Sunday, April 8, 2007 through Tuesday, April 10:

The landscape of Healdsburg, California had a tipping point several years ago… I remember sitting with many of the city’s “fathers,” who were discussing the fate of the western quadrant’s vacant lot of Healdsburg’s plaza. It seemed that building a hotel would be a nice addition to finalize what was surrounding the heart of downtown Healdsburg. Little could any of us know where that was headed. As someone who watched (and continues to watch the process), I’m reminded of the Native Americans who sold the Island of Manhattan to business folk… “Pastoral gone busy” is the only way to describe Healdsburg today… And those who come to visit, or to live there, easily fall in love with the wine country charm that’s continuing to evolve.

Having award-winning entrepreneur and culinary innovator Charlie Palmer take on that empty-lot challenge pushed Healdsburg from its position of standing on the edge of a diving board, to being pushed into an Olympic-size swimming pool. It can be said with no uncertainty, Healdsburg has entered its heyday.

What is about to follow is a continuation of Sergeant First Class Cheryl Dupris’ pilgrimage to California in search of Petite Sirah. This posting, however, isn’t a continuation of Petite Sirah producers. With three wonderful nights in Healdsburg, this posting is going to be about her lodging at three really lovely locations. One was a hotel and two were bed and breakfast inns… All three are great choices for home-away-from-home, luxurious accommodations in Healdsburg, CA.
[Before we begin the tour, we need to thank Circe Sher. Circe organized Cheryl’s stay at Hotel Healdsburg, and she lead us to Alison Stout of the Healdsburg Lodging Coalition for Cheryl’s two B&B stays: Calderwood Inn and Haydon Street Inn]

Sunday, April 8, HOTEL HEALDSBURG:

Once Cheryl registered, she went right to her room. As Cheryl tells her story, she took one look around at her delicious new surroundings and said good-bye to her weary world. As a returning American soldier, who’s now accustomed to “sleeping with one eye open and listening,” Hotel Healdsburg provided a safe-harbor sanctuary…

It became a place for quiet retreat, where she could just luxuriate in being alive and having someone else in control of her surroundings. Cheryl’s home is New York City. Because of Charlie Palmer’s New York roots, Hotel Healdsburg gave her a sense of being at home, and yet she was 3,000 miles away in Healdsburg. The hotel has that “New York” feeling for anyone accustomed to the city’s brass, glass, and marble decor. Although Hotel Healdsburg isn’t architecturally structured as a brass, glass, and marble inn, it still speaks “New York.” Neutral and natural shades, interesting linear design, and top-of-the-line amenities give visitors a sense that they’ve arrived exactly where they wanted to land. Cheryl was in heaven.

On the following morning, Cheryl awoke to a sunny day in paradise with a scheduled spa treatment at the Spa at Hotel Healdsburg. The spa is conveniently located just twenty walking steps of the hotel’s front door. Cheryl arrived at the spa, was welcomed as their guest, and was allowed to choose her masseuse. The spa offers a choice of male and female massage therapists, and many types of treatment. Cheryl’s body was revitalized as she luxuriated in quietude. Her masseuse worked away most of the final kinks left in her body from being deployed to the Middle East. This left Cheryl with a sense of calm, and opened up her adventure Chakras. Cheryl was ready for her full day of winery tours. (Wine tours will later follow the “inn” blogs.) Next:

Monday, April 9, CALDERWOOD INN:

Calderwood Inn

Tuesday, April 10, HAYDON STREET INN:

Haydon Street Inn