It’s hard to imagine a more relaxing resort than MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa. The 64-room hotel sits on six pristine acres — complete with secret gardens, flowering trees, winding pathways and fire pits — in the heart of downtown Sonoma. It’s close to the town’s square and fantastic wineries like Walt and restaurants such as The Girl & the Fig, making it an ideal place to stay when visiting the region.
Founded in 1869, MacArthur Place began as a family-owned and -operated ranch and vineyard. Today, the historic charm endures, but there are also the modern amenities of a luxury boutique hotel. Below we share what makes a stay at MacArthur Place, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star property, so special.
Most rooms are spacious stand-alone cottages with fireplaces, a lounge area, a small desk and massive bathrooms. Some of them have outdoor showers and soaking tubs. The décor is a pleasing muted color palette of creams and beiges with layered textures, high ceilings and farmhouse doors. Grasscloth covers the walls, a plaid rug juxtaposes cowhide and leather details on the armchairs and headboard add a touch of masculine elegance.
Don’t overcrowd your itinerary if you’re planning a wine-tasting trip. Make sure to leave down time to enjoy the welcoming and restful rooms — the hotel encourages you to do so by leaving a sheet mask during turndown service so you can pamper yourself after a long day.
You’ll also want to schedule time to lounge by the mid-century pool at the heart of the estate. With a classic rectangular shape and cheerful yellow umbrellas, it’s straight out of a Slim Aarons photograph.
The best thing is it gets the late afternoon sun, so if you spend the morning visiting nearby wineries, you could be by the pool later in the day. On a recent visit, people were soaking up the sun well past six in the evening.
The luxury hotel’s signature restaurant is a happening Mediterranean hot spot called Layla. Locals and tourists look forward to chef Jordan Hoffman’s elevated and innovative cuisine, like shrimp empanadas with saffron aioli, lamb meatballs with spicy tomato sauce, and smoked salmon dip with housemade potato chips. Hoffman’s culinary garden is on the property, which provides super-fresh seasonal ingredients.
With classic cocktails and new favorites, MacArthur Place’s bar is also worth a visit, and The Porch is a communal coffee shop where you can pick up a cappuccino to fuel up for a day of wine tasting.
MacArthur Place boasts a collection of more than 100 distinct pieces of art. Walk around the lush gardens and see wolf, rabbit and abstract sculptures, part of a rotating series created in collaboration with Aerena Galleries. The sculptures are for sale; new pieces replace old ones every six months.
The Sonoma hotel also hosts a residency program for contemporary artists that culminates in a gifted piece of artwork. Acrylic painter Laura Naples recently displayed her industrial art, and Adrian Kay Wong’s colorful paintings will be in the lobby and throughout the restaurant and bar from November 6 to 11.
The MacArthur Place team takes hospitality seriously, and the staff radiates warmth. From the moment you check in, everyone greets you with a wide smile and a friendly hello. The bartender is charming, the bellhops friendly and funny, and the front desk attendant pleasantly informative. The staff’s positive attitude goes a long way, ensuring you have an excellent stay.