What We Love
- Location: Glen Ellen’s main artery is just down the hill from the hotel, and Sonoma’s best boutique wineries are all within a 15-minute drive on Route 12
- Executive chef Khambay Porterkhamsy’s free two-course gourmet breakfast
- Lazing on the lounger-lined patio with a glass of vino from the hotel’s evening wine hour
What To Know
- Guestroom walls can be a bit thin; for more privacy, consider one of the detached Garden Cottages
- Some of the rooms have mini-fridges for chilling the bottles you buy during your wine tastings
- Ask for a flashlight at the front desk; walkways throughout the hillside property can be steep and hard to navigate at night
- Adults Only
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Modern rustic hideout. In 2011, married duo Sia and Ashish Patel converted this 19th-century hillside property into a quiet B&B-style hotel flanked by native olive and oak trees and the panoramic backdrop of Sonoma Valley. Modern design details such as mint-colored wainscoting, slate-trimmed fireplaces and blond hardwood floors underscore the hotel’s clean and simple style. The intimate guestrooms in the main house are connected by two breezy wraparound porches, and the two secluded Garden Cottages have their own private garden area just a towel’s toss from the Olea’s hot tub.
Bed & Bath
The light-filled rooms in the dual-level main house start at a modest 250 square feet, but they feature flat-screen TVs, small seating areas and queen and kingsize beds with soft suede headboards. Although walls in the main house are a bit thin, the detached Garden Cottages offer more privacy, as well as vaulted ceilings, stone-trimmed fireplaces and your own secret garden. In an effort to maintain the earthy aesthetic of the eco-focused property, the Olea stocks each room with grapefruit- and mint-infused EO bath amenities and plush linens that are changed only when you want. The petite bathrooms feel indulgent, with heated tile floors, terrycloth bathrobes and slippers. Cap your night with a glass of wine on the wraparound porch, or borrow a board game or DVD from the hotel’s selection.
There’s no doubt you’re in prime wine country with the Sonoma Valley views available from the WiFi-equipped patio. You won’t want to miss the free two-course gourmet breakfast that executive chef Khambay Porterkhamsy serves daily (with a changing menu that can include housemade honey granola, corn waffles topped with Wise Acre Farm–fresh eggs and sausage and bean chili). Be sure to return to the lobby for the free evening wine hour. Wine-induced sluggishness can easily be cured with one of the three basic massages at the one-room spa or with a dip in the hot tub.
In the Area
Literary roots run deep and wide beneath the sleepy oak-lined streets of Glen Ellen, a rural train stop town that author Jack London put on the map long before California’s wine country earned its international kudos. Explore the environs that inspired him with a stroll through Jack London State Historic Park, a five-minute drive away. Afterward, trail in with the locals for a hearty brunch at Fig Café. And save room for seasonal NoCal cuisine at Glen Ellen Star, where Ari Weiswasser, former French Laundry sous-chef, prepares almost everything in the wood-fired oven except the homemade ice cream. For the main attraction, follow scenic Route 12 past the fog-kissed vineyards for some of Sonoma’s best boutique wineries. The family-owned Arrowood specializes in reserve Cabernets, while nearby Wellington offers a highly sought-after red table wine. North of Kenwood, St. Francis Winery features noble old-vine Zinfandels and an award-winning tasting menu, and Chateau St. Jean’s Pinot Noir varieties give its higher-produced whites a run for their money.
How to Get There
The day before my wife and I were scheduled to stay at the hotel power was turned off to most of Northern California including Glen Ellen, the town the hotel is in. They called us when it happened and offered us a refund if we didn’t want to come. We decided to take our trip anyways and we are glad we did. The Olea stayed open even with no power and did everything they could to make our stay as comfortable as possible including giving us lanterns and flash lights. Fortunately the power came on the second day of our long weekend so we got to enjoy all the great amenities like the hot
tub and fire pit. They also helped us ship all our wine home. We really appreciate the Olea going above and beyond and not letting a power outage get in the way of providing top notch service. We can’t wait to go back!
My husband and I stayed three evenings at this very friendly, charming , yet modernized small hotel . Gretchen and Kent were OUTSTANDING ! They were both extremely helpful with suggestions, dinner reservations, winery tour insights and just being REALLY, friendly folks. The Olea served a fabulous , three course breakfast every morning . The server was especially concerned with any food allergies, issues and the general guest satisfaction with reference to the menu being provided.
Wine and a fruity spritzer were available after breakfast every day. They were especially welcomed after a few tours in the 100 degree heat ! On site, there is a a very nice, small swimming pool with considerable lounge area ( for the hotel's small size ). The grounds are immaculate with several seating areas, including a fire pit.
Lastly to note, we wanted to compliment the hotel for the little amenities... from the
daily in-room snacks to the heated bathroom floors.
Overall, we hope to return next September ( 2020) for our 3rd consecutive, California adventure. We definitely have decided that the Sonoma / Napa region is a MUST to get back to.....and the other MUST on our list is to once again stay at the Olea Hotel.
Had a lovely stay at Olea for 4 days! The staff was fabulous and it is in a great location! We loved relaxing around the property and enjoying the fabulous breakfast. My favorite nearby activities include: Imagery Winery, Fig Cafe, and Magic Massage and Inspiration Gallery.