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“One of the BEST hotel experiences I've ever had!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Les Mars, Relais & Chateaux

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Hotel Les Mars, Relais & Chateaux
4.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   27 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 16 Healdsburg B&B and Inns
Lake Arrowhead, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“One of the BEST hotel experiences I've ever had!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

My husband selected this hotel for a get-a-way in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary. Boy, did he do well! This boutique hotel of 16 rooms was built in 2005 but looks like a charming old building that had been recently restored. The original owners wanted to build a hotel that emulated some of the best hotels in France and they certainly did achieve that! The hotel is warm, inviting and intimate in a very comfortable and luxurious manner. The staff is exceptionally well trained and from the moment you arrive to your departure you are extraordinarily cared for. They are welcoming and accommodating in every way from parking your car to offering you bottles of Voss water, to printing out directions, to making restaurant reservations, all done in a friendly, unpretentious manner. The General Manager Ramon is charming and ever present, insuring that your stay is perfect in every way. He hosts a wine and cheese reception in the evening with local vintners in the lobby salon. Our room, located on the 3rd floor and overlooking the street below could not have been more perfect! It was the perfect size, the 4 Poster Bed was super comfortable with wonderful, high-thread-count sheets and down comforter. There was a gas fireplace in the room operated with the flick of a switch, a Nespresso Coffee Machine, a jetted tub and lovely rain shower in the bath, fresh roses in the room & bath and every other amenity one could ever want. They left complimentary chocolates on the pillow, surprised us with champagne & chocolate dipped strawberries for our anniversary and gave us a complimentary bottle of Chalk Hill wine in the room. The in-suite Continental Breakfast was included with the room and was delicious. What more could one ask for?

The current owner of the hotel also owns Chalk Hill winery. My husband purchased a package from the hotel that included our lovely suite, a private tour of the Chalk Hill Winery and a six course tasting menu dinner at Chef Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen. A young and enthusiastic Jason toured us around the Chalk Hill vineyards in their Hummer and then poured us tastings of $150.00 wines. We were so impressed we joined the wine club.

Dry Creek Kitchen was also EXCEPTIONAL. Every morsel of the six courses was perfection. The atmosphere was comfortable, the service impeccable and it was entertaining getting to watch our meal being prepared as the chefs worked in full view of the diners behind a slightly screened wall of glass.

Healdsburg was also super charming. We have been to Napa many times and decided to venture into the Sanoma wine country this time. What a great choice that was! No crowds, no traffic and equally if not more beautiful countryside than Napa Valley. The charming village of Healdsburg is built Spanish style around a lovely square and park. The shops are delightful and all within an easy walk of our hotel.

I cannot wait to return to this beautiful part of California!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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129 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Fremont, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

I will admit to being a B&B snob. I've come to expect a certain level of service: I expect my hosts to be experts on the surrounding area, I expect my every need to be taken care of with a smile, I expect rooms that are luxurious and that don't look like they were decorated by my Grandma (no offense, Grandma), and I expect little extras and amenities not found at big box hotels. Hotel Les Mars did not disappoint.

Even before we arrived we felt well attended to. My calls and emails to the hotel were always answered promptly, by Ramon himself. When we arrived at the hotel and were parking our car on a side street, a hotel employee that just happened to be walking by stopped to cheerfully offer to assist us with our luggage. That level of service set the tone for our whole stay; anything we asked for was quickly and cheerfully provided.

Things that we loved about the hotel:
- The location, in downtown Healdsburg is perfect. We parked our car upon arrival and didn't think about again until we left.
- The hotel took care of my car for me, including moving it to avoid parking tickets. Upon check-in, they told me that if I left my car key with them, they would assume responsibility for any parking tickets during my stay. Love this!
- The evening wine & cheese receptions were excellent. Different wines and cheeses featured every night; one night the winemaker was there to do the tasting. The wines were excellent; we ended up buying two bottles.
- I like just paying a daily service fee and not having to deal with paying for every little thing separately. I also like not having to figure out who to tip, how much to tip, and how to break a $20.
- The staff was very knowledgeable about the local area and was happy to provide suggestions of places to go, etc.
- We loved the four-poster bed and the gas fireplace. We also loved the spacious bathroom and that the shower was separate from the large soaking tub.
- Some nice amenities in the room: free bottled water (Voss!), a half-bottle of chardonnay, robes, slippers (in size small for me and size large for my SO).
- I love hotels that still provide chocolate with turn-down service.

Breakfast was simple but nice. We both liked the granola and I thought the yogurt was excellent (my SO would have preferred something sweeter). It was served promptly at the time we requested and we appreciated that they offer an extended window during which it can be served. We aren't early-birds, so we were thankful not to have to get up at 8 AM for breakfast. Our only complaint was that the coffee could have been hotter and it might have been nice to have just a little more of it (note however, that there is a coffee maker in the room, if this is a big issue for you).

We had in-room massages during our stay and we both felt that the massages were above average. I wasn't sure about the in-room aspect, but it ended up being nice not to have to go anywhere after our massage was over.

Room Tip: We loved our Mansion King room. It was very large, the four-poster king bed felt huge and luxurious...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WashingtonDC
Top Contributor
301 reviews 301 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 97 cities Reviews in 97 cities
217 helpful votes 217 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

My partner and I spent a weekend at Hotel Les Mars, and we found that it was a perfectly-situated hotel with the charm and uniqueness of a typical Relais & Châteaux property. The location in downtown Healdsburg is great for exploring the town, there is plenty to taste and shop in the few number of streets in Healdsburg.

