Covetable coastal retreat Timber Cove Resort is an assured classic hailing from California Wine Country. You could while away hours exploring the hotel's 25 acres of craggy Californian coastline and getting to know the locals (monsieur zinfandel, madame pinot noir…) in the hotel's Great Room bar which more than lives up to its name – the warmest hospitality is to be found by the three-storey-high fireplace. After a day spent canoeing around the cove, or sipping chardonnay in local wineries, return for dinner in hotel eatery Coast Kitchen where you’ll discover the area’s freshest fish, juiciest meats and other local delicacies: all come with extra Pacific Ocean views – bon appetit.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.
Double rooms from $209.00, excluding tax at 14 per cent.
Rates exclude the resort’s American breakfast (US$12 an adult and $8 a child) which stars dishes such as home-made granola with yoghurt and fresh fruit, and crab Benedict with Lyonnaise potatoes.
The resort’s original main building was designed and owned by famed local architect, Richard Clements Jr, who was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic style. The hotel’s been a favourite of local artists since its inception; the 93-foot Peace Statue in the grounds is by Beniamino Bufano and photographer Ansel Adams used the site as the backdrop for his work.
At the hotel
A part-sheltered terrace with fire pits, billiards, table football and a ping-pong table, 25 acres of countryside with two miles of hiking trails, curated daily activities and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, Crosley record player and selection of vinyl, safe, minibar, black-out curtains, free filtered water, and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Our favourite rooms
Couples, get cosy in one of the loft-style Forest View rooms, wood-panelled hideaways in which you can spy the stars through a skylight, stoke up the fireplace and snuggle up under tartan blankets: all you need for a romantic evening. Families should request the interconnecting Cove View and Bunk rooms.
Who needs a pool when the Pacific Ocean’s on your doorstep.
Build up an appetite in the fully-equipped ocean-facing gym.
You’ll need a big suitcase to fit your walking boots, riding jodhpurs, golf clubs, swimming costumes and fishing rods.
There’s wheelchair access between the Outdoor Living Room, Great Room and Coast Kitchen. Three rooms are accessible: one Ocean Suite and two ground-floor Ocean View rooms.
All ages are welcome; however, the hotel’s cliffside location makes it better suited to older kids. There’s lots of outdoor space for kids to run around in. All rooms can fit a baby cot. The restaurant has a kids menu, highchairs and booster seats.
Enjoy a morning coffee by the fire and take lunch out on the patio overlooking the bay. For a special event, dine on a customised menu in the Hirsch Room with ocean views and a 12-foot table that’ll fit all of your nearest and dearest (extra costs apply).
As you like it – you’ll see people in walking boots, flip-flops and heels here.
Fresh fish takes centre stage at timber-clad Coast Kitchen. Keeping it in the Sonoma family, all ingredients and wines come from nearby organic farms, local fishermen and Californian vineyards. We recommend the roast halibut, or the seared scallops, paired with hand-picked wild mushrooms and organic roasted butternut squash. There’s plenty for carnivores to sink their teeth into; the 21-day dry-aged rib-eye and the 18-hour-braised beef short-ribs with applewood bacon are a meat-eater’s dream. As the restaurant’s name suggest, there are exceptional sea views, but if you like to feel the sea breeze on your cheek and breathe in the salty air then have lunch on the terrace.
With a three-storey-high ceiling, an enormous fireplace and a range of locally-inspired original cocktail concoctions, the Great Room bar more than lives up to its name. Order a Cove Breeze (with Hanson’s cucumber vodka, cointreau, lime juice, Domaine Canton French ginger liqueur, Cognac and local herbs) and take a seat on one of the wooden bar stools. If you can’t get enough of the ocean views, head to the Outdoor Living Room and sit by one of the fire pits. On a cool winter’s evening, cosy up with a Sonoma garden mule in hand (made with Hanson's Sonoma vodka, ginger beer, and local fruits and herbs).
Breakfast is served from 8am to 11am; lunch is from noon to 3pm and dinner is between 5pm and 9.30pm. The Great Room Bar is open from 8am to 9pm.
The full restaurant menu is available when the kitchen’s open. Enjoy mushroom bruschetta, a charcuterie or cheese board and the Coast Kitchen burger with fries and a cold beer from the minibar.
Located on the jaw-droppingly beautiful Sonoma coast, Timber Cove Resort is around a 30-minute drive from the small town of Jenner in California Wine Country.
