Swanky Sleeps: Hotel Healdsburg

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hotelhealdsburgexterior.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

For my money, Healdsburg is the most urbane wine country city in the U.S.  The historic town plaza boasts a slew of upscale boutiques, tasting rooms, markets, and restaurants of the highest caliber, all within comfortable walking range and all eager to fill your days with hedonistic pleasures.  But it's the hotel complex anchoring the western edge of the plaza that boosts the swank factor above rest of the wine capitals.
The Hotel Healdsburg's sleek modern lines, soaring ceilings, and outdoor lounges seem straight out of L.A., but the soothing palette of natural green, brown, and grey tones, the friendly and attentive staff, the embarrassment of freebies (for everyone, not just those of us lucky enough to score a comped stay), and of course the decadently rich Pigs and Pinot event held here every March  make it clear that you're in a very different world.  Let's start with the complimentary valet service.  (San Francisco, take note.)  All in-room snackage--including the supercool bowl of bright green Granny Smith apples, and the instant ramen inexplicably stashed in the mini-fridge--is also complimentary, just like the half bottle of local Anderson Valley wine that greets you on arrival.  

Your delight at these unexpected gifts will quickly pale, however, once you throw open the gorgeous French doors and step out onto your private balcony.  There's something about the evening air in Healdsburg that's unlike any other wine country city I've visited... a pristine and unadulterated scent of the earth and the life it inspires.  You truly feel like you're in the country.

hotelhealdsburgbedroom1.jpgBut then you'll return inside and plug your iPod into the stereo's docking station, or flip on the flat screen TV to catch some international news, or run a bath in the luxurious poured concrete soaking tub, and you'll feel like you're back in the heart of a sophisticated modern metropolis.  If you'd like to stretch your legs a bit, step out for cocktails and wine at one of the numerous and deservedly famous options clustered around the square, but don't feel compelled.  Dry Creek Kitchen serves up some of the finest food and beverages in Sonoma (don't miss the unique dessert wine pairings or the outrageous Sonoma County selections), and the swanky hotel lobby bar lets you while away the hours with a fascinating mix of locals and visitors.

HotelHealdsburgLobby.jpgThe next morning, head back to the lobby for your complimentary breakfast buffet of smoked salmon and bagels and breads and pastries and yogurts and granolas and sausages and ham and potatoes and fruits and a few other things I didn't eat so can't recall... which you can either revel in there or carry back to your room for more leisurely consumption in bed.  Or poolside, or on your balcony, or on any of the countless outdoor patio spaces awaiting your presence.

There are many reasons why this hotel hosts the events it does.  An overnight stay will reveal a few of them to you.  Resistance is futile, so leave your willpower (and any lingering shame about unbridled gluttony) at home.

Hotel Healdsburg
25 Matheson Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
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