|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
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Nestled in the Heart of Rincon Valley, this beautiful and exclusive property is available on a limited basis for family retreats and related gatherings. During the spring and summer, we have some weeks (and weekends) available with nothing else scheduled. At such times, if it works for your dates, you can enjoy the beauty, serenity and safety of this garden paradise all to yourself.
What does that mean? You can book our property (in whole, or in part) as a place to rest, relax, share, cook (if you wish) and laugh together. You could have full access to our property, including dining and living areas, decks, gardens, our barn, professional sound system, book and music resources (if you wish), along with all the time in the world to kick back and bath in the peace and beauty we have spent twenty years nourishing.
What’s so unique about this property? One of our guest groups stayed here last year and sent us a card afterwards. They wrote: “There’s something about this place—a sense of love and peace—we’ve never felt anywhere else!”
This is why we make this quiet retreat center available to friends and guests as part of our fundraising for third world orphanages. If you book a weekend here, you will have the entire place to yourself (or you can also stay at just one--or more-- of our guest wings if there’s less than six of you.) With advance notice, we can also make available some of our free resources. These include counseling, seminars and workshops.
Most of these require thirty days advance notice. They include yoga/dance, stress relief workshops and seminars that are just for you and your group. These are all about learning to relax, unwind and experience personal, inner healing. (Please also see our website: www.whentheheartmelts.org for more details).
The owners will (if requested and available) also share insights from their books and teachings about healing from past wounds.
Some folks love these added resources. Others just want a safe place to kick back, relax and gather with friends and family. Sure, you could also book a typical “vacation rental” property, but if you stay at our retreat center, you’ll know you are also contributing to the care and support of orphaned children all over the world (check out one of our biggest recipients of support at www.irisglobal.org).
What sorts of groups stay at Hill Country Farm? We have booked extended family getaways, occasional small weddings, rehearsal dinners, anniversaries, corporate retreats, art, yoga and dance workshops, church groups and rehearsals. All of them have loved the space, beauty and peacefulness of a place dedicated to healing. We want you to rest, relax and restore, knowing you are also helping children in need. It’s a great feeling!
This extensive and exclusive estate is also within a 20 minute drive of the most premier wine country in the world. Santa Rosa has always been known as a gateway to the Sonoma, Calistoga, Napa, Healdsburg, Alexander Valley and Dry Creek Valley wine appellations.
You will also discover acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, designed and maintained by a Master Gardener, surrounding you with quiet peace and relaxation here on these private grounds. Wherever your eyes wander, you'll enjoy relaxing on the veranda style wraparound deck where you'll be able to look out over the beautiful view of the foothills.
This property includes almost 9,000 square feet of accommodations in three separate buildings, one of which is a 2,400 square foot private multi purpose facility. Although we call it 'the Barn' we finished construction just four years ago, and the facility now includes a professional sound system (suitable for live recording) and will seat more than 100 people inside. It's been used very successfully for wedding receptions, concerts, spiritual workshops, yoga workshops, corporate retreats, training seminars, dance, live music performances and recording sessions, etc. etc.
Note* This estate property is run as a (501)(c)(3) non profit retreat center, and has been in operation since 1994. Our rental rates are suggested donations, based upon our costs. We offer discounts to churches and non-profit ministries. We can issue you a tax deductible receipt for a portion of your stay upon request. Our primary purpose for this property is to create and provide a beautiful, safe, quiet retreat location for you to relax with your extended family and friends and find rest and renewal. We also offer seminars, counseling sessions, guided prayer and meditation gatherings at no cost and only upon request. (Email us for a list of themes and topics). Don't forget to click on the link to our PhotoBucket website below for more photographs and floor plan sketches.
Note* We have very limited availability during the winter months. Email us for details.
Are you looking for an exotic wedding location or a back to nature renewal? Also check out our escape retreat camp facility on the north shore of Kauai. This utterly secluded beach house, located on a 400 acre ranch, sleeps four + and has room for three additional eco tents. With an extensive ocean view, this property is just a two minute stroll to an exclusive private beach (where they filmed part of Jurassic Park).
Keywords: Estate, Wine Country, Gardens, Barn, Farm, Rincon Valley, Sonoma County, Pond, Large, Reunion, Large Groups, Corporate Retreats, Getaways, Napa Valley, Calistoga, Alexander Valley, Healdsburg, Dry Creek Valley
We purchased the land for this extended home and retreat center back in 1994, after a five year search. We had a demanding set of requirements, which included great soil, plenty of water, land untainted by previous building efforts, or abused by pollutants, chemicals, waste or so many of the human activities that can degrade our sense of peace and beauty. We have had, for many decades, a vision of a place that is a retreat for beauty and safety, for love and inspiration. God has blessed us with this property, and we feel entrusted to care for it and the land, to nurture and protect it. We feel that way too about people who want to stay here, or have gatherings like reunions and receptions or special events. Note* we operate as a non-profit corporation, and all rates displayed on our website are actually suggested donations. Part of your stay may be tax deductible. Email us for more info.
