Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa:California’s Wine Country Retreat

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It is one of Wine Country’s most iconic hotels, built a century ago with a history as rich as the nearby gold rush towns located throughout the region.  It is literally a beacon for the well-to-do seeking the good life with a fitting three-story high water tower that sits at the center of the property like a trophy. One could surmise the tower is a symbol of admiration bestowed by guests for the 5-star resort’s sublime setting, luxurious accommodations, and dining experience created to impress the most discerning gourmand. This is the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa and one of the finest retreats that California wine country has to offer.

Located just an hour north of San Francisco, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the grand dame of luxury resorts in California’s Wine County. Originally built in 1927, the private sanctuary is spread out over 13 acres with Spanish Colonial Revival-style buildings made popular in this region over a century ago. 

The retreat exudes old-world elegance with beautifully landscaped grounds, majestic redwood trees, flower gardens, and salmon-hued buildings covered in ivy.

Indoors continues to impress with period design features including stucco finishes, exposed rafters, Saltillo tile floors, and a grand wood-burning fireplace. Throughout the lounges and common area are gorgeous artworks, statues, and sculptures.

This is a haven for the well to do with gurgling water fountains and warming fire pits for chilly nights. The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa offers restoration on another level with geothermal-fed mineral wells feeding natural hot-spring water to the property’s three pools. Guest swim and soak to relieve tension deep within muscles and then relax while sunbathing surrounded by swaying palm trees or chill out on chaise lounges in private cabanas.   

Although a short distance from the manic pace of San Francisco, the enclave is a world away. Within a few minutes' drive away are Sonoma’s undulating hills lined with rows of grape vines punctuated by grand winery estates. This is the heart of wine country with dozens of nearby wineries in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys offering wine-centric experiences from tastings to the finest gastronomy.  

The retreat is also located a few minutes from the heart of town, Sonoma Plaza, with fancy clothes shops, art galleries, and restaurants, and plenty of tasting rooms to sample the best of the region’s wines in one place. The town square offers a leafy oasis with soft grass, playgrounds, walking paths, and duck ponds.

The resort’s 226 luxuriously appointed accommodations are exceptional as well and range from guestrooms to expansive suites. The Mission Spa Suites is ideal for a romantic getaway with spacious living areas with wood-burning fireplaces, four poster beds, and a balcony or patio viewing the park-like grounds. The suite’s most decadent feature is the jacuzzi soaking tub made for romantic nights.

This region is after all the mecca of wine in North America. And good wine demands good food which is another aspect of the Fairmont Sonoma that does not disappoint. The resort offers several dining experiences from gourmet to casual poolside.  Sante is where their culinary prowess shines offering haute Modern American cuisine and the best of California’s farm-to-table dining created from fresh,   sustainable, and seasonal ingredients from regional producers. Their wine list is impressive as well with 500 Sonoma and Napa wines.

Expect dishes like Malinga oysters, fresh from the Pacific and so fresh you’ll feel like you are eating a piece of the sea. Served on the shell with a selection of exquisite accouterments and then paired with a Sauvignon Blanc from a winery just a few miles away, this dish is a must-have for the seafood lover. Mains include a range of meats, poultry, and fish such as the 16oz Mishima Reserve Wagyu Chateaubriand with poblano béarnaise and bordelaise sauce. With offerings such as this, you’ll understand why the restaurant has earned national acclaim as one of California’s most esteemed hot tables. 

The  Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is an ideal place to explore all that California’s Wine Country has to offer. From its rich history to its grounds with sitting areas and fire pits, ivory-covered buildings, and healing geo-thermal pools, it makes the perfect base for a stay in Sonoma.

Glenn Harris

Glenn Harris is an accomplished journalist focusing on international travel, fine dining, and luxury lifestyle events. His wanderlust has taken him to over 105 countries where he is constantly straying off the beaten path uncovering new and exotic finds. He particularly enjoys seeking out lesser known travel gems and places to stay, dine, or experiences to capture. ...(Read More)

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