Ode to the Good Life

by Rona Berg

The first thing you notice at the new Montage Healdsburg is garrigue, the heady smell of rosemary and lavender warming in the sun, triggering a scent memory that transports you to the South of France.

In fact, the Montage is set in a charming California town in Sonoma County’s wine country, though the evocation of Provence is not entirely unintentional. But it is done so well—and the landscape here is so achingly beautiful—that you are thrilled to be just exactly where you are.

The 130 guest rooms, newly built, include 34 suites with extraordinarily high ceilings and spacious open layouts showcasing a choice of views: mountain, vineyard (with more than 15 acres of vines on property) or forest, where 22,000 oak, heritage oak or manzanita trees wrap around long, private terraces. At night, when a chill nips the air, it’s time to gather around the firepit.

Tour the wine country by day, or stroll to the apiary or vineyards. Loll around the pool, then enjoy a healing Sonoma Blend Massage (with local olive oil) or delicious Harvest Honey Ginger Infusion Ritual at the handsome 11-room spa. Eventually, guests will be able to tag along with Beau, the lively Lagotto Romagnolo canine ambassador, who is trained to sniff out truffles on property, amidst 450 hazelnut trees. At night, lie down in a meadow in the vineyards and enjoy stargazing through a partnership with the Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sonoma. And, of course, there is wine tasting: “Meet the Maker” features a visit from a local winemaker each week.

Outdoor dining—at Scout Field Bar or the signature restaurant, Hazel Hill—is at the heart of the elevated culinary experience here. But first, cap the day with a signature Violet Beauregarde or Basil Gimlet cocktail, relax, take in the picturesque surroundings and savor your stay in paradise. montagehotels.com/healdsburg/

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