The MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa exudes just the sort of country charm you’d expect from a hotel in the Sonoma wine region of Northern California. But it’s not a country hotel. Located just a short walk from the Sonoma plaza, the MacArthur is close to dozens of restaurants, shops, and tastings rooms. Though it’s on the corner of a busy street, once you arrive on the property you feel miles away from traffic or stress.
The hotel’s 64 rooms are spread among several historic buildings (once a working ranch with vineyards, orchards, horses, and hay fields, the property was transformed into a hotel in 1997). Bamboo and thick hedges make a natural fence between the property and the street, and more than 100 species of plants and colorful flowers, more than 30 pieces of original art, and accents like fountains and fish ponds create a serene atmosphere in the gardens.
My husband and I arrived just in time for the nightly wine and cheese hour. After the front desk staff gave us a property map, offered help with our bags and assistance with dinner reservations and transportation, they directed us through a small courtyard to the library, where we could enjoy self-serve wine, cheese, and fruit (we also browsed the DVD selection and snagged some 80’s classics to watch in our room later).
Our room, number 10, was on the second floor and was decorated in warm earth-tones of beige, white, and tan, with a plush four-poster King bed, and a large sitting room with soft couches and chairs, and a long balcony with wicker chairs and a view of the gardens below.
Our room also had a fireplace, wet bar and well-stocked mini-bar, flat screen TV and DVD player, a large closet, mini-fridge and an in-room coffee maker. The bathroom was large, with a deep clawfoot tub as well as a walk-in shower.
The property is large enough to invite exploration, but still small enough to get around easily. In addition to the various buildings that house the rooms, there’s a full-service spa with pool and jacuzzi; the small library with complimentary DVDs and entertainment; and a bar and restaurant which serves complimentary continental breakfast for guests, as well as lunch, dinner, and happy hour. Wifi and parking is free, and the hotel has rental bikes onsite and can help arrange wine tours, other activities, transport, and dinner reservations.
Throughout my stay, service was pleasant – available but never intrusive – and I rarely saw other guests even though I visited on a busy weekend. Aside from my sumptuous room, what I loved best about the MacArthur was the location, which offered the best of both worlds in Sonoma. I could easily walk to the “downtown” plaza and I was only a few minutes’ drive to dozens more tasting rooms, but I never felt like I was in a more urban environment.
The hotel’s seclusion and landscaping, as well as the distribution of the rooms throughout several buildings, ensures that the MacArthur feels like a very small inn far removed from any hustle and bustle, making it a welcome respite during peak times for visiting wine country.