Indulge in Serenity at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

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Heading to Sonoma County for wine tasting, great cuisine, and relaxation? The ideal home base while you explore is Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Read on to discover why you should book your Sonoma stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the ideal place to stay when traversing Sonoma County wine country. This exceptional five-star resort boasts mouthwatering farm-to-table dining, exquisite well-appointed rooms and suites, delicious local wines, geothermal-fed mineral pools, an upscale spa, and access to the championship golf course at the Sonoma Golf Club nearby.

Book a stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa and experience Sonoma wine country.

My Retreat at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

I spent two nights at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa during a recent visit to Sonoma, California. I grew up 30 miles away from the resort. Therefore, I am familiar with the area, but when I venture south to this region, I typically stay with friends and visit the Sonoma County wineries. However, I strayed from the norm on this trip and stayed at the Inn.

Enjoy wine and small bites around the firepits at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Enjoy wine and small bites around the firepits. Photo courtesy of Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

The Mission Spa Suite was the perfect place to indulge in a mini-wellness retreat. Traveling alone, I lounged on the beautiful four-poster king bed, hogged all the pillows, and read a book undisturbed.

Mission Spa Suite at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Mission Spa Suite at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

I spent time each evening in my Jacuzzi tub submerged in warm water, breathing in the aroma of scented bath salts, watching the fire dance in the hearth, and sipping delicious wine. I savored this time of relaxation and appreciated the quiet.

Baths salts and wine in the tub at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Baths salts and wine in the tub. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Each morning, I made coffee and sat on my second-floor balcony overlooking a fountain in the nearby courtyard before heading out to explore the resort property.

A beautiful balcony.

A beautiful suite balcony. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Discovering the Grounds

The land at this AAA Four-Diamond resort has long been considered a sacred healing ground by Native Americans. I thoroughly enjoyed meandering the long pathways, exploring the wide-open spaces, and admiring the stunning landscape and towering redwood trees.

Beautiful grounds at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Beautiful grounds at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Each day I walked the resort grounds, and the activity became an extension of my wellness retreat. It was easy to escape the cares of this world while surrounded by such beauty. Small bridges led to colorful flowerbeds, and grass-lined paths ended in courtyards with wooden benches and water fountains.

The fountain outside of my suite.

The fountain outside of my suite. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

The Spa

The Spa boasts five thermal mineral pools ranging from 92 to 102 degrees and a Roman-style bathhouse with a soaking pool, hot tub, Halotherapy Sauna, and an Aromatherapy Steam Room.

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The outdoor terrace is available for registered guests of the Inn and guests with spa appointments in one of the 28 treatment rooms.

An outside pool at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

An outside pool at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Dining at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

The Inn offers several dining options. The Water Tower Bar, CaliForno, Spa Café, 38° North Wine Bar, and Santé.

Stunning restaurants and delicious wine at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Stunning restaurants and delicious wine at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa

38° North Wine Bar has a great menu and is popular with resort guests and locals.

One evening I dined on a tasty bowl of French Onion Soup with sourdough bread and melted gruyere cheese on top and Roasted Squash Flatbread with confit garlic, kale pepitas, and Vella dry jack cheese. The cocktail list is extensive, and many delicious wines are available by the glass and bottle.

Roasted Squash Flatbread.

Roasted Squash Flatbread. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

Santé is the Inn’s fine dining establishment. Executive Chef Jared Reeves oversees all food at the resort, but he shines at Santé, where he serves California Fusion cuisine. His meals are wine-focused and change seasonally to highlight local products. I met with Chef Reeves one afternoon before dinner.

Executive Chef Jared Reeves.

Executive Chef Jared Reeves. Photo courtesy of Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

A Chat With the Chef

How did you get your start in the kitchen?

My parents worked hard and late, but I must brag about my mom. She had three kids and put herself through college. She received her degree the same year I got my high school degree. We graduated together, and I was so proud she stuck with it. She would go to work and then to school.

At first, I was just the one to put chicken nuggets and fries in the oven. But over time, I got bored. I would find a recipe and ask mom to get the ingredients; it evolved from there. When I look back, my food was basic, but by the time I was 16, I started thinking about what I wanted to do for a career, and my first job was flipping burgers at Sonic. No commercial kitchen would hire me due to insurance reasons. It is a shame because working in a professional kitchen can be an excellent apprenticeship opportunity for kids.

What brought you to Sonoma County?

A recruiter contacted me, and I flew over to check out Santé. It was always a dream of mine to work in wine country and create wine-focused meals. When people visit the wine country, they expect a wine and food culinary experience, not just food for sustenance.

I am familiar with making excellent food, but I get to explore my creative side here. Our guests at the Sonoma Mission Inn come to drink exceptional wine, eat fantastic food, and sit and sip by the firepit.

