Stay at The Chauvet – April 10 & 11, 2012 – Sonoma, CA.
Absolutely, the highlight of my trip. What can you say about a palace right in the heart of the glorious Sonoma County Wine Country. From the moment I opened the front door there were no words to describe the look on my face. My jaw dropped and I realized I had just entered heaven. This 2000-foot vacation rental is something everyone has to experience. With it’s 3 bedrooms, and elegantly designed furnishings; you could be in the grandeur of Paris, or cosmopolitan Manhattan. The beauty is that you’re in the very quaint town of Glen Ellen, and from every window you see ancient oak trees, not sky scrappers.
The Chauvet has every amenity covered, from washer and dryers, to Jacuzzi tub, and a state of the art enormous kitchen. This place is guaranteed to spoil you; you will never look at a vacation rental the same. It is 3 stories with only 6 suites, each suite goes from the front of the building to the back, and are very large.
There is a lot of history here, built in 1906 by Joshua Chauvet and his son Henry, it is in the National Register of Historic Buildings, and is considered an Italianate-style masterpiece. In its day it was held to be the grandest hotel in town, and hosted as many as 3,000 visitors a month all traveling by rail. It’s exterior design featured 4 brick walls that were kilned in Joshua’s own brickyard on nearby Robertson Road. Joshua established the first lumberyard and Gristmill, planted grapes, and produced wine and brandy. Joshua Chauvet was friends with Jack London, and was directly responsible for him purchasing 130 acres in 1905. This property later became Beauty Ranch and the site of the glorious Wolf House, today, the ranch and the Wolf House ruins are part of Jack London State Historic Park.
The Chauvet saw many years of opulence and glamour, but as the economy declined and the mode of travel changed, the hotel fell into disarray, and in 1987 the last Three Nations Bar closed and the building became an abandoned eye sore. When I lived in Glen Ellen in the late 80’s early 90’s I remember thinking wow someone could turn that building into something really special. It wasn’t until 1996 that Christine Hansson and partner purchased the brick shell.
In 2 glorious years they transformed this historic landmark into something fresh and new. Christine says that the building has its own spirit, and she wanted to give it new life. She say’s “people come here to feel special,” she prides herself on making them feel special; she personally greets every guest upon check-in. You can tell that Christine means business, but is as sweet as she is generous, she was a terrific hostess to me! There are lots of guest from all over the world. The Chauvet is centrally located; you can just zip over Trinity Road, which drops you off in the heart of Napa Valley, near Yountville and St. Helena. The art in each room is spectacular, and for sale on their website.
The units are 2,000 square feet, with a lovely master bedroom, and 2 other well-appointed bedrooms. The kitchens are just fantastic with custom cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, wine cooler and commercial-style gas cook top. I found out that I could really whip up a gourmet meal with a minimal amount of fuss. There is a great market across the street, or fine dining is just a half a block away. The Jack London Village is also walking distance and has some nice offerings; a local cheese monger, chocolate shop (made on site), olive press and market, fantastic deli, market of locally produced gourmet items and another tasting room.
Among The Chauvet’s amenities; energy efficient air conditioning and heating, a gas fireplace, full soundproofing, elevator access, private garage, heated pool with sundeck patio, balcony. Bathrooms are equip with designer fixtures, jetted tubs and separate, glass enclosed showers with massage jets (in the master bathrooms). Skilled travelers will be in heaven.
Being back in Glen Ellen made me home sick. I used to have a beautiful cabin nestled in the oak trees here. Coming to The Chauvet restored my love of this area. This is elegance at it’s best, it should be celebrated by anyone that like’s to be treated well, and reside in the lap of luxury.
13756 Arnold Drive
Glen Ellen, CA. 95442