit and juices, as well as egg specialties. It’s the kind of setting where everyone sits down with a paper and relaxes for the morning. Nobody is rushing anywhere … perfect for a parents’ getaway!
Although the Inn only has 29 rooms, there is a bit of variety. The Stanze Del Giardano — Garden Rooms — are in the original wing, and although not all have been renovated, they are my favorite as they are the most atmospheric.
On this visit, we stayed in one of the Bellissime Stanze rooms in the central courtyard. They are quite large at 550 square feet, but they don’t have that great garden view. All rooms feature unbelievably comfortable beds, wrought-iron lighting fireplaces, and a private balcony or terrace. Many have outdoor seating areas. There’s also a full suite and junior suite with separate lounge areas. Visit Kenwood Inn’s accommodations page for more information.
The location is extremely convenient for Sonoma Valley wine tasting, as there are some good wineries within a few miles of Kenwood Inn, including one of our favorites, Arrowood. The town of Glen Ellen is just 10 minutes down the road and has a few excellent restaurants for a dinner out.
Napa Valley is accessible for a day trip, but while staying in and around Sonoma, it’s nice to spend time in the area. Sonoma’s historic downtown is a fun place to wander, with unique shops and restaurants. Healdsburg is also fantastic and a 45-minute drive away. We also love exploring the wineries on River Road in the heart of the Russian River Valley. In short, between the onsite spa, nearby wineries and lovely towns for wandering, parents-only entertainment is plentiful.
The only downside of the location is that there can be some road noise, although the fountains help cut down on that considerably. Light sleepers should request rooms overlooking the interior courtyards only.
Double rooms start at $350. Head to KenwoodInn.com for more information.
Editor’s Note: Kenwood Inn and Spa provided media rates for us to review it on Ciao Bambino. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy.
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