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Chill Guides: Sonoma

by Hannah Smith

Only an hour away from the bustling streets of San Fransisco lies the hidden gem of Sonoma Valley, a place known mostly for being at the center of the wine industry. Though the wine and the corresponding wineries are incredible to experience, Sonoma offers so much more. From beautiful, farmhouse inspired stays to organic, locally grown produce to wellness goods everywhere, Sonoma is an ideal destination for straight up chilling. Planning a visit? Let us guide you with our chillest recommendations.

Where to Stay

Can’t decide on place to stay? Shack up at the luxurious MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa, a recently renovated six-acre property that’s Instaworthy all on its own. Winding paths and small gardens make it the perfect place to sit and soak up the sun or sip a CBD drink (because, yes, they sell CBD on premise.) With garden benches and fire pits scattered across the property, there will always be space for you to relax and enjoy the company of those around you. The rooms are just as gorgeous as the rest of the premise, offering outdoor patios (some of which come equip with an outdoor shower or bathtub!), heated bathroom floors, and minimalist décor that make you wish you lived there.

Photo Courtesy of MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa

The biggest plus? The in-room amenities. You’ll never be concerned about using mediocre hotel shower products again, so feel free to leave your products at home (seriously, I did). The MacArthur Place partnered with Grown Alchemist, an organic, toxin-free, cruelty-free beauty company to provide luxury shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion that offer subtle, natural scents such as rose and bergamot. Worried about your skin post-traveling? Don’t! Each night at turndown, Petite Amie Skincare provides a complementary lavender sheet mask, guaranteed to keep your skin hydrated and your mind at ease.  To top it off, they also bring in a box of freshly baked chocolate chips each night – can you imagine anything better? Well… the CBD bath bombs provided by Onyx & Rose will definitely help you find your chill even more.

What to Eat

Sonoma boasts a number of beautiful restaurants, and MacArthur Place’s Layla is right at the top. This beautiful Medterranian restaurant looks like it popped right out of Soho’s most popular and Instragrammable brunch spots. The three-meal restaurant sources organic, sustainable, farm-fresh ingredients, so you don’t feel as if you’re sacrificing your clean eating habits for the sake of vacation. Enjoy a Dutch Baby pancake in the morning, and opt for the Israeli Couscous at dinner – I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you’re not one for a sit down meal, head over to The Porch, the on-premise coffee shop that doubles as a one-stop shop for all of your wellness needs. The menu boasts locally sourced beverages from Acre Coffee and Uppercase Tea, as well as a few freshly prepared salads and sandwiches to help you get through the day, as well as a number of gluten-free and vegan baked goods. The Porch also offers goodies from Beekeepers Naturals, MoonJuice, and Vybes (just to name a few), so you can keep your wellness routine going (or get it started!). If you go all the way to California, having Mexican food is a must. A local favorite is El Molino Central, known best for their tamales. Their menu is expansive, though, so whether you’re craving nachos, enchiladas, tacos, or quesadillas, this is bound to satisfy any craving.

Photo Courtesy of MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa

Where to Drink

The MacArthur Place partnered with Bohemian Highway Travel Co. to offer two bespoke wine tastings, completely exclusive to hotel guests, and they are experiences that cannot be missed. For starters, getting picked up in a vintage Land Rover definitely sets the right vibe. If you’re looking to escape the heat, head to B Wise Vineyards. Not only does it boast beautiful views, but the fully furnished cave (yes, cave!) serves as the tasting area, so you’re free to chill out without the sun beating down on you. Bohemian Highway also takes you to Hamel Family Wines, a winery that walks the line between old school winery vibes and modern decor perfectly. They also provide freshly made ricotta cheese to munch on while you taste, and though I’m lactose intolerant, I can attest it’s the greatest cheese I’ve ever had the honor of trying. Scribe Winery, though not a part of the exclusive hotel package, is worth a trip all on its own. Nestled at the bottom of a mountain range, this small winery is decorated with desert gardens, perfectly aged paint, and beautiful stain glass windows. If you feel like a day trip to neighboring Napa, Ashes and Diamonds Winery is definitely worth hitting up. The modern architecture coupled with scenic views creates the perfect place to sip, eat, and chill.

Photo Courtesy of MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa

Not looking for wine? Well, you’re in the wrong place. Just kidding! The Bar at MacArthur offers beautifully crafted cocktails that are just as potent as they are refreshing. My personal favorite was The Forager, which uses a Chillhouse favorite, Butterfly Pea Tea, to give the drink a beautiful purple tinge. If you don’t pick your drink based off of aesthetic, there are still so many to choose from, all of which are equally delicious in their own right.

Photo Courtesy of MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa

Where to Chill

Sonoma is a small, quaint town, one that’s perfect for a quick bicycle ride. If you’re staying at MacArthur Place, hop on one of the complimentary Blix Electric Bikes, made complete by peddle assist. Head to the town square, grab a coffee at Dutch Brothers, and simply take in the pure joy of a relaxing bike ride in a restful city. Looking to chill even harder? Spend a day at the pool and Grab an aromatherapy massage at the spa! While I’m sure the entire massage staff is impeccable, Christine was heaven-sent and left me feeling like pure gold in the matter of only 50 minutes. Follow it up with a sweat in the steam room, a dip in the pool, and a good long outdoor shower.

Photo Courtesy of MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa

If you’re not one for chilling and would rather experience an adrenaline rush, go for a hot air balloon ride with Sonoma Ballooning Adventures. It might seem scary (I promise I was terrified), but never pass up an opportunity like this. The ride offers beautiful scenic views of Sonoma at sunrise and gives you an even greater appreciation for the hundreds of picturesque vineyards below. Once back on the ground, you’re treated to complimentary mimosas, so there’s really no reason to not go.

Feature Image via MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa

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