Vintage Vibe Meets Modern Convenience at the Grape Leaf Inn

Think of the Grape Leaf Inn, in Healdsburg, California, as an ideal place to plan a wine country getaway for adults. Quiet, clean and full of natural light, the low-key property offers a perfect balance between hotel privacy and the intimacy of a B&B. Early evening appetizers served to our group, during a special happy hour event, were tasty and pretty.

Inside the Queen-Anne-style property, thirteen guest rooms offer an old-fashioned vibe enhanced by Italian linens and luxurious private baths. During cool weather, occasional fires in the lovely fireplaces create extra warmth.

On your first night’s stay, the inn serves complementary wine and cheese in the spacious and comfortable living room. And it’s no wonder. Owners, Ken and Diane Wilson also founded Wilson Artisan Wineries. The company encompasses more than 600 acres of Dry Creek Valley vineyards in Sonoma and Mendocino County and one additional inn. Because of this multi-faceted business, guests sometimes enjoy complimentary tastings at Wilson wineries during their stay.

Special Reasons to Stay at Grape Leaf Inn

Several surprises await visitors soon after they arrive at Grape Leaf Inn. Behind a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf at the edge of the bright lobby, there’s a hidden staircase that leads to a basement speakeasy. Here, guests sometimes enjoy private tastings of hard-to-find vintages from boutique wineries (extra charge).

In addition, a sign in the lobby notes the Inn’s 2016 Silver Award from the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program. The Wilsons take environmental stewardship seriously and constantly look for ways to reduce the Inn’s carbon footprint. Their energy-efficient light bulbs, and a water system, enhance the ‘green’ focus.

Grape Leaf Inn

Sustainable body care products are available in each bathroom. Photo courtesy Grape Leaf Inn

Housekeeping staff cleans with sustainable products and separates recyclable items. They also stock accommodations with sustainable hair and body care items. The Inn shares a compost bin with its sister property, Calderwood Inn, and showcases drought-resistant plants throughout its landscape.

Another selling point of the Inn is its close proximity to Healdsburg’s tree-shaded plaza. It’s a great place to explore on foot and the picturesque Inn is only a short walk away. Exploring the plethora of restaurants, shops and tasting rooms that surround the plaza could keep you occupied for hours.

Grape Leaf Inn

The king Syrah room features twin stained glass. Photo courtesy Grape Leaf Inn

Custom Accommodations at Grape Leaf Inn

But when you’ve finished exploring downtown, your one-of-a-kind guest room awaits at Grape Leaf Inn. Tucked beneath the eaves, the cozy Chardonnay room includes a jewel-tone stained glass window framed in a wood plank wall behind the headboard. Dual skylights illuminate Roussanne, a charming space that features vintage-inspired wallpaper and hardwood floors.

The Sangiovese room includes a private fireplace and a massive antique armoire. Large windows in this ground-level room provide views of Grant Street. On the top floor, the Mouvedre pairs another fireplace and a four-poster king bed with a unique ‘rotunda-style’ room shape. Stained glass and marble decorate the bathroom, which offers a combined tub and shower.

One of the Inn’s most popular rooms, Syrah, also has a fireplace, plus a cozy reading nook. Pale blue stained glass and skylights flood this room with light.

Grape Leaf Inn

Sangiovese is one of the spacious suites available at the inn. Photo courtesy Grape Leaf Inn

Suite Surroundings

For more indoor or outdoor space, book one of two very different suites. The Pinot Noir features king and queen bedrooms plus a comfortable living space that includes a dining area. This is a great place to entertain friends and family amidst comfort and privacy.

On the main floor, the Champagne Suite includes a sumptuous vintage four-poster king bed. A private entrance and a secluded patio with comfortable outdoor furnishings are other popular features. Adventurous guests may enjoy taking an outdoor shower beneath open sky; but there’s also an indoor shower available.

Grape Leaf Inn

There's a warm, inviting lobby area on the main floor. Photo courtesy of Grape Leaf Inn

Making the Most of Your Visit to Grape Leaf Inn

Most rooms at the Grape Leaf Inn provide a relaxing oasis, 24/7. But accommodations near the lobby may experience noise, especially as early risers retrieve a cup of morning coffee or premium tea.

There is free Wifi throughout the property. However, TV lovers should know that many in-room sets are quite small. If you feel you need a big screen to watch favorite shows, be sure to request a room that features one.

The dog-friendly Inn welcomes pooches that weigh less than 50 pounds (with $50 deposit), but human guests under the age of 18, are only welcome on rare occasions.

Wondering where to leave your car? Limited parking is available behind the Inn, with plenty of additional spots available on the street.

Personalized Breakfasts at Grape Leaf Inn

The first meal of each day is a big highlight at the Grape Leaf Inn. Guests dine at hardwood tables of all sizes in several adjacent rooms. Cloth napkins and vintage-look white china complement gourmet breakfast fare.

Available between 8 and 10 a.m., made-to-order meals are created after individual consultation with the chef. Fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juices as well as fresh coffee and tea get things started.

Berries, citrus and other fruit also frequently appear on the menu. Main dishes have included fried eggs atop an English muffin with fresh avocado slices; creme brulee French toast with sliced bananas and sausage; or pumpkin pancakes.

A Favorite Place to Stay in Healdsburg

Grape Leaf Inn provides a terrific combination of comfortable luxury and easy proximity to shopping and entertainment. With its vintage vibe and modern conveniences, the Inn operates at 539 Johnson Street, Healdsburg, CA. Call 707-433-8140 or visit online.

Enjoy more articles on touring California from our Wander writers.

Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with food and beverages for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

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Written by Lisa Waterman Gray

A Kansas City-area resident, Lisa Waterman Gray has savored Quebec’s finest cuisine, ridden in a pickup before a Kansas buffalo herd, and toured natural Arizona landmarks with Native American guides. In June 2011, 18 months of driving, research, and writing ended with national publication of Lisa’s book, An Explorer’s Guide: Kansas. During October 2014, she was a U.S. delegate for Terre Madre and Salone del Gusto in Turin, Italy – a conference for Slow Food International. Lisa has written for Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle (a Canadian magazine), USA, Midwest Living, four AAA magazines, and other clients. Visit her online at

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  1. Gary Scott

    I really enjoyed the read, thank you. The images created in my mind of this little piece of heaven motivates me more to get out and about and travel.

  2. Lisa Waterman Gray

    Thanks, Gary. Glad this piece inspired you!

    Lisa Waterman Gray

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