11 Sustainable Stays in Sonoma

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There are infinite reasons to travel to Sonoma – more than 425 wineries, Michelin-starred restaurants, and breathtaking landscapes. Now add to the list the nation’s soon-to-be first 100% sustainable wine region.

Discover 11 sustainable stays in Sonoma that empower you to support local communities and the environment. With Covid-19 travel restrictions in mind, please be sure to check updates on the Sonoma County Tourism website. 

EARTH-CONSCIOUS SONOMA

Known for producing some of the best grapes in the world (Sonoma County was named the 2019 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast), the region and its hundreds of family farmers rely on a healthy environment to support their vineyards.

With every passing year, climate change continues to present new challenges to those vineyards, 85 percent of which are family-owned and operated.

In an effort to embrace positive environmental change, the Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW) committed in 2014 to become the first completely sustainable wine region in the country. It’s six years later and today 99 percent of its vineyards are certified sustainable by a third-party program, making Sonoma County the most sustainable winegrowing region in the world. 

Long before the SCW launched the Sonoma County Sustainability Program, the region served as the backdrop for innovations in environmental science. 

More than just vineyards, Sonoma has been home to a number of famed environmentalists including celebrated novelist Jack London (Call of the Wild) who pioneered organic farming practices as well as renowned botanists and plumcot creator Luther Burbank.

In August 2019 Sonoma County Tourism announced a significant commitment with values around destination stewardship and responsible travel. A 'Travel Kindly' travel pledge was instituted helping travelers enjoy a visit to the area while protecting treasured natural and cultural resources in Sonoma County. It's new S.A.F.E. Travels Promise is a natural extension to that, encouraging its visitors to Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Kind. Stay Healthy as a way to encourage travelers to embrace high standards of hygiene, observation of all local health regulations required in Sonoma County, and commitment to being responsible travelers.

A Nature Lover’s Dream

With a rich history of environmental stewardship, the region has evolved into a rich oasis for travelers looking to explore scenic spots for hiking and countless outdoor activities.

Russian River Relaxation

Its famous slow-flowing Russian River features some of the best camping grounds in the world and even has its own brewery. However, the best way to experience the Russian River is to book a Russian River Kayaking Tour (we recommend Getaway Adventures – ask for Randy!). Meander your way down the peaceful, fresh, and clean Russian River and discover gorgeous beaches, captivating wildlife, and the peaceful sounds of nature.

Afterwards, stop by the Russian River Brewing Company for Sonoma’s very best craft pale ales. 

Kind Traveler's Jessica Blotter canoeing down the Russian River, thanks to Getaway Adventures

Tallest Trees in the World

No trip to Sonoma is complete without visiting the magestic Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Sonoma County. Home to the tallest trees in the world, Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is a virtual hiker’s paradise teeming with incredible wildlife and other natural wonders.

 

 

Ziplining Adventure 

Thrill-seekers will love Sonoma Canopy Tours for a unique ziplining experience nestled deep in the Redwood forest. With two courses, each two-and-a-half hour guided eco-tours, you’ll float across sky bridges, fly across the forest floor amongst the famous California Coastal Redwoods, and most importantly, deepen your love and appreciation for beautiful Mother Earth.

Kind Traveler cofounders zip-line in Sonoma County thanks to Sonoma Canopy Tours

Sonoma Coast Road-Tripping

For those looking to relax after a long hike or explore the beauty of California's sea life, the Sonoma Coast is known for its rugged cliffs along Highway 1 and majestic sunsets. Catch the sunset at one of Sonoma’s 26 coastal beaches – some of very best California has to offer.

TRAVEL KINDLY 

Whether a hiker, surfer, or wine enthusiast, Sonoma truly has something for everyone. Kind Traveler is proud to partner with 11 stunning sustainable hotels in the region. Their eco-friendly approach, ethical principles, and heart for giving back to the local community and environment make these hotels the perfect stay for the sustainable traveler in Sonoma Wine Country.

