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“Not the usual Fairmont Hotel look but looks can be deceiving”

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Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Sonoma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We were looking for a place to stay in Sonoma and was quite happy to find a Fairmont property! I was driving in and had difficulty finding the front entrance.. there was no door man or front door area as such. At check-in the guest service agent acknowledges me when I say "check-in" and my name then I notice I am just left standing there while he is just looking at his computer. In the meantime the other GSA accepts the couple behind me and continues to check them in. I am still left standing there until I ask the agent what he is up to. He says that he is working on the guest folio that he just checked out and will be with me shortly. I couldn't believe it. I asked for his name and said that I have never experienced such a thing with the Fairmont. His name was Max. He then turns his attention to me, finally! and after seeing my profile, I presume, his behaviour changes quickly. Offers apologies etc. One should not have to be a "special" guest to receive the normal, am not even asking for outstanding welcome procedures. This should be for ALL! Needless to say when I returned to my room there were a bunch of goodies.. which my husband and I enjoyed very much.
On the other side of the coin, Cody, the bellman was superb! He offered without hesitate to take all my bags to the room since I had to leave to meet my husband at the restaurant in Napa. Even put the beer in the fridge for us, which we found when we got to our room. I was happy he was also the one who helped us when we checked out.
Such a lovely property. Unfortunately stayed for only a night but definitely will be back when we are again in the area.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ToniaYVR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,224 - 1,230 of 1,251 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2013

My husband and I stay at many resorts in the price range of the Fairmont and we were a bit disappointed with the rooms. To be fair, they were "nice" but they weren't a wow. I booked a higher priced room thinking I was getting a nice balcony...well, that wasn't the case. We changed rooms to get a balcony (and it was a lower price) and the balcony could only fit one person comfortably. Not at all what I expected. The pictures/descriptions of the rooms on the website are a bit deceiving so be careful. When I went to the lobby to change rooms, there were 3 other people with "problems" with their rooms. Again, to be fair, the Fairmont quickly adjusted things to attempt to make us happy. The bellman who helped us has been working there 30 years. He was awesome...when he could tell I was still a bit disappointed in the new room, he called the desk to see if we could be put in a suite. All of them were taken but kudos to him in trying to please us and being so dedicated to his job and company.

Room Tip: Honestly, I am not sure which rooms are nicer here...just be careful when looking online at pictures...
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank travelbug185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We enjoyed our stay at this property very much. We stayed for four nights in July in a junior suite. Our room was lovely, we were very pleased with it. Had a great time using the pool every day and made good use of the gym. The complementary wine tasting in the lobby every afternoon and complementary wine in the room was a nice touch. We found the service overall good, valets in particular were excellent. We are presidents club members and stay in a lot of Fairmont properties, while I'm surprised by the reviews I've seen in here I would say the front desk didn't seem to be up to Fairmont standard but it certainly wasn't anything that had any impact on our stay. From some of the other reviews I read these seem like very difficult folks to please . . . . . I would definitely stay here again.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank AandB1015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairmont S, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2013

Dear AandB1015, Thank you for your post. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay and appreciate your feedback. We hope to welcome you back again soon! Warmest regards, Guest Service Manager

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Reviewed August 9, 2013

We stayed here on a Saturday night in early August to attend a wedding at a different venue. I think the other recent reviews give an adequate range of the pros and cons of this hotel. You can have a good experience here (as we did) but you know that there are serious management problems from the number of highly critical reviews of this hotel. So, don't expect too much, and you won't be terribly disappointed. The hotel calls itself a "luxury" hotel, and unfortunately this label raises expectations which can't be met.

Our experience, however, was good. We had a reasonably sized room (albeit on the small side) with two Queen size beds. The furnishings, especially the bathroom, were "dated", and should be upgraded. We understand the hotel is slowly upgrading the public areas and undoubtedly they will get around to the rooms in due course. We've stayed in other rooms at this hotel, and some of them can indeed be very small - not very pleasant if you're going to be at the hotel for a few days or in the room a lot. So, you need to insist on a bigger room if the small size of the room is a concern to you.

I should note that we dodged a bullet because our room was directly across from the wedding tent. Fortunately the tent was not in use that night. If you are shown to a room near the tent, check to see if there is an evening event in the tent; if so, ask for another room because the sound will definitely travel.

We ate lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday at the hotel's Big Three cafe, and the food & service were quite good. Due to our short stay, we didn't have a chance to have dinner in the main dining room which just received a very good review on August 1st from Michael Bauer, the food critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, who we have found to be a very reliable critic over the years.

