Photographs & Interview by} John Russo
Models} Ryley Gordon Aston Models, Dusty King & Ken Waller
Makeup by} Daniel McFadden
Hair by} Guy Romeo
Styling by} Jennifer Austin wearing Naked Cashmere
Produced by} Photohouse Productions
We sat down with the legendary Doug Kaminski, Director of Sales & Marketing for Montage Healdsburg, to find out about the newest luxury addition to Sonoma County.
Q: What makes Montage Healdsburg different from other properties in the region?
A: One thing that sets us apart is offering a true sense of place for our guests. With 15.5 acres of vineyards throughout our resort, an acre and a half of newly planted hazelnut trees, Heritage Oaks trees and unobstructed views of Mount St. Helena and the Mayacamas mountain region, we really have a 360-degree view of genuine wine country. We did not move existing beauty to build the resort; we built this resort within existing beauty to celebrate its natural topography. Our resort neighbors are some of the most storied, multi-generational farming, wine-making families whose histories go back five, six generations.Our location in Healdsburg is also a big differentiator: While the resort can feel worlds-away, tucked up along the hillsides on the northern end of the city, we are just minutes from downtown Healdsburg, where guests can enjoy shopping, Michelin-starred dining, wine tasting – you name it. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our very own Canine Ambassador, Beau Alexander! Beau is a Lagatto Romagnolo (an Italian breed), bred to hunt truffles. Although he is only a puppy now, our hope is in several years, Beau will take our guests out truffle hunting on our property. Until then, Beau enjoys meeting and greeting our guests in the lobby and playing with all of his dog friends.
Q: Since the property is built around a vineyard will there be an exclusive Montage brand of wine harvested from the property? If so, how many different varieties will there be?
A: The vineyards were integrated into the landscape after the buildings were built. We are very excited to work alongside Aperture Cellars winemaker Jesse Katz, who also recently opened his new winery in Healdsburg. Jesse oversaw the planting of the 15.5 acres of Bordeaux varietals throughout our resort’s 258-acres. He will continue to oversee and tend to the onsite vineyards throughout their lifecycle. It was important to bring the vines right to the Montage guests and incorporate the vineyard plantings throughout the property in an immersive way. The resulting wine from these vineyards will be bottled under a new stand-alone label, not a Montage-branded label. The label is currently in discussion. Jesse will begin with a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Sauvignon Blanc. As more of the Montage vineyards come into production, the offerings will expand. Grapes planted onsite include: Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.
Q: Will the wine be made available to the public or exclusive to just Montage guests?
A: As this will be a limited production, we will plan to offer the wine to guests through our dining outlets and the wines will also be made available to homeowners of Montage Residences Healdsburg.
Q: The property is unique in that guests get their own private, stand alone, mini modern suite. This is so timely in the age of Covid. What other precautionary measures has Montage Healdsburg taken to ensure the safety of their guests?
A: Fortunately, Montage Healdsburg was already pandemically prepared by design. We have more inherent space to spread out on 258 acres, and our guest rooms are nestled along the hillsides and not on top of each other. Wide open spaces throughout the resort provide a backdrop for a variety of outdoor activities for our guests to enjoy. It is paramount our guests feel safe while they are staying with us and our associates are comfortable working here. Therefore, as a company, Montage International developed our Peace of Mind Commitment, setting new standards and protocols starting from arrival and throughout the entire guest experience. We implemented the Peace of Mind Commitment here in Healdsburg when we opened our doors. This includes the integration of the latest sanitation technologies, including the use of electrostatic sprayers, UV wands and devices and particulate level air filtration systems.
For full details, please visit our Peace of Mind Commitment on our website: https://www.montagehotels.com/healdsburg/health-safety-protocols/
Q: With travel starting to heat up again, so many people are looking for exciting things to do. What unique experiences are being offered to your guests?
