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  Sonoma County     [all categories]
  Sonoma - Lodging
  to answer Jensmith from Napa

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Author Topic:   to answer Jensmith from Napa
yesilovewine
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posted 03-08-2011 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Jen,
Its hard to say for sure if Sonoma is in general more cost effective, but MY big "thing" about it is that there are a couple of exceptional cost-saving programs( the Visa Signature program and the Ticket to the Wine Road program) there that are not in play in Napa. If you read through the "wineries to visit" topic threads you will see some good information about those programs which really can save you a TON of money. I am familiar with both and can be of some help if you have questions.
Now, we're at Lodging, so here is what I know:
For Sonoma County, the town of Santa Rosa is in most cases the best bet for lodging prices. You can find awesome specials in other towns on occasion, but generally speaking we have found SR to be the cheapest. However, that is because it has the LEAST wine country ambience of all the other usual suspects; it is the county seat and is thus quite a bit more urban in flavor than Healdsburg or Sonoma or even Windsor. However, we have found that we save an average of $60 -$80/night by staying in a little po-dunk place called the Best Western Garden Inn which is in a business area about 1/2 mi from the fairgrounds. Its always clean and they have a great on-site breakfast cafe with good food and an exceptionally pleasant lady that works there all the time. They were talking about being open for lunch when we were there last, so it may be even more convenient now. Its not for everyone, as it is VERY "old school" motor court style digs with out a lot of amenities, but it has all the standard stuff including 2 pools and a lovely courtyard area around one of the pools.
It is about 3 blocks from a shopping center with all the usual places- grocer, pharmacy, etc. and just a block or so from access to the hwy to head out to the wineries.
I am comfortable recommending it to you.
The other place that I know is called the Flamingo Resort and it is on the other side of Santa Rosa very near the area where you head south to visit Sonoma Valley via hwy 12. This is much less urban in flavor just because it's setting is right at the base of the mountains there. The Safeway grocery is literally across the street, and about 3 blocks away is a very nice shopping center where there is a great bookstore and there are several good restaurants. I usually get the name wrong, but I believe it's MacArthur Place.
Staying at the BWGI would put you closer to Railroad Square which is the hub of town where most of the shopping and restaurants
that people talk about are located. Staying at the Flamingo would put you close to the upper end of the Sonoma VAlley for your wine tasting experiences and has on-site dining available most of the day. The Flamingo had just completed a renovation in October, so I don't know the current prices, but when we stayed we had a queen room ( very comfy) for under $150/night and that was during Harvest FAir about 3 years ago.
There are some budget-conscious options in both Sonoma and Healdsburg- but I really can only comment on Santa Rosa from first-hand experience. Either of those towns would have very convenient dining locations with a variety of offerings and both are considered to be very "walkable". They are much more quaint and cute than Santa Rosa and that is why they are frequently recommended.
Sorry to be so long winded, and I hope that you find this helpful.

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