How to Plan a Winter Weekend Getaway to Sonoma

Courtesy of MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa

Winter in Wine Country is made for locals and a weekend escape is a luxury not to be passed up. Sure, it’s easier to book everything from wine tasting to hotel stays during the off-season, but also there is something very magical about the stillness of the area when fewer people are around. Here is your guide to the perfect weekend away.


MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa

29 E. MacArthur Street

Sonoma’s newest luxury experience is also one of its oldest. MacArthur Place started more than a century ago as a family estate, vineyard and working ranch, and while it retains much of that charm thanks to the verdant grounds and lovingly kept historic buildings, it has been transformed over the last four years with an extensive renovation. A renovation that puts it on par with some of the über-luxury resorts in Napa, sans the price tag. Upon arriving, you will be tempted to take a seat and enjoy your tranquil surroundings with the glass of bubbly offered at check-in, but you will also want to savor as much time as possible in your room (trust us) — custom-made furnishings, luxurious linens, indoor and outdoor showers, and thoughtful touches like refillable water bottles, complimentary snacks and working fireplaces are just the beginning. The folks at Kes Studio, the firm behind the interior design, really outdid themselves, perhaps most noticeably in the fearlessly curated art dotted all over the property. Once you have settled in, take a dip in the heated pool or visit the fitness center, although these are only the tip of the iceberg — the jewel in the property’s crown is the well-appointed spa. It is an intimate space with a host of offerings including bespoke facials, sumptuous body treatments and massages as well as 100-minute wellness journeys that you should definitely work into your schedule. As for dinner, stop by the charming Bar at MacArthur for a pre-dining drink, and then enjoy the Mediterranean-inspired fare in Layla’s airy setting (it is also open for breakfast, brunch on the weekends and lunch). The hotel has solved the I-just-need-a-coffee-or-quick-nosh dilemma, too: The Porch, open all day, offers coffee, teas, breakfast bites and small snacks, and these are best enjoyed fireside in the cozy communal outdoor area. A sumptuous winter break with wellness built into its ethos? Yes, please. The property is offering a Sonoma Sanctuary Escape with up to 25 percent off accommodations and a complimentary $100 nightly resort credit that can be used at The Spa at MacArthur, Layla, The Bar at MacArthur or The Porch through March 31.


Worth a Visit

The hotel is a short walk or drive from Sonoma Square and a day of wine tasting and nibbles is just what the doctor ordered. Here are a few great places to start.


Auteur Wines

373 First Street West

This vintner-founded winery started with a mission to create the best pinot noir in California and has since expanded to offer a few chardonnays as well. But red lovers will do well to stop into the charming tasting room and stay awhile.


Cafe La Haye

140 East Napa Street

The restaurant, which garnered a very positive mention in the 2023 Michelin Guide, is tucked away just off the square. Chef Jeffrey Lloyd is known for his thoughtful ingredient pairings, while the wine list has also been carefully curated. If you haven’t eaten here yet, what are you waiting for?


Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

551 Broadway

Starting January 20, SVMA will offer a new exhibition, Tsherin Sherpa: Different Worlds. The globally renowned artist emigrated to San Francisco from Nepal in 1998 and his work reflects his experience of the Himalayan diaspora, seamlessly blending his traditional rearing with his new American experiences.


Sosie Wines

25 East Napa Street, Ste. C

If you are a fan of French wines, you will love Sosie. The owners traveled all over French wine country learning about the prized grapes and winemaking processes, and the fruit of their labor now resides in every glass.


a dish from Cafe La Haye
Photo by Barry Schwartz Photography