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“Just doesn't quite meet expectations”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Healdsburg

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Hotel Healdsburg
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Healdsburg
Certificate of Excellence
San Anselmo, CA
Level Contributor
42 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Just doesn't quite meet expectations”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2010

There's a lot to be said in favor of Hotel Healdsburg - its location at the edge of the town square, its sleek, hip design, the outstanding service provided by certain staff. And yet, the whole experience doesn't add up to the sum of its parts. Hotel Healdsburg simply needs to get a few more things right to justify the cost per night.

A few days ago, my wife and I went to an ice cream parlor. The management had posted all of these signs around the place, telling people not to talk on their cell phones, don't stand on chairs, etc. They had not one but TWO signs saying that they had a right to refuse service to anyone. Somehow they had managed to turn getting ice cream into an unpleasant experience. A couple of people had messed up - been annoying on the cellphone or stood on chairs, and management had overreacted.

Hotel Healdsburg is suffering from some of that, too. When you check in, you have to initial three places that (1) smoking in your room will cause a $150 fine, (2) losing the room key will cost you $100 and (3) check out is 12 noon, and you will incur charges if you fail to do so.

Now I don't really know what kind of miscreant guests preceded me, but I don't consider this kind of legal lecturing to be a good practice in the hospitality business. It set the wrong tone for a stay and took the attention away from the beautiful design and otherwise positive attitudes of the staff there.

I reserved a courtyard suite in order to avoid the noise problems other reviewers have noted. The fact is, the location of the hotel is just going to cause there to cause sound to be a bit more of an issue than in other locations. The courtyard, which open up to Healdsburg Avenue, tends to cause an echoing of noise, whether it be automobiles or the sounds of people exiting Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant or the hotel bar. It didn't find it to be excessive or intrusive; in fact, we slept until almost 10:00. However, if you're looking for a high level of peace and tranquility, I don't think that this is the place for you.

Our suite was very nicely appointed. Dark, wide plank hardwood floors were accented with nice rugs. We had a nice deck with an outdoor table and chairs. The bed was soft and had nice linens, and the bathroom offered every kind of bath amenity we could hope for. The suites have deep soaking tubs, and the hotel includes bath salts for those who wish to partake. I would recommend the courtyard suite. Little things - a small refrigerator with drinks were very nice.

But a couple of things just weren't quite right. Despite the fact that WiFi was available, we had to call the front desk for the password - again giving us the cue that they had to keep it a secret due to somebody abusing the free WiFi in the past. The electronic equipment (TV, DVD, stereo) were ridiculously complex to figure out. There were 5 remote controls and a page of directions that turned out to be wrong, given that one of the remotes was different than that described in the directions. Lighting in the suite was poor, a problem that I'm finding more and more as hotels go the eco route.

Perhaps worst of all, our morning showers weren't hot. While they got to a point at which they weren't uncomfortably cold, it wasn't pleasant. When I mentioned it to the front desk upon checking out, they said that their system ensured that hot water didn't get above a certain temperature in order to avoid scalding people as a "legal" issue. Now again, I don't know whether somebody in the past had gotten scalded and sued the hotel, but the water simply wasn't hot enough for me. Both my wife and I have standard issue skin. I don't think it was us.

I would be remiss if I didn't point out the exceptional service I received from Tegan, the concierge, who put together a beautiful Easter basket for my wife. In addition, I truly appreciated that they made an exception to their 2-night weekend minimum in order to let us do a Saturday night stay. These are the kinds of things that create good will and long-term relationships. But there's just too much missing here to justify the $400/night that we paid. All of the pieces are here - beautiful design, comfortable beds, great staff - but this is a management issue, and I hope that they'll recognize what it takes to be considered among the top echelon in the hotel industry.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BradleyX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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545 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
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English first
LA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2010

The staff was very attentive and the room was amazing. Really loved the hardwood floors and the bathroom was understated elegance. The hotel was very clean and relaxing.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank simichaser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul, MN
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2010

