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“Avoid street-side rooms” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen

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El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen
Ranked #8 of 11 Hotels in Sonoma
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Avoid street-side rooms”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2009

EDH is located right on Sonoma square. For southern Sonoma county, you could probably not pick a better location, geographically. I would recommend this hotel to a friend SUBJECT TO THE CAVEATS BELOW.

The rooms are nicely styled, VERY comfortable beds, decent bathrooms. Iron and ironing board, mini-fridge, and iHome iPod radio included. (The iHome in our room included a white noise feature which we needed, but did not help the street noise situation entirely (see below)). The rooms have small balconies, which is really a nice touch. The staff was adequate. The pool was, uh, just kind of there; good enough if you just want a dip after a hot day.

HOWEVER!!
As many of you may have done while reading some of these reviews, I was ambivalent to the comments regarding how loud the rooms are. “Oh, boy, another cranky customer exaggerating the negatives. Yadda yadda yadda.”

Believe the cranks! If you are in a Spain Street street-side room, you WILL NOT sleep through the night. I suspect the rooms on 1st St, facing the Plaza, are somewhat better. I think there is a lot of noisy traffic on Spain St. I know, at the very least, that the recycling truck that came by at 6:40 AM and did its best to make as much noise as possible smashing glasses did not go down 1st St.

I actually live in the city. I am not unfamiliar with street noise. That’s another thing I thought of when reading other reviews: “Oh, they probably live in the country and are not used to it.” Trust me, this was a whole other level noise. Unless you live on the corner of 8th and 42nd, you will not be accustomed to this noise.

Seriously, if I were to do it again, I would stay at the Best Western a few blocks away. I stayed there a couple years ago. No, the rooms at the BW are not stylish, but they are quiet. Plus, the pool at the BW is actual NICER than the EDH. You can walk to Sonoma Plaza from there.

That all said, I do not suggest that you dismiss the EDH entirely from consideration. They have some bungalows which look cool and are away from the noise of the street. Also, if you are able to ensure that you get an interior facing “courtyard” room, you’d probably be OK. But how would you be sure you’d get that room? What if you’re checking in late and they give them all away? I personally will not risk that happening to me.

Tip: if you need a close-by place for breakfast, skip the “Kitchenette” in the hotel, unless you want “gourmet pastries”. Walk out the front door, make a right, and right next door is a decent breakfast place.

For dinner the El Dorado Kitchen was excellent and worth the money. No complaints there. Better than the girl and the fig across the street.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Rantipole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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267 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
24
173
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 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 (48)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
33 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2009

We stayed here in May 2009 for a wedding at Sebastiani Wineries. Our room was paid for by the bride and groom, so I'm not sure what the cost per night was at the hotel. The hotel's location to Sebastiani is wonderful...within a 5 minute walk. The location of the hotel is excellent right in the midst of the town square. We did not encounter a noise problem, though I know many other travelers did have issues with the noise level. The hotel staff was average, not overly friendly but not overly unfriendly either. The bed was comfortable and the furnishings were tasteful. The bathroom was small and water kept leaking out of our shower door - making a puddle outside the shower area. The bathroom could have used a little updating in general. The rehearsal dinner was held at the El Dorado Kitchen (which is the restaurant for the hotel). Food was good, but nothing exceptional.

Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank reviewer0101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jkohari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kmcnai01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SilverAnniv2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prospect, Kentucky
Level Contributor
33 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Worldtravel41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
1 Thank ts118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen

Property: El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen
Address: 405 1st St W, Sonoma, CA 95476-6608
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Sonoma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel 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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