By Duane Wells

Lobby Sonoma Coast Villa

Lobby Sonoma Coast Villa


That is the first word that comes to mind upon approaching the delightfully secluded Sonoma Coast Villa in Bodega. I use the term ‘oasis’ because the Villa itself appears seemingly out of nowhere along a lonely, if magnificently peaceful, stretch of Highway 1 — very similar to the way I imagine that a mirage might appear in the desert. As a matter of fact, I almost mistook the Inn for a mirage when I finally arrived at the Villa for my recent stay.  By that point, my GPS had petered out for lack of a signal and, to be quite honest, I was almost certain that I was completely lost.

But then it appeared.

What I had not fully grasped was that, set as it is on 60-acres of graciously sprawling land in a quiet Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast Villa has no particularly close neighbors. Woods and fields encircle this 18-room getaway, which along with its Courtyard Spa and lack of cell phone reception, make it the ideal place to escape from the cares of the world.

Since 2005, Sonoma Coast Viilla has had professional innkeepers Johannes and Ingrid Zachbauer as its proprietors, and it was they who greeted me in the lobby when I arrived. So seamless was my check-in, that I almost felt as though I was staying at the Zachbauers home. That’s part of the charm of the place. It’s small and personal.

The inn was short-staffed on the day arrived, so after Ingrid Zachbauer checked me in, Johannes, who is also the property’s chef, scooped of my luggage himself and gave me a quick tour of the grounds, my suite and illuminated me on the workings of the wood-burning fireplace. (Oh yes…there is a real fireplace in every room and believe me, it comes in quite handy on chilly coastal nights).

Suites are quite spacious and homey, with all the amenities you might expect and quite a few more.  Flat screen televisions, robes, organic coffees and teas and Wifi – the Sonoma Coast Villa has got all of that. But it’s the intangibles that make this inn a destination.  It’s the tranquil vibe that flows from the terraced gardens and red tile roofs to the Villa’s terra cotta stucco and columned veranda. It’s all that which makes the Sonoma Coast Villa an oasis even in Sonoma County.


Find out more about The Sonoma Coast Villa at