Harmon Guest House harnesses Healdsburg’s creative soul: the check-in desk is formed from a giant fallen eucalyptus tree, rooms and public areas are decorated with bold, contemporary local art, and the philosophy is as green as grass. Harmon’s good impressions begin on arrival, thanks to the striking redwood-clad exterior and the lobby’s sunny sculpture, courtesy of NorCal artist, Sabine Rickenwell. On-the-house extras include yoga on Sundays and a fleet of on-loan bikes. All the better for wheeling around Healdsburg with...
Double rooms from £263.47 ($344), including tax at 16 per cent.
Rates include Sunday rooftop yoga, valet parking, on-the-house snacks, in-room sparkling and still water, use of the hotel’s bicycles and a daily buffet breakfast of fruits, pastries, porridge, made-to-order eggs, fluffy waffles and breakfast sandwiches.
If you like the look of Harmon Guest House, chances are you’ll fall for its Smith-approved sister, H2 Hotel, also in Healdsburg.
At the hotel
Rooftop lounge, free WiFi, fleet of bikes. In rooms: TV, Tivoli Bluetooth sound system, air-conditioning, alarm clock, minibar, free bottled water and snacks, tea and coffee, natural bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Opt for a room on a higher level for best-in-house views – either of the peaceful creek or mellow downtown. Harmon King rooms are a romantic choice for couples – but the Founder’s Suites can’t be beaten when it comes to space. All rooms have a balcony or patio with views of the Creekside Deck,the mountains or the interior courtyard.
The heated pool occupies a peaceful perch by the creek; obliging trees offer plenty of shade.
Bring a thirst for Sonoma wine – and leave enough luggage space for bottles galore.
The entire property is ADA compliant. The lobby is on the ground floor with no stairs or curbs; the lift has access to all floors and the rooftop.
For an additional $99 a booking, Fido can come too. Doggies must be well behaved, well trained, healthy and no heavier than 80 pounds. No more than two dogs can be in a room; staff reserve the right to request the immediate removal of any naughty dog. See more pet-friendly hotels in California Wine Country.
Little Smiths of all ages are welcome; the day bed in the Harmon King can sleep children aged three-and-up.
Harmon House’s eco-friendly facilities include a sun-shading slat system to reduce solar-heat gain, electric car-charging stations and LED lighting. The hotel relies on a rainwater harvesting system for its irrigation needs. Additional green elements include a solar thermal water-heating system, low/no VOC paints and coatings, recycled and reclaimed materials and water-efficient plumbing fixtures. The property also uses FSC Certified wood in the building, and offers a bicycle fleet for guests.
Pick your favourite spot at the lofty Rooftop bar.
Wear splashes of claret and gold, to honour Cali’s winsome wine country.
Although Harmon Guest House doesn’t have its own restaurant, guests are encouraged to have breakfast at Spoonbar, at the Harmon’s sister property, H2 Hotel. Spoonbar’s daily chef’s breakfast includes fresh fruit, pastries, eggs cooked to order, and local artisan coffee.
Toast Fitch Mountain, the Sonoma hills and downtown Healdsburg from Rooftop bar, which is decorated with mid-century flourishes and lashings of glossy-toffee wood. Make ours a Citrus cocktail, please: ginger vodka, lemon juice and spiced pear liqueur. You could also enjoy views of the creek from the Creekside Deck (designed for drinks and lounging), or gather around the sociable fire-pit as dusk draws in.
Breakfast is served until 10am over at Harmon Guest House’s sibling, H2, a short walk away. Snacks, salads and small bites are available at Rooftop (closed on Wednesdays) until 7pm.
Harmon Guest House is sitting pretty in downtown Healdsburg, just steps from the Healdsburg Plaza, in California’s scenic Sonoma County.
Sonoma County Airport is just a 15-minute drive away; alternatively, fly into San Francisco International Airport, a two-hour drive from the hotel.
Head to Healdsburg – and make the most of the hotel’s free valet parking on arrival.
Worth getting out of bed for
On Sunday mornings, enjoy free yoga at nearby H2 Hotel. It’s also worth admiring Harmon’s art stash, and factoring in a round or two of pool- or creek-side cocktails. Go antique-hunting in Healdsburg, which has a soft spot for ye olde treasure. Many of the best antique shops are within walking distance of the hotel. Fans of the classic comic Peanuts will relish a trip to the Charles Schulz Museum, where visitors can admire many of the original comic strips, plus other Schulz artworks. Take a trip to wildest Africa via Cali wine country at Safari West: a somewhat surprising wildlife centre set on a 400-acre reserve. Adventurous types will also enjoy rafting, kayaking and swimming on the nearby Russian River. Embark on a wine tasting – this is Napa Valley, after all. You can’t throw a rock in Napa and Sonoma valleys without hitting a tempting vineyard.
Begin the day with breakfast or brunch at the Parish Café on Mill Street; when it comes to leisurely lunches, Healdsburg SHED at 25 North Street does the trick. Pizza-fans will be wooed by Pizzando’s wood-fired oven and what comes off it. For a more formal dinner, pay Single Thread at 131 North Street a visit: this award-winning restaurant has its own farm with a greenhouse, shade structures, loamy fields, chicken coops, an heirloom fruit orchard, olive trees, beehives, and a cattle paddock. Unsurprisingly, Mother Nature stars on the menu.
Duke’s Spirited Cocktails lives up to its name – you’ll find this elegant drinking den at 4113, 111 Plaza Street. Delicious libations include Bitter Root, which stars sparkling wine and blood-orange bitters, and the potent Weekend at Bernie's with Alley 6 gin, Cointreau and absinthe.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this eco-conscious hotel in Healdsburg and unpacked their cycling gear and Napa wine, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Harmon Guest House in California Wine Country…
Harmon Guest House takes its name and inspiration from Healdsburg’s founder, Harmon Heald. By all accounts, the original Harmon was an admirable – and rather busy – chap. He spent 1857, for example, constructing a store and post office, selling lots downtown, and plotting a town complete with a Spanish-style plaza. A decade later, Healdsburg was born. Like its muse, Harmon Guest House is an original thinker. The hotel’s striking building – and its eye-pleasing contents – are designed with sustainability in mind; this earth-friendly approach extends to the thoughtful extras, which include on-loan bicycles, weekend yoga sessions and water dispensers – pick from still and sparkling – on every floor. Striking art is scattered throughout the property; outside, a burbling creek awaits. Harmon Guest House: proof, if you needed it, that luxury shouldn’t come with a guilty conscience.