It was about an hour and a half into our journey to Cazadero, when the road started winding, and winding, and winding. As we coiled in and out of the hills with unwavering dedication, we desperately hoped what would lie at the finish line would be worth it. And it was. Immeasurably.

My visit to this tranquil hideaway called ‘Sanctuaire’, was on the back of ten days in Europe, four days in New York, and two weeks with family staying in our one bedroom apartment in San Francisco – needless to say, some down time was always going to be treasured. Cazadero is a 2 hour drive north of San Francisco, and literally feels like the middle of nowhere.

Surrounded by 29 acres on a secluded mountain, this Indonesian inspired open-beamed lodge boasts attention to detail like no other. This place is filled with character, from the wood panelling and copper detailing, to the stone statues, turquoise painted arches and purple window frames. If you’re looking for a weekend away armed only with your groceries and an intention not to leave the house, then voila, this is the place for you. The considerably sized pool looks out onto nothing but a valley, and is outfitted with deck chairs, a hot tub and a pond. There’s a wrap around deck made for barbequing and in front of the house there’s a large sunny clearing with a garden.

Being at this quiet haven, even just for a few days, makes you realize what lies beneath the masquerade of city noise: pure contentment.

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