Just beyond Napa’s western hills lies this quieter version of wine country. Locals describe the area as what Napa used to be – quaint, authentic, and unspoiled. And no better representation of Sonoma’s relaxed and genteel aura will you find than MacArthur Place.
Just forty-five minutes north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, and about a one and half hour drive from each of the local airports (Sacramento, San Francisco, and Oakland) Sonoma and MacArthur Place both exude a relaxed elegance and sophisticated charm increasingly hard to find within California’s crowded wine country landscape. Though mostly given over to grapes now, Sonoma’s land was once primarily horse territory – and MacArthur Place, once a working ranch, maintains its mannerly equestrian tradition. Horse lover or not, here are some reasons to put MacArthur Place on your travel wish list:
A Sense of Place: Originally a prestigious 300 hundred-acre vineyard and working ranch with prized trotters, the lush 19th century estate – originally owned by the founder of Sonoma Valley Bank - is now home to this luxurious inn and spa. The focal point, the original two-story manor house - believed to be one of the oldest Victorian homes in Sonoma - is set off from the street by the original white picket fence. 64 luxuriously appointed room and suites within 20 buildings now line the property, each maintaining the integrity of the original Greek revival Victorian-style design.
Location, Location, Location: Just four blocks from quaint Sonoma Plaza, MacArthur Place is perfectly situated for exploration by foot, bike (compliments of the hotel), or car. Sonoma’s historic Plaza is fittingly surrounded by historic sites such as Mission San Francisco de Salano, Jack London Park, and the home of General Vallejo. Check-out the nearby wineries (i.e. Buena Vista, Kendall-Jackson, Ferrari-Carano), shops, fine dining, and galleries. Peruse the latest selections at nearby Readers’ Books. Hike, bike, or jog the many local trails, play golf or tennis, horseback ride, or take a hot air balloon tour high above the valley. Whatever your pleasure, a leisurely stroll through the hotel’s own park like setting is a must - seven acres of lush gardens filled abundantly with roses and flowers, fountains, sitting areas, fantastical sculptures by local artisans, and a giant sized chess set.
Gracious Ambiance: Stepping into the hotel’s ‘library’ is akin to stepping into a Ralph Lauren ad. Sumptuous fabrics cover the overstuffed chairs and couches amongst which a blazing fireplace glows. Play chess, checkers, or any assortment of board games on the rich wood tables under amber-hued lighting. Check-out a DVD from the vast selection to play in your room which is similarly and opulently adorned: pillow-topped plush beds with down comforters and the highest quality linens, fluffy robes, fireplaces, original artwork, hydrotherapy tubs or rain showers, quality bath products, wet bars with Keurig coffee makers, an assortment of mini-bar drinks and treats, flat-panel televisions, and DVD players with six-speaker surround sound.
Delicious Additions: Your MacArthur place stay includes a complimentary evening wine hour, and a lavish continental breakfast. Where warmer temps make Napa the king of cabernet, Sonoma’s cooler temperatures lead to the exquisite chardonnays and pinot noirs that are featured each evening from 5pm – 6pm in the library. A different label is poured each night, meaning longer term guests will get a nice sampling of the area’s bounty. A luxe cheese, fruit, and nut plate is also offered, as is a lovely tray of mini sweets. Relax, mingle with other guests, or grab a table next to the fire for a game of chess. In the morning, enjoy a bountiful breakfast buffet in the hotel’s restaurant: yogurt, granola, pastries, bagels, homemade jams and jellies, juices and coffee are served in a warm and welcoming setting. For dinner, you’ve got many neighboring choices, but why leave the premises when MacArthur Place’s award-winning restaurant ‘Saddles’ is just steps from your room. Saddles specializes in steaks, chops and fresh seafood, and is often named as one of the country’s best steakhouses. Located in the property’s original 5,000 square foot barn, the space honors its ranch heritage with authentic décor such as the display of colorful cowboy boots over the bar, and the playful use of leather saddles for some of the seating. The bar is known for its martini selection (more than a dozen oversized choices) and a wine list that features outstanding selections from Sonoma and Napa.
Resort-like Amenities: A state-of-the art spa (in the site’s original pool house), heated outdoor pool, and whirlpool provide resort-like relaxation. The Garden Spa offers more than 40 different massage, facial, and body treatments, many utilizing aromatherapies derived from flowers, herbs, and plants found in the property’s gardens. Several treatments are wine inspired, such as the Red Wine Grape Seed Bath in the indoor 20-jet hydrotherapy tub, or a Chardonnay bath in the outdoor teak wine tub, each allowing for wine country immersion without uncorking and imbibing a single bottle, and proving there are many ways to enjoy the magic of Sonoma wine country.
Visit website: www.macarthurplace.com