The 9 Best Sonoma Hotels of 2019

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Guests can indulge in the spa and fitness center, take a dip in the heated pool, or borrow the complimentary e-bikes."

Best Budget: Sonoma Creek Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"It has 16 simple guestrooms that pack plenty of charm—think colorful furnishings plus balconies or patios."

Best Boutique: Gaige House + Ryokan – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"You’ll find everything from Zen gardens to kimono-style robes to traditional wood bathing mats here."

Best for Luxury: SingleThread – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The property is first and foremost a Michelin-starred restaurant, but there are five guestrooms for the diners who want to extend their stay."

Best for Families: Safari West – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The attraction bills itself as the Sonoma Serengeti, with nearly 900 animals, from giraffes to cheetahs to lemurs."

Best for Romance: Farmhouse Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The star of the place is the Michelin-starred Farmhouse Inn Restaurant known for its fresh seasonal ingredients and a stellar wine list."

Best for Walkability: Hotel Healdsburg – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Though everything is quite walkable here, there are free bike rentals should you want to explore a little farther."

Best for Spa: Fairmont Sonoma Inn and Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Beyond the spa, don’t miss the four restaurants and bars on the property."

Best Eco-Friendly: h2Hotel – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Incorporates a living roof to minimize the heat island effect, a vegetated swale to filter rainwater, and reclaimed wood furnishings."

01 of 09

Best Overall: MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa

MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa

 MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa

Constructed in the mid-19th century, MacArthur Place Hotel and Spa was once a private home, vineyard, and ranch, but today it’s one of Sonoma’s best and most luxurious hotels. Though with seven acres of gardens, it might feel like the property is in the remote countryside, but it’s actually just four blocks from Sonoma Plaza and its restaurants, bars, and art galleries in downtown Sonoma.

The 64 rooms — none exactly like another — are spread out over 20 buildings, both new and historic, though each accommodation is outfitted with warm contemporary decor. Some even have wood-burning fireplaces or private patios with outdoor showers.

There are three dining and drinking options on-site: Layla Restaurant, which serves Mediterranean fare; the Bar at MacArthur Place, which is the spot for classic cocktails, craft beers, and elevated California cuisine; and The Porch, a coffee bar and marketplace.

Guests can also indulge in the spa and fitness center, take a dip in the heated pool, or borrow the complimentary e-bikes to explore the town.

02 of 09

Best Budget: Sonoma Creek Inn

Sonoma Creek Inn

Sonoma Creek Inn

Sonoma isn’t necessarily known as a budget-friendly destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find an affordable place to stay. As far as hotels go, we’re partial to the motel-style Sonoma Creek Inn, located in a residential area of Sonoma (Sonoma Plaza is a short drive away). It has 16 simple guestrooms that pack plenty of charm — think colorful furnishings plus balconies or patios in some units. Some units are even pet-friendly.

Facilities really just include the lobby, which is staffed the majority of the day. Head here to ask for restaurant recommendations — if you don’t want to drive, there is a casual breakfast and lunch spot right next door — or snag some discounts on wine tastings.

Guests can also rent bikes from a local tour operator at a special price. Truthfully, you’ll need to rent a bike or a car if you stay at this property, as there’s not much within walking distance.

But for the low price in an expensive town, this hotel is worth a stay. 

03 of 09

Best Boutique: Gaige House + Ryokan

Gaige House + Ryokan

 Gaige House + Ryokan

East meets West at this charming B&B in the quiet hamlet of Glen Ellen, located about 7.5 miles north of Sonoma. As you might infer from its name, the Gaige House + Ryokan was inspired by classic Japanese inns — you’ll find everything from Zen gardens to kimono-style robes to traditional wood bathing mats here — but it retains a California vibe, thanks to the main building’s Victorian-era Queen Anne architecture, spacious patio with a fire pit, and a swimming pool.

There are 23 rooms here, the best of which are the nine Ryokan Zen Suites, which each have private rock gardens, fireplaces, and a black granite soaking tub.

There’s no formal restaurant here, but as a B&B, Gaige House serves a phenomenal (and free!) breakfast buffet with dishes like banana pancakes, artichoke quiche, and spinach and goat cheese omelets.

And, since this is wine country, there’s a free afternoon happy hour with wine, cheese, and hors d’oeuvres. Guests can also book massages or take a meditation or yoga class.

04 of 09

Best for Luxury: SingleThread

SingleThread

 SingleThread

Usually, you’ll find a restaurant in a hotel. At SingleThread in Healdsburg, you’ll find a hotel within a restaurant. The property is first and foremost a place to eat, but there are five guestrooms for the diners who want to extend their experience far beyond dinner.

Let’s start with the food — the three-Michelin-starred restaurant is run by chef Kyle Connaughton (of Fat Duck pedigree), who cooks up an 11-course tasting menu that combines Californian cuisine with Japanese influences. Ingredients are grown on the restaurant’s farm for a true farm-to-table experience.

