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“If this is your only decent option in Sonoma, skip it” 3 of 5 stars
Review of El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen

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El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   405 First St. W, Sonoma, CA 95476   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 11 Hotels in Sonoma
San Francisco, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“If this is your only decent option in Sonoma, skip it”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2009

We stayed here while passing through Sonoma on a wine country tour. In retrospect, driving all the way over to Sonoma from Napa just for a night at this hotel wasn't worth it. Yes, the courtyard/town square is cute and the shops/restaurants are nice, but overall the hotel wasn't worth the trek. The place has been updated to look a bit more modern, but we weren't impressed with the teenage staff at the front desk who didn't seem to be the most friendly staff ever, or the cheap furniture in the room. For such a small town, the street outside our room was LOUD. Luckily, our iPhones had a white noise application to drown out the motorcycles and loud cars. Next time, we'll skip Sonoma and definitely this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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194 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    48
    84
    25
    25
    12
See reviews for
15
122
2
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2009

- This hotel is well located at the heart of Sonoma. Rooms are clean and have all the tings you need.
- Good restaurant
- Free wifi in reception lobby. No reception in room.
- Tuesday evenings in the summer are great as farmer's market takes place - GREAT
- No great breakfast facility at hotel - cafe has limited offers. Go to place to the right of the hotel entrance (as you come out of hotel)
- Girl and the Fig restaurant excellent
- Use Terrrific Tours for wine tasting tour of Sonoma

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Tampa, FL
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2009

I spent quite some time looking for accommodations in Sonoma for our anniversary. Because my first choice wasn't available and our budget wouldn't cover some of the very expensive alternatives, I chose the El Dorado based on a favorable review from our guide book. The reviews from this site prepared us for a potential noise problem, but I chose to book anyway. Bottom line is that the hotel offered a good value, but there were certainly some trade-offs. The positives were the location and we found our room overlooking Spain Street to be quite spacious. Excellent shower and very comfortable bed and very good coffee and pricing in the cafe downstairs. Negatives included the noise (the trade-off for the location) which I hoped would be minimal for a non-weekend stay. (Actually the noise was less on Tuesday night than it was on the Monday night.) Also, some of the front desk staff weren't quite as friendly as you would expect. In summary, the El Dorado was a good selection, but it wouldn't be my first choice for a return trip.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Prospect, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2009

If you're willing to sacrifice space and updated luxury, this isn't a bad property. The El Dorado's location on the square provides a convenient starting point for wherever you want to go in the region, specifically as it relates to closer wineries (Sebastiani is within easy walking distance; we walked to Ravenswood but that may be a stretch for some). As others have noted, the rooms are on the small side and there isn't a great deal of amenities offered on site, but that's more attributable to the attitude of Sonoma County. This isn't Napa and it isn't trying to be Napa. This is laid-back wine country, not its trendy, hip (overpriced) neighbor.

The price per night isn't ridiculous. In my opinion, the location bumps this property from a three to four rating.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Connecticut
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2009

The hotel was in a great location in the square, after a day filled of wine drinking it is nice to be able to walk out your door and walk to a restaurant and forget about driving. There were so many different restaurants to choose from.

The lobby was nice and rooms were nice. Although we had a king size bed and the mattress protector kept on coming out of the corners which did drive us crazy. The hotel personnel were very nice.

My husband's only complaint was that you could not get a cup of coffee anywhere until 7:00 am and for people who were still on east coast time who are used to getting up at 5:00am it seemed like an eternity.

Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Edinburgh, Scotland
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2009

The El Dorado Hotel is in the perfect location on the edge of the square in downtown Sonoma, and the lobby is warm and welcoming. However, the rooms were somewhat small, and a little shabby, and very dark. The ensuite bathroom, particularly, could do with a lick of paint and some updating of the fixtures. Our bathroom had a walk-in shower, but no bath, and was rather tiny. We didn't experience the between-room noise that others have mentioned, but there is traffic noise in the rooms on the street side. The service in the bar and restaurant was extremely friendly and helpful, but unfortunately, the food didn't live up to our expectations. Beware the sunchoke risotto with a bizarrely antiseptic taste! Overall, the EL Dorado failed to deliver.
Liked: Location & friendly staff
Disliked: Food in the restaurant & shabby bathroom

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
123 reviews 123 reviews
91 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2009

I had read the reviews of Sonoma hotels on TripAdvisor and didn't think any one of the properties under $200 a night particularly stood out, but I chose the El Dorado after looking at their Web site. While the Web site accurately represents the very nice restaurant, lobby and courtyard, the overall experience, while not bad, is less than wonderful.

The location is right on the square, the corner of First and Spain. All the comments about noise are true. I could hear every car go by on Spain street. Thank goodness it was pretty cold at night because this cut down on the people noise. I can only imagine that in warmer weather when people spill out of the nearby restaurants, it's REALLY noisy.

The other big problem was that it took 20 minutes of running the hot water before it got hot. I am not kidding! My first morning there I called the front desk after the hot water had run for about 6 minutes to say there was a problem. The girl said I should let it run a while longer. Later that night and the next day same thing. It took 20 minutes. What a waste of water! And in California no less!

Next time I visit this area, I would either splurge for an expensive hotel or just stay in a chain hotel off the 101.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Noise and lack of hot water
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Additional Information about El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen

Address: 405 First St. W, Sonoma, CA 95476
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Sonoma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 11 Hotels in Sonoma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the historic downtown Sonoma Plaza, 45 minutes north of San Francisco, our boutique hotel reflects the simple charm of the wine country as well as the urban sophistication of our guests.From world class dining at our El Dorado Kitchen, to relaxing poolside, to enjoying the area’s many local activities the El Dorado Hotel is a one of a kind destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Hotel And Kitchen
El Dorado Hotel Kitchen
El Dorado Sonoma

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