Sonoma, CA — It’s that time of the year when music lovers travel to take in amazing festivals around the country.
This past weekend, the beautiful city of Sonoma hosted the Huichica Music Festival. Yet, this weekend wasn’t only about the festival, but also enjoying the amenities found at a luxurious local hotel.
On Friday June 7th, I went to LAX to head off to a very special destination. I flew into San Francisco International Airport and from there traveled an hour and a half to Sonoma Valley. I was heading to the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, which is a five-star hotel in the middle of wine country with a state of the art spa.
I instantly embraced the beautiful nature around me, as well as the peace and tranquility which came with the ambience of the establishment.
Staying at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
I explored the grounds and discovered the pool, gym, spa, bistro, garden area –where outdoor games are set up — and also was able to see all the rooms and set up for the wine tastings. The entire place was covered in green by all the natural vines and beautiful flowers complimenting the peach color of all the buildings.
Upon my arrival, I was greeted and informed that my room wasn’t just ready for me yet and that I could go enjoy breakfast at the bistro and then attend the spa. The bistro was located just to the left of the lobby by the main pool, which was decorated with beautiful purple velvet seats and natural sunlight beaming in creating the perfect morning mood. I ordered Eggs Benedict and an acai bowl with a glass of orange juice. The plates were well presented and were extremely tasty, especially all the fresh fruit.
After I enjoyed my breakfast, I was escorted to the spa where I had access to the Russian bath house style pool house. The bath house included a wine body scrub shower, sauna, steam room, cold drench, and two small pools with one heated at 98 degrees and the other at 108 degrees, as well as quiet rooms and relaxation rooms. Outside the spa were three more pools all full of mineral water from the hot springs in the area.
One of the pools even had classical music that plays under water. You can also request special spa treatments such as massages, facials, guided meditations, etc. My spa experience was the perfect way to be welcomed.
My room was finally ready and when I was taken to my room…my jaw had dropped with the opening of the door. I walked into a fireplace in my living area with a king size bed with a canopy and a giant bath tub in the middle of the room, along with a great balcony with a view of the garden area. The room was just perfect.
I also received a bottle of wine compliments of the hotel along with a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries as an extra warm welcome.
If you haven’t stayed at a Fairmont hotel yet — you need to! It will be a stay you can’t forget and will share with everyone how wonderful of a hotel it is.
The Fairmont was only the beginning of my Sonoma weekend, though.
Day 1 at the Huichica Festival
I was in town to attend the Huichica Music Festival held at the Gundlach Bundschu.
Huichica, pronounced Wah-Chee-Ka, is a wine, food, and music festival created to bring an intimate environment with beautiful views in the heart of wine country. It’s a very laid back music festival that is welcoming towards families and steered away from big crowds. Packing a blanket was a must to sit back, sip on wine, and enjoy the indie folk music that was playing in the air.
For day one of the festival, I wore bell bottom jeans from Free People paired with a white crop long puffy sleeved blouse from Forever 21, my Nike Air Force 1 sneakers (major concert comfort) and with my exclusive Top Shop purse. It was 75 degrees and sunny! I arrived at the location and instantly I started to take so many photos of the vineyards and mountains around me.
I was given a wine tasting cup at the entrance and presented with a VIP access band to some of the lounges. There were four stages with all different but similar set ups, one was the Amphitheater Stage, Barn Stage, Cave Stage, and the Giraffe Stage. I went first to the Barn stage to check out Galaxie 500. They had a very cool vibe to them, and I noticed a little girl on her father’s shoulders jamming out to the band’s music. I made my way then to the food trucks. I had some carnitas tacos from Sonoma Eats. And mmm they were delicious!
I enjoyed my tacos and a lemonade made fresh at the picnic tables set up right in front of the vineyard. With the sun beaming and the smell of good food and music all around me, I was a happy camper. There were so many cool booths and wine tasting stations. The sunset over the vineyard was just stunning, I couldn’t wait to see it again the next day.
Day 2 at the Huichica Festival
On Saturday morning, I woke up early and attended the complimentary yoga class at 8 a.m. at the gym. It was such a great way to start the morning especially in a place like this that was created to bring a sense of freshness and ultimate relaxation. I then went back to my room and ran a lovely bath with bath salts from the hotel, surrounded by breakfast food and with the balcony doors open to have that fresh morning air. I was in a complete state of joy.
With a few hours before day two of the festival, I went to enjoy the sun out by the main pool. All the guests looked just as happy as me being surrounded by such nature and great service that the Fairmont provides. After I got a little color from the sun, I went to get ready for day two!
I wore a cheetah print spaghetti strap dress from H&M with my black leather Armani jacket, black velvet studded fanny pack from Forever 21 and black leather western boots from Corale. I was excited to go back to the beautiful venue and to try more wine!
The La Paz VIP lounge was located at the top of the Amphitheater Stage with the best view in the house and great selections of local wines and beers. I adventured off to some of the booths to see if there was anything new and I discovered a photo booth straight out of a van! I of course went in and shot some photos of myself; it’s always a great way to keep a memory with a photo booth pic.
I then discovered a new artist, Bedouine, at the Cave stage. With a very angelic but raspy voice, she had something new to bring and the crowd was really into the vibe. The Cave stage was this great nook in front of the winery right where they make all the wine on that property. It was so cool to learn about the Gundlach history and listen to the sounds coming from the Cave stage.
Another great artist was the headliner Real Estate, who I had been a little familiar with before and was truly entertained by their performance. It was yet again another amazing sunset right over the vineyard; this time I got a photo with it in the background which I will remember forever. As the night approached, each stage had great lighting and cool visuals to accompany the show. I for sure rocked out ! With the night coming to an end I was sad to leave but grateful for this experience.
Sonoma Valley was very good to me; between the exceptional service and accommodations of the Fairmont and the new experience that the Huichica festival gave me, I left Northern California with a full happy heart. I am blessed to have had represented The Ball Out at such an amazing event.