The Owner purchased this estate in 1994
Land has a 'feel' to it. If you've ever stood on a vacant lot in a deserted area of an inner city neighborhood, you pick up on a sense of loss. there's a vibration, emanating from the earth. We were listening for that 'vibration,' as we searched. In a world racing forward, we felt drawn to create a place of beauty, a refuge to be quiet, to rest, relax and... have fun. This particular property, in its quiet and secluded setting, had that feeling: that it was destined to restore, to heal and to uplift whoever came to it. We hope you experience that when you arrive.
There's so much room here! You can dance in the barn, play on the lawns, sunbathe where no one can see you and... spread out. No cramped hotel rooms and pricey menus. We can provide occasional meals, or banquet style gourmet catering. You can create an entire mood at night, with candlelight, music, decks and gardens... and have it all for you and your special group, private, exclusive to celebrate, to relax, to laugh together. You can try for that in a hotel lobby or a banquet room, but it's just not the same as having six acres to yourself and your friends. Our vision is to see you renewed-- physically, emotionally and spiritually. With advance notice, we can also offer free counseling sessions and seminars. Our themes include restoring intimacy in marriage and healing from divorce, physical and emotional healing, (which can include specialized yoga training to rebalance posture and breathing), release from past wounds and offenses, along with discovering the healing flow of personal creativity. Our seminars and counseling sessions have been developed from more than twenty five years experience in counseling couples and single adults to find inner healing and freedom in a busy and confusing world. Email us for more details and visit our main website: www.whentheheartmelts.org
My wife and I rented this property last Thanksgiving. We hosted our families here for the holiday and then held a party on Friday and Saturday for family and friends to celebrate our marriage last summer.
As a facility, this is a perfect place to host a party. The Barn and home are quaint and spacious, and the views on the property with the sun setting over the hills are breathtaking.
That said, we had difficulty with the owner/property manager. I concur with another reviews recommendation to get everything in writing. Our contract had a clause that any correspondence, including email and verbal, was part of the contracted details. This made for a problematic situation of "he said-she said" that led to the following issues.
The owner was on the property every day of our stay from Wednesday through Sunday. While the contract stipulated that he would be available during the party on Saturday, it did not indicate that he would be there every day. In addition, he left his dog on the property. His daily “visits” gave me the feeling that we were being monitored.
Furthermore, I felt that the owner thought he was more clear about his expectations than we felt he was, which led to awkward and passive aggressive interactions.
Finally, the owner did not return our security deposit, and did not inform us he was going to do so or why until I emailed him. He just “assumed we would understand", which I find to be totally unprofessional. He claimed the following reasons: 1) we had larger numbers for the Friday and Saturday events than we originally anticipated (we immediately paid an extra $500 for Friday after the numbers went up), 2) we used firewood which we were told we could use 3) there was a broken window which we never saw, nor did we get documentation of its being fixed (make sure you do a walk-through at the end of your stay to avoid this) 4) the cost of fixing a large skid-mark left by a friend when her car got stuck in the lawn that was designated as a parking area (again, I'm not sure how much that would cost) 5) a stained sink in that required the use of bleach to clean.
In the end we had a wonderful event albeit with aspects that greatly irritated me. I did not like having the owner on site each day. I did not find him to be an effective communicator. We did not get our security deposit, or the balance of it minus the cost of documented repairs, returned. If you rent this property for a large event, mitigate this by getting everything in writing.
We studied the VRBO information carefully and read the reviews. Everything went as expected or better. The location was good, shopping nearby, the house was clean and well kept, and the back yard was perfect. Chris was helpful and friendly beyond expectations. We had 11 adults at the house, one is a professional chef, and we cooked at the house each evening. It accommodated us well, and most everything we needed for cooking and serving dinner was available. If you are looking for a place to stay in wine country, we would definitely recommend staying here.
Our high school alumni cross country team had a relay race from San Francisco to Calistoga and we needed a place big enough to accommodate 16 of us and also well located. This estate is perfect! There's plenty of room to gather as a group and many quiet and secluded areas if you want a little time on your own. It's conveniently located to Napa, Sonoma and Calistoga if want to do some wine tasting or sightseeing. The owners Chris and Betsy really take care of their house. It's nicely furnished, clean and very well maintained. The gardens are beautiful! The kitchen is fully equipped and had everything we needed. I would definitely come here again and recommend this place to anyone thinking of having a family reunion, retreat or wedding. Thank you.
