I picked the Farmhouse Inn for a surprise birthday weekend, based on its reviews here, a listing on Luxury Link, and the Michelin star. Turns out, its location is perfect for accessing the Russian River valley wineries, the redwoods in Armstrong Woods, and the ocean. Two friends recommended the Sonoma Mission Inn, but its reviews were less consistent, and its location would have cost us an additional hour to get to all the locales on my list.
The reception staff set the mood. Casual but capable; low-key, not stuffy. Splash of wine? Sure. Bath salts to try in the big tub? Help yourself. Everyone was natural and helpful, no snootiness encountered. Special thanks to Concierge Mary Calla.
As everyone has already said, the Luxury Barn Room is wonderful, but it surprised me by being larger and fresher, as if we were the first people to use it. Kudos to the housekeeping staff. Plenty of in- room amenities: robes of course, plus a fun goodie box. The bottles of wines in the bar are fairly priced and convenient. The birthday cupcakes upon arrival were almost too pretty to eat.
Dinner at the restaurant was divine, and -- considering the quality, portions, and level of service -- extremely reasonable. Standout courses were the octopus, hamachi, guinea hen -- well, everything. Kevin, our sommelier, was like all the staff: attentive, approachable, and if he tired of hearing the same naive questions about wines, he never showed it.
A full breakfast each morning on the restaurant patio provided a relaxing start to the day. Gardens, though small by the standards of the big resorts, are charming and well documented. There you'll often find the 2 cats, who seem to know whom to ignore and who would appreciate their attention. We fell into the latter camp.
The cons: Really reaching… the coffee could have been stronger.
Honestly, I have no complaints. We were treated well in lovely surroundings, fed excellent food, and enjoyed the pool, spa, and countryside. I think the location is ideal -- on the western side of the valley for good access to the coast -- but if you want to leave the property, you'll have to drive. No walking into town for dinner or a drink, though you can walk into the vines across the road. We were in the car all day anyway, so once we returned to the Farmhouse, we didn't want to go anywhere else.
Unlike some of the reviewers, we're not 5-star travellers (to wit: I reviewed Motel 6) and we've never spent this much money on a hotel. The current "Free Tuesday" special certainly eased the pain, but considering how much we paid in San Francisco for a standard room plus parking plus breakfast, I think Farmhouse is not unreasonably priced.
Grinch alert: there were no kids during our stay, by luck or policy, I don't know. For us, children would have marred the sense of luxury and quiet. The property is simply too small.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A total of eighteen cottages, rooms and suites dot our 6 acre property. Recently renovated and re-decorated, each individual space offers a mix of historical whimsy, classic elegance and luxurious sophistication. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant Hotel Forestville
- Farmhouse Inn And Restaurant
- Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant Forestville, CA - Sonoma County