You'll never forget your first visit to the fabulous Spanish-style Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. We certainly haven't. The place oozes old California charm, from its pink exterior to the roaring fire inside. Set in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma, it's an easy one-hour drive from San Francisco to the restorative inn.
Although some recent guests have said the rooms could use an overhaul, the Alcove Rooms have just been renovated with a Provencal accent. We favor the deluxe fireplace room with the king bed and the old-fashioned wood burning fireplace.
If money is no object, we advise you to book a suite. There are several to choose from including the Mission, the One Bedroom, or the Fairmont Suite. The Mission suite has also been recently renovated and features French doors with balconies that overlook the garden.
There are a plethora of dining options. Sante Restaurant is the Mission Inn's high-end dining room. 38 North is the place for a glass of wine or specialty cocktail. The Water Tower Bar serves poolside snacks and meals. The Sonoma Golf Club Grill offers a full menu on the fairway. And of course, there's always room service, a good choice if you're tucked in a cozy Fairmont Suite.
"It's worth a special trip to eat here", Conde Naste Traveler magazine wrote. What can you expect on the menu? To start, try the white asparagus salad with a tangle of arugula, toasted almonds and champagne vinaigrette. Other popular appetizers are the chilled Maine lobster salad and Petrossian caviar. A main course favorite is the Sonoma Liberty duck breast with braised forest mushrooms and zesty cilantro pistou. Although it is California, we'd start the meal with a glass of Ruinart Brut Rose champagne.
The sleek, modern bar serves elegant cocktails and delicious small plates to tide you over until dinner. Consider the polenta fries with a spicy red pepper dipping sauce, the devilled eggs filled with black truffle mousse or traditional French escargots served piping hot in the Burgundian way with plenty of butter and garlic. Pair the appetizers with a signature Verte 75 made with gin, chartreuse and Domaine Carneros sparkling wine or Hwa Chae with Bacardi, watermelon, pineapple & maple syrup. Happy Hour is from 4 to 6 pm and their slogan is "Luxury is Happier".
Travel + Leisure magazine rates the Willow Spa at the Mission Inn as one of the top 25 spas. Water from the ancient thermal mineral spring supplies the healing waters to the 40,000-square-foot spa. Soak in the mineral baths before or after a signature treatment.
Try the Wine-Country Recovery restorative treatment. Soak in a healing alkaline bath, then an aloe-gel body wrap, foot massage, and a hydrating mini-facial.
The Harvest Kur treatment uses locally-sourced ingredients to make the lotions used in this treatment. First you're exfoliated, then you soak in a bubble bath, are wrapped in grape seed mud and rose hip oil before your full-body massage. Okay! Make ours a double!
After reviewing several reviews, it looks like the Fairmont people need to give some necessary upgrades and TLC to the Mission Inn. But overall, guests rave about the high customer service, the great swimming pool, the restorative spa, and the great dining options.
Superb Plus = 93%+ Travelers Rating
Superb = 88%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated Plus = 85%+ Travelers Rating
Highly Rated = 80%+ Travelers Rating
• Rating = Highly Rated Plus
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