In today’s post I am sharing some highlights from our Sonoma getaway to El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen, a charming hotel on the Sonoma Square. Our stay, which included dinner at El Dorado Kitchen, was my prize for winning last November’s Experience Sonoma Valley photo contest.
Winning the photo contest means so much to me as an amateur photographer. Having my creative hobby receive outside validation not only feels great but gives me motivation to keep honing my photographic skills.
Three of my photos, featured in this collage put together by Experience Sonoma Valley, made it into the top ten. The winning photo is the one in the upper left hand corner. It’s a colorful autumn shot of Kunde Winery, about two miles from my home.
About El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen
Located right on the Sonoma square, El Dorado Hotel is a quaint inn with a relaxed vibe. Originally built in 1843 as a private residence for Salvador Vallejo, the hotel currently has 27 guest rooms with French doors and either a view of Sonoma square or of their garden courtyard.
It’s hard to beat El Dorado Hotel’s close proximity to so many fun and tasty things to do in Sonoma. There are many restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, tasting rooms and parks just steps away.
Plaza King Room
We had a Plaza King Room for two nights which had a small balcony that looked out over West Spain Street and downtown Sonoma. Our room was surprisingly quiet considering it was street-facing.
The hotel recently went through a redesign of their lobby and their guest rooms. Furnished with pieces from Restoration Hardware and done in a natural light color palette, our room looked fresh, modern yet casual. I would love to redo our master bedroom to look just like our guest room at El Dorado Hotel.
What I Wore in Sonoma
I am frequently asked what to wear when visiting Wine Country. It always depends on what I’m planning on doing and, of course, the time of year. For this springtime visit I chose to keep my outfits casual, comfortable but stylish – much like El Dorado Hotel!
On our first full day, I wore my everyday jeans (similar) with a lightweight cut-out sweater from Stella Carakasi with a white camisole underneath. I added a couple of necklaces, my favorite sunglasses, and wore my go-to summer sandals. These sandals are so comfortable – walking around Sonoma for a couple hours was a piece of cake!
Around the Sonoma Square
There is so much to do and see in Sonoma. Thankfully we live only a 15-minute drive from this charming town so we visit whenever we like. During this stay, we skipped the shopping (one of my husband’s least favorite activities) in favor of wandering around the square, eating along the way.
We passed by the old Sebastiani Theatre – a town landmark – as well as the historic Sonoma Barracks. We stopped to enjoy a fantastic lunch al fresco at Della Santina’s, a cocktail on the patio at Swiss Hotel, and ice cream cones at Sweet Scoops Homemade Ice Cream.
Dinner at El Dorado Kitchen
With Executive Chef Armando Navarro at the helm, El Dorado Kitchen offers guests a farm-driven, Wine Country menu. Bill and I have dined here many times and have always been pleased with our experience. We often like to stop by their chic bar for a cocktail and appetizer.
We chose oysters on the half shell and ahi tuna tartare to share. For my entree, I had the seafood paella, which was outstanding, while Bill had a tender and delicious New York Steak.
Not shown are the truffle fries we ordered on the side. El Dorado Kitchen – or EDK, as the locals call it – is famous for their truffle fries. A regular order is enormous and enormously popular, as you can see from my shot of the open kitchen.
You can see the full dinner menu here. EDK serves food throughout the day – breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as in the bar.
El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen is located at 405 First Street West in Sonoma. Visit their website for more information or to book your stay or call (707) 996-3030.