The cheerful rooms clustered around this reasonably priced inn's courtyard are steps from The Barlow, a hip collection of restaurants, wine-tasting rooms, brewpubs, galleries, and other spaces. Convenient to western Sonoma County wineries and other attractions, the Sebastopol Inn is a decent, if not particularly exhilarating, budget choice.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The inn is near a congested downtown intersection, though because the lodging is set back from the road, getting stuck in traffic is as much an issue as the noise.
Bright colors, framed prints, and quilted bedspreads make a good first impression in the rooms, though the inn loses points for dated decor and maintenance missteps. Some rooms have microwaves, some have small balconies or patios, and the spacious suites, big enough for families, include whirlpool tubs.
Keep your expectations low: this is an okay motel-style property with prices lower than elsewhere, but if you're the fussy type, take a pass.
Nowhere is the inn's need for an update more evident than in the bathrooms' fixtures and general layout. No luxuriating here, to be sure.
There's a small lobby/reception area to the left of the driveway. Other than to check in and perhaps chat with the generally agreeable staff, you won't be spending much time here.
Tucked away in the back of the property and relatively quiet, the pool and nearby hot tub are better maintained than some of the rooms. If you're in the mood for a swim, you'll find the setting sufficiently relaxing.
There are better places to eat across the street in The Barlow and on Main Street, but the on-site Coffee Catz café is a laid-back spot for breakfast (organic-egg dishes and granola are a specialty), lunch (good taco salads and similar fare), and coffee, tea, or chai anytime. Nice people, moist soft cookies, pleasant vibe.
There's no bar here, but options abound within walking distance.
A car is the most convenient way to get around the Sebastopol area. Sonoma County Transit Bus 20, which you can catch across the street from the inn, heads northwest past Emeritus, Merry Edwards, Dutton-Goldfield, and other top-notch Pinot producers. You can also taste Pinot across the street at the MacPhail, Wind Gap, and Marimar Estate tasting rooms in The Barlow.
Vignette Pizzeria (2-minute walk) for gourmet pizza and other Italian-influenced dishes and Zazu Kitchen + Farm (2-minute walk) for Modern American cuisine are across the street in The Barlow complex. Head to K&L Bistro (7-minute walk) for French-inspired dishes in an intimate storefront, and Handline Coastal California (2-minute drive) for upscale fast food in an industrial-swank setting.
Zazu Kitchen + Farm (2-minute walk) has the nearest full bar, just to the north in The Barlow complex, where you'll also find wine and spirits tasting rooms open during the day and microbreweries open into the evening. The Hopmonk Tavern (5-minute walk), a microbrewery west of the inn that presents good local music, has its own beers plus wine and cocktails.
WHY WE LIKE IT
On busy weekends this is the place that still has competitive rates when dynamic pricing has rooms even at average places surging. (In the off-season, you'll save so much you can splurge on that cult Pinot Noir.) The Sebastopol Inn is conveniently located, reasonably clean if not spotless, and a good value for families. The decor ranks as strictly no-frills, but most of the staffers want you to have a good stay.