Special Hotel Rates & Perks

Travelers can enjoy special hotel rates and perks on Kind Traveler upon a $10 nightly donation to a local charity that positively impacts the community or environment in Sonoma, or to a charity of choice. 100% of donations go to charity.

 

Community Impact

Redwood Empire Food Bank is Sonoma County’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving 82,000 people per year. A $10 donation to Redwood Empire Food Bank will help provide 20 meals to in-need individuals.

The Russian Riverkeeper restores and sustains the health of Sonoma County’s popular Russian River. A $10 donation to Russian Riverkeeper will help clean 250 pounds of trash out of the Russian River.

Sonoma Land Trust protects more than 50,000 acres of beautiful, productive and environmentally significant land in and around Sonoma County. A $10 donation to Sonoma Land Trust will help maintain one mile of hiking trails.

 

11 Sustainable Stays in Sonoma


1. MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa

Located on a stunning 6-acre estate in the heart of wine country, the award-winning MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa strikes the perfect balance between comfort and luxury. Enjoy three superb seasonal dining experiences prepared by acclaimed chefs, as well as a communal coffee shop and marketplace. In addition to its dreamy, scenic setting and reimagined culinary program, MacArthur Place also boasts an array of sustainable features including energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems, sustainably sourced organic products, and a tree relocation program, to name a few.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • “Farm to Massage Table” philosophy – The Spa at MacArthur utilizes herbs found in its local garden
  • Organic bath products from Grown Alchemist
  • Dining experience at all three restaurants (Layla, The Bar at Macarthur and The Porch) offer farm-to-table organic dining options

2. El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen

Only steps away from Sonoma Plaza’s finest wine-tasting rooms, art galleries and boutiques, El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen sits in the landmark Salvador Vallejo building, built in 1843. The hotel has been masterfully modernized for the contemporary traveler, making it one of the most stunning stays in Sonoma. In addition to its prime location, El Dorado is famous for its award-winning Kitchen and many luxury amenities.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • Solar heated saltwater pool
  • The award-winning El Dorado Kitchen offers a delicious seasonal menu with organic ingredients
  • Reusable water bottles in every room

Healdsburg


3. Harmon Guest House

Named as one of the top Northern California Hotels by Conde Nast Traveler readers in 2019, Harmon Guest House marries contemporary architecture with environmentally conscious design to make for a stay like no other. Nestled in the uber-charming town of Healdsburg, Harmon Guest House features a stunning terrace overlooking Fitch Mountain, the Sonoma hills and downtown Healdsburg. Additionally, the property offers complimentary yoga classes on Sunday, a solar-heated pool, and is dog-friendly.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • LEED Gold certification
  • Eco-friendly, locally-sourced bath products
  • Art décor and products made by local artisans

4. h2hotel

Just steps away from its sister hotel Harmon Guest House, h2hotel’s organic aesthetic and environmentally conscious design provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing getaway in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country. H2’s acclaimed restaurant, +Spoonbar, serves delicious, local, sustainable food as well as craft cocktails to boot. On top of its stunning views of the Sonoma landscape, h2hotel is one of only a few hotels in California whose sustainable efforts and design has earned it a LEED Gold certification.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • LEED Gold certification
  • Solar-heated swimming pool
  • Sustainable interior and architectural design

Santa Rosa 


5. Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa

Searching for modern amenities with the charming ambiance of a 1950’s summer resort? Look no further. Once the go-to hotel for old Hollywood and Las Vegas glamour stars, Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa is a stylish romantic retreat in the foothills of Santa Rosa. Now modernized with a long list of impressive sustainable features, this fabulous historical landmark is a proud member of the California Green Lodging Program.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • Impressive vegan + vegetarian menus by Dr. McDougall
  • Member of the California Green Lodging Program
  • Green sustainability team on-site

