Guests at this 7-acre boutique property five blocks south of Sonoma Plaza bask in ritzy seclusion in plush accommodations set amid tree-shaded landscaped gardens. On land once part of a ranch established in the 19th century, hotel takes its architectural cues from the Manor House, a circa-1850s Victorian home that now holds 10 guest rooms. Newer buildings contain 54 more accommodations, among them two cottages and several Garden Spa Suites. Intuitive staffers, the spa, and a steakhouse that ranks among Sonoma’s best restaurants make this the right place for a romantic getaway or deluxe R&R weekend.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some traffic is audible in the rooms facing Broadway, the main drag south of Sonoma Plaza, and MacArthur Street; if this might be an issue for you, ask for an interior room.
A color palette of deep yellows and rich browns sets a luxe yet soothing tone in the public spaces and accommodations. The furnishings and fabrics are equally high style, and all the rooms have LED TVs, coffee makers, safes, and refrigerators. Garden spa rooms have sizable bathrooms and outdoor private gardens with teak soaking tubs shaped like large wine barrels.
For a splurge, book a roomy (750 square feet) Garden Spa Suite. Each has a wood-burning fireplace, a wet bar, a huge bathroom with a hydrotherapy tub and walk-in shower, and a private outdoor garden with a teak wine-barrel soaking tub and a rain shower.
Most bathrooms are spacious and all are stocked with top-quality bath products. The largest bathrooms have large walk-in showers and hydrotherapy tubs, the latter ideal for “take me away from it all” luxuriating.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some of the least-expensive rooms have spacious walk-in showers but no tubs.
Just off MacArthur Street, the lobby exudes the same relaxed elegance that prevails throughout the property. Coffee, tea, and water are available here day and night.
The good-sized pool and adjacent whirlpool, next to the spa and near the fitness center, are well maintained, with ample seating and towels always in supply.
Local spa mavens appreciate this tranquil facility whose signature treatments include the Wine Country Detox and Healing Stones and Garden Mud massages. The A Day in the Garden package includes a signature treatment, a facial, lunch, and a gift. You can use the pool all day before or after any of the signature treatments (and some of the less expensive ones).
The small fitness center, which has views of the pool and a nearby garden, has free weights and a few machines. At peak usage times it can feel crowded, but it's well maintained.
Saddles Restaurant, a first-rate steakhouse for lunch and dinner, also provides the filling Continental breakfast that’s included in the room rate. The service at dinner is low-key suave, and the steaks, some as big as 32 ounces, are grilled with precision. Lunchtime brings more variety, and a bar menu of light bites is available from 2 p.m. until closing.
Sonoma Plaza’s shops, tasting rooms restaurants, and historical attractions are a 15-minute walk to the north, with a few stops even closer. Several public buses travel this distance, too. During the week you can drive if desired; on weekends, you might find getting a parking space to difficult.
The French-inspired café at CocoaPlanet (2-minute walk) is a swell spot for lunch or a midday snack. The cuisine at Oso Sonoma (15-minute walk) is au courant New American (many small bites), with Cafe La Haye (16-minute walk) another fine choice.
Korean soju cocktails are the specialty at the bar at Oso Sonoma (15-minute walk), sparkling wines at sparking new Sigh (15-minute walk), and the signature Glariffee coffee drink (a Hemingway relative is said to be one of its creators) at the time-stands-still bar at the Swiss Hotel (18-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Casual luxury, verdant landscaping, and a secluded location so near downtown earn the resortlike MacArthur Place a special place in our hearts. If Sonoma’s tasting rooms, historical attractions, and shops and restaurants weren’t so readily accessible, you’d be tempted to check in and not venture out the whole time.