On the inn side of the affair, amenities are truly minimal: there’s no spa or gym, nor is there even a front-desk or lounge. You’re really staying here because of the food, though a dinner reservation is not included with your stay.

Breakfast, however, is — and it’s exclusive to guests. Choose from one of four breakfast tasting menus or order à la carte. Guests can also set up a special in-room dining experience, where they’re served a multi-course hot pot meal.

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05 of 09

Best for Families: Safari West

Safari West

 Safari West

Admittedly, Sonoma is known for its wineries, which means most visitors to the area are of drinking age. But there are still family-fun activities to be found, including Safari West, a 400-acre private wildlife reserve that’s accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The attraction bills itself as the Sonoma Serengeti, with nearly 900 animals, from giraffes to cheetahs to lemurs, and offers guided safari drives through the grounds. It also has overnight accommodations that are perfect to entertain kids and adults alike: those who are more adventurous can try their hand at glamping, where you’ll stay in a luxury tent built atop a wooden platform (don’t worry, there’s electricity, as well as en-suite bathrooms with hot showers).

Families should choose the King with Double Bunk tent, which fits up to six. For those who’d prefer solid walls, there’s also a two-bedroom cottage with a kitchenette. For meals, head to property’s Savannah Café.

06 of 09

Best for Romance: Farmhouse Inn

Farmhouse Inn

 Farmhouse Inn

Housed in a restored 1873 farmhouse that lends the property its name, this intimate luxury hotel in the Russian River Valley is run by a family that has lived and worked in Sonoma Valley for five generations.

The Farmhouse Inn has just 25 rustic-chic rooms with king-sized beds, fireplaces, and bathrooms with jetted tubs and steam showers — perfect romantic retreats for vacationing couples. Several accommodations even have dry saunas.

Guests are treated to fresh flowers in their accommodations, as well as a nightly turndown service with milk and cookies. But the star of the property isn’t actually the rooms, it’s the Michelin-starred Farmhouse Inn Restaurant known for its fresh seasonal ingredients and a stellar wine list (this is wine country, after all!).

But it also has a great juice pairing for those who don’t want to imbibe. Other amenities at the hotel include a spa, a pool, a hot tub, and a complimentary s’mores bar.

07 of 09

Best for Walkability: Hotel Healdsburg

Hotel Healdsburg

 Hotel Healdsburg

Though you usually need a car to drive around Sonoma, if you stay in a downtown district of one of the county’s larger towns, you can walk to a number of restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, shops, and art galleries.

One of the best downtown areas is in Healdsburg, and there’s no better place to stay than Hotel Healdsburg, located right off the main plaza. The 55 rooms and suites feature modern decor in soothing neutral colors and locally made furniture and are set around a large outdoor pool with a hot tub.

Unlike at some of the smaller inns in the area, there’s also a full-service spa and a gym. On-site restaurant options include Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen for fine dining and the casual eatery Pizzando.

Guests can also have small bites and cocktails at the Spirit Bar, which also hosts live music during the summer. Though everything is quite walkable here, there are free bike rentals should you want to explore a little farther.

08 of 09

Best for Spa: Fairmont Sonoma Inn and Spa

Fairmont Sonoma Inn and Spa

 Fairmont Sonoma Inn and Spa

Leisure is the name of the game in Sonoma County, and Fairmont Sonoma Inn and Spa is just the place to relax. Not only does it have the most impressive spa complex in town, but it also has access to an 18-hole golf course.

Set off Route 12 in Sonoma, the hotel impresses upon arrival with its Mission-style architecture and bubbling fountains, and its lush grounds. The word “inn” implies that the Fairmont is a small property — it’s not, with 226 rooms featuring Provence-meets-California decor.

But it doesn’t feel crowded by any means, with guests being able to spread themselves out across the property’s many activities. The spa is a major highlight, featuring a bathhouse with mineral-spring-fed pools and hot tubs, a sauna, a steam room, rentable poolside spa cabanas, a salon, and a fitness center with classes (including water yoga).

Beyond the spa, don’t miss the four restaurants and bars on the property.

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09 of 09

Best Eco-Friendly: h2Hotel

h2Hotel

h2Hotel

If you’re conscious about your carbon footprint on your travels to Sonoma, book a stay at h2Hotel in Healdsburg, one of the most eco-friendly options in the county.

Its building is LEED Gold–certified, incorporating such features as a living roof to minimize the heat island effect, a vegetated swale to filter rainwater, reclaimed wood furnishings and flooring (and sustainably-sourced lumber for other projects), solar panels to heat water for the outdoor pool and guest rooms, water stations on every floor, and occupancy sensors in the guest rooms to reduce electricity usage. Not bad for a 36-room, eco-chic boutique hotel!

Beyond that, the hotel is a platform for local artists, whose work is displayed across the property. The on-site restaurant is Spoonbar, a casual spot that focuses on local seasonal ingredients.

Guests also have access to the restaurants and bars (and the spa) at h2Hotel’s sister property, the Hotel Healdsburg, located next door.

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