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“Not What I expected”

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Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Sonoma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
downey
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not What I expected”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We had heard great things about the Fairmont Sonama Mission Inn and Spa. We were excited to visit the inn. We went up to the Fairmont partly for business and partly for pleasure. The company was supporting a 1/2 marathon and my husband was running in it. The original accommodations at the inn were made by the company. When we decided to bring our teenagers we called to change our room to a larger room a few days before our arrival. At the same time, we made reservations for their hiking tour for my teenage daughter and me. We were instructed to arrive in the lobby 15 mins before the hike.
Upon arrival to the inn, we were greeted by wonderful valets. It was a hot, beautiful day. The valets took care of our luggage and helped get us to the front lobby. When we checked in we were given our room keys and escorted by the valet to our room. I don't remember his name but I remember that all weekend he remembered our name. I know he wrestled in high school and was extremely polite and helpful. Luckily, we had him with us for this part of our stay. When we arrived to our room, there was only one bed. The inn made a mistake a kept our room as the company had set up. Our valet quickly phoned the front lobby to get the situation handled. After about 5 minutes, the front desked got our room change. Now on this beautiful, hot day, we along with all things, travel to the other side of the inn. Luckily this room is on the first floor unlike the first one. My son tired from the drive, took the new key and quickly went ahead of us. When he opened the door, he just stood near the opened door. I walked in behind him and to my shock, the room had the belongings of other people. I asked my son to leave and waited for the valet to get the to room. Thankfully, the people occupying the room were not there at the time. It was awkward enough walking into a room with other people's belongs. But I was grateful we didn't walk into the room while the other people were carrying on with their personal business. When our valet gets there, he quickly closes the door and calls the front desk again on his walkie talkie. We were asked to wait outside the second room on this hot day while the supervisor personally verified that the third room was truly vacant. As to why their computer system was unable to tell him that in the first place, is beyond me. The supervisor meet us half way to let us know that for sure it was our room. This time the room was half way in between the two rooms we had visited. Sadly, the manager didn't feel we should be compensated for the inconvenience of walking around their facility with all our belongs, due to their error, on this hot day. And due to this unscheduled tour of the inn, on this hot day, we were late to the company's evening event.

The following day the hike was scheduled for 8 am. My daughter and I got up early, on a Saturday, for the hike. We looked forward to our time together alone. We arrived in the lobby 20 minutes before our scheduled hiked. Looking around I didn't see anyone who looked to be coordinating the hike nor the concierge. We approach the representative at the front desk and asked where do we meet the group for the hiking tour. She kindly said in the lobby. After some time, I asked the same representative again. She said the same thing. We sat and waited some more. I noticed a group leaving the lobby and we quickly approached the representative from the hotel leading the group. She was indeed the coordinator for the hike. She was shocked we were there. She said she called out our name but did not get a response. I don't know when or where she did that. She informed me, I would have to drive to the location by following the bus. I informed her we were not told this when we scheduled the hike. In addition, we had a rental car and I was not a listed driver. She looked annoyed and was trying to figure out how to accommodate us for a few minutes. My daughter whispered in my ear she didn't want to go anymore. She was uncomfortable with everyone looking at us and didn't feel welcomed. I informed the representative not to worry that we would not be joining them. She looked relieved because she didn't have to figure out how she was going to add us. She did asked if I was sure we didn't want to go with them. I am sure just asked to cover herself in case I complained. Annoyed by the lack of organization, effort and genuine desire to resolve the situation, I just walked away.

When we got to our room, I called the front desk to complain. I was quickly connected to the supervisor. She spoke to the coordinator for the hike. I was told she was looking for us and some how we didn't connect. Whatever. In addition, the coordinator for the hike added people who showed up that morning to the hike which created the issue for transportation. Whatever. The supervisor offered me a free spa pass for the day. Unfortunately, it was only for adults so my daughter could not join me. I agreed to it. She said all I needed to do was check into the spa and they would be expecting me. When I got off the phone and told my daughter, she was disappointed again that we would not spend time together. That was the point of the hike. Remembering this, I never went to the spa and instead spent the day my daughter. No one from the inn called to follow up to see why I did not come to the spa.

On a good note, the inn is romantic and beautiful as is Sonoma. It was a clean inn, which is always a good thing. The housekeeping was great and helpful.

