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Weekend

Checking In: MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa, Sonoma, California, US

This 19th-century estate is rooted in Sonoma’s rustic past whilst being sumptuously appointed for its trendsetting present.

If Napa is the elegant matriarch of California wine country, Sonoma is its effortlessly cool, laid-back younger sister who shares some resemblance but has an inspiring energy of her own. Just 30 minutes west of the Napa Valley, Sonoma offers both a more rustic and youthful vibe that feels approachable for wine lovers of all levels. MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa is the area’s crown jewel for accommodations, offering a slice of Sonoma’s humble history whilst supplying all the modern creature comforts you’d expect from a lavish wine country getaway. The property was recently reimagined right before the pandemic, so even if you’ve visited before, prepare for an idyllic and rejuvenating experience 2.0.


The Vibe

Like present-day Sonoma, MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa is all about organic, understated luxury. The lush estate is connected by a series of charming gardens, inviting seating areas with fire tables, and an eclectic array of sculptures. Whilst nothing about it feels pretentious, there is certainly an element of indulgence for every type of traveller, whether you’re a spa junkie, art collector, culinary obsessive, or design enthusiast.


The Rooms

Designed in a classic California colour palette of whites and warm neutrals, the rooms and suites at MacArthur Place are incredibly inviting and generously appointed. Wherever you stay, each accommodation is designed to feel like you’re visiting someone’s stylish wine country home – it will have you feeling like a local straightaway. The Garden Spa Suite is a favourite accommodation, as it features a private patio equipped with an outdoor shower and soaking tub, as well as an indoor fireplace for curling up with a bottle of local vino on a chilly Sonoma evening.


The Little Extras 

Each room is equipped with just about anything you’d need to achieve ultimate comfort during your stay. You’ll be welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival and your room will be outfitted with bottled water, provisions, and top-notch coffee. The bathrooms are equipped with Grown Alchemist toiletries, Dyson hair dryers, and plush bathrobes to help you feel your best as you start and end each day.

Every room has an in-room safe and some sort of green space access, whether that’s a shared garden, porch, or one of those dreamy outdoor bathrooms, complete with bamboo gardens. You’ll also find the staff to be incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.


The Food + Drink

The food and drink at MacArthur Place not only attracts tourists, but locals as well. Its flagship restaurant, Layla, is considered one of the best dining destinations in Sonoma Valley, and it’s a delicious stop for Mediterranean-meets-Californian fare morning, noon, and night. (Do not miss out on the indulgently fluffy olive oil pancakes before a day of winery hopping.) Come as you are, whether that’s in jeans, sweatpants, or a going-out dress.

The hotel is also home to a fantastic cocktail bar that feels like stepping into an episode of Mad Men, complete with a simple yet satisfying bar menu for nights when you just want a burger and an ‘old fashioned’. Additionally, those with jam-packed itineraries will love The Porch, a cosy coffee shop, bakery, and quick lunch stop with a daily rotating menu based on what’s fresh.


The To-Do List

One of the most appealing aspects of MacArthur Place is its incredible, thoughtful programming. There are often artists-in-residence in rotation throughout the year offering casual, intimate talks about their work, while The Spa at MacArthur features treatments inspired by the estate’s on-site garden. For those looking to stay active, there are e-bikes that will allow you to make the most of the hotel’s close proximity to Sonoma Square as well as the Sonoma Bike Path, which takes you through some of the area’s most storied wineries.

However, you won’t want to miss the hotel’s Wine + Design offer, which gives design-loving guests exclusive wine-tasting experiences across Napa and Sonoma’s most prestigious, design-forward wineries, as well as a picnic lunch if you haven’t grazed enough. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the day trip in a vintage Land Rover Defender, upon request, with one of the fun-loving folks at Bohemian Highway Travel Co. It’s a can’t-miss experience that can only be found through MacArthur Place.

What to Pack

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