A Press Democrat Blog


Touring your Wine Country backyard

A Table and Room With a View

Open Table users have rated two North Coast restaurants in their Top 10 list of best spots for scenic dining. The Village Inn and Restaurant in modest little Monte Rio ranked second, was in second place, behind only The Terrace Room at The Lake Merritt Hotel in Oakland and beating out better known spots in Sausalito, Tiburon and Fisherman’s Wharf. Coming in third was The Black Point Grill at the Sea Ranch Lodge, with its pastoral views of seascape meadows… Read More »

Boutique hotel in Sonoma adds rooms

The Inn at Sonoma has expanded into an adjoining building, adding eight rooms for visitors who like to be near the action on The Plaza. The new rooms are located in an annex along Broadway, giving the boutique hotel, which is set back off the road, a visible curbside presence it lacked. All the rooms have their own fireplace, an iPod dock and flat panel TV. Most also feature private balconies or patios. And if you’re out for a romantic getaway,… Read More »

Honors for Healdsburg’s Honor Mansion

Healdsburg historic Honor Mansion is raking in the awards. The latest kudos for the romantic inn with its trademark water tower is a 4-Diamond award from The American Automobile Association. This is the 16th year that the Honor Mansion, owned by Steve and Cathi Fowler, has received the prestigious award. This year fewer than 5 percent of 30,000 AAA approved lodgings recevied a 4 Diamond rating. The inn, known for its indulgent breakfasts, resort-style amenities like bocce, tennis and basketball… Read More »

Catch the olive harvest in Sonoma and spend the night

Just as a lot of Wine Country towns fall asleep with their vines after the crush, Sonoma rruns right into a second harvest. After the grapes come the olives and this year is delivering a bumper crop –more than double the stingy harvest of 2011.  The olive harvest, like the wine crush, is celebrated for several months, building up to a crescendo in February. It makes Sonoma a nice destination for North Coasters looking for a good one-tank trip to a… Read More »

Affordable romantic getaways in Napa Valley

High-end hotels and inns are offering a flurry of packages for Valentine’s spooning. But a deal is in the eye of the beholder. Napa Valley’s Harvest Inn engagement package for instance, starts at $650 a night. And while it promises to set the stage for hopefully, a lifetime of love, there are more affordable deals that offer a bit of pampering but still leave couples some capital for the wedding-, college fund or retirement — depending on their demographic. The… Read More »

Love and oysters at Nick’s

Hotels are rolling out their Valentine’s specials,with package deals and sweeteners to up the romantic ante. Nick’s Cove and Cottages, that atmospheric little collection of seaside love nests in Marshall, is planning a three-course, prix-fixe candle-lit dinner for Feb.14. The delectable menu put together by Executive chef Austin Perkins at Nick’s restaurant includes Saffron Risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano, cippolini onions and chili oil and Seared Dayboat Scallops with toasted orzo, pomegranate emulison, turnip and lobster buerre blanc. Cost is only $60,… Read More »

Plan your winter getaway now for the best deals

How many times have you wanted to kick yourself for not planning for How many times have you kicked yourself for not thinking ahead for special occasions? When you finally get down to planning your anniversary, a memorable place to pop the question or a night away near Valentine’s, there’s no room at that romantic inn – or any inn for that matter. Or you’re going to pay through the proverbial nose. Here’s a deal to consider for something uber… Read More »