6. Hotel E, a Greystone Hotel

Sleek and sophisticated, boutique Hotel E by Greystone Hotels is the brand new must-stay hotel in historic downtown Santa Rosa. Not only is Hotel E walking distance from downtown’s best bars, restaurants and of course Sonoma’s highly acclaimed vineyards and wineries, the property is located near the region’s most iconic destinations including the majestic Armstrong Redwoods Natural State Reserve, the Russian River, Mayacamas Mountains, and the Pacific coast.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • Partners with Clean the World, a “benefit organization” that recycles hotel soap and amenities
  • Participates in local farmers programs
  • Water refilling stations throughout the property

7. Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country

Set on a sprawling 8-acre property, Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country is the quintessential destination for those looking to relax in casual sophistication. This 4-star LEED-certified and fido-friendly stay is conveniently located only a short drive away from superb vineyards and the picturesque beaches of Bodega Bay. In addition to the Hyatt Regency Sonoma’s rustic elegance, the property has an array of sustainable features from plant-a-tree and farm-to-table programs to complimentary bikes and EV stations.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • Green sustainability team
  • Organic on-site herb garden
  • Local artisan and eco-friendly products

 

8. The Sandman Hotel

Experience wine country like a local at this reimaged roadside inn with a midcentury modern flair. Surrounded by native landscaping and inspired by the Spanish Mission Revival buildings, the Sandman Hotel blends environmentally friendly practices with a retro-chic California aesthetic to make the perfect laid-back stay for road trippers and nature lovers alike. If all of that wasn’t enough, this AAA Diamond Award winner and Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence recipient works with a large variety of local charities and non-profit organizations.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • In-shower toiletry dispensers eliminate product waste and one-use containers
  • Green roofing and furnishing made from reclaimed or salvaged materials
  • Fresh herbs grown at its garden lounge to muddle in drinks and garnish cocktails

9. Vintners Resort Sonoma County

Set on 92 acres of lush vineyards and beautifully landscaped gardens, Vintners Resort in Sonoma County is the sophisticated traveler’s gateway to the best wine country has to offer. Admire the panoramic views of the Russian River Valley while strolling its two-mile trail through the vineyards. For a more indulgent experience, stop by its new Vi La Vita Spa for a massage or try one of three restaurants. In addition to its lush setting with views of vineyards, Vintners Resort's green philosophy has earned it the Environmentalist Level Award in the California Green Lodging program proving that it truly is a Kind Hotel.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • Award-winning green philosophy
  • Organic herb and flower garden on property
  • Uses goats to keep the weeds down

Forestville


10. Farmhouse Inn

Nestled in Sonoma’s breathtaking Russian River Valley, Farmhouse Inn delivers an unparalleled level of intimacy and elegance. Not only does this five-star boutique hotel boast a Michelin-starred restaurant sourced from both the owner’s farm and local farmers, a luxury spa preparing treatments from on-site produce, and sommelier-led wine tours, Farmhouse Inn has implemented a highly impressive list sustainable initiatives. Owned by fifth-generation Sonoma winemakers, Farmhouse Inn’s refined dining, beautiful backdrop and remarkable attention to detail is why this Forestville gem is continually ranked as one of the best hotels in the world. If you're lucky, Charlotte, the farmhouse cat, will grace you with a visit. 

 

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • Farm-to-table programs sourced from the owner’s home ranch
  • Sonoma-made, organic Sumbody bath + beauty products
  • Green roofing + furnishings

Jenner


11. Timber Cove Resort

Looking to escape the noise and recharge with nature? Head towards the coast to find the unbelievably beautiful Timber Cove Resort. Perched atop a dramatic cliff facing the Pacific Ocean, Timber Cove fuses mid-century architecture with a rustic bohemian feel for a transcendent vacation experience. Be transported as you gaze upon the panoramic views of the sea while taking a complimentary Saturday yoga class or hiking secluded oceanside trails.

Sustainability Efforts We Love:

  • EV charging stations
  • Two miles of hiking trails on the property
  • Natural species roam the property – whale + dolphin watching from your room

Kate Eplboim is a travel writer and senior at UCLA passionately studying Literature and the Environment. Over the last four years, she has cultivated her passion for travel, environmental journalism, and gardening. She is a native of Los Angeles.