Would we go back? No, probably not. I am not sure if the inn could not accommodate the large crowd or their computer system was not working properly or they were short staffed or if they had new management or a combination of these things. Whatever the reason for all the mix up and lack of wanting to compensate us accordingly for their errors, it was just not good customer service. I would maybe expect that had we showed up wanting a larger room that same day or not scheduling the hike. Then it would have been our error and we would have had to deal with it. But all these errors were on their part. I hope they improve because it is a romantic and beautiful inn.

Room Tip: small rooms rooms by hall are noise
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mimi a
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 review, August 27, 2013
Dear Mimi a, Thank you for taking the time to post your review. I am so sorry for the mix up with your room type and hike reservation/meeting and for the inconveniences caused by this. Please always feel free to contact us directly in the Executive Office so we may learn the specifics of these errors and work to correct them. We aim to create relaxing, seamless and wonderfully memorable experiences for all of our guests and I am so sorry we did not succeed in all areas for you this stay. I know we can create a wonderful family getaway for you in our beautiful resort in Sonoma and I hope we have the opportunity to welcome you back again. Warm regards, Guest Service Manager
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (273)
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English first
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
362 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2013

In Sonoma, there aren't a lot of upscale properties with availability in the summertime, unless you book far in advance. We didn't, so it's hard to give a low rating for a property just based on its price. Putting aside the overpriced room and extras, you tend to focus more on the details.
The good:
-- Valet was fast an efficient (an extra)
-- A bottle of wine in the room (freebie)
-- The bar area was wonderful to relax in after a long day and to chill in the morning
-- The hotel is about a 10 -15 drive from most wineries
-- Lovely fire pit for chilling on cold nights
-- The food was all around enjoyable. Extra touches for non-standard beverages, food, etc.
-- The pool is beautiful
The ok:
--The room was extremely small and in need of an upgrade. The king bed was super comfortable(see pics) and the room contained all the extras (mini bar, ipod docking station, etc.) It was just cramped and there was little room for two people to comfortably manage around the room
--The bathroom was adequate, but no frills
--The maid service was acceptable, but nothing special
The bad:
-- Internet was slow and choppy (an extra)
-- Reception (check in/check out) was slow and unwelcoming
-- The room was not quiet. It was on the 2nd floor just up the stairs from reception. You could hear people in the halls, and lots of noise - either from the refrigerator, the a/c or the hallway lights buzzing outside of the room

In general, the price/value just wasn't there. I think there's an expectation when you're staying at a Fairmont, spending a lot of money, and in a resort atmosphere, that you're going to find special touches all around. It just wasn't there.

Room Tip: Having a room in the reception building is convenient
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GRLTRAV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2013

The first night was fine. A/c worked great. Second night - SMELL started. Out of the clear blue sky, it kept getting worse and worse. By 11 pm - what were we suppose to do? Move rooms? Maybe we should have. By morning, could not get out fast enough. Smell was not just one thing but a combination of all things you could imagine. We could not possibly return. Nothing could get us back to this place as the memory of this is still on my clothes believe it or not.

Room Tip: Stay in the most expensive room and pray
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank marmalade22
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 review, August 22, 2013
Dear Marmalade22, We are so sorry for this unfortunate air conditioning instance. Our Engineering Team has checked the unit and will continue to monitor it to ensure it is functioning properly. I sincerely apologize that this fluke impacted your visit. Thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention and I do hope you will give us another opportunity to provide a wonderfully memorable wine country experience for you in the future. Kind regards, Guest Service Manager
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Cleveland
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2013

This has to be one of the hardest reviews I have done in a while. My wife and I arrived early from SF and were told that our room wasn't ready. Our bags were checked and we were offered day bags to use while we waited by the pool and then explored the surrounding area. The concierge staff helped us quite nicely. We returned to the hotel around 3:00pm and were told that our room was still not ready. We waited until after 4:00 to check in. Even though this was the regular check-in time, I found this to be very late. I had given the front desk staff my cell phone number. Maybe a call to update us on the status of the room would have been nice.

The pool was very nice, the spa, which my wife used, was huge. Wine tastings in the afternoon were also fun, giving us a chance to meet fellow travelers. We enjoyed our room, an alcove king with a separate sitting room.

