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“Nice Hotel in a Good Location”

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El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen
Ranked #8 of 11 Hotels in Sonoma
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel in a Good Location”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2006

We stayed 1 night at the El Dorado in early March. The hotel is in a good location right on the plaza. We had to park on the street, but didn't have any trouble finding a parking spot on a Saturday evening. The rooms were very nicely decorated and the bed was very comfortable and plush. However, the room was above the restaurant (room 11), and obviously right above the stereo because the music was very loud. I can't recommend a room in a hotel where you need earplugs to be able to sleep. The staff was courteous and helped us find a good place for breakfast in the morning. So all in all, I give the El Dorado mixed reviews.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank at8126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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284 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    92
    121
    31
    27
    13
See reviews for
28
180
5
8
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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
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English first
Des Moines, Iowa
Level Contributor
75 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2006

El Dorado provided what we wanted for a brief stay in September---a stylish (but small) room in a great location on the plaza in Sonoma at a reasonable price ($180/midweek, high season). Given the high prices of most wine country lodgings, at this price I hadn't expected great service, and we didn't get it. But we didn't need it---I make my own dinner reservations, and with Girl and the Fig across the street, Cafe La Haye two blocks away, excellent wine shops and The Cheesemaker's Daughter (great local cheese shop)within a block or two, I'm in foodie heaven. The room faced an attractive inner courtyard with a small pool and outdoor dining. There was a little noise from diners down below until about 10, but that didn't bother us--we were up anyway. The contemporary/rustic four poster bed and other simple furnishings were more stylish than usually seen in a room at this price. The complimentary breakfast isn't much, but the Basque Boulangerie is a fabulous local breakfast spot a block away if you want something more. So, if you're fairly self-sufficient and want an attractive room (I concur with the "Country W" assessment of the aesthetic)in a great location on Sonoma Plaza, without breaking the bank, the El Dorado is a great choice.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank iowaguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2005

I liked the laid-back but refined aesthetic of the El Dorado. Chic with a bohemian rustic charm. Other area places try to evoke some kind of fake "Mission" style or pile on the potpourri. Not the El Dorado. It's a unique, hip, casual place that doesn't lose site of its historic character -- the majestic old fig tree grounds the very cool spa-like pool area, for example. We were thrilled with the excellent restaurant. Put yourself in the hands of Thomas, the terrific, knowledgeable and vivacious wine steward. Adventurous and delicious food. Warm friendly service all around -- from the front desk person to the generous hotel manager. Can't beat the location. Try this place if you are looking for something less ordinary, but still comfortable and welcoming.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2005

The hotel and location are very beautiful, but we were continually disappointed with the lack of knowledge and basic courtesy of the staff. They misinformed us about the location and estimated travel times to area attractions and did not appear to know the town and available amenities very well. The rooms are nicely (if starkly) appointed, but the saltillo tiles (no rugs) plus thin walls make for a cold-feeling and noisy stay. Our room was directly above the bar and might as well have been in the bar itself. When we called the front desk late at night to ask that the music be turned down or to seek other options, we received a cold, off-putting response. The restaurant and retaurant staff were fantastic, however.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2005

For a chef who hails from the French Laundry, the food at El Dorado Kitchen is comfort-foody at best, and just plain under-thought at worst. Plus, though I tried (honestly) not to get caught up in the swirl of condemnation around the El Dorado's service, it was really terrible! Five of us dined in early November 2005. It took almost three-quarters of an hour to get our first cocktail; the music was so loud we had to ask twice to lower it; the room was so dark we had to pull out magnifying glasses and hold up candles to read the menu. (We weren't the only ones -- some poor fellow two tables down had to stand up and walk over to a sconce to read his. And I should point out that I'm not some octogenarian and love dark, loud restaurants like Foreign Cinema.) Then, out comes the bread in a cool, cage-like iron basket, but there are four tiny pieces. The polite among us passed until we could get the busboy to bring us some more--twice. The pumpkin gnocchi was bland, the caesar salad confused (cucumber?), and the fritto misto, pork, and lamb satisfying but boring. Two highlights: a bottle of "Rock and Gravel" Rhone-style wine from Edmunds St. John, and the Signorello pinot grigio, which I have to take credit for since I chose them from a slim (for a wine-country restaurant)list. Finished with some burned coffee.

Stayed November 2005
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2005

We were hesitant to stay & dine the the Hotel El Dorado after reading the reviews on trip advisor. But my husband & I just returned from a brief stay. We live less than 20 miles from the hotel but thought we would spend the night. From the minute we arrived at the hotel until we checked out the hotel staff treated us like royalty. Our room was not ready when we arrived since we were early, not only did they hold our bags but took them to our room & had a bottle of sparkling wine chilled & waiting. Angie could not have beeen more helpful. We had one of the most memorable meals at the the Kitchen. Patrick was our waiter & he went above & beyond. The food was wonderful & the staff attentive. We will return as soon as possible

Helpful?
8 Thank anneg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2005

The location is in the town center, but for the wine country, we were hoping for a more quaint ambiance.

Hospitality is NOT their forte. The front desk personnel we encountered hardly made eye contact, and were more interested in the newspaper they were reading rather than attending to their guests.

The decor is just as they say - Spanish, urban, contemporary. However, the cleanliness of the bathroom was a little disappointing. The DVD and CD players were a nice touch, but we felt the room was a little tight for two people with two pieces of luggage.

To our surprise, there was no roast coffee available when we wandered down the next morning. Morning coffee/tea is just about the only complimentary service that El Dorado offer, when most hotels in the vicinity boast wine/cheese/hors d'oevres in the afternoon. There was no apology from the staff, just a "we're out of coffee."

Needless to say, we cancelled our second evening there and moved on much better accomodations (Milliken Creek Inn).

  • Stayed November 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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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