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Fodor's Expert Review Cottage Inn & Spa

310 1st St. E, Sonoma, California 95476, USA See on Map

Delivering romance, relaxation, and Zenlike tranquility is the raison d'être of this courtyard complex 1½ blocks north of Sonoma Plaza. Near restaurants, shops, and tasting rooms but quiet and seemingly off the beaten path, the one-of-a-kind Cottage Inn pleases sensitive travelers with serene style and graceful touches like fresh cut flowers in the rooms. To ensure maximum serenity, the innkeepers present the property as "pet free and children free."

YOU SHOULD KNOW Although the rooms are well appointed and the hosts gracious, the inn lacks amenities such as room service and an on-site restaurant, pool, or gym.


Mexican-tile floors, leather furniture, and, in some rooms, brown wooden doors recall Sonoma’s 19th-century origins, but with the white walls and mostly pastel shades a mildly New Age sensibility prevails. Room types range from a spacious suite with a full kitchen to a small but not cramped courtyard room that's a bargain, especially in high season.

A good choice for guests seeking romance and seclusion, the spacious North Suite ranks among the quietest accommodations. With its soaring chimney, the stylish gas fireplace makes the living room the perfect spot for cozy interludes, and the separate patio provides a private space to enjoy breakfast alfresco.


Bathrooms range from large affairs with double Jacuzzi tubs to less elaborate options with whirlpool tubs or single or double travertine-tile showers.

Some rooms lack tubs, so if one is desired, be sure to ask.


The small reception area at the entrance barely qualifies as a lobby, but the public areas include courtyards with fountains and fire pits.


Well-qualified therapists are on call to provide massages and other experiences in a soothing dedicated indoor space. Treatments include Swedish and deep-tissue aromatherapy massages for singles or couples, reflexology and Reiki sessions, and the Bindi Oil massage, which includes a foot scrub. The Cocoa Butter Bliss Body Wrap treatment begins with exfoliation therapy, followed by a cocoa butter massage.


The inn has no gym but does provide guests with passes to the full-service Sonoma Fit, about 1¼ miles to the west. The center has cardio and fitness- and weight-training equipment plus power racks and rope trainers. Yoga, TRX, strength-conditioning, Zumba, and many other classes are offered.


The Continental breakfast, the only meal served, is catered daily by Sonoma's Crisp Bakeshop. The shop's pastry chef formerly worked at the Napa Valley’s renowned The French Laundry restaurant.


There is no bar here.


Getting Around

A block and a half north of Sonoma Plaza, the Cottage Inn and Spa is close to the Sonoma Mission and related historic sites, as well as shops, tasting rooms, and restaurants. A short drive in any direction leads to more wineries and tasting rooms. You can pick up public Sonoma County Transit buses from the plaza; a few pass by or near the wineries beyond the plaza, though this isn’t a convenient way to tour.


LaSalette Restaurant (3-minute walk) just east of Sonoma Plaza, serves Portuguese cuisine. Nearby Sweet Scoops (3-minute walk) is a popular stop for ice cream and waffle cones often made with local produce and products. On the plaza’s south side, Oso Sonoma (6-minute walk) serves contemporary bar bites and larger plates.


Check out the bar at El Dorado Kitchen (5-minute walk) for craft beers, wines by the glass, or a Clear Conscience (vodka, cucumber, ginger, lime, orange, and ginger ale) or other signature cocktail. For an ever-changing international array of sparkling wines, head west of Sonoma Plaza to Sigh (8-minute walk). The bar next door at Tasca Tasca (8-minute walk) specializes in Portuguese wines.


A low-key charmer, the Cottage Inn lives up to its reputation for serenity. Soothing colors and graceful design contribute to the relaxing atmosphere, enhanced in the rooms by plush furnishings that encourage guests to let go and unwind. When the need for a little excitement arises, Sonoma Plaza, with its adjacent shops, restaurants, and tasting rooms, is steps away.


9 rooms
Breakfast Yes
Lunch No
Dinner No
Bar No
Cafe No
Room Service No
Free Parking


Phones: 707-996-0719

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