Clever travelers give the Healdsburg hubbub and prices the heave-ho but still have easy access to outstanding Dry Creek and Alexander Valley wineries from this modest, motel-like inn. Should you suddenly crave some upscale Healdsburg action, the town square is less than 10 miles away, and downtown Geyserville's tasting rooms and two worthy restaurants are less than a mile away.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some guests find rooms facing the pool or the highway on the noisy side; to ensure a quieter stay, ask for a vineyard-view room in the rear.
Room categories range from queen rooms with one or two beds to king rooms and two king suites. All the rooms, done in pastels with deeper-tone accents, have refrigerators, coffee makers, and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, and microwaves are provided upon request. Many rooms have fireplaces, and some have balconies. The Kitchen Suite has a king bed in the bedroom and a queen sofa bed in the living room; it and an off-site two-bedroom cottage are bookable only by calling the inn.
The king suites, each with a private entrance, occupy a separate building. Their lures include microwaves, fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, and vineyard and mountain views from two balconies.
The bathrooms in standard rooms have ceramic-tiled combination tubs and showers. Suites have larger and more stylish marble-tile bathrooms, all with jetted whirlpool tubs.
The lobby and check-in area though small is surprisingly inviting, with comfortable chairs, a fireplace, and quality coffee and teas available throughout the day. A computer and printer are available for guest use.
Between the main inn building and the Geyserville Grille, the rectangular pool, solar heated year-round, is large enough to get a reasonably good workout. The hot tub, also solar heated, is nearby.
The inn's rates don't include breakfast, but you can have breakfast and lunch on weekdays, brunch on weekends, and dinner nightly except Tuesday and Wednesday most of the year (closed additional days in winter). The ample breakfasts—French toast, pancakes, and various eggs Benedict options are among the stars—please patrons and locals. Expect crispy calamari, salads, pastas, wraps, burgers, and sandwiches for lunch, and some of the same plus brick chicken, pot roast, and other American standards for dinner.
The Geyserville Grille, which has a full bar, pours many local wines and craft beers. It closes early, though, and isn't open on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.
The inn is just east of U.S. 101's Canyon Road exit on Highway 128 (aka Geyserville Avenue). Although you can walk to downtown Geyserville in 15 minutes, you'll likely want to drive to points farther afield. Sonoma County Transit Bus 60, which serves Geyserville from Cloverdale to the north and Healdsburg to the south, stops at Francis Ford Coppola Winery and other tasting rooms.
Pizzas pulled cooked in a wood-burning oven and several types of house-cured meats are the draws at Diavola Pizzeria and Salumeria (2-minute drive). Cookbook author and Iron Chef judge Domenica Catelli teamed up with her brother Nicholas to revive Catelli's (2-minute drive), their family's American-Italian restaurant, a Geyserville fixture that opened in the 1930s. Another popular spot for Italian: Rustic at Francis Ford Coppola Winery (8-minute drive), whose vineyard views make it a pleasant lunch venue.
Next door to Diavola (same ownership), the Geyserville Gun Club Bar & Lounge (2-minute drive), a long, skinny bar in Geyserville's Odd Fellows Building, wows locals and tourists with Sazeracs, Gibsons, and other classic cocktails. Nibbles include pickles, chicken wings, and fish crudos.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Within the Alexander Valley wine appellation and not far from Dry Creek Valley wineries, the inn is a fine getaway for lovers of northern Sonoma County wineries. Although not flashy, the well-maintained rooms are decorated with care, and the pool's a definite boon on hot summer days, of which there are many. Especially during the off-season, you can find excellent deals on discount-travel websites.