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Vintners Inn, Santa Rosa: Situated on 92 acres of lush vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Vintners Inn does wine country romance like no one else (just ask the countless couples who’ve celebrated their weddings and honeymoons here). Despite its popularity, Vintners Inn retains the kind of hideaway-feel that an enchanting escapade needs; curl up side-by-side while sipping a cabernet and you’ll feel far from the madding crowd.
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At Vintners Inn, 44 decadent rooms face landscaped gardens and a serene central courtyard, fireplaces warm the rooms in winter months and a scenic 2-mile trail winds through the vineyards outside.
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If the way to your heart is through your stomach, then you’ll find a soulmate in deluxe dining destination John Ash & Co, nestled next to Vintners Inn. This is the restaurant that introduced California cuisine more than 35 years ago, and stays true to that tradition with fresh farm-to-table food mostly sourced from the hotel's culinary gardens.
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Vintners Inn's John Ash & Co was awarded “Best Romantic Meal in Sonoma County” in The Press Democrat’s “Best of Sonoma County 2016” competition - and "with good reason," says Sonoma Magazine restaurant critic Jeff Cox, "twinkling lights set the mood nightly over an all-season patio with vineyard views, an award-winning wine list offers an exclusive tour of Sonoma wineries, and Executive Chef Tom Schmidt’s food covers everyone’s favorites in a way that wows."
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For a romantic getaway, Vintners Inn recommends their "Celebrate Romance" package which includes a one-night stay in the guest room of your choice (romanced with tea lights and red silk rose petals), a 60-minute in-room couple massage, a bottle of Roederer Estate sparkling wine paired with half dozen chocolate-dipped strawberries, $100 certificate at John Ash & Co. restaurant, two-for-one breakfast at Vintners Inn Café, and VIP tour and tasting at Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery.
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Farmhouse Inn, Forestville: Farmhoues Inn offers all the warmth and hospitality of a family-owned B&B, with the high end services and amenities of a five star hotel. Once a rundown farmhouse, the inn has been transformed by brother-and-sister team Joe and Catherine Bartolomei and is now the epitome of wine country living — fine wine, artisanal food and natural beauty form the trinity of its attractions. And the romance factor is high; Farmhouse Inn was recently featured in Brides Magazine as one of the 6 best spots in wine country to elope (they even have a special elopement package with everything you'll need for your escapade.)
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Forestville, a summer destination for bohemians, writers, artists and vacationers since the early 1900s, is definitily worth a visit during your romantic stay at the Farmhouse Inn. This tiny town has all the necessary ingredients for La Dolce Vita — majestic redwoods, fir-covered hills, the Russian River meandering toward Pacific shores, a wide variety of artisanal food, a rural flavor and a laid back style. Or you could just stay put in your country-chic Farmhouse room.
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Farmhouse Inn recommends their "Pedal to Wellness" package, which includes a bike ride through wine country with visits to wineries and a healthy lunch, followed by a purifying spa-experience at the Farmhouse Inn with massage, steam and scrub.
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For a farm-to-table grand finale, the Farmhouse Inn houses an upscale, yet surprisingly low-key, Michelin-starred restaurant. Sonoma Magazine dining editor Heather Irwin says "the ambiance is sophisticated yet cozy, the Cal-French cuisine delicious yet unpretentious, the decor chic and the service snappy." (Photo by Charlie Gesell)
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Hotel Petaluma: This historic Petaluma hotel is polished to perfection. During a recent renovation, the hotel's main entrance was restored to its former grandeur and lush landscaping and a hexagonal fountain were added to the courtyard. Inside, a high-ceilinged lobby has new deep sofas and armchairs, while original tile flooring and a wood-manteled fireplace maintain the feel of the early 20th century. Play a romantic serenade to your better half on the baby grand piano, its sweet sound traveling throughout the building. (Photo by Rebecca Chotkowski)
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Petaluma, settled in 1850, is host to the kind of quaint storefronts, cute boutiques, heritage homes and retro memorabilia that will make a true romantic's heart melt. (Photo by Rebecca Chotkowski)
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In search of an aphrodisiac? You need not go far when staying at Hotel Petaluma. The Shuckery, housed in the hotel building, features oysters, oysters, and more oysters (and other seafood). Sonoma Magazine restaurant critic Carey Sweet says the "oysters are good, but the fresh fish is divine, in simple presentations that let the fresh catch shine through." The Shuckery also operates Bar 855 in the hotel lobby.
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Hotel Petaluma has 91 modern guest rooms, from petite queen to junior suite. (Photo by Rebecca Chotkowski)
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MacArthur Place, Sonoma: This spa hotel, set on a historic 19th century estate, embodies the kind of luxurious laid back charm Sonoma is known for. For those in search of romance, the estate features a relaxing zen garden and a pool surrounded by magnolia trees; the hotel's 29 suites have fireplaces and hydrotherapy tubs; and the spa offers over 40 different massage, facial and body treatments utilizing flowers, herbs and plants found in the hotel garden.
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If you'd like to treat your soulmate to an unforgettable Sonoma stay, you can book a Cabana Suite at MacArthur Place. It comes with fireplace, over-sized bathroom with forty-jet hydrotherapy tub and a private garden with fountain and rain shower housed in a tented cabana.
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For a cozy candlelight meal, make reservations at MacArthur Place's Saddles Steakhouse, housed in an onsite barn. "After 20 years, Saddles in Sonoma is still superb," says Sonoma Magazine restaurant critic Carey Sweet, "I always feel like I’ve been admitted to someone’s living room when dining here." (Photo by John Burgess)
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Hotel Les Mars, Healdsburg: If a French rendezvous is your idea of romance, check into Hotel Les Mars in Healdsburg. Located just a block from Healdsburg plaza, this chic 16-room hotel looks as if it's been plucked out of the French countryside and planted in the heart of wine country. The hotel features antique pieces, 17th and 18th-century furniture and a marble spiral staircase in the lobby. The guest rooms are individually designed, most of them have canopied beds, and all beds are irresistibly plush.
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Between the fluffy bed, well-stocked bookcase, warming fireplace, rainfall shower, deep soaking tub and complimentary French breakfast (delivered to your room), it may be hard to find any reason to leave your room when staying at Hotel Les Mars. You could just slip out briefly to try some artisan cheese and wine during evening receptions.
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If you do decide to venture outside of the hotel room for some candlelight dining, you still wouldn't need to leave the hotel. Hotel Les Mars is host to Chalkboard restaurant, which specializes in contemporary, small plate dining. Executive chef Shane McAnelly sources much of the menu from local purveyors and farms; many ingredients come from the restaurant’s own dedicated 3-acre garden located at Foley's nearby Chalk Hill Winery estate. This is a great opportunity to experience the farm-to-table dining experience that Sonoma County is known for. (Photo by Conner Jay)
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