Tucked away in one corner of Sonoma is MacArthur Place, an historic Inn and Spa with serene landscaping that includes gardens of roses and lavender, original
sculptures and fountains, and a pervasive calm to be found no matter where you might find yourself (I enjoyed simply wandering through the labyrinth of smells and foliage) — except for the patio on Fridays, which hosts a barbecue complete with live music and, of course, full bar service. Oh, and there’s a complimentary wine and cheese reception every day. There were a number of people there munching, sipping, and chatting away.
We dined at the Inn’s notorious restaurant Saddles Friday for dinner because we missed most of the barbecue, but also because we wanted to treat ourselves. A wise choice. We sat at a bar table because the restaurant was busy. Pair after pair of boots lined the wall above the bar, just as heaps of saddles straddled the entrance banister. Karen, our server, was quick to greet us.
We started with a couple of beers and the haystack onion rings. The blue cheese dip was a bit too soupy for my liking, but I love shoestring rings and they disappeared quickly. I ordered the pot roast which included a baked potato and Ben had the NY Strip with creamed spinach and steak fries. Both dishes were served up with generous sprigs of rosemary, and the horseradish sauce that accompanied my perfectly pink roast was thick and fresh. We left nothing behind.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to take advantage of the extensive spa services offered at MacArthur, which include so many different types of luxurious treatments I could not hardly begin to list them. They range in span from 50 minutes to 150 minutes and in service from facials, massages, scrubs, body polishes and wraps, foot soaks, and waxings. My mind expanded just looking at the menu. Pink grapefruit scrub, chardonnay sugar scrub, pumpkin facial, jasmine massage, rose petal body polish… garden mud wrap, eucalyptus scrub, garden stone massage. OK, OK. I had to list some! Seriously. THE TREATMENT.
I would go into more detail about the grounds but I think the final video on this page pretty much covers it. I did not get any footage of the koi pond, unfortunately, but I think you’ll get a good feel of the place. I cannot stress how quiet and peaceful this place is. Sipping a glass of red on my balcony I could have been the Inn owner, or even an after-hours groundskeeper – that’s how isolated I felt. And it felt gooood.
I returned in the morning for a continental breakfast buffet. There were half a dozen servers dressed in vests and wearing casual but relentlessly attentive demeanors catering to any possible need. I think this was the first time I’ve ever even had the option of being served at a buffet.Freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices, tomato juice, coffees, hot teas — there was even a fire burning during breakfast. A couple extra mini-muffins for the road and I was entirely rejuvenated, ready for more bike and more wine.
29 E Macarthur St
Sonoma, CA 95476-7615