Wine country’s revamped Lodge at Sonoma

Located one mile from Sonoma’s iconic square, recently updated Lodge at Sonoma hotel and retreat offers stunning sculpture gardens, a poolside bar and celebrity chef Michael Mina’s first wine country restaurant.

The hotel, part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, completed a property-wide transformation in 2021 to give its Mission-style architecture a modern vibe. You’ll feel it in the lobby, where a live-edge wooden table — reclaimed from a 100-year-old oak tree — anchors the room. There’s a large custom tapestry featuring the history of Sonoma Plaza’s Mission building as well as an art gallery and self-serve wine dispenser nearby.

ROOMS: All 182 guest rooms, suites and private cottages have been redesigned, most notably the tucked-away cottages, some with fireplaces or private outdoor soaking tubs. Ours featured two double beds, perfect for a small family, with pillowtop Sealy mattresses, featherbeds and designer duvets. There was a patio where our pup could lounge — yes, The Lodge is dog-friendly — plus a small sofa bed and two vintage bicycles, which we rode daily to recently-opened Dirty Girl Donuts and local staple Homegrown Bagels.

Some remodeled rooms and cottages at The Lodge at Sonoma feature fireplaces and outdoor soaking tubs. (The Lodge at Sonoma, Autograph Collection) 

Don’t be miffed if your cottage is on the farthest end of the resort grounds. Walking the winding garden paths, dotted with artwork inspired by water and land, soon became a highlight of our stay. Even our 11-year-old marveled at the variety of plants — $1 million in landscaping — from roses and wisteria to plum pine and laurels. Aromas are heady and Zen-like music pumps through hidden speakers. It’s lovely.

SPLASHES: The bathrooms offer a walk-in shower with herringbone tiles and oversized makeup mirror. But the best splashes happen in the heated pool and Jacuzzi, which are surrounded by covered daybeds and private cabanas. Don’t miss High Horse, a horse trailer converted into a mini poolside cocktail bar. The name is a tongue-in-cheek poke at Napa. There’s ample seating, especially around the new fire pit.