Kenwood guesthouse is divine proof that wine, meditation and a hot tub worshipped by Buddha’s are our favorite kind of ‘therapy’.
We’re not sure who got luckier, Marga Friberg, the proprietor who found the plot of land that The Casa Bella Inn (The Casa Bella Inn, 8790 Sonoma Highway 12, Kenwood, CA 95452; for reservations, visit here or call Marga on 707.833.6996.) sits on, or us for getting the opportunity to stay there.
Besieged by the rolling Sonoma hills and vineyards, we found Casa Bella basking in the warmth of the early afternoon sun and standing true to her beautiful name.
The guesthouse, built in 1914, is now a registered Sonoma County Historic Landmark and is four walls and a cottage of well overdue therapy.
The modest outdoor deck immediately had me gushing over the luxurious silk cushions, throws and rugs from Bali. The five modest bedrooms are adorned with more Bali prints and treasures and have private bathrooms stocked with earth-conscious Bee Kind products.
We were lucky enough to stay The Dolce suite, which we accessed by a private entrance, making us feel like we were in our own private cottage.
After tearing ourselves away from our suite, it took us no time to come to a very strong realization – When in wine country it is actually RUDE not to drink wine (it is.) So we took Marga’s recommendations and headed straight for the neighboring tasting rooms with our Complimentary Wine Tasting Pass (another bonus of being a guest at The Casa Bella Inn!)
A short stroll will take you to some of the best tasting rooms in the Sonoma Valley, so please leave you car keys (and DUI worries) behind.
Moments later we were indulging local delicacies such as specialty olive oil, gourmet preserves and chocolate wine pairing (worth trying!) We even met one of the local famed wine dogs. Yep, wine dogs.
The Muscardini Tasting Rooms is hosted by Beni, the resident Labrador, and he’s one of a handful of locals dogs to appear in the book, Wine Dogs of California. The Muscardini owners are so proud of Beni’s that they now sell coasters, towels and postcards with his face on.
For a late afternoon bite, drop into Palooza for gourmet ‘pub grub’ such as fried pickles, spicy Buffalo wings and posh hotdogs. Palooza’s hearty fare will also cleanse the pallet of all the cheese and chocolate you’ve been nibbling on and will line your stomach for any further tasting room visits you have planned (you’ll thank me later.)
As the sun sets, head back to the Casa Bella Inn and either make the most of the luxurious in-room spa treatments (available until 8pm) or take a long soak in the outdoor hot tub.
Time the hot tub just right and you’ll see the stars appear before your eyes, and if you’re not quite ready to slow down there are hot tub-friendly wine glasses in each room. Hooray!
I’d like to say the great local Sonoma wine won’t give you a hangover, but it totally does. Fortunately there is a God and Marga’s gourmet breakfast set us just right.
Served in the main guest house, we joined fellow house guests at the family table and were spoiled rotten with three beautifully prepared courses comprising of berries with fresh cream, homemade muffins and a decadent egg, spinach and feta wheel – all organic and locally sourced.
After breakfast we headed out for a cool morning hike up the Sonoma hillside, but not forgetting to top up on more of Marga’s fantastic cure-all coffee – soooo good!
Hangover? What hangover?