Russian River kayak, Sonoma County, California

Postcard from Sonoma: sip, sup and paddle

Top-flight wineries, hyper-local fare, outdoor pursuits (river kayaking, anyone?), lush landscapes and the romance-reviving Farmhouse Inn all in one easy-to-reach spot seems too good to be true, right?…

Hotel of the Week: Hotel Healdsburg

We’re California dreamin’ this week, and dishing out our prize to a wine-country wonder in Sonoma County. We’re not the only fans: Trazzler’s Adam Rugel counts it as his favourite weekend escape. Something to do with hotel heaven, and a farmers’ market…

Style Cockle-warming wine retreat
Setting Sonoma vineyard country

Why this week? From late November until late February, Smith members can get 25 per cent off three-night stays at Hotel Healdsburg in California.

Our favourite bits We love the Dry Creek Kitchen’s tastebud-teasing Californian fusion food and wine cellar, which, as you’d expect in this vine-covered corner of America, holds a staggering range of tasty tipples. The secluded garden pool is lined with extra-comfy loungers and surrounded by olive trees. Even the standard rooms are special – they all feature six-foot bath tubs, similarly generous beds, French doors opening onto private balconies and oak floors covered with Tibetan rugs. And our favourite favourite bit? The policy of allowing you to load up your own tray from the buffet breakfast and then take it back to bed with you (better, and quicker, than room service).