I heard that your cooking style is California Fusion. What does that mean to you?

I do not want to shy away from any cuisine, whether it is Japanese, Korean, or Middle Eastern, but first, it must be California cuisine. Once, I had a supplier call, and I asked, “What do you have that my other suppliers don’t?” He said he had Spanish prawns and European sole. I said that is not what I want as I get my products locally. No distance is attached to this philosophy, but I find the best as close as possible.

Why do you buy locally?

People flock to certain products because the local chefs have put those ingredients on a pedestal. I feel it is our duty as chefs to highlight those ingredients. Those products will never receive the elite status they deserve if we do not do it. A skillful chef’s job is to figure out how to prepare, serve, and elevate ingredients.

For instance, California’s halibut is dry. Halibut in Alaska has a much higher fat content due to the icy waters, so we wrestled with how to do a California halibut. We discovered that if we served it as tartar (raw), the leanness came through, and the flavors were terrific. That does not mean I do not like to use exceptional ingredients like wagyu beef, but with those things, I need to get out of the way and let them speak for themselves, but if you have something that presents more of a challenge, you must figure out how to make it unforgettable.

Do you try to challenge yourself between working with ingredients that require great skill and exceptional ones that do not?

It is a fun journey because I always think about the next ingredient to utilize.

Do you have a favorite ingredient?

Wine is amazing. However, I am obsessed right now with ducks. There is so much you can do with them and all their parts.

Dinner at Santé at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

My discussion with Chef Reeves ended, and he entered the kitchen to prepare dinner.

My dinner began with California Uni Profiteroles with caramelized yogurt, cucumber, and wasabi. The puffs were light and flakey, and the uni smelled of the sea and had a creamy, buttery texture.

Uni Profiteroles.

Uni Profiteroles. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

The Grilled Delta Asparagus with pork boudin noir (blood sausage), a fried duck egg, and garlic crumbs was tasty.

Grilled asparagus with a duck egg.

Grilled asparagus with a duck egg. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

Still, I liked the Belfiore Burrata with spring peas, kohlrabi, horseradish, and pumpernickel croutons with various textures.

Belfiore Burrata with spring peas.

Belfiore Burrata with spring peas. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

My favorite was the Grilled Maitake Mushroom dish with eggplant caponata and cashew cheese. However, the 7-Day Dry Aged Duck with fermented blueberry jus and trimmings was a close second.

Grilled Maitake Mushroom dish.

Grilled Maitake Mushroom dish. Photo by Tracy Ellen Beard

Resort Activities at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

There is always something going on at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. Executive Chef Jaren Reeves is partnering with renowned winemakers in Napa and Sonoma counties, creating delicious 4-course wine-paired dinners from April through September.

Wine tasting in the lobby at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Wine tasting in the lobby at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Although many guests spend their days outside the resort wine tasting throughout Sonoma County, they enjoy additional sips in the lobby each afternoon. Often smaller wineries that guests do not get a chance to visit are showcased during the free tastings.

Savor the wine at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa and throughout the Sonoma wine country.

Summer at the Fairmont means music on the front lawn. Guests can enjoy seasonal bites from CaliForno Street East and sip on their favorite cocktails and Sonoma wines from 38º North Bar while sitting by the firepits listening to live music.

Bicycles are available for guests to use to cruise the area.

Bicycles at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Bicycles at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

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Something for Everyone

Whether your goal is to sip on a glass of delicious local wine while listening to live music, eat delectable cuisine, soak in the mineral baths, read a book in your room, or discover all that Sonoma County has to offer, there is something for everyone at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

Let Wander With Wonder be your guide when planning your next wine tasting or wellness vacation.

 

Heading to Sonoma County for wine tasting, great cuisine, and relaxation? The ideal homebase while you explore is Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Read on to discover why you should book your Sonoma stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa.

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Indulge in Serenity at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Written by Tracy Ellen Beard

Tracy Ellen Beard, Wander With Wonder Senior Editor, is a freelance writer, editor, and photographer based in Longview, Washington. She is an avid traveler, wine connoisseur, foodie, hiker, cyclist, and kayaker. Tracy is the “Out and About” columnist for the Columbia River Reader and writes monthly for Upscale Living Magazine. She also contributes regularly to LuxeGetaways, Northwest Travel & Life, Country, Country Extra, and several other magazines. Her stories focus on luxury and adventure travel, fine dining, wine, libations, road trips, and recipes. Tracy shares a unique perspective on the world from her personal journeys and the excursions she took as the founder and past president of an international children’s nonprofit. Her twenty years of experience writing in various genres, and her culinary training in San Francisco, California, have added to her knowledge and expertise.

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