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“Lovely Stay at MacArthur Place, with a few suggestions...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of MacArthur Place - Sonoma's Historic Inn & Spa

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MacArthur Place - Sonoma's Historic Inn & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   29 E. MacArthur St., Sonoma, CA 95476   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Summer Garden Spa Special
Ranked #2 of 11 hotels in Sonoma
GreenLeadersGold level
Woodinville, WA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Lovely Stay at MacArthur Place, with a few suggestions...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a wonderful four night stay at MacArthur Place (July 1-5)Overall, I would definitely recommend it, but I'm not positive I would stay there again without first checking out the alternatives.

First, the positives:
The staff are lovely; very helpful and friendly. They suggested restaurants and made reservations for us, gave us maps/directions and bottles of water, and were also sincerely interested in our opinions of places after we returned. The grounds are very pretty....lots of meandering paths with beautiful landscaping, fountains, etc. I like that the accommodations are sprinkled around the grounds in small "cottages" which was very charming. There is a complimentary wine reception every evening in the library from 5-6 which is a lovely touch. The beds were very comfortable, there was turn-down service and the toiletries were top-notch. The location is walking-distance to the town square. If it was really hot outside or if you were returning late in the evening you might prefer to drive, and we never had a problem locating free parking by the square.

The negatives:
I think there is a lot of variation in rooms, so be sure you ask exactly what you are getting when you book. I had seen things mentioned in reviews like HUGE bathrooms, balconies, patios (both front AND back!), fireplaces, luxurious bathtubs, etc. Our room had none of those features. I'm sure it is the more expensive rooms that have those but at $400 a night our room, while charming, was fairly basic. A shower (no tub), no window treatments whatsoever except for dated looking blinds, and the room was relatively dark, even though it did have three windows (I blame the dark paint color) So while adequate, the room decor certainly didn't 'wow' me. The bath towels, while genereous in length, were like sandpaper...so scratchy! I think they need to invest in some new towels and some fabric softener!

The complimentary breakfast every morning was nice, but for the price of hotel rooms ($400 and up per night) I think they could have included a few hot items as well without those having an additional charge. The buffet was identical every morning...several varieties of fruits (all very fresh), a bowl of cottage cheese, a bowl of hard-boiled egg, a tray of yogurts, several types of bakery items (the exact same every day...scones/croissants/small blueberry muffins), several cereals and then bread and bagels for toasting. While this sounds like all you could want, I think it would be nice if they could at least mix up the flavors of muffins, scones, etc. every day so it isn't EXACTLY the same every morning. I'd love to see them have some oatmeal or a belgian waffle maker available, just because the "yogurt with fruit and a scone" breakfast got a little tiresome after 4 days.

The pool was very clean, and there is pool service for both drinks and food, but we had a hard time finding chairs several of the days we were there and just had to sit on our towels on the grass for quite a while. (Not a huge issue, but when paying a lot of money for a hotel room, you expect to be able to sit in a chair when you go to the pool). The pool isn't fancy, just a traditional backyard-rectangle pool, so if you are expecting a big splashy 'resort' pool, you might be disappointed. Service at the pool was spotty as well.... several of the girls really were busy, cleaning up used towels and asking if people needed anything, but the girl who worked there on our second and third day just sat in the corner and hid and didnt do a thing...didn't pick up empty cups or towels or replenish the water in the drink cooler, etc. The place looked like a mess on those days.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay very much and may return, but before I committed to this I would check out other places as well to compare all the options.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (92)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Seattle, WA
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

Stayed 2 nights in March 2012 and had fabulous sunny weather so was able to take advantage of morning coffee in lounge chairs by the pool (locals thought it was too cold at 68F, but that's darn warm if you're coming from the Pacific NW). The rooms were large, well appointed, and charming in a fresh way (not country way). The only reason I'm not rating a 5 is that you could hear people walking and talking outside, on their way to and from places, and the street noise was also loud with passing cars (note there is not a huge amount of traffic, but still).

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Fairfax, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

We enjoy the garden environment, old wispering trees, the art throughout the property & the feeling of peacefulness just a few blocks from wine country's bustling town square of Sonoma. The pool & spa are a very big draw - not pretentious and very friendly. Relaxing service, and yet you still feel pampered. Drinks and delicious food from the hotel resteraunt make this stay in the lounge chair all day long just what the stress doctor ordered!! Full pool service is available all day, & you can even chose to eat dinner on a hot summer eve right in the garden pool area. I always feel tranported to a peaceful scene by a lake when I'm at this pool.
I must admit that when I first saw the condominium style rooms, I didn't know what to think. The prices seemed over the top for something not so quaint nor stylized. Yet when entering the rooms, it made sense. Beautiful, new, and stylized with one of the owners' own interior decorating
skill & flare. Still - prices are too high for weekend days. And the hotel staff, namely some of the employees who have been there a while, need to mello out and remember to be friendly, not stuffy. Still, they are very very good at what they do - no need goes unanswered. I just wish they'd chill out. Most of us come there in need of relaxing, and don't need formality. I am sure they are all capable of this, and management needs to support a more relaxed approach of course. Maybe they want a more formal demographic, but if you ask us Sonoma is for relaxing. Regardless, that's our only minor annoyance - this place is just wonderful. It's family friendly as well, but we've always experience kind kids with responsible parents. We'd highly recommend it compared to other more coorporate chains in the area or too quaint B&B's. It's perfectly in the middle, and we've enjoyed it for years now! Get a massage and enjoy the pool & hot tub all day - the experience will bring you back to stay for sure!!
a bit.

