I can understand most people's reviews of the Lodge at Sonoma -- the high prices, the unfinished look of the place, the not-yet-mature landscaping (I was there a while ago, so I don't know if that's changed) -- but I can only tell you my and my wife's reaction.
We arrived at the Lodge after a particularly harrowing day in Napa Valley. Everyplace was crowded, there was traffic like you wouldn't believe, and every wine-tasting was insanely expensive (what happened to free wine tastings?). When we got to the Lodge and checked into our cottage (true, it's more of a "unit" than a cottage), it was the perfect sanctuary to relax. The raised ceiling, the on/off gas fireplace, spacious room layout, bath tub in the middle of the room with bath salts, amazingly comfortable (and crisp, clean) bed, separate shower with wine-scented shampoos...sometimes it's just nice to stay in an upscale chain like Renaissance.
That night, after spending the day drinking wine out on our private deck (and in bed watching the Academy Awards), we went to the hotel's restaurant Carneros, which is considered the best in Sonoma by at least a few of the shopkeepers we spoke with. It was...the best meal of my life. True, it was very expensive, but all the ingredients came from local farms and tasted fresh. Our waiter kept drinking wine as he served us, but it was okay because he poured us those free tastings we craved all day! I suggest the portabella fritatas for appetizers, then the lamb. My wife had some fish which the waiter fileted at the table. So, Carneros -- not the most amazing decor, but food that I still remember fondly. Even if you don't stay at the hotel, check this restaurant out.
Anyway, after spending some nights in San Francisco before going to wine country, the Lodge was truly a relaxing, four-star experience. And Sonoma is so much nicer than the crowds of Napa. You can walk from the hotel to the main square in town, and the concierge pointed us towards some very scenic hikes in the area.
It's funny, I can see why other people were disappointed with the cost of cable and Internet and all that stuff, but we weren't there for that, and the Lodge just felt perfect for our Wine Country experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Indulge in an exquisite Sonoma Hotel offering vibrant charm in a tranquil setting. Nestled in gorgeous Sonoma Valley, The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa is less than an hour north of San Francisco and centrally located among the country's finest wineries. Showcasing the incredible beauty of the valley, our Sonoma resort's accommodations combine authentically artisan surroundings with contemporary facilities to create a haven of casual sophistication. The award-winning Raindance Spa in our Sonoma Valley resort offers the ultimate in reflection, revitalization and romance. Carneros Bistro at our Sonoma resort features local wines and innovative cuisine with Mediterranean influences. In a hurry? Try Bean & Bottle, our wine & coffee bar with locally inspired items to-go. The Lodge at Sonoma is also the perfect destination for corporate meetings, social events and Sonoma Wine Country weddings and wedding receptions offering 22,000 square feet of flexible event space, both indoors and out. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Lodge At Sonoma Renaissance Resort And Spa
- The Lodge At Sonoma Renaissance Hotel Sonoma
- Hotel Sonoma Renaissance
- Lodge Sonoma
- Renaissance Sonoma
- Sonoma Renaissance