Redwoods, Douglas firs, and palms supply shade and seclusion at this lushly landscaped resort ¾ mile north of downtown Guerneville. A pool area complete with honor bar and the on-site spa put the emphasis on rest and relaxation, but Main Street's bustle and dining options—including boon eat+drink, under the same management—are easily accessible.
YOU SHOULD KNOW On its website boon hotel+spa describes itself as "focused on a relaxed, lounge, zen type atmosphere, lending itself to adult travelers."
Most guest rooms surround the pool, but toward the rear of the property lie a few ones that are quieter because they're farther from both the pool and the street. Beyond them and more peaceful still, three tastefully rustic tent rooms, available in summer only, sit atop wooden platforms. Rooms come in several categories distinguished by size and whether or not a classic black Malm Lancer fireplace is included. The more spacious suites have a separate sitting area, a sofa that converts into a bed, and a wet bar. All the indoor accommodations have soft cork floors, comfortable beds swathed in organic cotton sheets, and (except for the hotel's least expensive room) decks.
The tent rooms book up well ahead for summer weekend stays.
Simple bathrooms with white-ceramic-tile vanities and showers are stocked with Malin+Goetz bath products. Especially in the smaller rooms they're short on space for cosmetics and the like, but all the bathrooms are clean and well maintained. Tent rooms share a bathroom and shower facility.
A small office serves as the lobby, but you won't be spending much time here.
Metal tables with chairs, lounge chairs with white terry-cloth cushions and orange terry pillows, and even a four-poster bed for the ultimate in relaxation surround the angular kidney-shaped saline pool. The nearby hot tub is saline, too. Particularly in summer the pool area is the hotel's focal point.
The on-site spa occupies a tranquil mid-property space. Therapists specialize in Swedish and deep-tissue massages, which patrons (including nonguests) can enjoy with facials, foot treatments, or both if desired. As with the bathrooms, the Malin+Goetz products are used.
There's no gym here, but the hotel provides complimentary orange bikes you can ride into town, out to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, or to nearby wineries and river beaches.
Continental breakfast, delivered to your room on stainless steel trays, includes French-press coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, yogurt and granola, and biscuits that made the Oprah's Favorite Things list.
The hotel's honor bar, near the pool, is stocked with sodas, waters, beer, hard cider, cocktails, and wine. Guests fill out a card indicating what they've consumed, place it in a time-card holder, and the tab is added to the room bill.
The hotel lies ¾ mile north of River Road, called Main Street in downtown Guerneville. Driving a car is the most convenient way to get around. Some guests find the 15-minute walk to downtown or the 30-minute one to Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve a little too long, but riding the complimentary bicycles to either place shortens the commute. Sonoma County Transit buses serve Guerneville from several towns, but the nearest stop is on Main Street.
Boon hotel+spa's owners are involved with two dining-related businesses downtown (2-minute drive), boon eat+drink for dishes assembled for the most part from locally produced organic ingredients and, a few doors away, Big Bottom Market for more of those breakfast biscuits, plus clever sandwiches and savory salads to go or enjoy on-site. Other downtown options include Seaside Metal Oyster Bar (raw bar plus noteworthy chowder) and Dick Blomster's Korean Diner for KFC (addictive "Korean Fried Crack" chicken) and other comfort food.
Boon's owners also operate El Barrio (2-minute drive), known for mescal and classic tequila margaritas, plus bourbon and other craft spirits, cognac, wine, and beer. Good bar bites (chips, quesos, deviled eggs), too. Rainbow Cattle Company (2-minute drive), a fun gay dive, has a pool table. For craft beers and a Russian River view, head to Stumptown Brewery (4-minute drive), a little east of downtown.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Providing affordable luxury is one of boon's goals, and the hotel succeeds with an appealingly retro vibe and warm, personalized, yet never intrusive service. Although the property lacks some boutique-hotel amenities and style, it more than compensates for this with its woodsy setting and hip-folksy touches. Another bonus: the variety of things to do along the western edge of the Wine Country. You can taste wine, of course, but also slip out to Pacific Coast beaches, hike among redwoods, or canoe or kayak the Russian River.