Sometimes when you want a country getaway, you truly want to get away to the country. In other words, you don’t want to be withing shouting distance of a major highway. You want gardens surrounding you, not parking lots and buildings — no matter how quaint those buildings may be. You want big hearty meals, not tiny portions of effete 5-star cuisine. You want to to sit outside on a sun-washed porch and see green hills as far as the eye can see. If this sounds like your wish list this spring, the perfect choice is The Inn at Occidental.
This luxury boutique B&B has an almost bipolar split personality. The original building dates from the 1800s and has all the lovely steeped-in-history charm you’d expect from such a vintage establishment. And yet the luxury offerings are pitch-perfect, from in-room jacuzzi tubs and silky high-thread-count sheets to a wine and cheese hour featuring top local vintages. (And the Russian River appellation has some of the best Sonoma wines around these days, at least in my reasonably well-informed opinion.)
I tend to see this type of luxury and personalized service more often in modern hotels, where you sometimes sacrifice that local personality to get it. But not here. Owners Jerry and Tina Wolsborn are ever-present, seeing to the needs of their guests. In the morning, everyone gathers in the terrace-front dining room for an enormous country breakfast; the day I was there we were treated to light puffy scones, fresh tropical fruit, and authentically southern eggs benedict that would have made my New Orleans stepmother proud.
While the Inn at Occidental doesn’t serve dinner, Jerry and Tina are happy to book you at one of the area’s many fabulous restaurants, including the traditional Italian feasteries that originally put Occidental on the tourist map. If soaking in your private spa tub didn’t get out all the kinks in your spine, just ask the Wolsborns to reserve you a spot at the Osmosis Spa, just five minutes away. You’ll go home feeling like you visited Grandma’s farm and the latest, grooviest wellness retreat all rolled into one.