Tall redwoods dot the grounds of the Applewood Inn and Spa offering travelers a refuge in the forest. An inviting pool and hot tub provide a great place to soak and look up at the clear blue sky framed by the towering trees. Applewood is no ordinary hotel and spa!.
A refuge in the woods
Built in the 1920s in the Mission Revival style as a summer home for a Santa Rosa banker, the house went through several owners before recent ownership and renovations unveiled the new-and-improved Applewood Inn and Spa. The Inn’s location is just a two-minute drive from the junction of Highway 116 and River Road in Guerneville, making for a great wine country home base. For room choices, take your pick from Wine Country Cozy Rooms, Spa Suites, Patio Suites, Veranda Suites, or the priciest Tuscan Suites. Prices range from a low of 225 USD for the Wine Country Cozy rooms up to 400 USD for the Tuscan Suites. Some of the Tuscan Suites come with a balcony overlooking the courtyard, a fire pit on the balcony, fireplace in your room, and a jetted oversized bathtub to spoil you. Any of the above room choices will immerse you in a comfortable and quiet place to enjoy.
A glass of the Inn’s private label pinot noir awaits guests at check-in. All rooms feature Novaform mattresses in the queen rooms, and Tempurpedic mattresses in king rooms, fine Italian linens, upscale toiletries, and individually controlled heating and cooling. After being shown your room, it’s a good time to explore the grounds. The courtyard with its bubbling fountain is a garden of paradise. In the spring and early summer, butterflies and hummingbirds can be seen attending the blossoms. The pool area is above most of the grounds and has comfy lounge chairs perfect for listening to the wind rustle the boughs of the towering redwood trees.
An on site Italian restaurant
All room bookings include a full breakfast in Pinoli Cucina Rustica from 8 am to 10 pm daily. At night, try their dinner menu with pasta, seafood, and steaks to please most guests. I had their mushroom pasta dish that was one of the best I’ve had in years. Pair one of these entrees with a premium wine from Napa, Sonoma, or other world-class wine region from their list as you gaze out on the courtyard. They offer around eight wines-by-the-glass, or you can even bring your own bottle of wine and pay the 20 USD corkage fee. Since you probably have been out wine touring, you’ll be able to drink one of your recent purchases with dinner at Pinoli Cucina Rustica.
The onsite spa offers massage treatments, facials, and reflexology to guests staying at the inn. After a day of wine touring it’s pure luxury to come back to Applewood and have a late-afternoon massage followed by dinner and wine without having to travel any further. Reservations are a must, and it’s best to call ahead two weeks before your stay to ensure availability.
Top notch wineries nearby
With the tiny but charming town of Guerneville just two minutes away by car, you will be able to explore at your leisure. Gift shops, restaurants, pie, and ice cream are waiting for you to take your pick. In the old Guerneville Bank building from the 1920s, find the Chile Pies Baking Company offering some unique pies like a green chile and apple pie. Their banana cream pie with its graham cracker and walnut crust is sublime! Ice cream is also available to go with your pie or alone if desired. For a trendy food market, check out the Big Bottom Market on the main drag for breakfast, lunch, or picnic supplies. If you are looking for a dinner option, try Boon, a restaurant featuring seafood, for a cozy meal that’s a local favorite.
Wineries of note near Applewood Inn and Spa are Korbel, Merry Edwards, and MacRostie. A visit to MacRostie will reward you with excellent wines and one of the best views in the area. Gaze over fields of grapes towards Diamond Peak on clear days as you sip a glass of fine wine. Korbel is close by and is less than a ten minute drive. Take a 50 minute tour and then taste several of Korbel’s sparkling wines, all for free! Merry Edwards is located near Forestville and has some of the best pinot noir wines I have ever had.
Peace and quiet
This was my second trip to Applewood Inn and the renovations have improved what was already a great place to stay. With its ultra-quiet location, friendly staff, and deluxe rooms, the Applewood Inn and Spa is the kind of lodging you’ll want for your wine country visit.