Wine Country Rustic

Our minds began to drift as we gazed at endless rows of golden vines.  It was the end of the Autumn harvest and we were making our way towards Kenwood, a small town past Sonoma proper, known for its wine, cuisine, and our final destination, a European-style resort known as Kenwood Inn & Spa.

Exterior View of Kenwood Inn & Spa
The smooth highway soon gave way to cobblestone walkways, old world architecture, and elaborate fountains as we passed through the resort gates. Greeted warmly upon entering the main lobby, we took a seat near a glowing hearth and sampled local Sherry and Prosecco before exploring the resort’s inner courtyard where stone fireplaces lined the periphery and an elegant water fountain under a canopy of palm trees took center stage. 

Central Courtyard
From the courtyard, a narrow stone walkway leads past an old watermill to the main pool and outdoor lounge area. Another leads to an ornate outdoor hot tub reminiscent of the classic Italian fountains found at the center of neighborhood piazzas. 

We made our way to our second floor guestroom, complete with private terrace, Jacuzzi, European shutters for ultimate privacy, and a beautiful fireplace. The deliberate omission of a television was a refreshing surprise that forced us to go completely off the grid.

Guest Room Balcony
My husband took to the bike trails of nearby Glen Ellen village, and I headed for the spa, where the comfort and charm of the inn were extended.  I slipped into a terry robe, poured myself a warm herbal tea, and took a seat in the private relaxation room.

Main Swimming Pool
After a few moments rest, I was led to a dimly lit treatment room where I would receive the oh-so-fitting ‘Crushed Cabernet Scrub’ treatment.  Developed by Caudalie, internationally acclaimed purveyors of vinotherapy, the treatment began with a full body dry brush to remove dead skin.  A light cream containing grape seeds, grape seed oil, brown sugar and honey was skillfully applied and I was then wrapped and left to rest. 

Awoken from my bliss, I traipsed to the shower and returned for a light hydrating massage using moisture rich essential oils.  Then it was off to my next treatment – the Fiszz Facial.

Although a shoulder, neck and scalp massage was gracefully conducted, this was not your typical European-style spa facial. This treatment got down to the nitty-gritty and included extractions for deep cleansing. My therapist, a Kenwood Spa veteran, began to explain the latest trend in skincare – the oxygen facial.  “Would you like to sample it?” she asked.  Who was I to say no? She flipped a switch and a machine started to lightly rumble. With a thin tube-like instrument, she began to gently spray oxygen onto my complexion.  But it was not oxygen alone.  She explained that hyaluronic acid serum was being sprayed onto the skin, and the oxygen merely worked to open pores and allow the serum to penetrate deeper. I carefully swept a fingertip across my skin when she finished and it was utterly flawless.

Spa Treatment Room
Feeling immaculate from head to toe, my husband and I reconnected at the resort’s private restaurant where we took seats near a rustic fireplace (a recurring theme).  I ordered a glass of Davis Family’s 2009 Riesling, and he HKG Estate’s 2010 Pinot Noir. We sipped and talked and nibbled on warm bread and olive oil as we leisurely reviewed the menu.

Executive Chef Steven Snook, a London transplant and long-time colleague of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, presents a menu centered on fresh local ingredients.  We chose several small plates and one main dish to sample, beginning with a generous piece of warm Pecorino presented on a wine drenched barrel plank topped with fresh figs, toasted pistachios, wild honey and baby greens. We were off to a great start.  The parade of plates continued with Polpo alla Griglia - braised and char-grilled octopus atop artichoke hearts highlighted with a basil pesto sauce. Next, wood fired flat bread topped with crème fraiche, caramelized onion, smoked mushrooms and eggs, and finally, homemade papardelles with seasonal vegetables and pesto verde.

Although the desert menu included a selection of fine cheeses and classic Italian deserts that are undoubtedly decadent and delicious, we opted for a glass of Keller Estate’s 2006 Syrah instead – the perfect end to the perfect day. 

For more on the Spa at Kenwood Inn, download Spa Wanderlust for Apple or Android.