The staff were uniformly friendly to us and helpful, always there to offer us a bottle of water or assistance in finding a reservation. The service wasn't obsequious, but there when we needed it. They charge a $25 service fee, so there was no pressure to tip at every turn.

The room was well-appointed, and we were glad to learn that every room has a fireplace. The bed was absolutely amazing, with great linens and (of course) it was a California king. We had a view of the main street, and I'm sure with the blooming in the main season, it would have been an even better site that was after all the leaves have fallen down. The breakfast-in-bed option was great, and the food was absolutely delicious!

I have three minor complaints about Hotel Les Mars. The first one was that our package included a wine tasting tour of the Chalk Hill Estate, which are also the owners of this hotel. We were only there for two nights but booked months in advance. When we arrived, we asked how to schedule our tour at the estate, but they said they were fully booked even on a slow weekend in December. The concierge or front desk should have emailed us in advance to schedule the tastings or other events that they would think that are necessary to pre-booking while there (a tour of the Lancaster Estate is also on that list). Secondly, the check-in process could be mightily improved. We have stayed at other Relais & Châteaux properties, and the check-in has been almost a pleasurable experience with drink and a front desk clerk sitting at a table with you and explaining the property, but this was the opposite of that. It was very brusque and rush, even with many tables and chairs off to the side of the front desk. There wasn't even anyone in the hotel, so it's not like the clerk was rushed. I thought like I was checking into the Hampton Inn, and that's not a good way to start off the stay. It's not as though they did something "wrong", it's just that a more streamlined and approachable check-in process would have given the Hotel Les Mars that extra "oomph" in how I look back on it. And finally, the coffee in the room is absolutely ridiculous. They put the espresso machine in the closet with the TV, but it was not plugged in and the plug was through a wall in the back of the cabinet and was completely unreachable. We had to move a sidetable near the wall and move the espresso machine to another part of the room to plug it in, and then it then didn't even work. We even had someone from the hotel come and check it out, and they couldn't fix it. By the time we were ready to check out and never even had coffee outside of the breakfast. None of these problems was a dealbreaker or would force me to give Hotel Les Mars less-than-five stars, they're just something to work on.

Overall, I would say that the Hotel Les Mars is a great spot for a charming romantic weekend escape in a part of Sonoma that is much less touristy and pretentious than Napa. Plus, there's plenty of great shops and restaurants in Healdsburg itself! Other reviews have mentioned the price, which, in the tourist season, is overpriced; we got the room for less than $300, so it is for that room rate that I'm giving Hotel Les Mars 5 stars. (Had it been double the price, I'm not sure...)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cozumel, Mexico
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

Since our arrival everybody made us feel special. Staff extremely friendly, helpfull and willing to give their best. We are in the hospitality industry and really appreciate when we find this attitude in the staff.

Rooms are perfect in any means. Size, decor, ambiance, details, comfort. Everything was perfect.

They offered a nice wine & cheese evening meeting, we enjoyed it.

Nice turn down service, many details.

They serve breakfast at your room, elegant, very good.

We highly recommend this beautiful boutique hotel

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

We recently spent three nights at Les Mars over our wedding weekend. The staff was exceptional as was the room. The bed was amazing. Breakfast each morning was very good. It is not cheap, but you'll get what you pay for. I will say that for us, the style/decor (European, antiques etc.) was not our favorite, but that is totally personal preference and not a knock on the hotel. The location is perfect, located just off the plaza. I would definitely recommend Les Mars for anyone looking for luxury in wine country.

Room Tip: We had a street side room on the third floor and enjoyed the view/sunlight and there wasn't any...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

No complaints with the decor and location, but the place is totally overpriced. The hotel has no real amenities. Small rooms and no bathtub and high prices. Breakfast is served in cramped quarters in the room. Would have preferred a larger room at that price or a breakfast room. Helpful and friendly staff. Biggest problem is the price for the value.

Room Tip: high floor is best.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

Really nice hotel, but a bit on the pricey side. Great rooms, plenty of space, fireplace! Great bathroom, no tub though. Great breakfast served in room. Would have wanted a better view, instead of just the back street. Small, but nice pool. And the fitness center is a joke, they could have used a bit more room for the treadmill.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hotel Les Mars, Relais & Chateaux

Also Known As:
Hotel Les Mars, Relais And Chateaux
Address: 27 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Healdsburg
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Healdsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Les Mars, Relais & Chateaux 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in May 2005 and created by the Mars family, Les Mars Hotel brings the elegance and unobtrusive service of the finest European family hotels to Northern California. The Mars family follows the philosophy that patrons should be treated more like visiting friends than guests, and upon entering the lobby, visitors are welcomed to the warm smiles of the Swiss-trained hotel staff, unique 17th and 18th century antiques, and a comfort found only at the home of a very good friend.Les Mars Hotel represents a unique family project, a labor of love, and a new dimension of sophisticated, luxury lodging in wine country. Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report, the definitive guide to luxury travel, commented that "Les Mars now sets the standard for luxury accommodations in Sonoma." ... more   less 
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