Renovated Wine Country Lodge in Sonoma

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Located one mile from Sonoma’s iconic plaza, newly updated Lodge in Sonoma The hotel and retreat offers stunning sculpture gardens, a poolside bar and celebrity chef Michael Mina’s first wine restaurant.

The hotel, part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, completed a property-wide transformation in 2021 to give its Mission-style architecture a modern vibe. You’ll feel it in the lobby, where a lively wooden table – salvaged from a century-old oak tree – anchors the room. There is a large custom tapestry depicting the history of the Sonoma Plaza Mission building as well as an art gallery and self-serve wine vending machine nearby.

ROOMS: All 182 rooms, suites, and private cottages have been redesigned, including Hidden Cottages, some with fireplaces or private outdoor tubs. Ours had two double beds, perfect for a small family, with Sealy pillow top mattresses, pillow top mattresses and designer duvets. There was a patio where our pup could relax – yes The Lodge is dog friendly – plus a small sofa bed and two vintage bikes, which we rode daily until recently opened Dirty girl donuts and local staple food Homemade bagels.

Some renovated rooms and cottages at The Lodge at Sonoma feature fireplaces and outdoor tubs. (The Sonoma Lodge, Autograph Collection)

Don’t be upset if your chalet is at the furthest end of the complex. Walking the winding paths of the garden, dotted with artwork inspired by water and earth, quickly became a highlight of our stay. Even our 11 year old marveled at the variety of plants – $1 million in landscaping – from roses and wisteria to plum pines and laurels. Aromas are heady, zen musical pumps through hidden speakers. It’s lovely.

SPLASHES: The bathrooms offer a walk-in shower with herringbone tiles and an oversized makeup mirror. But the best splashes happen in the heated pool and hot tub, which are surrounded by covered daybeds and private cabanas. Don’t miss High Horse, a horse trailer transformed into a poolside mini cocktail bar. The name is a lick in the cheek in Napa. There are plenty of seats, especially around the new fire pit.

SUPPLEMENTS: The hotel has two new restaurants, including Benicia’s Kitchen, a casual Latin-inspired eatery for breakfast and lunch, like braised carnitas or Hobbs Bacon Petaluma Eggs. Wit & Wisdom is Mina’s go-to tavern, serving up wood-fired pizzas, pastured meats and sensational desserts. They also have a bocce ball. Do you prefer to eat in town? Hop aboard the free shuttle, which runs from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

DETAILS: Summer rates start at $549 per night; www.thelodgeatsonoma.com

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