Just about everything in California’s Sonoma wine country feels a few steps above ordinary, and The Sandman hotel is no exception. What from the highway looks like a typical roadside motel is actually a chic oasis in Santa Rosa. The first clue: the welcoming, Palm Springs-inspired lobby is anything but cookie cutter. Decked out in bohemian style, it’s a cozy space that invites guests to linger.
The grounds of the mission-style motel definitely hearken back to the 1970s when it was built; the building’s exterior is clean and well-maintained, if a little plain. You’re not going to get vineyard views here and you will hear people (or housekeeping) making their way back and forth along the pathways right outside your door, but inside the rooms, the space is quiet and calm.
All of the hotel’s 135 rooms have a flat-screen HD TV, a stylish bamboo lap desk for laptop use, safe, mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, and Malin + Goetz bath amenities. Though the hotel is nearly 40 years old, it was recently fully renovated, with a new paint job, updated fixtures and furnishings, and a beach-inspired color scheme that features light pink, navy blue, burnt orange, and light beige.
My King room was cozy but not cramped, with a spacious vanity area, end tables on either side of the bed, an open closet area, and a small sitting area with two chairs.
Onsite, there’s a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, and a mid Century-style indoor-outdoor Pool House & Bar offering light bites like chips and salsa and cold drinks including beer, wine, and frosé—a slushy rosé wine. There’s free wifi, complimentary continental breakfast, on-site coin laundry, and a fitness room with free weights and a Peloton exercise bike.
Between the Peloton bikes, frosé, and Palm Springs decor, it’s easy to see that The Sandman is going for a chic millennial-friendly vibe, but at price point budget travelers can afford. And they pull it off well. There are plenty of instagrammable spots and fun details, right down to the neon script Sandman sign in the retro-inspired Pool House.
While the location is very close to downtown Santa Rosa and only about five minutes from the nearest winery, it does require a drive to meals or attractions; Uber and Lyft are prevalent, though, and the short ride downtown costs less than $10.
Overall, the hotel has a fun, youthful vibe (though families won’t feel out of place) with chic, cheery decor, useful amenities, and a convenient mid-Sonoma County location. For a girls trip, family vacation, or wine country weekend on a budget, it’s a great option.
If you go: Room rates start at around $125 per night. Pet-friendly rooms ($25 fee per stay, for up to two dogs not to exceed 50 lbs), family rooms, and ADA accessible rooms are also available. Make your reservations online at the hotel website or Travelocity.