Nestled in California’s beautiful Sonoma County, the newest Montage Healdsburg luxury resort features 130 bungalow-style guest rooms amid 258 acres of lush, rolling vineyards and majestic oak tree groves. All rooms have a furnished terrace, and most include a fire pit– as well as splendid views of the vineyards or the mountains. Other luxury amenities include an 11,500-square-foot spa, a zero-edge resort pool, and three dining options inspired by the terroir-to-table culinary philosophy. The resort opened in December 2020 in Healdsburg, Calif., a quaint town of nearly 12,000 about two hours from San Francisco. After the pandemic shut down, the grand wooden doors to the Montage Healdsburg re-opened in 2021 and it quickly became a hot destination for famous names such as Gwyneth Paltrow, the Biebers, and former President George W. Bush. He indulged in the 4,600 square-foot Guest House suite, perched high on a knoll with a fully equipped kitchen, three bedrooms, a large outdoor tub under the oak trees and a wrap-around balcony with views of Mount Saint Helena and the Alexander Valley.
IMMERSE IN NATURE
As we drove up to the hotel, the pretty tree-lined driveway resembled a scene out of a romantic movie. We felt immersed in an unhurried, relaxed lifestyle, akin to that in the remote countryside. The friendly staff were helpful at every turn. Inside the sleek lobby, a centerpiece glass fireplace created a luxurious and cozy mood. To the left, the Scout Field Bar served up creative cocktails and French-infused noshes for guests to enjoy. An expansive retractable glass door opened to a sunny terrace with views of the vine-covered hills. Check-in was swift and we were taken to our room on a golf cart. My beautiful room decorated in sleek oak furniture included modern comfort such as crisp linens and a marble tub with a separate walk-in shower. It was thoughtfully designed to incorporate a seamless indoor/outdoor calming, back-to-nature vibe. After a long day of traveling, sitting by the terrace’s flickering fireplace and enjoying a glass of Aperture wine (compliments of the Montage) was a lovely way to take in the natural landscape.
A wealth of outdoor pursuits is available to keep you busy, ranging from road bikes and e-bikes, to complimentary yoga at sunrise in the vineyards, and fitness classes. Guests can also enjoy off-property fun, including water sports along the Russian River, hot air balloon rides over the rolling vineyards, horseback riding, zip lining, and helicopter tours. Guests seeking a healthy dose of competition can try bocce, pickleball, and archery on property. I tried my hands at archery with instructor Daniel, and after a dozen tries, I almost hit the bullseye!
Elevated 20 feet above the grapevines, the 11,500-square-foot spa boasts 11 relaxing treatment rooms, an outdoor pool, and a full-service salon. After a fun-filled day of activities and exploring the charming downtown Healdsburg– the Spa Montage was a perfect place to wind down. I chose the Valmont ‘Energy Rituals’ facial that promised to “counteract the stress, pollution and high demands of modern life”– just what my skin needed. The skilled esthetician, Justine, lathered luxurious Valmont creams and its amazing collagen sheet mask. After kneading and massaging layers of Valmont serums, she transformed my parched skin into a well-rested, radiant complexion. The spa menu offers luxurious products from the renowned Swiss beauty brand Valmont Cosmetics and an indulgent array of treatments for everyone. Try the couple’s massage that includes vibration therapy to dissolve stress amid an aromatic garden of eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint. You’ll awaken with clarity and bliss after the rejuvenating spa experience for two.
Hazel Hills is the resort’s signature restaurant, run by Executive Chef Jaron Dubinsky and Chef de Cuisine Jason Pringle. The dynamic duo creates sumptuous seasonal menus featuring the finest locally sourced flavors with a French touch. There’s something delicious for everyone, such as coq au vin, ricotta cavatelli, black cod, Hazel Hill’s classic burger, and many other mouth-watering options. At dinner, the chefs could be seen walking about, speaking with diners, and making them feel like VIPs. Some guests stood near the interactive open kitchen, watching the expert chefs work in the treehouse-inspired dining rooms surrounded by nature.
On my visit, I was seated on the terrace overlooking the rolling hills peppered with twinkling lights over the vineyards. Chef Pringle, whose French-influenced cuisine I have enjoyed in the past, stopped by to welcome us. He brought fresh truffles– just flown in from Italy– and sliced them onto my exquisite tahini pasta dish. Their expert sommelier, Petra, was also on hand to pair the perfect wine with every dish. Magnifique.