Set on a knoll above Santa Rosa, this hotel has the best view in town. The vista takes in the city’s landmark red Round Barn, as well as much of Santa Rosa to the south and the high hills that form its eastern limits. Although it’s a 250-room facility with several wings, the Hilton’s architecture successfully evokes a more intimate feeling. The low-key design of wooden buildings, spread out over a series of terraces and connected by staircases and arcades, creates a casual, resort-like ambiance.
Because the hotel is also centrally located in the Wine Country—only minutes away from Dry Creek’s famous zinfandels or the Russian River’s sparkling champagnes—it’s a great place for an extended stay with family and friends. Rooms have either king or double-queen beds and charming bay windows. When your guests aren’t off wine tasting or sightseeing, they’ll probably spend most of their time at the large swimming pool, surrounded by lawns and shade trees. (Also, the bar here is very sleek and sophisticated, and is often itself a destination for Santa Rosans out for a night on the town.)
As you would expect, the Hilton offers a variety of event spaces, including three ballrooms: the 3,000-square-foot Golden Gate; the 2,600-square-foot Nagasawa (which has a lobby); and the Sonoma, easily the most popular with its steeply sloping ceiling of dark knotty pine and adjoining terrace.
The terrace, sheltered under an elaborate trellis of crisscrossing fir beams, is available year-round thanks to outdoor heaters and windshields. A multitude of chairs and curtained couches encourages socializing, and the indoor/outdoor combination of terrace and ballroom creates an easy flow. Right next to the terrace is a lawn that can host a small wedding and looks out over the hotel’s sweeping city view. A second al fresco ceremony site is on a sloping lawn near the swimming pool.
The Hilton’s pricing is very competitive, so the high caliber of their food comes as a nice surprise. Couples who have their reception here are invariably impressed with the cuisine and the service, and give both excellent reviews. Some brides have reported that their guests raved about their dining experience for months after the wedding.
With thirteen acres of redwood and eucalyptus-dotted grounds, the Hilton Sonoma has created an oasis-like setting. You and your guests will appreciate the refreshing feeling of being a bit above and away from it all, even in the midst of Wine Country’s biggest city.