November 9, 2015

Philo: The Madrones; hotel review + things to do

101 North

The Madrones  9000 Hwy. 128, in Philo, (707) 895-2955.  9 rooms.  Pets ok in 2 rooms.  Unsuitable for children except in specific units.  

Opened in 2010, this spacious property is located just outside of the teeny town of Philo.  Set amid vineyards, oaks, and rolling hillsides, it features Mediterranean-style buildings, serene courtyards, and well maintained English gardens.  

entry to The Madrones in Philo, California

A mature rose garden, a dove cage with various types of these sweet birds (including bleeding heart, tiger, and French mourning), and a koi pond with some very big mature fish are on the perimeter of a large grassy central lawn with Adirondack chairs for relaxing.  Guests check in at Bohemian Hall, which also acts as a lobby.  

lobby at The Madrones in Philo, California

Each guest room is unique.  Four rooms are on the second floor at the front of the complex; farther back in the property, are five more that were part of the owner’s original home.  

exterior of guest room at The Madrones in Philo, California

In The Kitchen, where I stayed, antiques and distressed furniture are part of the attractive eclectic mix.  The room has a nice carved-oak dresser and a charming refinished antique wood hospital bed tray that we used as a breakfast table.  I especially liked a pentagon window that is located high up near the ceiling and provides a view of the treetops and sky.  The radiant Brazilian cherry hardwood floors are pretty nice, too.   

The Kitchen guest room at The Madrones in Philo, California

Nights are silent.  For dinner, plan to pick up take-out while passing through nearby Boonville, or return there later to one of several good restaurants.  A simple breakfast is provided in room--coffee and dry cereal, plus yogurt and milk and a bit more in the mini fridge.  

At the front of the property and under separate ownership, casual Stone and Embers dishes up seasonal soups and salads using local produce, and artisan pizzas and meats are prepared by the chef using only a wood-fired oven. 

Indian Creek Park is just next door, where you can take a short walk in the redwoods and perhaps enjoy a dip in the river.  Directly across the highway is Balo Vineyards, where you can picnic, do a complimentary wine tasting, and play bocce ball.  On property, guests get complimentary tasting of fine handcrafted and small-lot wines from the Anderson Valley region in four winery tasting rooms:

Bink Wines  In this tasting room--after walking around a big but non-threatening dog sprawled on the floor--we sampled a 2013 Old Chatham Ranch Sauvignon Blanc that is described as going “well in the shade on a summer day,” and a 2012 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir with “a wonderful nose and nice long finish.”  We purchased the first one to enjoy with dinner that night.  Cheeses, salami, olives, and crackers are available for purchase to pair with the wines.  This winery is woman-owned and –operated.

tasting room at Bink Wines at The Madrones in Philo, California

Drew Family Cellars  Pinot Noirs and Syrahs from vineyards at Northern California’s far coastal edge are the pleasures tasted here.  A 2013 Fog-Eater Pinot Noir--named in honor of locals who are referred to as “fog eaters” in the local Bootling language--goes down easy.

Knez Winery  Here you can taste Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that truly embody the unique terroir of Anderson Valley.

Signal Ridge  This winery’s Mendocino Ridge vineyard was planted in 1999 atop Cold Spring Mountain overlooking both the Anderson Valley and the coast.  At 2,642 feet, it is the highest elevation vineyard in Mendocino County.  They invite you to “come visit us soon and see what altitude tastes like!”

More things to do in Philo.

Things to do in nearby Boonville.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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