Bungalows 313 Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This quaint B&B in downtown Sonoma. offers excellent value for a four-pearl property. The property is made up of six homey and attractive bungalows, and each bungalow is different -- some have wood-burning fireplaces, others have Jacuzzi tubs, separate living areas, or full kitchens -- so guests should specify exactly what they want when booking. The property is lacking certain amenities, like a pool (guests who book the special Bella Luna bungalow, which is much pricier, get a private pool) and a gym (although guests receive free passes to a nearby health club). But the location is prime: Just around the corner is Sonoma Plaza, full of shops and restaurants, and the bungalows are right on the Sonoma Bike Path, leading to more than 40 area wineries.
H2 Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
H2 has great rates for a four-pearl hotel in charming Healdsburg. This 36-room boutique hotel is a good pick for eco-conscious folks looking for something convenient to wineries with a modern, hip, relaxed vibe. The rooms are all done in a minimalist style, using sustainable materials, and are equipped with all the high-tech amenities you could want: flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, DVD players, and free Wi-Fi. Plus, they come with private balconies or patios. The H2 offers some pretty interesting perks -- from "water stations" on each floor offering flat or sparkling water, to free loaner bikes, to free weekend yoga classes in the Green Room. Another big highlight is Spoonbar, an on-site restaurant serving modern Mediterranean fare made with fresh, local ingredients and seasonal cocktails (indoor and outdoor seating available). There's also a nice solar-heated outdoor pool surrounded by greenery.
Jack London Lodge Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Though Jack London Lodge is a basic, no-frills property, but rates are extremely cheap for the Sonoma Valley location (near Glen Ellen), and the grounds have lovely landscaping. Rooms do have dated elements such as floral bedding, tube TVs, and simple bathrooms, but they're spacious, clean, and come with coffeemakers and toiletries. The property looks like a motel from the outside (it used to be one), but the property now features a restaurant with al fresco dining, a bar with a pool table serving drinks until late, and a small but inviting pool area. Freebies such as free Wi-Fi, continental breakfast and self-parking add to the value.
FountainGrove Inn Hotel & Conference Center Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The 124-room property is a solid mid-range option in Santa Rosa, with affordable rates. Clean rooms have pleasant (if generic) decor, with red, green, and gold color accents -- but small flat-screen TVs and bland bathrooms. The lap pool and surrounding sun deck are attractive and tranquil, the lounge chairs plush and comfy. And Equus Restaurant & Lounge serves up California fusion dishes (with Mediterranean and Spanish influences) in a hip setting. Though the rooms are much nicer than those at Jack London Lodge, we've ranked it lower on the list because of its location in Santa Rosa -- a larger city that lacks the charm of other Sonoma County locales.