Dawn Ranch opened in 1905 and closed in 2019 after a devastating flood.
Those were sad times.
But these are happy times.
Because now the historic retreat located along the Russian River in Sonoma County is back open, spruced up, and ready to welcome you. It's been brought back to life by Bridgeton Holdings, the same outfit that operates Walker Hotels in New York and Marram Montauk. They didn't skimp on updates.
The property, which is named for the rare dawn redwood trees found on the 22-acre land, is located less than 90 minutes from both San Francisco and Napa Valley. The riverfront resort is like a nature preserve, with cottages, cabins and glamping tents spread across the grounds, alongside meadows, wooded nature trails, Japanese-inspired gardens and apple trees.
Rooms blend rustic with modern, and feature textiles, unlacquered brass and built-in millwork, plus soft chambray fabrics, hand-stitched quilts and heirloom quality custom furniture. Select rooms have double-sided gas fireplaces, others have sunrooms overlooking the meadow, and all are plenty comfortable. Step outside your door to commune with nature, or get out there and visit nearby wineries and downtown Guerneville.
When you're hungry, the Lodge at Dawn Ranch serves a menu inspired by Argentinian chef Fernando Trocca's South American heritage. Spanning breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food is vegetable-forward, combining open-fire cooking with a global flare and seasonal ingredients, including items from the property's on-site garden.
There's a spa with treatment rooms, plus outdoor redwood soaking tubs, a mahogany infrared sauna with a glass ceiling, and thermostatic outdoor showers.
Dawn Ranch also offers bikes to explore the grounds and nearby areas, plus kayaks and tubes that let you float down the river before adjourning to a fire pit for s’mores and wine.
Nothing shakes off a long day of eating and relaxing like s'mores and wine.