El Dorado Hotel
What We Love
- Heart-of-the-action location on the plaza near Sonoma’s best restaurants, tasting rooms, shops and more
- Eco-friendly philosophy from the solar-heated swimming pool and posh EO toiletries to the farm-to-table fare in El Dorado Kitchen
- Elegant rooms with four-poster beds and French doors leading to private balconies
What To Know
- In-room fridges are perfect for chilling the bottles of white you bought from area wineries
- The historic building lacks an elevator, but staff is happy to help with bags and there are ground-floor rooms
- A light renovation will be completed in summer 2015
- Rooms at the back of the property are quietest
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
In the heart of Sonoma, this 27-room boutique sleep occupies a historic two-story building overlooking the central plaza. The light-flooded lobby makes a good first impression in a homey palette of cream, moss green and slate shades, with a working fireplace, stacks of decorative logs and modern yet rustic wood-frame sofas. On the same floor, local hotspot El Dorado Kitchen serves farm-to-table fare by chef Armando Navarro. The 21-foot-long main table encourages family-style dining and the open-concept kitchen gives every diner a glimpse into the busy working kitchen. Expect seasonal favorites like pork belly with beluga lentils, house made ravioli and delicate profiteroles. Most of the 27 guestrooms are on the second floor, with a handful in a separate building by the swimming pool. All have four-poster beds draped with down duvets, flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee makers, plus small en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers and eco EO toiletries. Most have French doors that open to balconies overlooking the plaza or gardens. Outside, there’s a solar-powered saltwater pool with daybeds and cabanas for relaxing with your favorite new vintage.
In the Area
Ask the knowledgeable staff for their picks on the Sonoma and Napa Valley Wine Trail, which includes longtime favorites like Sebastiani, Larson Family Winery, Anaba, historic Buena Vista and more, or devise your own vineyard crawl (driver essential) through Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and back via Glen Ellen. Active types can get their outdoors fix on a canoeing trip down the Russian River with Burke’s Canoe Trips, while foodies should book in advance to score reservations at Farmhouse, Café La Haye and LaSalette. Save a morning to wander the boutiques and art galleries that line Sonoma Plaza, and, during the summer months, don’t miss the Tuesday night farmers’ market from 5:30 pm until late.
How to Get There
We had a family memorial at The El Dorado. The staff accommodated us very well for a large and diverse group. The food and the service at the event was excellent. I was the only participant who stayed in the hotel and I was so glad I did.
Overall our stay was good. This is a nicely updated hotel with clean lines and comfortable vibe with an ideal location right on the Sonoma Plaza. Hotel was well maintained and our room very clean and bed comfortable.There is a fridge and a simple call to the desk can get you a bucket of ice. Keep in mind there is no elevator so if you need help with bags, ask. Also, if you want to sleep in, don't book a room on the Plaza which faces east. The window treatment is no match for the morning sun and you will be up as soon as the sun rises. Some additional blinds would be most welcome on these rooms.
As others have pointed out, the rooms are small (200 sq ft) and patio spaces are mostly very small but that is the construction of the hotel & they are very upfront with that information. Having said that, there are some missed opportunities to maximize space for instance a shelf or storage bin under the sink would be a nice touch so we didn't have to put our toiletry bags on the floor. I would also have liked to have hooks for the robes in the bathroom. The one on the door was being utilized by the hairdryer.
Other amenities - there is a descent sized pool that seems largely unused as we were the only ones there every afternoon. There is no beverage service there. Also, they have bikes you can rent. A nice touch.
The El Dorado Kitchen is a lovely space with both indoor & outdoor seating and the food is very good and good cocktails and wine list. We had a nice meal there and on a Monday night and the restaurant was pretty full. We opted for small plates and all very fresh and tasty. The restaurant serves three meals but were were disappointed our last night when we tried to get a glass of wine to take to our room and were were told the bar was closed and even thought we were hotel guests, they had cleaned up already and not possible. It was 9:30-9:45 PM. So, we went across the street to the Sonoma Hotel's Bar which was lively and serving. Just sad way to end.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the El Dorado. The location was great--right in the heart of the town--the staff was extremely helpful and warm and the one meal we had in the restaurant was delicious. We were, however, slightly disappointed in the size of the room and in particular, the bathroom. My wife and I found it quite cramped, especially for a room that cost more than $400 per night.
arrived at 10:45 (granted very early for check in) was told no one can check in early and it was 95o outside, attempted a short walk, came back to lobby to keep cool, checked every 20-30" if room was ready, was informed by front desk our room was a priority, yeah well, 3hours and 45" later (2:40pm) was informed room priority was finally ready, terrible service for the $$$385. per nite-paid, the room was VERY small, and this was only a queen, requested a chair because there was no chair of any type in the room, after receiving the chair, found the room was even smaller, no desk in the room to set up a laptop, had to hang dresses and suits in shower because of the espresso and wine glasses in the closet, things would have been knocked over, no coffee in room had to walk thru the building up to the 2nd floor to get a morning coffee, drain did not drain in shower, no mini fridge only a wine cooler in room,
What a beautiful Hotel and Dining area! We were here for a friend's 60th birthday celebration and I feel like we stayed at the BEST hotel in Sonoma! The rooms are gorgeous, beds are comfortable and the service and people who work here are all very friendly and helpful. I would absolutely stay here again as well as highly recommend it.