Sonoma, Northern California
by Sarah Shuckburgh
Luxury hotel in a Sonoma suburb, 45
minutes from San Francisco airport.
MacArthur Place is a seven-acre complex of brand new
‘historic’ white-washed clapboard cottages, linked by paths
through gardens dotted with interesting metal sculptures.
The few remnants of the original 300-acre ranch include a
100-year-old barn (now part of the restaurant) and the manor
house, built in the 1850s, and one of Sonoma’s oldest
buildings. Female guests tend to arrive at breakfast with
big hair, full make-up and impressive manicures.
The 64 rooms are immaculate, comfortable and fancy. Original
artwork hangs in every room. The beds are huge and high,
with drapes and flounces. There are lots of large fluffy
towels, and superior bathroom products, including a herbal
bath tea-bag. Rooms have flat-screen cable TV and DVD
player, high speed wireless internet access, and twin-line
data port phones with voicemail. Maid service is frequent
and excellent. Suites have hydrotherapy tubs, surround
systems, and open fireplaces containing a complimentary
“Crackleflame” - a plastic-wrapped block which, when lit,
flickers and crackles for exactly 3 hours, and doesn’t
interfere with the air-conditioning.
- Wine tasting in Sonoma or nearby Napa valleys. Visit
local family-owned wineries, or enjoy free wine and cheese
in the library every evening from 5-6pm
- Relaxation: there’s no need to leave the hotel, with
outdoor heated pool, whirlpool, fitness centre, and spa
(offering 30 different treatments). The constantly-watered
gardens offer giant outdoor chess and draughts sets, and
shady nooks beneath old and new trees. The library has very
few books, but offers board games and complimentary loan of
- Sonoma’s friendly, laidback town centre is just a 4-block
stroll away (or rent a bike from the hotel). In the leafy
plaza, the California Republic bear flag still flutters from
the City Hall.
- The weather: day after day of clear blue skies.
Not suitable for:
Pet owners (pets not allowed)
Smokers (all rooms are non-smoking)
Huge continental breakfast buffet included in room price.
Saddles Steakhouse restaurant uses local farmers’ products.
There are lots of places around Sonoma Plaza, including the
favourite of local teenagers - Mary’s Pizza Shack - and the
Maya Mexican restaurant.
29 East MacArthur St
001 707 9382929
First published by Travel Intelligence Ltd