Concierge.com's insider take:
MacArthur Place is set on the grounds of a 19th-century estate surrounded by the original white picket fencing. Sixteen whitewashed wood-shingled satellite buildings house the 64 rooms, which range in style from country inn to contemporary spa to Victorian with chintz, gingham, and wicker. But it's the Garden Spa suites that really get our attention, with their cathedral ceilings, fireplaces, and oversize whirlpool tub separated from the bedroom by plantation shutters. Each has its own private Japanese garden, with a teakwood soaking tub in an open-sided, teahouse-inspired cabana—an ideal retreat during the rainy off-season (late October through April, when you can also score the best rates). On the six-and-a-half-acre grounds are sculpture gardens, a heated pool big enough to swim laps, and a Western-style steak house and bar with stools fashioned from recycled equestrian saddles. The inn is within easy walking distance of historic Sonoma Plaza, and you can borrow free bicycles for winery hopping. Plus, there's a nightly fireside wine and cheese reception in the library.—John A. Vlahides
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