The service at the front desk, the bellman and the valet were all good.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BerkeleyJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2013

Stayed here for two nights in July, and while the hotel was a beautiful property, the service was horrendous and the room quality was not worthy of the Fairmont name or reputation. The service was so bad, we felt compelled to waste time telling them about our experience at the front desk as we were leaving. It started upon arrival: we waited over an hour for our bags to be transported from valet service to our room after check in, and the luggage only arrived after walking back out to the valet parking service (where the bags still stood on a cart) and asking them again to take them to our room. We then waited another hour for Room Service to bring hypo-allergenic pillows to the room (which we requested in the reservation, and again when we arrived in the room). Not wanting to waste another minute stuck in our room on a beautiful afternoon, we left, only to have to call down to room service and the front desk again an hour and a half later when the pillows had still not arrived upon our return. The restaurant was the same: we had a lovely dinner, then waited... and waited... for 40 minutes for the dessert we'd ordered, finally having to go find a waiter to complain about the wait. 10 minutes later, the desert arrived with apologies, and we were told that it was gratis. That was pointless, as by this time, I had no appetite for the dessert, and was just sorry I'd ordered it. The lack of service continued throughout every moment of our stay until the final check out, when the requested help with our bags and request for our car was ignored by the valet parking service. While the majority of staff at the hotel seemed very nice and genuinely caring, the management of the property seemed non-existant. The front desk staff person - alone at the desk when we were checking out - continued a phone conversation with a person calling to enquire about the details of their upcoming reservation while a line of six people, ourselves included, waited for over ten minutes for service. Thankfully, three of them left, fed up with the wait, so we didn't have to wait too long to check out after asking the phone-addled desk clerk "isn't there any other staff member who can deal with customers at the front desk?" While the trip to Sonoma was heavenly, and the hotel itself is a gorgeous retreat, I won't be retreating to this hotel again until they have decent management in place and an understanding of how to run a first class establishment.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Filmish1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairmont S, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 12, 2013

Dear Filmish1, Thank you for your post. We do read all posts and value your feedback very much as it is our primary way of measuring whether or not we are providing the caliber of hospitality you deserve. If we are negligent in some areas, it pinpoints those trouble spots and enables us to concentrate on correcting what needs attention in our quest for excellence. I am so sorry for the disappointments you experienced. We all (staff and managers) strive to ensure that we offer an exceptional experience to every one of our guests, and I am sorry that we did not succeed for you in all areas this stay. Thank you again for bringing these items to our attention. We will use your feedback to ensure that we continue to provide the exceptional service for which we have been known in the past. We do hope to welcome you back again soon and I truly believe we can provide the “first class” experience you are looking for. Best regards, Guest Service Manager.

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Reviewed August 4, 2013

We had a terrific week at the Fairmont in Sonoma which had been recommended by friends. It was our (my wife, adult daughter and myself) first visit to Sonoma. First and foremost, the staff were all so friendly and helpful. I experienced this a week before we arrived when I placed a call to the Concierge Desk and found Lisa so helpful in providing advice and support in booking a day long private wine tour as well as recommended dining options in Sonoma and Napa. During the week, Lisa and her colleagues were all so helpful in dealing with any question we had. All the resort's staff had the same hospitable approach. As an example, Rachel at the Water Tower pool was someone we related to almost every day. She and her colleagues there were so welcoming. The resort is impressive; the rooms we had were large with small balconies; the food very good at the pool, the bar and the Big 3 casual restaurant; the spa facilities and services impressive. With the great weather that we understand is typical in July/August, it was a wonderful vacation.

Room Tip: The resort has a wide array of rooms. Best to do some research re the options so you can request wh...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank KylemFoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairmont S, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2013

Thank you very much for your post. We are delighted to read that you had such a terrific week! Thank you especially for your commendations of Lisa and Rachel. We hope to be able to welcome you back to our resort in Sonoma Wine Country very soon. Best regards, Guest Service Manager

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Reviewed August 3, 2013

My husband and I traveled to this property last week nd frankly it was a horrible experience. From the minute we walked in up to the front I knew it wasn't going to be good but never did I imagine it would be as bad as it was. The service was slow and not what you would expect in a high end property. The staff acted like we were interrupting their day when we went to check-in. The first room we were placed in after waiting a few hours was awful, we were looking at a dumpster and the room had a funny smell. The second room we were placed in was fine until we got home from dinner and realized that there was trash in the garbage can that wasn't ours. Empty beer bottles, food wrappers and who knows what else. We called downstairs and it took over a half hour for someone to come up. They sent security with new bedding but when I saw how they were carrying it with their dirty hands and sweaty faces all over what I was going to sleep on I opted to have them track the record of maid service to see if the sheets on the bed were actually clean. Indeed they were so we didn't have change them. We asked for a credit and were told because we booked via a third party there was nothing they could do - are you serious? You know that there is something you can do - there is always something. And frankly a lousy breakfast and a few drinks doesn't cut it in my book. Definitely left a lasting impression and I wouldn't ever go back.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Lindsay M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

Address: 100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma, CA 95476-3678
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Sonoma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Sonoma
#2 Spa Hotel in Sonoma
#3 Business Hotel in Sonoma
#5 Family Hotel in Sonoma
#6 Romantic Hotel in Sonoma
Price Range: $337 - $1,019 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 228
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn And Spa
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Hotel Sonoma
Sonoma Mission Inn
Fairmont Inn Mission Sonoma Spa
Sonoma Fairmont

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