My wife and I stayed at this hotel for 3 nights in early January. It was truly a magical experience. We checked in several hours early without a hitch and we very pleasantly surprised to have received a free upgrade to a suite. We needed more hangers and a few firmer pillows and someone came to our room within 3 mins to address our needs.
The hotel itself is beautiful and stylish without being pretentious. They offer a wonderful free breakfast with fresh fruit, pastries and juices. Every evening local wineries provided free and informative wine tastings.
The hotel is in a perfect spot within walking distances of dozens of restaurants, tasting rooms and local shops. Once you check in you really don't even need to use a car except to tour local vineyards or to take a day trip to Napa or the coast (Bodega Bay is definitely worth the short drive.) Charlie Palmer's award winning restaurant, the Dry Creek Kitchen, is immediately adjacent to the hotel.
My wife and I can't wait to return to this hotel. We just regret that we couldn't stay for a few more weeks!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank keith1780
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
83 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2010

This hotel deserves all the great reviews but remember you are right in the center of town and it is lively and noisy. Don't let that prevent a visit because the hotel and the location are perfect for walking around town . An abundance of good restaurants and shopping are within walking distance of the hotel. It has a good central location for driving to the many vineyards. Highly recommend.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Delilahs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
52 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2009

We stayed here one night. The entire hotel is a showpiece of Asian Modern; if you've stayed in a Kimpton hotel, it's exactly like that. Wide hallways, lots of dark wood--it's almost too hip for me, and I'm not even 40 yet.

The room was spacious, with plantation shutters, a DVD player, in-room coffee maker. The king-sized bed was insanely soft and cushy, with 400-count sheets. The bathroom was larger than some NYC bedrooms, with a separate tub and glass shower.

Despite a couple of annoyances (described below), we were overall enjoying our stay. But then we heard a horrible beeping at 5:30 AM. I looked out the window and saw an 18-wheeler food-delivery truck. The hotel management needs to insist to ARAMARK that they not deliver anything between 10PM and 9AM, ever. A hotel can get everything else beyond perfect--but if I wake up at 5:30, it might as well be a dive.

A couple of small things also annoyed me. Someone forgot to turn the heat on in the ostensibly heated outdoor pool. I went down at about 7:00 PM, stuck my foot in, and realized why no one else was there. I went to the jacuzzi; it was on, but the temperature was only 85 degrees! When you get in a jacuzzi, you want it so hot that when you get out, steam is rising from your skin. Wet and cold, I went back to my room and told the front desk. They said someone would turn the heat on, but I didn't see any activity down there, and they never called back--so who knows?

The room was also missing the bathrobes when we arrived; I told the front desk, and they were there when we got back from dinner.

Each floor has a computer in the hall for surfing the Net, but the one on our floor was broken, so we had to use the one on the floor below.

That said, the staff was wonderful--very helpful and nice. The front-desk gal and the valet gave us good directions. Great, free DVD library. The breakfast buffet was very good--but the room was a bit too dim to see what everything was. This place is all sleek and no cozy.

There is complimentary valet parking--but of course you tip the guy. The public parking is right behind the empty gravel lot where you first pull up for the valet. IIf you don't have but a couple of bags, you could just park in the public lot and carry your bags the 100 feet to the hotel.

If management would put as much effort on making sure every aspect of the guest experience is as good as the decor, Hotel Healdsburg could be a five-star property.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WashDCMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
115 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2009

The Staff at the Hotel Healdsburg go to great lengths to ensure that you are happy and comfortable. the hotel is conveniently located downtown and that may be it's biggest problem. If you do not mind sleeping through the noise of large trucks zooming by and dumpsters being emptied than this is the place for you. We were originally in their largest room the Plaza Suite. It is right next to the exit off the highway and way too loud the doors and windows do not seal properly so it is louder than you would expect in a New York City hotel. We then switched to a Courtyard Suite which was somewhat quiter but too loud for us. Now for the "nit picky" stuff. The rooms were very stark and bare. Our Plaza Suite had nice pictures in the hall to the doorway and yet there was no artwork of any kind on any of the other walls. The bathrooms are tiled with 1/2 tile on the floor and the walls, all the same color for a very strange effect.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rob b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2009

Hotel Healdsburg has it all: walking location to the entire town square, luxurious rooms with incredible beds and huge bathrooms, a world class Charlie Palmer restaurant and bar/lounge with fireplace, plus a spectacular buffet breakfast included (think smoked salmon, bagels, warm frittatas, apple smoked sausage, granola, yogurts, fresh squeezed O.J.)

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WestC0astGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Healdsburg

Property: Hotel Healdsburg
Address: 25 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448-4107
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Healdsburg
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Healdsburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Healdsburg 4*
Number of rooms: 55
Reservation Options:
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