Napa or Sonoma?

Jan 8th, 2007, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 245
I think NapaMatt makes some good points but I have to say that you would quite enjoy Napa more on the weekdays as opposed to the weekends when it's just madness. A Monday afternoon experience is quite different than that of a Saturday.

I third (I think third) the vote for Willie's. I've only been to the Santa Rosa location, but their mac 'n cheese is to die for...yum.

Also NapaMatt, where's the "Grocery" -is that in Yountville? I always forget..great stop for sandwiches and such when you're running around Napa.

Finally, a couple of suggestions for Sonoma = Roshambo if you want something a little off the wall (and good wine), J Winery as I really liked the pairings they put together for a small charge and you can't go wrong with the Coppola wineries in both Napa (old Niebaum Coppola - now Rubicon Estate) and in Sonoma (old Chateau Souverain).
AntInNewYork is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 175
We have stayed at the Renaissance Lodge several times. They have a great pool and the cottages are really large. The regular rooms are nice as well and very comfortable. Make sure to ask for a room in the main Lodge if you have a standard room - the anex building is right on the main road and is a bit loud.

For Restaurant recomendations we really like Della Santina just of the Square. They serve "Tuscan" syle italian food and great roasted meats.

The Carneros Bistro at the Hotel is decent, but there are better choices nearby, including many peoples favorites here - the Girl and the Fig.

Alot of the suggestions people have been giving are for the Healdsburg area and they are all excellent. For wineries and food ideas closer to your Lodge I can suggest a few...

Walk around the Sonoma Square where there are a few good tasting rooms and nice shops and food choices

In Carneros area:

Acacia: (appointment only) really nice people and nice wine - only pinot and chard.
Domaine Carneros: Know mostly for sparkling wine we love their still Pinot Noir. This is a sit down tasting with choices of cheese and other bites to enjoy with purchased flights of wine.
Artesa: This is a great place to visit for the wine and the building.
Nicholson Ranch: Another excellent Pinot Noir Producer

There are many other great wineries in the Carneros area that you can check out by visiting

Another great ares to check out is the Glen Ellen/Kenwood area which has several great wineries in the village and along the highway north through Kenwood.

These include Eric Ross, Arrowood Vineyards & Winery, Navillus Birney, BR Cohn and many many others...
montysc is offline  
Jan 9th, 2007, 09:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,766
Oakville Grocery
napamatt is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 03:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 6
I am very fond of the Napa Valley spending every summer in St.Helena since a child. I still take day trips to Rombauer & V.Sattui wineries.
However, last August, I broke away from tradition and stayed at the Renaisance Lodge at Sonoma. You will not be disappointed! Everything from the quaint cottages, to the relaxing spa treatments 4 mineral pools and fine restaurant are fantastic! While a package seems pricey at first, it is actually a good deal. Some packages offer $100 credit to the hotels highly regarded restaurant, two spa treatments, 3 free wine tasting admissions to local winieries for two, free onsite tasting and a complimentaty bottle of Schramsburg Sparkling Wine. After adding up the ala carte expenses, a package gives you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the ultimate Sonoma experience!
salesbyjulie is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2
Another restaurant for you is WillowWood, and I think it is in Graton. Good lunch spot--had a sandwich which had pear & brie on it that was out of this world! There are many quirky little towns like Sebastopol & Graton to poke around in too.
sarcar is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 04:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 306
Thank you everyone for all your suggestions. I am taking notes. I have booked the Lodge at Sonoma using Marriott points but I will look into upgrading to a package if one is available. They are offering a bed and breakfast to paying customers but so far that is not an option for point users. They may open up more possibilities as it gets closer. I'm a little disappointed I'm so far from Healdsburg since it sounds like such a great spot, but I'll try to make a day trip there. I doubt I will go at night for dinner since it's a trek. After reading all the replies it seems my instincts were right - there is no bad spot.
Jeangail is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
For decades, Sonoma.
Quite simple, lol.
M (SMdA, Gto.)
mikemo is offline  
Feb 10th, 2007, 07:07 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 306
Although I am booked at the Lodge Sonoma Renaissance, I am now taking a look at the Kenwood Inn and Spa in Kenwood. It looks so inviting and all the reviews are excellent. If I were to stay there I would use my Marriott points in SF where I was going to pay out of pocket.

Any opinions on the Lodge vs. Kenwood? Looking for opinions on the hotels themselves as well as the areas they're in.
Jeangail is offline  
Feb 15th, 2007, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 12
Sonoma definitely!!! There are 2 different regions to explore. The Sonoma Valley and Healdsburg/Dry Creek Valley. Both are beautiful.

In Sonoma Valley you have the towns of Sonoma, Glen Ellen and Kenwood to explore. Try Ravenswood, Benzinger(tour), Valley of the Moon, Kunde, Chateau St. Jean, and Landmark(chard).

Healdsburg has a cute town square. Wineries: Wilson(zin), Dry Creek, Armida(view), Simi(tour) just to name a few.
this site should help:

Lodge at Sonoma is about a mile down the road from Sonoma's town square - I haven't stayed there, but have always heard good things.
juliecav is offline  

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