Room Tip: Upper levels are lighter & more picturesque / away from the side that borders a school on weekda...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

We usually stay in high end hotels and resorts and travel frequently, so I have a good idea what to expect for $400 and up a night. Our room at MacArthur Place would have been an appropriate value if the price were $200-250 a night but was definitely not worth twice that. The good features first - the gardens are lovely and the architecture of the cottages is charming. Our room was a comfortable size with plenty of natural light. The staff were consistently helpful and enthusiastic.

The not so good features - our room was on the second floor with no elevator, but no one asked if that was ok when we made the reservation. There wasn't a single comfortable chair in the room. The TV was set high above the fireplace, so we had to crane our necks to watch from the two uncomfortable chairs. We saw and killed two spiders - I'm not an expert on bad ones, but these did not look harmless. The bathroom was large, but not particularly luxurious. The toilet was difficult to flush. The counter by the sinks didn't have much room for our toiletries. The lighting was poor particularly in the shower. We also had a small balcony that clearly was intended only for smokers as it smelled strongly of smoke.

The complimentary breakfast was served in a small, dark corner of the restaurant even though there was a larger, more cheerful, sunnier room adjacent not to mention the lovely gardens just steps away. There are only about 6 tables closely spaced, so there was no privacy, and the feeling is cramped, not a place to linger over a cup of coffee while we planned our activities for the day. We were also treated to the unpleasant sight of one of the guests wearing a tank top and shorts with his underwear showing lift up the hem of his shirt to sneeze in it and then wipe his face - just ugly and not what we expected to see at a high end resort.

Even the afternoon wine and cheese was disappointing. Each day a different winery brought their wines to taste which should have been good, but one of the wineries only poured tasting sized samples, not full glasses. The cheeses offered were nothing special which is a shame given the quality of local Sonoma cheese makers. At the prices MacArthur Place charges, I expected a much better wine and cheese offering.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Oakland, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2012

I was there for a wedding. Upon driving up, I was immediately greeted by a very nice young man--the bellman--who took my things to my room and always made me feel as if it was his pleasure to offer his services. The bed was so comfortable that I had no trouble falling asleep. My bed was turned down each night with chocolates on the pillow. I felt as if I was in my own personal space because I could look out of my window into a yard and walking around the compound was like being in my own yard.

The spa was so relaxing and everyone I met was so attentive. Saddles was a good place to eat and was so well appointed. I plan to return with my girlfriends this autumn for our annual spa getaway.

MacArthur Place is just the perfect distance from the town square. It is a good walk (just under a mile) away but located in a very comfortable setting and easy to walk around the area of the Inn.

My only regret is that the window coverings allow too much light inside in the mornings and therefore it is hard to sleep in.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Soldotna, Alaska
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2012

I stayed in the manor house and when i first walked in, the musty smell just about knocked me over. Pretty room, but not worth $400 a night. The bed was very firm and uncomfortable, the TV was small and hard to see from the beds, and the room had poor lighting, not to mention the paper-thin walls! Very noisy!!!

I loved the shower head in the bathroom, and the outdoor pool. Dinner was good, and i enjoyed the spa a lot. The grounds were very nice but a bit underkept. The staff at check-in were very nice and helpful, and the hotel location was perfect.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2012 via mobile

A very nice boutique hotel. Excellent restaurant "Saddles" on premises. Daily wine sampling in the Library. Very relaxing, very enjoyable. You won't go wrong here.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about MacArthur Place - Sonoma's Historic Inn & Spa

Address: 29 E. MacArthur St., Sonoma, CA 95476
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Sonoma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Sonoma
#1 Family Hotel in Sonoma
#1 Romantic Hotel in Sonoma
#2 Spa Hotel in Sonoma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — MacArthur Place - Sonoma's Historic Inn & Spa 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury 64 room Sonoma inn and spa set on a historic 7-acre garden estate walking distance to Sonoma Plaza. Heated pool and whirlpool. Full service Spa. Saddles Steakhouse and Martini Bar. Complimentary continental breakfast buffet, evening wine and cheese reception, DVD movies, parking, and wireless internet. Bicycle Rentals. Close to more than 30 wineries. 15 minutes to Napa. AAA 4-Diamond Award. Top 200 US Hotels - Conde Nast Annual "World's Best" Readers Poll. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Macarthur Place - Sonoma`s Historic Inn And Spa
Macarthur Place - Sonoma`s Historic Hotel Sonoma
Macarthur Place Sonomas Historic Hotel
Macarthur Place Inn & Spa

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