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Spend The Night in Style at The Historic Hotel Petaluma

Within a block of the fascinating antique, clothing, book and home decor shops that line the streets of this historic Sonoma County town is a charmingly restored gem from a bygone era: Hotel Petaluma.

Built in 1923 with funding from the community, Hotel Petaluma was created to be an elegant and luxurious destination spot — a worthy representative of this increasingly prosperous and growing town.

No expenses were spared with respect to craftsman details and the expansive scope of design. Entering the main doors, you’ll notice all the warmth and rustic artistry of Spanish Revival style design, including arched doorways, scrolling ironwork, smooth stucco walls, and a handsome central fireplace.

In its heyday, this was a popular stopover for vacationing travelers and host to the community’s most elegant dinners, lavish parties and headlining dance bands. After a period of dormancy in the latter part of the century, it was bought by the current owners and is now being carefully restored by local artisans who are in the process of replicating and replacing missing tile work, wrought iron embellishments, and sculpted friezes over the windows.

On a recent trip, I loved the elegant and welcoming lobby, with its high, exposed timber ceiling, original chandeliers, Moorish arches, and vintage pull-door elevator (the first passenger elevator in Petaluma). Fortunately, the staff are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the renovations, which makes it all the more fun to explore the facilities.

While the renovation is still a work in progress, almost every accommodation you could ask for is available. The renovated rooms are a comfortable mix of modern furnishings and period-inspired touches, such as vintage-style white tile and chrome bathrooms and casement windows.

There are three beautifully appointed spaces for events as well, including a conference room lined with work by local artists and a grand ballroom worthy of celebratory banquets and the most romantic of wedding receptions.

There are 45 rooms currently open for guests, in varying stages of original and renovated styles, including a few that are pet friendly. The staff can also fill you in on the best restaurants, nightspots, and events in the area. A good start would be the Barber Cellars Tasting Room that opens on to the hotel lobby, offering wine tasting and half a dozen gourmet styles of that American classic: grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s a perfect solution if you just want a simple but sophisticated dinner worthy of Sonoma County’s artisan cheeses and international wine reputation.

Stay tuned: due to open this summer is the hotel’s new oyster bar, The Shuckery!

Hotel Petaluma is located at 205 Kentucky Street in downtown Petaluma. Call 707-559-3393 for reservations or information.

Find more things to do in Petaluma here.

Written by Vicky Ness.

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