Discover the world through travel & beyond!

Sonoma Valley Romantic Getaway at Applewood Inn

Travel Mamas sometimes receives compensation and/or hosted travel and sample products related to blog posts. This story may include affiliate links for which we receive a small commission at no extra cost to consumers. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases. Be sure to check with businesses and locations regarding travel restrictions and safety precautions before visiting.

I believe with all my heart that parents should leave the children behind once per year for a romantic getaway. It's good for your relationship, your soul, and, therefore, your kids. If you and your partner are in need of parental rest and like delicious food, great wine and incredible scenery, you'll love Sonoma Valley, California. And, you'll especially enjoy a stay at the historic Applewood Inn. Here's why.

Sonoma Valley Romantic Getaway at Applewood Inn

Applewood Inn history

This historic inn began as a private, mission revival-style home. Built in 1922, it became the Applewood Inn in 1985, when its new owners opened this romantic bed & breakfast. The inn is part of the Select Registry of Distinguished Inns of America.

Applewood Inn's courtyard

The inn's inviting courtyard (Photo credit: Applewood Inn)

How to get there

Applewood Inn makes a fabulous base from which to visit the more than 400 wineries and many restaurants throughout Sonoma. The Inn is located in Guerneville, just 20 minutes from the Northern California coast on the western edge of Sonoma County. The journey from San Francisco showcases the gorgeous brown and golden hills of the dry Sonoma Valley. The colors change to the lush and green Russian River Valley, populated with large conifers like Douglas Firs and Redwoods. During my spring visit with my husband, the winter rains had made the hills as green and verdant as the Irish countryside.

One of the lovely rooms at Applewood Inn for couples seeking to get away from it all in Sonoma Valley

One of the lovely rooms at the inn for couples seeking to get away from it all (Photo Credit: Applewood Inn)

A warm welcome

Belden House contains nine rooms, as well as the inn's check-in desk and a fireside reading area. You’re greeted with a glass of local wine as you collect your room keys and chat about the the wineries you’ll be visiting during your stay.

A quiet reading area in the Apple Wood Inn's lobby in Sonoma Valley

A quiet reading area in the Apple Wood Inn's lobby (Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye)


The remaining suites are located in buildings built in the 1990s. There are just 19 rooms in total at the Applewood Inn. Many rooms, including ours, look out onto the lovely courtyard, with its fountain and seating areas. Suites in the newer buildings have private patios with outdoor fire pits. Perfect for staying cosy in one’s bathrobe while sipping newly purchased local wine or bubbly. I can't tell you how excited I was to enjoy a glass of wine by the fire as the sun set!
Nothing beats a day by the pool during a romantic getaway at Applewood Inn in Sonoma Valley

Nothing beats a day by the pool! (Photo Credit: Applewood Inn)

Applewood Inn's pool and spa

For warmer days, there’s a pool and hot tub on the six acre property. There are many comfortable seating areas for relaxation and reading.

The small spa is large enough to accommodate a couples massage, with a jet-tub for two to relax in afterwards. The local masseuses are skillful, applying just the right amount of pressure we asked for.

Splurge on a couple's spa treatment at Applewood Inn during a romantic getaway in Sonoma Valley

Splurge on a couple's spa treatment at Applewood Inn (Photo Credit: Applewood Inn)

Green initiatives at Applewood Inn

The inn is working towards sustainable energy and agricultural practices. The entire property is heated by a solar panel array for much of the year. A portion of the grounds was once an apple orchard. Quince and fig trees bear fruit, which is used in the Inn’s restaurant. The renovated henhouse sits next to a rejuvenated herb and vegetable kitchen garden. Applewood Inn even has its own bee hives for pollination and honey production. Guests are welcome to wander the grounds and enjoy the space, the quiet only broken by the occasional owl hooting in early evening. You may also spot grazing deer or wild turkey as you walk.

Bee hives and solar panels help Mother Nature at Applewood Inn in Sonoma Valley

Bee hives and solar panels help Mother Nature at Applewood Inn (Photo Credit: Applewood Inn)

Pinoli Cucina Rustica Restaurant

Applewood Inn's beautiful, barn-like Pinoli Cucina Rustica Restaurant features Italian specialities focused on locally sourced products. Like many Sonoma Valley restauranteurs, Chef and Owner Christian Darcoli celebrates farm to table cuisine. In an area of such agricultural abundance, this makes perfect sense. Diners are treated to the freshest vegetables and fruit, handmade pastas, and locally sourced meat and fish dishes.

