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Featured Journeys: California Wine Country

November 2, 2018| By:Rachael Weir, Five Star Alliance

Featured Journeys: California Wine Country

From rolling vineyards to tasting rooms, to picnics amongst the vines, a vineyard vacation offers a relaxing, and perhaps romantic retreat. In this edition of Featured Journeys we're heading to Northern California's Wine Country with a multi-stop itinerary to Sonoma, Napa, and Monterey. 

There's a variety of airport options for this trip. Travelers could choose to fly roundtrip to San Francisco International, or another option would be to fly into Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Aiport (STS) and fly out of the Monterey Regional Airport (MRY). Regardless the itinerary, the drive between each stop is sure to provide panoramic scenery.

Sonoma

Situated about 45 minutes north of San Francisco, Sonoma County offers a genuine wine country experience, with 76% of tourism businesses being small businesses, and 91% percent of the tourism businesses are locally-owned. This area is all about local cuisine, local growers, and of course, local wines. The area has a thriving art and food scene, and there's an array of outdoor opportunities like exploring the redwoods, hot air balooning, and vineyard hikes. Love the Peanuts Gang? A visit to this region wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Charles M. Schulz Museum with a collection dedicated to providing an in-depth look into the life and legacy of Peanuts comic strip creator, Charles M. Schulz. 

Farmhouse Inn

King Dux Room at Farmhouse Inn

Situated in the Russian River Valley about 1.5 hours north of San Francisco, the Farmhouse Inn is family-owned, by owners with Sonoma roots dating back five generations. Surrounded by the towns of Healdsburg and Santa Rosa, the boutique property's restaurant is the recipient of a Michelin Star, there are Sommelier-led wine tours, and rooms have feather beds and curated wine refrigerators.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK:  Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate or "Best Available Rate" will also include full breakfast for two daily - a maximum daily credit of $50 per room, a $100 spa services credit per room/per stay, an in-room welcome amenity, and complimentary WiFi.

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Napa

From tasting rooms to stylisth boutiques, Napa Valley is haven for wine lovers and foodies alike. There are 6 Napa Valley restaurants that have received the prestigious Michelin Star, there's an array of cooking schools and five star accommodations in the heart of the vineyards, and the area is a hot spot for bakeries, chocolatiers, coffee, and gelato shops for those that want a little something sweet to pair with the wine. Music enthusiasts will want to note the area's music events which include Yountville Live (March), BottleRock Napa Valley (May), and the Robert Mondavi Concert Series which begins in July. 

Las Alcobas Napa Valley

Las Alcobas Napa Valley

Across from Beringer Vineyards, Las Alcobas Napa Valley is a luxury boutique hotel nestled in St. Helena. Set within a stately Victorian-style farmhouse built in 1907, the property offers accommodations designed by Yabu Pushelberg, with custom-crafted furniture and minimalist design. The signature restaurant, Acacia House serves award-winning California cuisine led by Top Chef Master Chris Cosentino. While the atrio spa offers a rejuvanating spa experience within a former farmhouse, and the outdoor pool provides one-of-a-kind vineyard views.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking with Five Star Alliance receive daily full breakfast for each guest at Acacia House, a $100 spa credit per room/per stay, and a seasonal welcome amenity.

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Monterey

Located about 150 miles south of Napa, Monterey County is home to more than 175 unique vineyards. The Monterey Wine Country experiences a "thermal rainbow" making the area ideal for growing grapes for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but it's diverse climate of ever-warming micro-climates helps the region support 42 wine varietals. 

Ventana Big Sur

Ventana Big Sur

From a daily Sommelier-led wine and cheese reception, to the Alila Experience Program offering a range of activities such as photography hikes and charcoal drawing classes, Ventana Big Sur is an adults-only retreat designed to provide guests with opportunities for self discovery, wellness, and finding one's place in the world. There are daily morning yoga classes and guided hikes, as well as two outdoor pools (one is clothing-optional), chef created cuisine, and a social house. The property makes an ideal base for rest and rejuvenation or exploring the vineyards of the Monterey area.

FIVE STAR ALLIANCE PERK: Guests booking the "5 Star Signature Package" rate will also receive continental breakfast for two daily (maximum $30 credit per person/per day), a $100 resort credit per room/per stay, a welcome amenity, and an automatic room category upgrade at booking based on availability.

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