Overpriced clean, basic motel - good if traveling with large dogs and need a place to sleep.
Stayed here on 4th of July hoping to get away from the fireworks at home. Chose Best Western Garden in for their dog policy and generally good reviews. I have two large dogs,so finding a place that allows them both and doesn't charge outrageous pet fees is difficult. Add to that a non-smoking property, and it's nearly impossible.
First thing I noticed upon arrival was that this is not in a great area. It's on a commercial strip right of the freeway, so if you're just looking for a place to sleep after a long day of driving somewhere, this will probably be great for you. If you're looking for a place to hang out and relax for a few days, this is not it.
Upon check in the front desk guy told me check in was at 3pm (website says 2pm) and he was initially a bit snappy. I think because I was apprehensive about the location (right off the street) and the room assignment. I'd made a request for a quiet, renovated room based on the reviews I'd read. I learned that the renovated rooms are not pet friendly. Oh well. After a little back and forth, the front desk guy found me a room further away from the street and also ended up being pretty friendly. The room was ready and we did not have to wait. No issue there. This place is fairly large and has two pools and a hot tub. There is a very small patch of grass at the front of the property to take dogs to the bathroom. It was in good shape. The pools looked basic but clean and in good shape. The older part of the property (where we stayed, is a basic, two floor structure with exterior doors. My room was on the first floor (I believe all pet friendly rooms are), and was quite large. All pet friendly rooms are double queens. I'm not sure if they expect your pets to have their own bed or what, but I would have preferred a singly king. Still the room was clean, large enough for a large dog crate, and could have had two crates set up if need be. The bathroom was split with the toilet and bath/shower separate from the sink. The shower room was odd. No cabinet, no trash can. Just a toilet and bath. There was a single narrow window way at the top. The exhaust fan did not work. The light turned on, but the fan, which had no separate switch, did not. The sink area had a mini fridge and a microwave.
The bedroom area had very little. A large TV, a table and chairs and a night stand. But it was clean and did not smell like air freshener, so I was happy about that.
As soon as I walked out of the room, I encountered a young couple smoking cigarettes about 15 feet from my door. This is a supposed to be a smoke free property. I don't know why smokers choose smoke free properties when there are still way too many properties that still allow smoking. Not pleasant.
There are not many places to eat near the hotel. I did not try the cafe. It was closed when we got there on July 4th around 2pm. Downtown Santa Rosa is less than 1.5 miles from the motel. Very easy, flat walk. The walk is much more pleasant and interesting about 1/2 way there, as you'll pass Julliard Park and Luther Burbank home and garden.
The neighborhood behind the hotel is kind of run down. In the evening I saw a tweaker looking woman walking around a more deserted area of the parking lot. When she saw me she went over to a car parked away from the rest and stuck her head in the window and just sort of hung out there. I'm pretty sure she was not staying there. Later I saw a similar looking guy wandering around. After midnight I took my dogs out just as a car sped into the lot with music blasting.
In the room it was fairly quiet (fireworks not withstanding), but the people above me were apparently jogging back and forth in lead boots until 2am. Or the floors are not that thick.
Finally, the mattress was very soft and uncomfortable. I am a small person. They need new mattresses and smaller pillows. Why do all these places think 6 huge pillows on each bed is necessary? Please provide some normal size/thickness pillows for those of that don't want our necks at a 90 degree angle when sleeping!
To sum up- this is a clean, basic motel with fairly spacious rooms and a very good pet policy. The price ($134 with AAA), is way too high for the location and amenities. I've stayed in places in Calistoga for about the same price, and had the luxury of hot spring pools, garden setting and extremely close proximity to lovely restaurants and shops. If you are traveling with large dogs and need nothing more than a place to sleep for the night, this would work, but for anything more, I'd say keep looking. less