Laura Eckstein Jones Laura Eckstein Jones | May 19, 2021 | Lifestyle
Seamlessly nestled in Sonoma County's rolling hills, the new Montage Healdsburg beckons with a bucolic setting, sumptuous accommodations, mouthwatering menus and a whole lot more.
A fire pit-equipped outdoor patio at Montage Haldsburg
The moment our plane touches down at Sonoma County Airport, my stress level plummets. And when our car rolls up to the brand-new Montage Healdsburg resort—only a 15-minute drive away—any lingering anxiety from the week disappears completely.
Rooms come with stunning views of the Alexander Valley
Located in the heart of Sonoma’s wine country, just minutes from Healdsburg’s charming downtown area, the lush property is rife with eye candy—vine-covered hills, clear blue skies and historic groves—and although new, it looks like it has been there for generations. The subtle contemporary architecture by design partners Glazier Le Architects and Delawie Architects fits into the landscape so well, it’s tough to locate the 130 bungalow-style guest rooms dotted across the 258-acre retreat.
The hotel’s gorgeous open-plan lobby
After arriving to our stunning suite via golf cart, we take a moment to soak in the gorgeous design and seemingly endless views. The suite—designed masterfully with every detail considered by EDG Design—has a roomy living room and bedroom, two bathrooms, two showers (one outdoor, one indoor), a beckoning bathtub, two enormous flat-screen televisions, and last but certainly not least, a massive deck, complete with a fire pit and outdoor furniture. Because we arrived later in the day, we decide to take advantage of our cozy accommodations and order room service. We share the colorful Hazel Hill salad with perfectly prepared wagyu, a half chicken topped with black truffle jus, and the most delicious pommes frites. It is divine.
Bathrooms at the resort include deep-soaking tubs and luxe products from California-based GlossModerne.
The next day, we walk down the hill to Hazel Hill restaurant for a hearty alfresco breakfast before heading to the on-property Compass Sports. The plan—to ride electric bikes throughout the area—is squashed by my lack of athletic prowess, so instead we drive into downtown Healdsburg for strolling and boutique-hopping. Post-shopping, we drive to the highly recommended Dry Creek General Store for delicious sandwiches, devoured on the porch while gazing out at vineyards. We then head back to the hotel for a private wine tasting experience at Hazel Hill with beverage manager and sommelier Petra Polakovicova. Sitting outside overlooking the fields and mountains, Polakovicova presents wines from labels led by female makers, including a delicate bubbly rosé by Poe. I won’t soon forget how its sparkling pinot meunier electrified my palate.
Interiors by EDG Design have a relaxed, elegant feel.
Afterward, a quick dip in the pool is the perfect pick-me-up before getting ready for dinner back at Hazel Hill. The attentive and friendly service complements the food beautifully. We enjoy some gorgeous appetizers (oysters and bigeye tuna with blood orange, Sicilian pistachio and shiso) before digging into the delicately plated mains (Liberty Farms duck breast with rhubarb, turnips and pistachio, and Mishima filet mignon with duck fat potato puree, baby carrot, cipollini onion and sauce au poivre). The dessert—coconut tapioca pearls with tropical fruit salsa, black sesame and mango sorbet, and a chocolate crunch bar with hazelnut cookie, Valrhona chocolate and Frangelico ice cream—is divine. Post-meal, we enjoy some stargazing around the fire pit from our private patio—the perfect end to a perfect day.
The farm-to-table fare at Hazel Hill is perfectly in line with its setting.
Our last day is lazily spent enjoying meals at Hazel Hill and cocktails at Scout Field Bar before some downtime at the pool. I bring my Kindle, but find myself distracted by the dazzling view—all I see are trees, water and sky. I sneak away to Spa Montage, which offers a wide variety of facial and body treatments. I opt for the 90-minute Harvest Honey Infusion Ritual, an indulgent exfoliating, nourishing and relaxing treatment that uses locally harvested honey and other delicious ingredients. The experience—luxurious, wellness-focused and locally minded—encapsulates the entire resort. Although I’m sad to say goodbye, I know we’ll be back before long. Standard rooms from $995 per night, deluxe rooms from $1,145 per night, guest house from $12,000 per night
Located next to Spa Montage, the resort’s main pool has stunning views of the property.
Photography by: PHOTOS BY CHRISTIAN HORAN