Today I want to tell you about our recent stay at Grape Leaf Inn in Healdsburg, a darling Wine Country town located in Northern Sonoma County, about an hour from San Francisco.
This Queen Anne Victorian is situated in a charming and quiet residential neighborhood, just a few blocks from the plaza in downtown Healdsburg where you will find lots of shops, restaurants and tasting rooms.
When we arrived for our visit I immediately noticed the gorgeous stained glass doors that lead to the reception area.
Jessica, the inn’s gracious and friendly manager, showed us to our room, the Champagne Suite. It’s the only guest room completely detached from the rest of the inn. We had our own private entrance with a gate.
Inside there was a large secluded terrace with chic outdoor seating, ideal for entertaining guests. This enclosed area is surrounded by wood paneling, trellises and potted plants.
Our room featured a plush King bed with a four-posted bed frame and soft Italian linens.
Jessica left a note welcoming us to the inn. One of many touches that made this one of the top customer service experiences we’ve had while traveling.
I love the elegant décor of our room. The vaulted ceilings, big exposed beam and French doors gave our room an open and light feel.
As did the modern decor like this darling chair and stylish white desk.
The bathroom had a single sink with plenty of counter space and storage options.
Above the bathroom window is a stained glass window, bringing additional light and a pop of color to the room.
A spacious overhead shower has an entrance and an exit…
leading to an outdoor shower for those who are adventurous, and I am! 😉
After we got settled and unpacked our things, we headed back to the lobby to have a look around and get acquainted with the inn. I have a thing for soft blue colors and fell in love with the décor of the seating area on the main floor.
I poured us a couple glasses of lemon rosemary infused water – available for guests in the lobby – and had a seat on the couch. I didn’t plan it but my outfit matched the décor!
Warm-from-the-oven cookies were brought out while we were relaxing in the lobby, as well as, a delectable cheese and charcuterie plate. Diane and Ken Wilson of Wilson Artisan Wineries are the owners of Grape Leaf Inn, a recent addition to their impressive winery portfolio that includes several boutique wineries in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
Their lovely wines were available for guests to enjoy. Grape Leaf Inn guests have the opportunity to visit any of the Wilson Artisan Wineries locations during their stay and have a complimentary tasting, which we most certainly did – more on that in a future post.
Being able to bring our two small dogs, Coco and Daisy, along on our getaways makes our trips more fun and less hassle. Thankfully, Grape Leaf Inn is pet friendly.
We were given a basket filled with goodies for our girls. Bowls, towels, toys and a big jar of treats. Daisy wanted to eat them all, of course!
A fascinating feature of the inn is its speakeasy. This door in the lobby leads downstairs to a secret bar that is open for service to guests for a couple of hours during the early evening.
As many of you already know Prohibition, which began in 1920 and lasted 13 years, led to the creation of speakeasies – or illicit bars –which popped up throughout the U.S.
Apparently elegant private homes were among some of the locations! An underground speakeasy was discovered in the original home. With its very short ceiling and state of disrepair it was not salvageable and was filled in when the inn was renovated. But its discovery left enough of an impression that a new speakeasy was built on the other side of the property.
When you walk down the staircase to the underground bar, you feel as though you’re walking back in time nearly 100 years. And you can’t help but feel like you’re about to do something improper by having a drink in the basement of a Victorian home in a quaint residential neighborhood. It’s fun to imagine what life was like during the Prohibition but I am happy to have not had to experience it firsthand!
Nikki, who is the Bar Manager at Grape Leaf Inn, mixed up some drinks for us. Nikki makes her own simple syrups, bitters and shops for fresh ingredients daily. She made me a special basil and strawberry cocktail with organic vodka. It was so refreshing and just the right amount of sweetness. Bill chose a Moscow Mule served up in a copper mug from the cocktail menu.
After our speakeasy experience, we invited Bill’s younger brother and his wife to our room for a glass of wine before heading out to celebrate his birthday in downtown Healdsburg. Grape Leaf Inn is close enough to the downtown square to walk. And it’s a lovely walk through a beautiful neighborhood. Lots of charming homes to gawk at!
After a peaceful and restful night’s sleep in our plush bed, I got dressed, grabbed my camera and went to the breakfast room to pour myself a cup of fresh hot coffee. Then I explored the inn’s grounds – including their English country-style gardens – while Bill got some work done back in our suite.
It stormed a bit during the night and there were pretty pink rose petals all over the stairs and porch.
Roses dotted with raindrops made for some fun photo taking.
On a drier morning, I would love to have coffee at one of these sitting areas found around the inn.
This porch under the eaves would do nicely, even on a rainy or a very hot day.
For those of you who love Victorian architecture – I certainly do – you will love taking in the Victorian details and history at Grape Leaf Inn.
This is the original front door of the home.
It faces the street around the corner from today’s front entrance. The home was built for the town blacksmith who lived there with his family for several years. I found that out from a book in the lobby about historic homes in Healdsburg.
Down the stairs and to the right of the original front door, there is a rose-covered archway that leads to a private garden.
On the other side of the door are two rooms where breakfast is served to guests. It’s also where I got my cup of coffee and would later return with Bill for a lovely home-cooked breakfast.
We were served fresh fruit and granola with yogurt followed by a Mexican-style breakfast with farm-fresh eggs, corn tortillas, salsa and fresh greens.
Bill and I were invited to take a look at some of the other rooms at Grape Leaf Inn so we walked around the interior of the property after breakfast. My favorite is the Chardonnay room upstairs – one of the largest on the property – which has vaulted ceilings and stained glass as well as a separate lounge area that includes a twin bed and two comfy chairs.
There are 12 rooms in the main inn – all decorated differently with both modern touches and antique furnishings.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this charming Victorian gem in California’s Wine Country.
We look forward to returning again and again to enjoy the warm hospitality of the staff, gorgeous grounds, luxurious accommodations, central location and of course, the fresh-baked cookies, tasty cheese plates and outstanding wines.
Make it a rich day!
And don’t forget May’s How I Wear My is happening next week (see the HIWM page for details).
Disclosure: I was invited to stay at Grape Leaf Inn and write a review. My stay was complimentary. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.