We just returned home from our best trip to Sonoma yet. After the past few years of attending barrel tasting and staying at other B&Bs in Healdsburg that lacked personality, we decided to stay at the Calderwood Inn this year. We had heard that the Inn had new ownership and decided to give it a try. We are certainly glad we did.
As mentioned by others, this centrally located Inn is now owned by Ken and Diane Wilson who own the Wilson Winery among many other top wineries in the Sonoma area. It does seem that there are doing a lot of renovation to get the Calderwood back into premiere condition and are also adding more rooms on the ground floor level. Having said that, the rooms and the Inn in general are in great condition and very nicely decorated. You won’t believe the wall paper designs on all the ceilings!
We stayed in the Wilson room which is located on the same level as the kitchen and main seating areas. The room was very nice with a fireplace and a very comfortable bed and with plenty of room. There is a TV in the room that is hidden behind a painting over the fireplace if you decide you must watch TV while on vacation. The fireplace has a remote control and keeps the room as warn as you want.
While the Inn itself is a real treat, it is the Manager that will keep people coming back. Inn Manager, Margaret is a real gem. Being a long-term resident of the area, she is more than willing to help plan your winery visits and dinners and is just a friendly and interesting person to talk to. We can not say enough how she helped make our visit enjoyable and memorable.
The breakfast in the morning is a cut above others in the area and everything is freshly made. Everyday the breakfast is different and she even asks guests what choices they prefer to make your stay even more enjoyable. In the late afternoons Margaret has a wine hour were she pours wines from the various Wilson' wineries with cheese and crackers. The wine selection was impressive enough that we decided to modify our barrel tasting plans to include some of these wineries as well.
If I had to pick one thing about the Calderwood Inn that I didn’t like it would be the steps at the back of the house. They are bit steep to haul your luggage up to your room. However after you do, prepare yourself for a real treat.
We will certainly be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Known on the California and Sonoma County Landmarks Registry as the John Miller House, this historic Queen Anne Victorian was built in 1902. Miller was a prominent fruit grower, packer and dehydrator in the early 1900s. He was also one of the first to make a commercial business of marketing dehydrated fruit. Among Miller's claims to fame is that he was the first provider to the U.S. Military of dehydrated foods. Known as K-rations during WW I and MREs today, Miller was cited by the military for "feeding the troops during WW I". (1) Miller and his wife were, like many prominent citizens of the community, anxious to furnish their home lavishly. The home is reputed to be the first in Healdsburg with two bathrooms, with indoor plumbing upstairs and downstairs.The noted horticulturist, Luther Burbank, was a good friend and assisted in the design and development of the original landscape at the front of the home, some of which remains today. The large cedar, cypress, and redwood heritage trees were planted by Burbank over 100 years ago. The lush grounds have been accented with rose bushes and numerous flowering shrubs. The same archaeological report from Sonoma State University indicates that some of the first plantings of some of Burbank's new species were planted on the Miller property. Sadly, the location and botanical name of the plants were never recorded. It is unknown if they remain on the property today.The home remained in the Miller family until the late 1930s and was a private residence until the early 1980s when it became a Bed and Breakfast. The inn has undergone extensive restoration over the years. Beautiful hand-silk screened period wall and ceiling papers accent the spacious common areas and some guest rooms. The papers are produced by Bradbury & Bradbury of Benicia, CA and are based on designs of William Morris, a prominent textile designer of the mid- to late 1800s.The formal, yet welcoming rooms include a spacious parlor with fireplace—the perfect place to enjoy the morning paper or a board game on a quiet afternoon. The spacious dining room that seats up to 14 showcases original wainscoting and built-in china cabinet and bench. The large antique table is where guests dine on Calderwood's signature gourmet breakfasts. The covered front porch with its antique wicker furniture and lacquered floor beckons you to enjoy the lush grounds, review the activities of your day or curl up with a good book. The porch is often used by local wineries who frequently co-host our complimentary evening wine hour. All seven guest rooms have private baths. Each room is decorated differently to incorporate an extensive collection of beautiful, yet comfortable period ... more less
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