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2010 Best Spa/Resort: Kenwood Inn and Spa

Author: Julie Fadda
May, 2010 Issue
You don’t have to travel beyond Sonoma County to feel like you’re in Tuscany. The Kenwood Inn and Spa, designed to look like a centuries-old Tuscan villa, is truly an escape from almost anyone’s daily routine. The experience starts immediately upon arrival, when guests are given a personal tour so they can see everything the resort has to offer first hand. That’s your initial clue as to the inn’s impeccable service. Each guest’s experience is literally custom-designed to surpass expectations, relax and rejuvenate.

The 29 oversized rooms, available only to guests 18 and older, each feature a fireplace, featherbed, private entrance with a patio or balcony, well-appointed bathrooms—and no TV. “I tease people that they have to talk to one another,” jokes General Manager Karl Bruno, who’s been with the inn since its new ownership took over in 2006. Since then, they’ve been working ceaselessly to improve the 25-year-old property (which expanded about 10 years ago).

“When you come here, you’ll notice the custom design and intimacy factor right away. It really feels like you’re inside your own oasis,” says Bruno. “People always comment, ‘It’s serene. It slows us down.’ I see them come in stressed; the next day, they’re more relaxed; the next day, they’re transformed. I can see it in their faces and bodies, and I can hear it in their voices.”

Guests can meander around the property’s lush gardens and tranquil courtyards and fountains in their robes, relax by the pool or one of the three more private spas (including one that has a working waterwheel and private indoor plunging pool and steam room), have a spa treatment and then eat at the restaurant or meet some new people at the intimate, horseshoe-shaped wine bar. (You might want to change out of your robe for those last two, though!)

The restaurant is exclusive to guests and features chef Andrea DiLoreto’s seasonal menus that also include nightly pasta, fish and wood-fired pizza specials. Spring menu examples include a purée of celery root soup with truffle essence, baby beet salad, pan seared local wild halibut with saffron braised fennel, wood fired rack of lamb and more.

A private dining room that can seat up to 10 is available, or you can enjoy your meal in the main dining room or in the outdoor courtyard, either in the sunshine, under the stars or on one of the covered patios complete with outdoor fireplaces.

All rooms also include complimentary, gourmet breakfasts. Early risers can enjoy fresh squeezed juices and baked pastries, gourmet coffee, organic yogurt and the like; a two-course, served breakfast begins at 8:30 for those seeking a little more sustenance.

A brand-new meeting facility has seating for up to 42 and can be designed to your specifications, including all your technical, audio and visual needs. “We custom-create every event, whether social or business,” says Bruno. “We walk people around and ask what they want to see—then talk design options to meet their needs.”

The spa is meant to meet your need to relax. Bruno says guests frequently comment on how incredibly comfortable and cozy it is. “It sets us apart because it’s homey,” he says. “And people love our therapists.” The spa menu includes facial treatments, massage, wraps, scrubs, enzyme treatments and the inn’s exclusive vinotherapy products made from grape oil extracts. (Try some out in the deep barrel bath, which is in an upper-level room overlooking vineyards.)

The inn’s overall feeling is tranquil, quiet and luxurious, with customized, unforgettable service. “People leave here different than from when they arrived,” says Bruno. “It’s the setting, feeling of intimacy, restaurant, spa and gracious staff.”






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