Just 45 miles north of San Francisco, The Lodge at Sonoma (www.thelodgeatsonoma.com), a Renaissance Resort & Spa, sits in the heart of California's wine country. During my two-day stay, I tasted more than a dozen local wines introduced by Gen X sommelier Chris Sawyer and paired with inspired cuisine crafted by Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar chef de cuisine Janine Flavo. The Lodge works hard to create a memorable wine-country experience for guests.
The Marriott property accommodates groups of 10 to 500 in 22,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 3,080-square-foot ballroom divisible by three and the 2,304-square-foot Stone Building with soaring wood-beamed ceilings. Of the 12 function rooms, 10 open onto lawns, gardens, or patios. From November through March, a tent encloses part of the Stone Building's 6,400-square-foot lawn. Wireless Internet access is available in the lodge's public areas, and high-speed connections are available in meeting and guest rooms, which include 80 lodge rooms and 102 cottages.
At The Lodge's intimate Raindance Spa, I sampled a signature treatment using indigenous products such as grape seed, lavender, and olive oil. Four of the 15 treatments rooms are in the spa garden, along with two mineral-soaking pools. The spa hosts events, offering mini-treatments accompanied by wine and appetizer samplers.