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Healsburg good homebase for first wine counry trip?

Healsburg good homebase for first wine counry trip?

Old Jan 31st, 2005, 09:19 AM
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Healsburg good homebase for first wine counry trip?

Hello,

We'll be making our first trip to wine country this Fall. We are very strongly leaning towards staying in Hotel Healdsburg. Although we probably more interested in visiting and exploring Sonoma county. We would also like to be able to explore the Napa region a bit, especially Rutherford.
What are your thoughts on having our homebase be Healdsburg? Are we just to far from most of the Napa region to be able to spend time there also.
We will have a car.
Thanks for your help!
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 09:21 AM
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oops, spelling errors! Healdsburg and wine country
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 09:29 AM
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Healdsburg would be my first choice. The wineries in the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek, Russian River Valley are the smallest, friendliest and least corporate. You will also find them less crowded and less likely to charge for tasting. Depending on how long you'll be here, you should have time to take a peek at Napa. But there's plenty to see in Sonoma County. Be sure to check out www.wineroad.com
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 10:22 AM
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Thanks! We'll be there about five days.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 10:32 AM
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If you're looking to be able to check out Napa too, I would strong consider staying in Glen Ellen (ideally the Gaige Inn where we stayed this past Nov. for my birthday - it was awesome!).

Glen Ellen is much more centrally located than Healdsburg, which is further north by about 30-40 minutes. If you stay in Glen Ellen, you can traverse the mountain (great windy mountain road) instead having to go around the longer ways. I highly recommend the Gaige Inn - it's a great, very highly regarded boutique B&B. Fantasticly decorated rooms/suites, great pool area, awesome breakfasts, great wine/hors d'ouvres hours, etc. We reserved one of the less expensive rooms they had and they upgraded us to an incredible suite with an adobe fireplace, sitting area, two person jacuzzi and two person shower. We didn't want to leave!
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 10:52 AM
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We stayed at the Hotel Healdsburg last Spring and really enjoyed our stay there. It's a beautiful property with many nice amenities.

The Dry Creek Kitchen was very good, regardless of some comments about the service being snooty (which I found to be untrue) the tasting dinner was very beautifully presented with professional service.

Geyserville is also very nice, the Chateau Souverain is a beautiful winery and lunch at the Alexander Valley Grille was very nice. Cheers! ***kim***
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 11:09 AM
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I'd personally l ook into other places to stay in Healdsburg. I prefer the Healdsburg side to the Napa side. That being said, most of the locals do not like Hotel Healdsburg. I'd recomend Grape Leaf Inn, Camellia Inn or for less $$ The Geyserville Inn.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 11:25 AM
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I would go for Healdsburg also. It is a bit north, but the Sonoma wine counrty is much more approachable. Get a good wine map and there are many great wineries to visit. Good resaurants and browsing too. If you want to go to Napa- it is a long drive but scenic- take 128 throught the Alexander Valley and then Knights Valley-south and end up in Northern Napa- Calistoga- another fun town. From there you can drive south on the Silverado Trail and have a beautiful less crowded drive than Highway 29. There are many roads that cross west again to Sonoma County for your return trip. Get a good wine map and a good road map- AAA is good. There is one of Napa- Sonoma counties together. HAVE FUN. Diane
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 11:53 AM
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We liked Healdsburg much more than Napa...stayed at a B & B called The Hayden House Inn and it was great. The little town was so pleasant. We especially liked the Michel Schlaumberger (sp??) Winery. We did drive over to Napa for a day....no problem and a pretty drive. Stopped at a few wineries along the way. Anyway, we would absolutely stay in Healdsburg again.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 12:14 PM
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Thanks, Healdsburg seems like a great choice for us. I am not set on Hotel Healdsburg, but I do like its contemporary look, some of the other places mentioned have more of a victorian look and we (my husband and I) tend to like modern-ish hotels, etc...
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 12:15 PM
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Would also like to consider Calistoga, any recommendations on places to stay there....
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Calistoga! We've stayed at the BW Stevenson Manor and the Comfort Inn there but my favorite place is the Indian Springs Resort. www.indianspringscalistoga.com

