I am taking my first whack at what some may call a hotel ‘review’. There have only been a handful of times where the value and experience of a hotel compel me to share with others. My recent stay at the DoubleTree in Rohnert Park, CA is one of those times. And yes, even if you pay with points, value is still ever-important! (treat your points like cash!)
Nestled in the coastal foothills of Northern California, Rohnert Park is smack-dab in the heart of wine country. Additionally, you will find yourself just 30 minutes from breathtaking coastline on the Imperial Highway (Hwy 1).
DoubleTree is a part of the Hilton Family, best known for their warm cookies upon check-in (ask any frequent traveler). This time it was a walnut chocolate chip, yum! There was no line at check-in and the folks behind the counter were more than happy to point me towards the best local wineries and eateries.
Upon check-in, you will find a large atrium and cozy fireplace to relax by. The rooms are nothing too exciting but are warm and roomy, complementary HBO is always a bonus. The popcorn ceilings remind you that this property is no spring chicken. Nevertheless, the interior and exterior have been well maintained and have kept their Spanish-style charm.
We used only 30,000 Hilton points for a single King with a sofa. The going rate at the time was $149 a night, before taxes. The great part with using points for an award night is that you don’t pay any taxes. However, if your hotel has a resort fee (which this one does not) you would have to fork over the cash for that fee.
The best perk for Hilton Honors Gold members is the complementary hot breakfast bar. Normally $14 per person, the hot continental includes an omelet bar and a robust pastry offering. By robust I mean maple donuts with real bacon stacked on top. I did not indulge in the sweets, sadly, but I couldn’t help but stare. I did make good use of the Greek yogurt bar, which had six tropical fruits to choose from. The omelet bar was made-to-order greatness. They lay out about 15 or so mix-ins to give your omelet a personal kick.
Hilton Gold status is complementary with the approval of your American Express Surpass card. Gold status gives you late check-out, free WiFi, as well as hot breakfast at Hilton properties with on-site restaurants (for you and a guest). Our breakfast would have been $35 after tax and tip, thanks to Hilton Gold status the only thing it cost us was a tip. We also benefited from the fast and free WiFi in addition to the late check-out.
The locale of the hotel is one of the biggest draws. You are 45 minutes to the Golden Gate Bridge, 30 minutes from the Pacific coast, and 10 minutes in any direction to a sprawling vineyard. Wine-tasting, if you can believe it, is a huge draw in the Sonoma Valley. If wine isn’t your thing, just take in the breathtaking views of the green rolling hills and endless rows of vines. This DoubleTree is also a stone’s-throw to a 18 hole Championship golf course. Chances are you will find something to keep you occupied. If nature is your fancy, take the 30 minute drive to Armstrong Redwood State Park. You can hike a number of trails and take your picture next to the 300+ foot, 1,200 year old redwood!
Just 10 minutes from Santa Rosa airport (STS), you can catch a few commercial flights from here if you don’t mind a noisy turbo-prop. Santa Rosa airport flies once a day to Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Orange County, and twice a day to Los Angeles. These flights are operated by Horizon Air (DBA Alaska Airlines) on their Dash-8 turbo-prop fleet. If large jets are a must, you can fly into Oakland or San Francisco airport. San Francisco airport is your closest major airport, just a 60 minute drive on the scenic Highway 101. (90 minutes with traffic)
If you have Hilton points, and don’t mind using 30k-50k points (ranges based on the season), the DoubleTree in Rohnert Park is a very solid choice. Customer service, atmosphere, and gold status perks were all top-notch! Definitely add this hotel to your short-list if you have some Hilton points to burn and you find yourself in California’s wine-country.