Honor Mansion (credit: Randy Yagi)
The San Francisco Bay Area is blessed with a vast spectrum of world famous hotels and fabulous overnight accommodations. Yet while large scale hotel chains receive plenty of publicity, other lodging such as a bed and breakfast can be a wonderful and oftentimes more affordable alternative. With amenities like free parking, free Wi-Fi, free wine and cheese and a gourmet breakfast instead of a disappointing “continental breakfast,” B&B can be a much more inviting and fascinating stay. If you’re looking for a romantic hideaway or simply want to get away from it all, consider five of the best bed and breakfasts in the Bay Area.
891 Grove St.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
One of several renowned bed and breakfast establishments within the Sonoma Wine Country community of Healdsburg, Honor Mansion earns extraordinary praise as one of the world’s most romantic hotels. Located just minutes from historic downtown Healdsburg, the lovely resort inn offers five exquisitely furnished rooms in the mansion, which includes a lavish gourmet breakfast with complimentary mimosas and afternoon wine and appetizers. Honor Mansion also offers cottages and suites, including one in the historic water tower adjacent to the pool and the Vineyard Suites – the most luxurious rooms on the property, each featuring an outdoor hot tub on a private patio. Also named America’s Most Romantic Hotel by Trip Advisor, the inn offers many onsite amenities, including a 40-foot lap pool, competition bocce ball courts, competition croquet courts, tennis court, basketball court and a PGA-rated putting green.
11775 Sonoma Highway
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Once one of the world’s “Best Vineyard Stays” by National Geographic, Beltane Ranch is an historic working ranch peacefully tucked away in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. A family-owned business spanning six generations, the 1,300-acre property features a breathtaking 30-acre vineyard, olive orchard, organic garden and a beautiful, two-story main house with five beautifully appointed rooms, each with a private outdoor entrance, in addition to a separate cottage with a private garden. Gourmet breakfast is served on the outside porch of each guest room or the main dining room, utilizing fresh produce from the garden, artisan cheese, local meats and eggs from the ranch’s heritage breed laying hens. Estate wines, including the award-winning 2012 Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, are available to order at the ranch.
7871 River Road
Forestville, CA 95436
Listed among this year’s 100 World’s Best Hotels by Travel+Leisure, the Farmhouse Inn is a luxury bed and breakfast featuring a celebrated Michelin-starred restaurant. The 100-acre ranch utilizes the historic property’s original barn for extravagant accommodations, in addition to the main house and two cottages. Most rooms come equipped with a gas or wood-burning fireplace and jetted tub. A three-course breakfast prepared by co-owner Catherine Bartolomei and breakfast chef Trevor Anderson is served each morning in the Farmhouse dining room. At just $79 for a three-course meal and $94 for four courses, the Farmhouse Inn Restaurant led by executive chef Steve Litke remains an incredible bargain in comparison to other Michelin-starred establishments in the Bay Area.
Madrona Manor (credit: Randy Yagi)
1001 Westside Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Located in the Dry Creek Valley of the Sonoma Wine Country, Madrona Manor is a classic Victorian estate hosting the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Healdsburg, The three-story 19th century mansion offers nine stately rooms, each with Victorian-inspired furnishings, a fireplace and extensive gourmet breakfast. Madrona Manor also offers overnight accommodations at four other buildings onsite, including the Carriage House, with eight completely renovated guest rooms and a converted 1920s schoolhouse. New California cuisine is presented Wednesday through Sunday at Madrona Manor’s acclaimed restaurant led by Michelin-One Star executive chef Jesse Mallgren./<
Mill Rose Inn
615 Mill St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Classic European elegance by the sea describes this lovely bed and breakfast in the charming seaside community of Half Moon Bay. The Mill Rose Inn is a AAA Four Diamond rated bed and breakfast with six uniquely decorated rooms, including two elegant suites. Most rooms come equipped with hand-painted fireplaces, vintage claw foot tubs, well-stocked complimentary refrigerators and a full gourmet champagne breakfast served in the main dining room or al fresco in the garden courtyards. Located in the popular downtown section of Half Moon Bay, the Mill Rose Inn is within walking distance of outstanding dining and shopping and Half Moon Bay State Beach is less than a mile away.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.