I guess my check-in experience could have been better, causing me to downgrade my review to very good.

Room Tip: Alcove king is the way to go in the main building.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ilre12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dusseldorf, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
356 reviews
121 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2013

The Fairmont is located in an otherwise completely 'unremarkable' area of Sonoma. No nice scenery, nothing of interest AT ALL that is in walking distance, no scenery, no nice shops. For anything that you want to do outside of the hotel, you need to drive.

The hotel itself is not bad. It's built on a fairly large and nice area, with rooms scattered over different buildings. Our room was on the ground floor of the block farthest from the lobby, very dark with hardly anything you could see from the windows. The room itself was nice, obviously a renovated one. Good size, VERY comfortable beds, nice and large bathroom. Internet is chargeable, but will be taken off the bill if you join the Fairmont Presidents Club (subscription is free).

Service isn't bad, but can be spotty. Had a bit of a wait at check in. Also our rooms wasn't serviced until 4 pm one day.

All in all not a bad hotel, but with imperfections.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a renovated room, better on 2nd floor, as ground floor rooms are very dark.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael-Traveller-JP
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 review, August 19, 2013
Dear Michael-Traveller-JP, Thank you for taking the time to post your review and share your feedback. We are in a central location to numerous wineries and just a five minute drive from the Historic Sonoma Plaza. I apologize for the delay at check-in and in your room being serviced; please let us know your preferred time for room service for future visits and we will do all we can to honor your request. We hope to welcome you back again soon. Warm regards, Guest Service Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Very much liked the location, the grounds, and the buildings. Our room was huge and beautiful. Unfortunately our overall experience was the worst we've ever had at a Fairmont property and my husband is a long time President's member. (not sure of his level)

While we received great service from the Concierge's office, the rest was a comedy of errors, except that it wasn't funny. Our room wasn't ready when promised, maid service was not consistent, workout gear never arrived even though it was requested, and we were charged for breakfast even though it was part of our package.

The most unfortunate part occurred in the spa. I booked a massage for 4:30 pm but the masseuse never showed up - apparently she was attending company sponsored training offsite. Why offer her services in the first place?! But that error was compounded, as the coordinator of services took her lunch break and didn't bother to tell her replacement that I was waiting. (even though I had checked in twice that afternoon!) So after waiting 20 minutes I asked the "new" coordinator what was going on. After numerous phone calls she informed me of the situation. She had no staff available to give me a massage (which I REALLY needed by then) so tried to bring someone in, to no avail. She offered me a facial, but that was not what I wanted. She did offer me a complementary glass of champagne, which was nice, and offered to comp our breakfast the next morning. (later we realized our breakfast was supposed to be included anyways!) I requested the charge for my husband to visit the spa ($20), as well as our drinks there ($33) be provided free of charge and she agreed.

The next morning when checking out, the charges had NOT been reversed. (except for the massage that didn't happen) After several discussions and several phone calls, most of the charges were eventually reversed.

So much for our relaxing couple of days in Sonoma Valley.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris1420
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 review, August 19, 2013
Dear Chris1420, Thank you for your post. We are so sorry for these unfortunate errors and will be contacting you directly to discuss further. We certainly value your loyalty to Fairmont and would never want to do anything to jeopardize that relationship. Please know that we are reviewing all areas of concern so that we may correct any and every area that needs attention in our quest for continuous excellent (service. Best regards, Guest Service Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2013 via mobile

We are writing this as Fairmont Platinum members and if we didn't get the membership as an Amex member we would not get it.

We thought the sat nav had sent us in the wrong direction as we ended up in a very ghetto and uncomfortable area.. And there was the Fairmont.

Renovation work is the entrance and lobby made it noisy and unorganised. Valet parking took forever.

Rooms were old and battered. Small pool area full of kids with no manners and just generally a 'get me out of here' experience.

Not sure what Fairmont are doing but we are dining it harder and harder to compliment any of their hotels. Ritz and Four Seasons all the way.

Ps. You do not want to leave the hotel grounds at night... Unsafe feeling by all four of us (in our 30's and 40's).

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank YYKB
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

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in Sonoma
#2 Green Hotel in Sonoma
#3 Business Hotel in Sonoma
#5 Family Hotel in Sonoma
#6 Romantic Hotel in Sonoma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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