I'll start by saying that this property is beautiful! It was perfect for what my husband and I had envisioned for our wedding. Having said that however, there were a few drawbacks. First of all, if you plan on having a wedding here, make sure you have everything in writing. I had a lot of communication with Chris prior to the wedding via email, over the phone and in person when we went to revisit the site to tie up loose ends. But make sure EVERYTHING is in writing. I will give full disclosure by saying that upon arriving we had a minor run in with his fence, my brother was driving a bus (that I had verbally asked Chris about) full of people and he didn't quite make the turn at the very end of the fence. The end result, the bus knocked off a portion of the fence about 2 feet wide. Granted, not the best way to make an entrance, but my brother was incredibly apologetic, cooperative and willing to resolve the issue immediately. Now I understand it is upsetting, but Chris was very rude and insulting to my brother and demanded my brother give him $1000 up front without an estimate. The fence ended up costing $700.
Chris was adamant that he never gave me the "OK" to bring a bus onto the property though after some time conceded to it. After getting past that and settling in I receive an email from Chris with changes to some of the guidelines that were originally agreed upon. Also, he had told us that the barn would be cleared out for the reception and it wasn't cleared out until the morning of the wedding and we repeatedly asked him to. He felt the need to mention to guests how much certain things in the house cost. And Chris was on the property EVERY DAY. I feel if you are going to pay this much to rent a home, it should come with some privacy without feeling you are being "monitored." During the wedding reception Chris had told my mom that he wanted the music to end at 6PM when we were originally told 11PM, and the house was not maintained very well for such high demands. There were cob webs everywhere, some of the toilets were constantly running and a faucet in the kitchen didn't work. The final straw was Chris asking us to take our garbage to dump ourselves or he would have to charge extra do it himself. The agreement stated for any excess trash to be left outside. Again, it's a really beautiful place. But the experience overall was kind of a headache.
We had a girls' weekend in Sonoma, and this property was perfect for us! The property is beautiful, the yard is well-maintained, and there is so much space so although there were 16 of us, we never felt overcrowded. It is in a quiet and private location -- very relaxing. The owner greeted us when we arrived and gave us a tour and answered all of our questions. He sincerely wanted us to enjoy our stay and took his time to tell us all about the property and the area. One evening, we hired a private chef to come to the house and cook dinner for us. The layout of the kitchen, family room, and back patio were perfect for relaxing and hanging out. As the night went on, the ladies who got tired early were able to retire to their rooms without being bothered by noise from the rest of the ladies in the main area of the house. The only complaint from some of the ladies who were staying in one of the 'wings' of the house closer to the driveway was that the dog (a super friendly collie whose job it is to chase away the deer at night so that they don't invade the back yard and eat everything) was barking up a storm so they had a little difficulty sleeping. I guess there must have been a lot of deer coming by at night! The rest of us staying in the rooms in the main house did not hear a thing, but for that reason I am giving 4 stars instead of 5. Also, some of the small kitchen appliances (toaster, hot water kettle) looked like they hadn't been used by anyone in a long time and could use a cleaning. But overall, we all enjoyed a really fun, relaxing, and memorable weekend, and this property worked out perfectly for us!
This home provided a wonderful base for an extended family gathering over the New Year break 2013. We had 14 couples (there is room for quite a few more) sharing this four bedroom, three suite location. There really are seven bedrooms, but three of them have kitchen and large sitting room space as well. While there are many fine restaurants in area, we often found it more enjoyable to prepare and eat our meals in the lovely dining area. The home is filled with many antiques and mementos of world travel which enhance the warm feeling of the house. While we had great weather, we did not spend as much time in the gardens as a summer visitor would. There are quite a few benches and nooks for quiet reading and the views are really spectacular. Our host was gracious and helpful.
We brought bikes and many of us rode out to Bodega Bay one day and to Guerneville on another. There are a number of parks which provided great hiking. This area has a lot to offer for outdoor activity. Grocery stores are reasonably close.
Everyone on the trip had a great time, slept well and thought the house worthy of a return visit someday.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 10 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest|
|Refundable damage deposit||$500|
Our suggested rates (donation based) are determined for ten guests, and subject to availability, review and confirmation, depending on a number of factors, which include purpose of your booking: reception, seminar, indoor or outdoor function, set up required etc. etc, also duration of stay and time of year. Email us for more details. Cleaning fees run between $395-595, depending on numbers.