Celebrity Chef Charlie Palmer bringing new hotel to Wine Country

Celebrity chef Charlie Palmer is opening a food-centric hotel in Healdsburg next year.

The 8-acre, 108-room campus set in North Healdsburg (16977 Healdsburg Ave.) will feature a restaurant and rooftop bar by Palmer; extensive orchards and gardens; and pantries stocked with coffee, snacks and cocktail supplies in place of mini bars. Named Appellation, it’s part of a new hotel company of the same name launched by Palmer and Four Seasons veteran Christopher Hunsberger. For each hotel, the company’s focus is on exploring what’s unique about its city.

“Guests will experience what it’s like to live in Healdsburg as a local,” said Palmer, who lives in the small Sonoma County city. Appellation is also opening properties in Pacific Grove (Monterey County) and Sun Valley, Idaho.

The Healdsburg hotel’s restaurant, which will seat roughly 160 people, does not have a name or concept yet, but Palmer said it will aim to attract Healdsburg residents. The food will center around Palmer’s relationships with local farmers as well as the producers he grows for his restaurant and consulting group, which includes Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg and Charlie Palmer Steak in Napa. Palmer operates more than 15 restaurants, which have earned 20 Michelin stars and numerous James Beard awards.

A rendering of the 260-seat restaurant from chef Charlie Palmer planned for Appellation in Healdsburg.

Provided by Appellation

“I haven’t come up with the term of what the cuisine is going to be,” he said. “I think farm-to-table has been used so many times – we’re doing farm-to-table in New York City now – so (the term) doesn’t speak to it well enough.”

Appellation has also partnered with Seattle company the Works to develop classes and demonstrations with local makers. Guests might learn about cupping from a Healdsburg coffee roaster, taste with a winemaker or see how to properly slice charcuterie from a butcher. Nods to the brand’s culinary roots will be placed throughout the hotel, starting with the butcher block check-in desk in the lobby. “We want you to feel like you’re in a rather large version of Charlie’s kitchen,” Hunsberger said.

Other amenities include a spa, fitness center, two pools, walking trails and massive events space called the Grange Hall, which Palmer envisions as the preeminent Wine Country wedding venue that can host up to 500 people. The hotel sits on a larger, 32-acre mixed-use development that will have retail shops, residences, high-end senior living and affordable housing units. Fifty-three of those will be reserved for hotel staff.

Hunsberger describes Appellation hotels as “affordable luxury.”

A rendering of Appellation, a food-focused hotel from celebrity chef Charlie Palmer planned for Healdsburg in 2023.

A rendering of Appellation, a food-focused hotel from celebrity chef Charlie Palmer planned for Healdsburg in 2023.

Provided by Appellation

“There are some fabulous new additions to Napa and Sonoma,” he said, referring to the Montage in Healdsburg and Stanly Ranch in Napa, “but we believe there are people who want the amenities of the five-star experience in a more approachable and affordable way. ” The opening rates for the Appellation Healdsburg hotel will start around $ 600 a night, compared to $ 1,500 at the Montage, said Hunsberger.

Appellation’s Pacific Grove hotel will be the largest of the three initial projects with 225 guest rooms and a targeted opening date of 2024. Set in a former sardine factory, it’s steps away from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and will offer one of the highest vantage points over the bay from a half-acre garden rooftop.

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