My story is on their website. The bungalows are like small apartments and the heated Olympic pool is really nice. You will be like Gumby after a stay at this place. Wappo Bar & Bistro is very nice for lunch.

travelchic, my feeling exactly on the Hotel Healdsburg. I was deciding between the Madrona Manor or HH, but DH is much more into contemporary so I chose the HH. You will love the ambiance here if you appreciate contemporary. ***kim***
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 12:43 PM
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Honor Mansion is supposed to be fabulous and chic, but I wouldn't say it's modern-minimalist. (Incidentally, that why I picked Gaige Inn...not a floral print or teddy bear or claw foot tub to be found.)

For modern places, you should look into the new luxury high end place up by Calistoga, I can't remember the name of it though, but it just opened last year. It's supposed to be incredible. Also, Carneros Inn - pretty new as well with modern stylings - http://www.thecarnerosinn.com/ - but it's not in Healdsburg.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 01:26 PM
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Since you have five days, here are a couple of things you might consider.

From Healdsburg take Hwy 128 through Anderson Valley (more uncrowded, friendly, family run wineries) to the coast. Take Hwy 1 south to enjoy a wonderful lunch at Queenies, in Elk. Drive north to Mendocino. The scenery is wonderful. It would be a great day trip.

Be sure to be near Chateau Souveraign near lunch time one day and eat at the Cafe. The views are terrific. Food is excellent too.

Another day trip suggestion that will take you to the coast is to Guernville (stop at Korbel along the way), visit Armstrong Redwoods (bring a picnic) and continue on to Bodega Bay. Return through Sebastapol. You'll see a lot of diversity.

In my experience, 3 or 4 wineries a day is more than enough, so you'll want to blend in some other things to do while you're there.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 01:33 PM
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If you like "modern" take a loook at DuChamp
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 03:25 PM
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Oh yes Pam, Duchamp is "da boom"!
Grasshopper gave you some good ideas
for some great things to do other than wine (we love Queenies)

We are headed up the road soon for our quarterly wine,dine and spa-ing in Calistoga
and the Napa Valley! Yipee-we get to try the new "hot spots" and old favorites.
R5
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 04:56 PM
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pam, why do the locals not like the Hotel Healdsburg? The building is gorgeous, a very nice addition to the area.

travelchic, when in Rutherford, you must check out the Auberge du Soleil. Have a glass of wine or lunch out on their gorgeous terrace with sweeping views of the vineyards below. Cheers! ***kim***
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:20 PM
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Just weighing in on the side of minimalist, verging on Asian aesthetic luxury. Personally am allergic to chintz. Have stayed at Hotel Healdsburg twice and just find it to be really beautiful - the long wood floored hallways, the Tibetan rugs, the semi-rough hewn bathrooms - and the room service from Dry Creek Inn is incredible. Have wine with nuts, honey, cheese (think it's the cheese sampler). Beds are v. romantic. Also then you can wander around the square and window-shop if you like to wander in the evening.

And agree with others, have not yet been but if I were to stay somewhere else I would go to Duchamp, Gaige, or Carneros precisely because of this style. The Calistoga Ranch Inn is not very well reviewed. In fact have booked Carneros for July because I worried it would get so full of movie stars I couldn't get in...
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:35 PM
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One of my favorite things about our room was that 6' soaking tub, so wonderful. I loved the bathrooms, very tastefully done.

We didn't order room service, but very much enjoyed the buffet breakfast in the fireplace room with the baby grand piano. Granola, yogurt, smoked salmon, breads and lots of fresh fruits and OJ. ***kim***
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 07:54 PM
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I just like to go and taste the wine!

Sleeping is of secondary importance, especially after wine tasting, the decor kinda escapes me.
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