The Dry Creek Inn in Healdsburg is undergoing extensive renovations, along with a sister property, the Sonoma Valley Inn.
The two Best Western hotels are getting major upgrades as the well-established properties are located in the two capitals of the Sonoma Wine Country.
The Dry Creek Inn will be installing electric-car charging stations, updating guestrooms, and adding faster internet service and energy- and water-efficient laundry systems.
Both hotels have seen the expectations and desires of guests shift as Sonoma County continues to gain recognition as a premier wine and culinary destination, according to the hotel operators, the Krug family of Sonoma County -- Norman the founder, Aaron Krug, the Dry Creek Inn general manager and Sarah Krug, a front desk and group sales manager.
Dry Creek Inn
When the Best Western Dry Creek Inn was built in the early 1980s, most guests were just passing through.
“They were looking for a nice, clean roadside hotel for the night,” said Norman Krug, who developed the Dry Creek Inn to serve the needs of highway travelers.
“It’s hard to imagine today, but back then, Healdsburg was a place you stayed overnight or gassed up your boat on your way to Lake Sonoma.”
Times have changed, and so has the Dry Creek Inn.
Healdsburg has become a destination – a mecca for foodies and wine lovers. Recently, an influx of posh eateries, Michelin-starred restaurants, shops and art galleries has turned Healdsburg into a world-class travel destination. And while the Siena Rooms at Dry Creek Inn still appeal to the more down-to-earth traveler, the property also boasts the Villa Toscana, which offers affordable luxury.
“The Dry Creek brand has had to change and grow to reflect our changing demographic,” says Krug. “We added the Villa Toscana in 2008, a Tuscan-inspired building that borrows its appeal from the Italian countryside inns.”
The Villa Toscana features traditional Tuscan architecture, a piazza, fountains and Mediterranean-styled landscaping that offers a tranquil respite for the weary traveler or weekend winery warrior.
Krug is now in the process of finishing $1 million in upgrades to the Siena Rooms to ensure that both properties at the Dry Creek Inn offer affordable luxury in premier wine country.
“We want our guests to feel like they are at home, while also feeling pampered,” said Krug. “So our upgrades at Dry Creek Inn are meant to create a sense of place and comfort that you would normally not see in a Best Western.”
The upgrades encompass faster Internet service, major renovations to all of the bathrooms, including designer granite countertops, new cabinetry and fixtures, upgraded furnishings, and new carpeting.
Guests will also have access to a full-service digital concierge where they can plan and print their vacation and wine country itinerary.
In the Villa Toscana, where rooms already have amenities such as fireplaces and large jetted soaking tubs, the focus is on luxury touches such as spa-level bath products, bottled spring water, a premium bottle of Sonoma wine and plush towels and bathrobes.
Not only have the travelers changed, so have their modes of travel. To meet the needs of the eco-savvy traveler, the Dry Creek Inn will be installing two new electric car-charging stations for guests and putting in Ozone laundry systems to conserve energy and water.
Dry Creek has already invested in modernizing The Krug Event Center. New fixtures, custom murals, outdoor gas fireplaces and patios, and a host of other amenities make the event space perfect for a small business retreat or special event.
Sonoma Valley Inn
In downtown Sonoma, the Sonoma Valley Inn is undergoing its own reinvention. The $1 million renovations encompass faster Internet service (always free), upgrading all of the bathrooms with granite countertops and new fixtures, as well as new carpeting and drapes. Outside the property will boast new picturesque yet eco-conscious landscaping that requires less water.
“The Sonoma Valley Inn has always enjoyed a level of success that few hotels in the area can compete with,” said Krug. “These renovations are all designed to give the best experience to our guests.”
All the rooms will be upgraded and each of the luxury suites will have their own Keurig coffee makers. Guests will also get treated to a newly renovated saltwater pool heated year-round and new patio furnishings. Sonoma Valley Inn’s Krug Event Center has already undergone a makeover, dawning wine country inspired murals and beautiful hardwood floors.
Sonoma Valley Inn will also install eco-friendly Ozone laundry systems and two electric charging stations. Once guests arrive at the Sonoma Valley Inn, however, they often find that it is so ideally located, right next to the plaza with all of its eateries, shops and wine tasting rooms, they don’t need to drive.
“Sonoma Valley Inn enjoys a location that is unparalleled – just steps away from the plaza,” said Krug. “Now, with these upgrades, we feel we have a destination hotel that will appeal to the discerning traveler looking to experience the best of California’s wine country.”