Located in the heart of california wine country, the family-owned Kenwood Inn & Spa (Sonoma, CA) epitomizes true romance with its stunning architecture, which is reminiscent of an Italian villa. An ideal retreat for two, it has served as the romantic setting for numerous proposals. Opened in 1990 by Terrence and Roseann Grimm, the inn recently underwent a $9 million renovation and reopened in June 2003. In October, the spa reopened as the first Caudalíe Vinothérapie Spa in the country.
The Mill House brings a sense of old-world charm to the Kenwood Inn & Spa. Inside, guests find a Jacuzzi and steam room.
For those unfamiliar with the French-based skincare brand, Caudalíe is a pioneer in the use of vine and grape extracts. Introduced in 1995 by Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas, Caudalíe initially began with three products. However, it has continued to flourish ever since with new product launches and projects. In 1999, the company patented its first Caudalíe Vinothérapie Spa among the Château Smith Haut Lafitte vineyards in Bordeaux, France, and later opened its second in Paris at the four-star Hotel Maurice.
The spa's popular baths offer views of the nearby vineyards.
When Kenwood Inn's Roseann Grimm saw a travel program about the spa in Bordeaux and its pioneering work in vinothérapie (also known as grape therapy), she immediately thought it an ideal fit. After jotting down the name of the spa, her daughter-in-law, Chloe Crockett, went online to track down contact information for the spa. Crockett then wrote a letter expressing interest in working together. The company responded by sending Caudalíe s USA national director Mary Catherine Mundell, in addition to two therapists from Bordeaux. Grimm and another therapist were then given an opportunity to experience a Caudalíe treatment. Both were amazed. Grimm walked away from the experience confident that the products and treatments were right for Kenwood. Impressed with the property, Mundell also left under the impression that an association with the inn would be a good move. "Mary Catherine thought the family would love the property because it mirrored their own property," says Grimm. "They liked that we weren't corporate and that we put so much of ourselves into the spa." Caudalíe s Mathilde Thomas eventually came for a visit, and a partnership was formed. Crockett and an esthetician then traveled to Bordeaux to train.
Designed to look like an Italian villa, the Kenwood Inn & Spa serves as the ideal romantic retreat
Going from four rooms to eight, the Kenwood Spa officially became the first Caudalíe Spa in the States. As a result of the affiliation, the Grimms made some alterations to their expansion plans. For instance, they added a barrel bath treatment area similar to one found at the Bordeaux spa to accommodate Caudalíe s popular Wine Barrel and Red Vine Baths ($65, 30 minutes). Housed in a glassed-in tower, the bath allows guests to enjoy stunning views of the nearby vineyards.
A row of lounge chairs can be found in front of the spa, which is situated near the pool area
According to Grimm, the association with Caudalíe helps set the spa apart as do the therapists. "We only hire therapists with at least two years of experience," says Grimm. "All of our therapists have been here a minimum of three years. She points to their dedication as being a key factor in the spa's success. With 10 full-time staff members, the spa books approximately 48 treatments a day.
Adjacent to the barrel bath treatment area, the patio terrace room is used in the warmer spring and summer months
The romantic setting plays a key role in client demographics. Considered a couples getaway, the spa caters primarily to those between the ages of 30 and 50 and serves as an ideal anniversary or honeymoon destination. While facials and scrubs rank highest in terms of popularity, the spa's Togetherness Treatment ($680 per couple, 2 hours and 45 minutes) gets high marks from couples. It includes a Caudalíe Grand Facial and Ti Amo Massage, which is given in the couple's suite complete with candlelight and champagne. In the end, the relationship between Kenwood and Caudalíe is just one of many marriages that have been inspired by the property's romantic and old-world charm.
From a different angle, the room reveals a variety of water accoutrements, which make it perfect for exfoliation treatments.
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