Numerous Andrew Harper members will be familiar with The Madrona (formerly Madrona Manor), which was a recommended property prior to its closure in March 2020. The 24-room inn, set on an 8-acre estate just outside Healdsburg in Sonoma County, California, was purchased in 2021 by St. Helena-based designer Jay Jeffers and his partner, Cory Schisler (formerly of Viceroy Hotels). It has since undergone a comprehensive $6 million renovation. The original three-story gabled mansion, overlooking Dry Creek Valley, was built in 1880 by John Alexander Paxton as a weekend retreat from San Francisco. Around 750 pieces of furniture came with the estate when it was acquired, and a third of these have been reintegrated into the new, more contemporary interior design, including the 200-year-old piano that now stands in the Drawing Room.
The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, and its Victorian architecture and wraparound porch have been restored rather than altered. The heavy drapes and somber atmosphere have gone, however, to be replaced by tones of ocher and lavender-blue, new light fixtures from the Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco and specially commissioned artwork. Baths now come with heated floors and walk-in showers, fire pits have been added to the pool area, and a former maintenance shed has become a high-tech gym with Peloton equipment. Continuity is represented by chef Jesse Mallgren, who has resumed control of the kitchen, where he won a Michelin star for 13 consecutive years. Some of his signature dishes, such as a celebrated onion velouté, have been retained, but the menu will now feature chiefly seasonal cuisine, inspired by the chef’s global travels.