San Francisco International Airport is two-and-a-half hours away from the hotel by car; there are regular direct flights here from the UK. If you’re travelling from within the US, catch a flight to Sonoma Airport, which is about a 75-minute drive from the hotel. Our Smith24 team can help arrange flights.
You’ll need a car to get from beach to vineyard and back again. Our Smith24 team can arrange a hire car for you to pick up at the airport. There’s free on-site parking at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
The beach is in easy reach; Timber Cove Boat Landing is just a five-minute walk from the hotel. Choose from a range of daily resort activities; discover the best of the local area on guided hikes through the hotel’s two miles of trails, or attend wine tastings in the Hirsch Room. Alternatively, strike out on your own and explore one of the many nearby parks and reserves. Salt Point State Park is filled with weird and wonderful rock formations and the odd sea lion or two; it’s only a 10-minute drive away, or a two-hour hike. Further down the shore, Sonoma Coast State Park has ocean walks that’ll leave you breathless (from the view, not the hike). For a break from the sea views, head inland to Armstrong Woods, or for an easier way to enjoy the area's forests, zipline through the canopy at Alliance Redwoods. Ride horses on the beach with the wind whipping through your hair, or gallop through fields of long grass; the hotel can recommend the best stables.
The charming seaside towns of Fort Ross, Sea Ranch and Bodega Bay are all worth a day trip and include a spot of whale watching or surf lessons. Hitchcock fans can’t miss Bodega, the location of his avian horror The Birds. Head to Jenner for watersports on the Russian River, including kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. There are three golf clubs nearby for avid putters; don’t swing too hard at Sea Ranch Golf Links or the Links at Bodega Harbour: you’ll lose your ball in the ocean.
Follow the Coast Highway south to River’s End Restaurant – a cosy, unpretentious fine-dining eatery perched over Russian River, with beautiful food and sea views. The menu changes seasonally, but usually features fish and fresh vegetables. If you make a day trip to Sonoma Coast State Park, head to Seaside Metal Oyster Bar in Guerneville for lunch or dinner – or linger to enjoy both. Take your pick of seven types of oyster for starters, follow up with shellfish, smoked Mount Lassen sea trout or butterfish tataki, washed down with a local draft beer. The restaurant at Smith-approved Farmhouse Inn is run by Michelin-starred chef Steve Litke and a host of savvy sommeliers. Book ahead to sample Bartolomei Ranch’s fillet of beef or pork belly and the gin-cured Ahi tuna, all paired with a glass of local wine to suit.
Stop by quirky wood shack Café Aquatica for seafood chowder and live music on a deck overlooking Russian River. For old-school American fare with exceptional views, head to Ocean Cove Lodge Bar and Grill and build your own burger or tuck into buffalo wings with onion rings and beer-battered fish and chips. Watch Mark and his wife (and sometimes their kids) bake fresh bread and sweet treats in forest-edge, Raymond’s Bakery. If you like what you taste, come back for their weekly beer, wine and pizza night, held every Friday.
If a particular vintage tickled your tastebuds at dinner or lunch in Coast Kitchen, ask the hotel to organise a tasting at a nearby vineyard. We have a few favourites… Fort Ross has views to accompany their finest drinkables. Join the sommeliers atRodney Strong Vineyards for daily tastings on the terrace. The family-run Iron Horse Vineyards is famous for its sparkling wine, and their pinot noir is a new rising star to sample. Head winemaker David also gives truck tours around the vineyards.
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 boutique coastal hotel in Sonoma and unpacked their beach gear and the new additions to their wine collection, a full account of their covetable cove-side break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Timber Cove Resort in California Wine Country…
Timber Cove Resort, set on a dramatic stretch of Sonoma’s shoreline, has been given a second lease of life. Built in the 1960s by local architect Richard Van Giesen Clements Jr, the boutique stay has been reconstructed – plank by plank – by husband and wife team, the Novogratzs, so that guests can fill up on an all-American breakfast with a side of ocean views, or trail off on a path that winds around the hotel’s 25 acres of Californian coastline. If this leaves you parched, there are many vineyards nearby where you can quench your thirst; plot your own course or attend the hotel’s daily tastings. Spend your evenings next to a fire pit, cosied up under a tartan blanket with your Mr or Mrs Smith in the Outdoor Living Room, again with Pacific Ocean vistas – you can never have too much of a good view…
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Timber Cove Resort’s Guestbook below.
The position on a cliff edge is amazing. The beds are unbelievably comfortable and worth the stay alone! The restaurant is great, although they could do with making the lighting a bit more romantic in the evenings.