A: We are seeing more and more people feeling comfortable to travel, even if it is just for a night away to get out of the house and be in a new environment. For those seeking to explore the breathtaking landscape and enjoy time outside, we offer countless on- and off-property activities, including road bike and e-bike rentals, bocce ball, pickleball courts, archery, and a hiking trail. Additional resort amenities include an 11,500-square-foot Spa Montage; a zero-edge pool overlooking the resort’s vineyards; a family pool; Montage Hotels & Resorts’ signature Paintbox children’s program for children 5-12 years of age. We are also excited to work with a new generation of creatives who call Healdsburg home. Our partnership with our resident beekeeper, Candice Koseba of Sonoma County Bee Company, comes to mind. Candice oversees our onsite apiary. Guests of all ages are invited to an educational, hands-on experience where they learn the fascinating impact of bees on our ecosystem. Candice’s passion for bees is infectious! We also offer a weekly Meet the Maker series every Friday that highlights local winemakers and gives the guest the opportunity to hear the story behind every bottle of wine.
Q: What sets your Spa apart from other Spas in the region? Any special treatments that are exclusive to the property?
A: Spa Montage embraces the natural serenity wine country offers, with treatments and wellness experiences inspired by the land. Our Spa features an array of services and amenities with 11 treatment rooms, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, as well as outdoor classes on the Yoga Lawn surrounded by vineyards, a zero-edge pool and full-service Salon Montage, which features a range of hair and nail services. Having a full-service salon onsite is also a strong differentiator for us in the ultra-luxury hotel space. We offer several signature services that are reflective of our unique location. One of the first to come to mind is our Harvest Honey Ginger Infusion Ritual to restore hydration using the healing power of honey. The honey used in this ritual is hand-harvested from the property and coupled with the immune-boosting benefits of ginger. We also partner with a local Northern California brand, ODE by McEvoy Ranch, which is featured in our signature massage, the Sonoma Blend.
Q: How many dining options does the property currently have?
A: Montage Healdsburg offers a variety of dining experiences that celebrate all that this surrounding region has to offer. With a terroir-to-table philosophy, our signature restaurant Hazel Hill features locally sourced, seasonally driven cuisine infused with wine country flair alongside an extensive selection of fine wines—complete with al fresco dining overlooking the resort’s vineyards. Our lobby’s centerpiece, Scout Field Bar, offers creative cocktails, local craft beers, an impressive array of wines and light, comforting bites to share. It also has both indoor and outdoor seating. Our seasonal, poolside Hudson Springs Bar and Grill will offer a coastal-inspired menu of fresh seafood and other upscale classics. Our resort’s very own marketplace, Healdsburg Country Store, features local Flying Goat Coffee and talented baristas creating seasonal drinks; as well as house made pastries, locally made goods, artisan gifts and specialty foods. Perfect for grab and go before heading out for a day of wine tasting and exploring.
Q: For those travelers who want to do physical activities, what does the property offer to get the heart pumping?
A: We offer an array of physical outdoor activities including road bike and e-bike rentals, bocce ball, pickleball courts, archery, yoga and a hiking trail on property. We can further provide hiking, biking and running maps for guests who are looking for more rigorous activity. Our state-of-the-art fitness center, where we feature Technogym and Peloton equipment is also available. As COVID restrictions continue to ease, we plan to offer fitness classes, as well. Based on the level of adventure our guests want to engage, the possibilities are endless starting with seaside adventures along the Sonoma coast to mountain trekking in the Mayacamas.
Q: If guests want to explore the region does the property have the ability to facilitate a luxury guided experience?
A: We are fortunate to have access to stunning private estates and gardens along with private chefs who will curate one of a kind Montage memories. Our expert Concierge team is available to help secure reservations at exclusive wineries and restaurants. Our team can also work with trusted local, third party companies in Sonoma County to help facilitate a more guided experience based on the guests interests.
Q: If you had to sum up the property in three key words what would they be?
A: Natural, Peaceful and Dynamic….and one more: local!
To book your stay at Montage Healdsburg visit https://www.montagehotels.com/healdsburg/