Saturday, March 29, 2014

Five Reasons to Visit Guerneville

Travel tip: Subscribe to Travelzoo and you just might end up in Guerneville one day.



Guerneville was an unheard of place to me and after a single visit, I cannot wait to return.  Here are the five reasons why:

1  boon hotel + spa
Teddy rushes to the entrance before we can even locate the reception desk.  “You must be Trish.  I’ve been expecting you,” he said with a slow drawl.  (Is it just me or is everyone we arranged to meet today had this same exact line?)  Without the fuss of the typical check-in ritual (him behind a counter, I, on the other end fumbling for my ID and credit card), he proceeds to walk us past a gorgeous pool and up the steps to our room for the night.  Wait.  I paused.  Are those redwoods in the background?  

Yes, they are.

Our brief stay here was peppered with so much personal and stylish touches.  The boutique hotel felt removed from it all, it seriously felt like I was transported to a zen retreat somewhere exotic in Mexico or Asia.  It gets chilly at night and the wood-burning stove provided warmth and ahem, romance.  The property had cruiser bikes to loan out for free which we took advantage of immediately to go to the redwood forest.  There is a solar-heated saline pool and a spa onsite but I failed to make reservations in advance so I had to do a raincheck.  But that just gives me a reason to come back!  The following morning, Teddy delivered a simple breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, coffee, and orange juice.  
Boon really was a fantastic place to unplug, feel pampered, and relax.  We vow to come back. Thank you, Travelzoo!  Thank you, Boon!

Boon Hotel + Spa is located at 14711 Armstrong Woods, Guerneville, CA.  Their website is

2 Armstrong Woods Redwood Forest
We started the day watching the ocean’s gigantic mammals not very far from Guerneville.  Before nightfall, we were awestruck by another kind of giant – the massive redwood trees.  We took the cruisers to Armstrong Woods Redwood Forest, only a couple miles from Boon Hotel.  There were moderate hills but none that the single speed cruiser couldn't handle.  
It was an extraordinary experience to be dwarfed by these gargantuan redwoods.  Sometimes, California equates to congestion and smog, but out here, I really appreciate a different side of the state.  

3  Applewood Restaurant, a Michelin Star Restaurant
Thanks to Travelzoo (again), we scored a super prix-fixe deal at Applewood Restaurant, a Michelin star restaurant specializing in classic dishes perfected using the most local ingredients.  Every crumb and morsel of this dinner was perfect – taste, texture.  You would go crazy.  Make reservations in advance, though (I made ours at Open Table) as this is one of the few haute places to eat in Guerneville.  

Applewood Restaurant is located at 13555 Highway 116, Guerneville, CA.  
4  Charming Downtown
The town’s main drag might be small, but sometimes, in Guerneville, it really is about quality over quantity.  We had morning joes at the Coffee Bazaar with a small used bookshop next door called "Twice Read".  
And here's a place called Big Bottom Market on Main Street serving espressos and pastries.  They also sell local artisanal food like wines and jams.  
And bookmarked for next time, Boon Eat + Drink:
5  Russian River and Russian River Valley Wineries

Guerneville has many wineries surrounding it.  Twenty miles down and you’re in the Russian River valley known for its Pinots and Chardonnay. Stop at John Tyler Bacigalupi and prepare to be amazed.   

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