Gaige House + Ryokan, a Four Sisters Inn
What We Love
- Daily breakfast and evening wine and cheese (from 5-6 pm) are included in the Jetsetter rate
- Zen Suites have giant black granite soaking tubs well worth the upgrade cost
- B&B feel with all the amenities of a larger hotel (among them, a good-size heated pool, which is open seasonally)
What To Know
- Glen Ellen is one of Wine Country’s quieter towns; those looking for buzz should stay elsewhere
- Intimate feel better suited to couples than families
- There is no on-site restaurant, though breakfast, wine and cheese pairings, and homemade cookies are served in the parlor
- Rooms in the main house are significantly smaller than those in the annex
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Tucked away on 1.5 creekside acres in the historic hamlet of Glen Ellen, Gaige House packs Zen style into a Victorian Queen Anne house for design-conscious oenophiles. A serene palette of cream, toffee and chocolate complements luxe furnishings like buttery leather chairs and polished hardwood sideboards in the lounge, where you can curl up by the fire for free nightly wine and cheese happy hours.
Bed & Bath
The 23 guestrooms spread over the main house and a garden annex are all quietly stylish (and very cozy), with a dose of Asiana in the form of shoji-esque doors and Buddhist statues and art. Guestrooms in the main building are smaller and more minimalist in style, with clean lines and a cream-on-white color palette. The all-suite annex accommodations look more to Asia and feature small Japanese-style gardens, huge black granite soaking tubs, nature-themed paintings and Asian objects d’art.
Gaige House styles itself after a B&B, and every morning guests wake up to a breakfast buffet of mini pastries, yogurt, granola, quiches and frittatas. In the evening you might find local vintners leading wine tastings in the parlor. But for all its homegrown comforts, the property doesn’t skimp on the amenities. There’s a heated 40-foot pool that’s open seasonally, and a nice range of body-focused spa services on offer (which can be enjoyed in-room or in a Spa Sanctuary room).
In the Area
To tour Sonoma’s vineyards book a private car and driver with Pure Luxury Transportation. It will take you to a few of the area’s best wineries, including Paradise Ridge (where you can sip Zin as you stroll through the outdoor sculpture garden), St. Francis for glasses of merlot over a plate of charcuterie and biodynamic producer Porter Creek. We love a good drink, but Sonoma’s got more than just grapes. Try your hand at canoeing the Russian River, with a stop for a picnic lunch in the redwood forest. Visit the town of Bodega Bay, where you can walk along the shore as the waves crash against the rocks. Stop for lunch at Alexander’s at the Timber Cove Inn. For one of the best meals in Sonoma County, we love the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Russian River Valley’s Inn, which serves gourmet fare using ingredients from the inn’s farm, just down the road.
How to Get There
Go a little off track to this ultra-Zen Sonoma hotspot, where there’s not only a sun deck on which to sip local Sonoma and Napa vino but also a moon deck (inspired by late Glen Ellen resident Jack London’s 1913 novel The Valley of the Moon) with swinging chairs for stargazing, and a meditation deck for yoga and reflection. The intimate nine Ryokan Zen Suites, in their own private section of the property, with live-edge wood beams on the ceilings, large stone bathtubs (plus Coyuchi bathrobes and towels, and hinoki wood accessories) and a Zen neutral palette. Classic yukata kimonos, slippers, and meditative music, and green tea, sake, and ice cream mochi complete the vibe that is best kicked off with a self-guided forest bathing session, known as shinrin-yoku.
Our stay at the Gaige House was lovely. We stayed in one of the zen-like suites and found it peaceful and relaxing. The amenities — robes, Japanese clogs, bath items, tea, coffee and spigot boiling water were appreciated. We also enjoyed the sparkling clean pool heated to the perfect temperature. The evening wine gathering and morning breakfast were frosting on the cake! We look forward to a future visit.
Outstanding! I knew this Boutique Hotel from living in Glen Ellen before and knew their exceptional breakfast. But the care for details in every corner and aspect, the grounds, the sophistication, not to forget the cookies after hours.
I drove down from Ashland and knew that the receptionist leaves at 8 PM and had prepared already my late check-in package. I called her from Sonoma, telling her i will be there in time and only 10 minutes away...and then I get flagged down by police 1/4 mile from the hotel (not coming to a full stop at a sign in an abandoned park!). While the policeman checked my license I called the hotel and told them. The policeman let me go, I had said to him "this is how you welcome me back after 6 years" and he had a heart;)
When I got finally to the hotel, Jamie , the receptionist not only had waited for me, but greeted me with a glass of wine and still took the time to give me the tour.
They had assigned to me a Zen-like suite casita that you have to see to appreciate. It had 2 private courtyards just for me. I could go on forever, what peace, what relaxation and pampering.