Dinner with a view at Pinoli Cucina Rustica at Applewood Inn

Dinner with a view at Pinoli Cucina Rustica (Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye)

Breakfast is a two-course delight. Start with a fresh baked pear muffin or apple bread. The second course consists of an egg dish of benedict or hash, depending on what the chef has planned. The restaurant can accommodate dietary restrictions as needed. Everything we ate was scrumptious and presented by the chef himself. How he managed to time the cooking with service is beyond me.

Delicious apple bread with coffee and fresh orange juice for breakfast at Applewood Inn during a Sonoma Valley romantic getaway

Delicious apple bread with coffee and fresh orange juice for breakfast at Applewood Inn (Photo credit: Claudia Laroye)

Pinoli Cucina's dinner menu showcases local greens and seasonal vegetables. Mains include fish, local duck, game and steaks prepared in Italian style. Homemade sauces (with or without meat) accompany the handmade pastas. Chef' Darcoli's grandmother's recipe of large ravioli filled with lamb, pork, sausage, and beef ragu is a must try.

Farm to table cuisine celebrates all things local at Pinoli Cuccina Rustica at Applewood Inn during a romantic Sonoma Valley vacation

Farm to table cuisine celebrates all things local at Pinoli Cuccina Rustica (Photo credit: Applewood Inn)

When to Visit

The Applewood Inn enjoys high season in the summer months. Its location close to the coast ensures that temperatures here are often 20 degrees cooler than in eastern Sonoma Valley. This is a welcome relief during this hot and dry season. In spring, guests should venture to the coast with their binoculars. You may see migrating whales on their way north to Alaska. And don't miss a drive along the Russian River and along Highway 1, no matter what season you choose to visit.

Applewood Inn has lovely kitchen gardens planted with herbs and vegetables

The inn has lovely kitchen gardens planted with herbs and vegetables (Photo Credit: Applewood Inn)

After a few days at Applewood Inn, I predict a softening of clenched shoulders, a sparkle in your eyes for your partner, and a replenished well of patience for your children.

Read more reviews of this bed & breakfast and book your stay through TripAdvisor now!

Have you ever stayed at a bed & breakfast like Applewood Inn? Do you have any questions or comments about a Sonoma Valley romantic getaway?

A Note from The Curious Travel Mama: My husband and I enjoyed a hosted stay at the Applewood Inn for purposes of this review. As always, my opinions are honest and my own.

Top photo by Claudia Laroye.

About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons. She started traveling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 20 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about the travel experience and the value of traveling as a family. She is the founder of, and contributes to many online and print media publications around the world. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom or Instagram as @itsclaudiatravels.

  1. Amy Desrosiers says

    Wow, this does look so romantic! I would love to get away with my husband and spend some time here!

  2. Wow what serenity! Look at the amazing views and looks so gorgeous and relaxing!

  3. Rach Ferrucci says

    This looks like a place I would love to visit. It’s so beautiful and I’ve never been in that part of the country, I need to check them out!

  4. Angela Milnes says

    This would be a perfect weekend. Calm, peaceful, and so beautiful; I love it!

  5. Maria Carbone says

    I couldn’t agree more! I am in LOVE with this place! Gorgeous!

  6. This looks like an incredible place. I love when it is beautiful on the outside just like the inside when I stay somewhere.

  7. Our Family World says

    What a nice and cozy place to stay for a romantic getaway. I love the wood interiors! It definitely gives the place its rustic charm. I would be thrilled to have a chance to be there for one weekend. Hope that will be soon!

  8. Sheena Tatum says

    It’s so hard to get away from the kids. However, you’re right, at least once, it would be nice to not have to let your brain be on high alert.

  9. Carol Cassara says

    Everything, from the room to the pool is beautiful! It’s not just romantic but relaxing as well. I’d love to go here someday and just enjoy the quiet.

  10. The Applewood Inn looks luxurious, yet cozy. I would love to take a weekend getaway and stay there! So cool that you could possibly see the whales migrating too!

  11. Oh nice!! What a peaceful place. It looks like such a nice weekend getaway.

  12. This looks like the perfect place for a romantic getaway. I am due for one with my husband soon!

  13. What a relaxing place to spend some time away from home! I think I’d really enjoy a carefree stay there! It seems so peaceful.

  14. Applewood Inn looks like a peaceful getaway that would make it great for anyone seeking to get lost from the reality of life. Glad you shared your experience here and those photos are just amazing. I would love to get away to Applewood Inn.

  15. This place looks absolutely amazing. I’m pretty sure I would sit by the garden and read a good book.

  16. Ellen Lanin says

    I felt like I was beginning to relax just reading this review. Beautiful!

  17. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says

    That looks like an amazing place! I love the food, I love the atmosphere, and I LOVE where it’s situated. I could go for several days there.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.