Guest Reviews
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SF Chronicle

''We recently spent a glorious week at Alexandra's Plaza Suite, a delightful 700 square foot, fully furnished guest cottage in Sonoma.  Hosts, Cathie and Gene Sperring have created a comfortable, immaculate and charming home away from home for visitors. The cottage has a fully furnished kitchen, full bath with unbelievably thick towels, and a very cozy bedroom with a very comfortable queen sized bed.   The bedroom closet is stocked with a selection of pillows to suit every possible sleeping preference.  There is a dining room and snug living room complete with a nice selection of video tape movies or CD's for easy listening. If you prefer, there is a cupboard stocked with every imaginable board game.  The cottage also has a washer and dryer so you can suds out your clothes if desired. .  Alexandra's is just one easy block walk from the main square in Sonoma which offers an array of excellent restaurants and interesting shops.  Gene Sperring is an award winning wine maker and, time permitting, will share his knowledge and even a sample of his fantastic wine. Cathie is a former travel agent who has assured that every possible convenience and comfort is available for her guests. Napa and Sonoma wineries are not far away and the beautiful Bodega Bay and Muir Woods are a mere 45 minute drive from Sonoma. You could arrive at Alexandra's with just clothes and have everything else you would need available in the cottage. Normal high season rates are $175 for weekdays and $195 for weekends, single or double.''  

Submitted by Andrea Stewart, Iowa


Atlanta Journal..Travel Article on Sonoma

Ready to pop from tension? California vineyards soothe

For the Journal-Constitution

Sonoma, Calif. — Southern hospitality may have met its match here.

Magnolia trees add an artful touch to the town square, along with giant eucalyptus, sycamore with white splotched bark, California redwood and, of course, a cork tree

Shopkeepers at the Basque Boulangerie Cafe and the Cheesemaker's Daughter, two spots not to miss, are as unpretentious as those in our favorite Virginia-Highland bakery.

And Sonoma residents are as friendly as Georgians. On a 7 a.m. jaunt, my daughter and I chatted with a 70-year-old man, a native, about the rooster and chickens wandering among the ducks in the town square. They're part of Sonoma's character, he said, though a few "town elites" have sometimes whisked them out of sight. They always show up again, he added, with a mischievous grin.

My family's philosophy for our whirlwind tour of Sonoma and Napa was to sleep cheap and eat well — easier in the spring or fall off-season — though nothing in wine county is cheap. That's how we wound up renting a small cottage for less than $200 per night. But Alexandra's Plaza Suite, with its flower-laden courtyard and tastefully decorated interior, turned out to be a charming highlight.

Hidden on a small gravel road, surrounded by the white picket fences and gardens that create Sonoma's small-town feel, it was the perfect location for walking to shops and restaurants. We found the secluded one-bedroom cottage, with an inviting dining nook, living room and spacious bath and kitchen, perfect for our brief visit.

Innkeepers Gene and Cathie Sperring thought of everything. . The cool Sonoma mornings made the courtyard table a perfect breakfast spot — the rest of the day and evening, we were on the wine trail.

A bit of disclosure here: My husband, John, and I cultivate a small vineyard in North Georgia, so spas and shopping weren't our agenda. Seeking out new and promising wines, visiting with winemakers, sampling food and wine pairings was our plan. Our daughter, Lisa, was along for the fun.

Two Sonoma restaurants got our attention: Della Santina's and Cafe La Haye. Both are small and warm with beautiful service and food presentation. Our first-night dinner at Della Santina's, amid Tuscan-style columns, with grape vines and wisteria spilling over courtyard arbors, set the perfect mood for our wine country adventure.

One of the nice emails we get from guests after they get home.

Hi Cathy!

Dave and I stayed with you after Thanksgiving.  Your place was so perfect, I've told everyone about it and that the days we stayed there were the best of our trip.  It's so thoughtful to have everything you made available to us. The movies, the music, the beverages & food, the most comfortable bed, the big clean towels, the snacky treats and the cleanliness!  It was certainly home away from home.  In fact, we barely wanted to leave the house for the wineries ;) Being invited to taste Gene's wine was also a treat. Delicious!  The memory will certainly live on for us.

I must say, Dave and I are on quite the budget. Your place gave us such a wonderful opportunity that we could afford. You are the best.

We hope to be able to make it out for harvest next year.  I will let you know as soon as I can.

Thanks again!!!

New Hampshire