Oh, my ..... where do I start? How about here: BIG birthday year and months ago my husband said, "where do you want to go celebrate?" I knew he meant that I could pick about anywhere I wanted. (I am one lucky girl!) We travel a lot. We are blessed to have been to many places in the world, the country, and locally to our beloved Kansas City. Since the Farmhouse is one of my 3 favorite destinations ever, it was the first thing out of my mouth. I believe this was our 5th or 6th visit here.
We came to the Farmhouse the first time when it was probably only a couple of years (if that) old. Catherine was just getting started working her creative and thoughtful magic. Thus, we have seen many changes as the Inn has "grown up". It just keeps getting better.
This was our first time in one of the Barn rooms, and as I dwelled on whether it would be worth the upgrade, I also knew that we would get what we paid for. Our room was spacious, clean, beautifully decorated, and smelled great! We loved the see through fireplace that also was viewed from our large deck. We spent a great deal of time in our Adirondack chairs facing the fireplace, hearing the birds in the trees surrounding us, feeling very isolated from other guests, even though we knew we were not. The configuration of the rooms and decks/patios are such that privacy is afforded. If one asks my husband, one knows that I love to be pampered and made to feel special......perhaps one of the reasons I love the Farmhouse. The attention to detail in all of the 'little' touches are too numerous to mention. The way after dinner that we walked back into our room and saw our bed has been turned down, there were fresh and fabulous chocolate chip cookies at the bedside, and soothing music was softly playing. (and I might mention these may be the best chocolate chip cookies in the WORLD!) The local, fabulous smelling personal products available in the shower and bathroom. The spacious spa tub. The well though out lighting in every part of the suite and bathroom. The small wine bar and access to some of Sonoma's fine and interesting wines right there in our room. The fresh flowers in fun vases. Did I mention those cookies??? The chocolate bar that hit the spot at just the right moment. The votive candles in perfect places. The luscious towels and plenty of them. The bedding that felt like I was sinking into a cloud but yet, at the same time had a 'firmness' that I require for great sleep (how do they do that?). The sumptuous robes. On and on. The little, cute flashlights for reading at night or, in my case, that I took out on the deck at 5 a.m. (remember, I am from the Midwest and it was 7 a.m. in my body!) to read by the fireplace, cuddled up in that warm, gorgeous wool blanket, while hubby slept.
The grounds are just as spectacular and have the same attention to detail. Beautiful gardens that include many kinds of mint and greens tucked amongst colorful flowers. Even though we didn't enjoy the pool, I did appreciate the beautiful area where it was and knew that it could be a great place to relax. There were also so many little areas with Adirondack chairs looking so inviting .... and, again, the feeling of privacy in each. Lanterns were sprinkled throughout the grounds that had fresh votive candles in them each day, waiting til dusk to be lit so that if one walked from car or the restaurant, the way was always softly lit in a beautiful style.
And the folks who work there ..... starting with Catherine and Joe to the gals who cleaned our room, we appreciated them all. I think much can be said for how long employees stay at the Farmhouse and how many of the people we talked to said, "I love my job." We always feel like we are so comfortable at the Farmhouse, no matter who is working. Being from the Midwest, we are definitely used to people being friendly and warm and we do not feel like we miss a beat when we come here. Catherine definitely has an instinct for the kind of people to hire, nows how to train folks, and we enjoyed so many of them. We had particularly nice interactions with Tamera, Victoria, and Brenden, to name a few. They are well trained, competent, and delightful to be around....my highest compliments for an employee of any place.
The breakfasts were amazing. I pride myself on being a 'foodie' and maybe even a gourmet cook. Each of the three breakfasts we had varied from the other and contained interesting combinations of courses and they were the perfect amount of food. I even found myself taking a picture of a couple of them just so I would not forget the presentation. We found the breakfast time perfect, being able to sit down at 8:30 a.m......and the service was very good and spot on in making sure we were not there too long, without the feeling of being rushed. Things seemed timed to the minute and well orchestrated. And....the coffee was quite good and plentiful as was the fresh squeezed juice.
As far as dinner .... one cannot stay at the Farmhouse and not have at least one dinner at the restaurant there. It was spectacular in itself. Great food, great service, great fun! It was as fine as any other restaurant I have been to and the setting better than most! Can't beat that!
We also enjoyed two other restaurants while there ..... K & L Bistro in Sebastapol for lunch (fun, fun place with interesting menus and great food!) and, of course, The Underwood in Graton. It is such a kick to go there. Totally different than the Farmhouse Restaurant, but the perfect alternative when one wants a casual meal in an energetic atmosphere, loves to people watch, and appreciates great food.
As far as wineries, the Farmhouse concierge service is great to recommend and help get reservations for tastings if necessary. We emailed ahead since we are so "into" wine and had recommendations from Geoff, the Head Sommelier and he was spot on in what we liked. We particularly were impressed with (and bought wine from!) Copain and Lioco.
I know that I have forgotten some things here, but hopefully, I leave the impression that the Farmhouse is an extraordinary experience, not just a place to rest one's head. It IS special ...but that is so whether one stays in one of luxurious Barn Deluxe Suites or in one of the smaller rooms. Even Room #1 by the road. We have stayed there, as well, when that is what we could get. And, we loved it! We always hate leaving, wish we could stay longer, and hope to go back. That is how I always know a stay was the best! Thank you, Catherine and Joe for doing such a good job and allowing those of us who appreciate a real treat in the way of travel to experience what you obviously love to put your efforts into!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.