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Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

STUART, FL
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Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

For a mid week in June: Madrona Maonor Schoolhouse Suite at $370 or Honor Mansion Garden Suite at $400. Sounds high, are they worth it? Which is nicer? We like the close but out of town location to Healdsburg, the lack of too much victorian flowery chintz pools and King beds. The Honor has TV which may come in to play if my Heat are in the NBA finals in June! Are these places that fantastic of an experience?

Forestville...
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1. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

Only you can answer that question since it's based on personal priorities and finances. Since you'd probably be spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $200-$250 for any nice room in Healdsburg, the costs of Madrona and Honor aren't a huge amount higher. However, if that extra $150-$200/nite will be painful to absorb, or if you long to be able to spend it on a few really nice bottles of wine, or a piece of art to take home--then a nice, but more basic room at an inn would be best. You should also consider exactly how much time you'll be spending at your inn. If it's quite minimal, perhaps it doesn't make sense to splurge. However, if you really won't miss the additional $$'s (it's vacation, afterall) I'd say definitely take the more exceptional experience at Madrona or Honor.

STUART, FL
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282 posts
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2. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

We do want the memorable experience for these two nights, so it is just a matter of whether to go with Madrona, whick looks so beautiful on its web site, or Honor, which has stelllar reviews everywhere I look. It seems like we could walk to the plaza from Honor, but have to drive a little from Madrona. It seems like Madrona may be more of a country setting?

Forestville...
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3. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

Yes, Madrona is on the western outskirts of Healdsburg where Westside Rd. and W. Dry Creek Rd. converge. It's on a knoll and up a steep, long drive--very much unto its self and the surrounding areas are vineyards and countryside. I would say it's a little over a mi. to the Healdsburg Plaza, but since you wouldn't be walking thru residential neighborhoods with sidewalks, you should drive or bike rather than walk. I would rate the restaurant at Madrona as one of the top ones in the County--and that's saying a lot. We've dine there many times over the yrs and have never once been disappointed.

Sunnyvale...
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4. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

FYI.

Just an opinion, but the photos of Madrona Manor on its website are all very very very selectively "cropped," with wide angle lenses, etc. There's other stuff all around, right where they've cropped it, in practically every direction. Think of how a real estate agent would try to sell a tiny cramped "little condo"...when you come out to the SF Bay Area, you'll get a better idea of that concept too. :-)

Madrona's photos make it look like it's in the middle of the countryside. It is in a rural setting, but it's in the middle of some other properties there. You will not have vast vista views of vineyards in any direction. Its property is big for a B&B and it is a mansion with a mansion's property, but not much more.

Forestville...
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5. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

Darth--what properties do you recall seeing near Madrona? I'm pretty sure they own the entire knoll and I just can't remember seeing any bldg's other than their own. Farms and vineyards and the distant hills really do surround the place. They have lots of trees on their property and those are about the only things I can think of that might obscure the views. It's quite a beautiful estate--honest!

Sunnyvale...
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6. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

"Farms and vineyards and the distant hills really do surround the place."

Yes. But can you see them from Madrona Manor's property? I couldn't. From the main roads approaching you can.

I like their website's photos. On the home page, the first has the photographer's vantage aiming NWW somewhat upwards at the mansion, so that the background drops out the bottom of the camera view as if there's nothing but fields behind the mansion. All you see in the background at this angle is the sky.

If the camera got as high as the first floor of the mansion, it would see a lot less sky. Hidden behind the left side of the mansion are hedges, fences, a nice medium sized garden w/ gazebo, etc and a small hill obscuring your view of the west. Hidden behind the right side of the mansion is the white fence of the pool area (not more than ten yards to the mansion's NW) and a very small one acre vineyard/garden westward behind that (bound by tall hedges), some utility sheds and the exit driveway which drops downwards. Looking to the right of the exit driveway, is the Carriage house. Looking at the carriage house, you could see, right at your feet, an oval driveway leading around some parking, some nice rose bushes, a small lawn and some trees. Just to the right of this oval driveway, now looking 180 deg away from the mansion is the edge of the driveway at your toes, from where, through some big trees, one could tumble off the hill onto the road below! Turning right 90 deg more, you would see the driveway approach from the main road below. 90 deg more and you're looking at the mansion again.

That camera view gave you the only direction that trees would not obscure your view of the sky, without looking straight up. There is no view of the horizon from this property, unless one takes the camera angle upwards in this westward direction!

If you're on any of the Carriage House's balconies, you'd be nose to nose with some trees.

Don't get me wrong. It's a pretty property. And I agree that the dinner food is some of the best that I've ever had, in quite a nice dining room. However, that first photo suggests that this thing is like some major French chateau out in the middle of a big expanse of vineyards. Many of the big fancy wineries in the area do have that look. The dabbling photographer in me just thinks it funny that Madrona Manor's introductory photo of its property suggests that same look. However, if somebody's expecting that look, they're in for a little surprise.

Designerang might have been looking for that look out one of those bedroom windows. It would not have been there.

STUART, FL
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7. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

Yes. if Madrona had wide views of vineyards, that would make me lean towards Madrona, but the views are of trees. It seems like Honor has better ammenities, but Madrona has larger grounds and is less expensive. Is it a safe walk from Honor to the plaza? How far of a drive from Honor to Madrona, if we have dinner there?

Forestville...
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8. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

Staying at Honor and dining at Madrona just may give you the best of both worlds. They're located only a couple of mi. apart so you can drive bet. the 2 within a few min's.

Forestville...
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9. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

Forgot to mention that the Honor Mansion is less than a mile from the Plaza, so certainly walkable. You can head so. on Grove St. and on the way stop at the Seghesio Family Winery (www.seghesio.com) which is on the east side of Grove. Then you can walk east on W. Grant to Healdsburg Ave. and go so. to the Plaza. I believe that whole stretch of Grove is residential and very safe to walk. South Grove turns into a commercial/office area and then becomes Vine St. The complexes are not rundown and would definitely be safe during the day if you wanted to walk that route--W. North St. and W. Matheson both intersect the st. The route that makes the most sense tho' is to take W. Grant over to the main st., Healdsburg Ave. That way you get to walk thru the heart of town, window shop, people watch, etc. Healdsburg also has its own little taxi service, so that's a real option: www.healdsburgtaxicab.com

STUART, FL
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282 posts
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10. Re: Honor Mansion or Madrona Manor - worth the splurge?

Sounds like a plan! hanks fot the input.