CordeValle Resort & Golf Club

CordeValle Resort & Golf Club

Haute Living San Francisco

Experience championship golf, wine tasting, and inspired dining under the leadership of Executive Chef Nicola Cavicchini at one of the best resorts in Northern California.

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of San Martin, CordeValle Resort is a luxurious respite from the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a golfing retreat, or simply a peaceful weekend surrounded by natural beauty, CordeValle caters to every desire.

At the gated entrance, I’m greeted with a sachet of fresh-picked rosemary. As CordeValle’s signature scent, the herb represents the resort’s commitment to renewing the spirit of its guests through “serenity, wellness, and extraordinary experiences.” The 1,700-acre property resort is indeed a picture of tranquility: California Craftsman-style architecture is seamlessly integrated with the natural splendor of its surroundings. This harmonious design extends throughout the resort, from the clubhouse to the guestrooms, creating an elegant blend of luxury and nature. At the heart of CordeValle lies its championship golf course, spanning 7,360 yards across 18 holes spread around creeks, meadows, and the golden foothills of the valley. In addition to golf, CordeValle provides a range of amenities for relaxation and recreation including a spa, fitness center, heated outdoor pool, Tuscan-style estate winery, tennis and pickleball center, and bocce ball courts. Guests can savor casual countryside dining at the Lion’s Peak Grill and One Iron Bar, which highlight local California cuisine and offer outdoor patios with stunning views of the golf course, or enjoy upscale Italian-Californian cuisine in the elegant dining room of Il Vigneto.

Guestrooms are spread around the clubhouse, including bungalows, fairway homes, and villa suites, all elegantly appointed with picturesque views of the golf course and valley. A home away from home, all accommodations feature California king beds, original artwork, and fireplaces. CordeValle is also incredibly dog-friendly, with an outstanding pet program that rivals most. Furry family members are welcomed with luxe bedding, food and water bowls, and treats, and pet parents can take advantage of added pet amenities including dog walking and sitting services. Our adventurous corgi adored exploring Cordevalle’s vast, impeccably maintained property, strolling past wildlife in the early morning mist, and meandering around its rolling meadows during the golden afternoons.

For golf enthusiasts, CordeValle is a true paradise. Be sure to grab a tee time for the award-winning golf course designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Jr., which offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for players of all skill levels. Surrounded by majestic oak trees and sweeping vistas of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the 18-hole, par 72 championship course is a brilliant opportunity for golfers to test their skills amidst nature’s splendor. In addition to being named No. 7 in California on Golfweek’s “Best Courses You Can Play,” the course has hosted numerous professional tournaments. In addition to world-class golf, CordeValle offers exceptional spa and wellness treatments. A sanctuary for relaxation and renewal, guests can unwind and reconnect with massages and facials that incorporate herbs, minerals, and essential oils. Connected to the spa is a state-of-the-art fitness center, and personal training sessions as well as private and group yoga sessions are available.

Of course, a trip to CordeValle wouldn’t be complete without quality time spent outdoors, even if you’re not there for the golf. Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool and sip drinks in the sun as you admire the 180-degree views of the championship course. Or, explore the scenic surroundings with hiking trails that wind through the countryside. The tennis and pickleball center features four tournament courts, plus private lessons for newcomers looking to get into the game. Next to the center are the bocce gardens, perfect for a leisurely sunset game before heading off to dinner. After dark, wind down with espresso martinis and s’mores by the clubhouse fireplace.

An exciting development at CordeValle is its revamped culinary program led by Executive Chef Nicola Cavicchini, who joined the CordeValle team last summer. Dining is a culinary experience to be savored and remembered at Il Vigneto, where inventive flavor and ingredient combinations rule the seasonally inspired menu. Cavicchini is inspired by his upbringing in Northern Italy, as well as his experience as Chef De Cuisine in the kitchens of Rosewood Miramar Beach and Four Seasons Maui. His culinary philosophy is driven by locally sourced ingredients, and the dishes at Il Vigneto combine the satisfying heartiness of Italian fare with the fresh, natural bounty of Northern California.

Cavicchini’s team is clearly passionate about their work. During a trip to the nearby Terra Amico Farms—which I highly recommend stopping by for house-made shakshuka sauce and sundried heirloom tomatoes—I learn more about their aim to elevate CordeValle’s culinary program. Cavicchini’s right-hand man, Chef de Cuisine Ricardo Tellez, speaks about their efforts to bring CordeValle’s culinary offerings above par, so to speak. As we wander the tomato fields, Cavicchini also regales us with tales of exploring his grandparents’ vegetable garden as a child, snacking on vine-ripened tomatoes. Cavicchini and his team have a deep appreciation for quality ingredients produced by local farmers, and are keen to surprise and delight guests at CordeValle.

Highlights at Il Vigneto included starting our dinner with fresh bread, delivered to the table steaming hot with a side of salty, savory ‘nduja butter. Next up were Mendocino oysters topped with Regiis Ova caviar—a deliciously briny bite balanced by slivers of apple and crisp potato, and crème fraîche. Entrée highlights included the Filetto di Maiale—an oven-roasted pork tenderloin with chestnut purée, Brussel sprouts agrodolce, mushrooms, pickled apple, and chamomile jus—and the catch of the day sourced from Fort Bragg, artfully arranged on the plate with bright pops of cauliflower and roasted tomato.

Of course, the menu wouldn’t be complete without a hearty selection of pasta, from the classic cacio e pepe to upscale options like a Burgundy truffle gnocchi, and squid ink linguine with clams, caviar, and confit tomato. Meanwhile, Il Vigneto’s wine selection is vast and sure to satisfy every palate. Try a floral rosé with the pork tenderloin, or a medium-bodied Chardonnay with the catch of the day. We finished off our evening with a special crumble cake from Cavicchini’s hometown, expertly paired with a golden goblet of 2019 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine.

In today’s fast-paced world, finding moments of tranquility is a gift. Thankfully, places like CordeValle exist—providing a sanctuary where you can escape, unwind, and recharge amidst the beauty of nature. Though its world-class facilities and vast amenities are reason enough to visit again (and again), I’m looking forward to keeping up with the continued innovation in CordeValle’s kitchen under the leadership of Cavicchini.