Big changes are coming to MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa in Sonoma – and it all involves an Iron Chef.
The resort, located just a few blocks from the historic Sonoma Plaza, features 64 rooms, a spa, and a western-themed steakhouse, Saddles, which has been serving up prime ribs and martinis to hungry and thirsty locals and wine country visitors for over a decade.
However, it seems that even in Sonoma all good things come to an end and while MacArthur Place is here to stay, the property is about to undergo a major facelift.
In October 2017, MacArthur Place was acquired by Arizona-based IMH Financial Corporation from longtime owner, Sonoma local Suzanne Brangham. After the purchase, IMH declared that changes would be made to the propety and, while the exact nature of those changes remained unclear for some time, the company has now hit the ground running with renovations and a new restaurant concept.
Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian has been called in to update the property’s food and beverage program. Zakarian, who won Next Iron Chef in 2011, has done it all: from earning a Michelin star for his former restaurant, Country, to serving as a judge and show host on the Food Network.
Zakarian, who finds inspiration in fashion, design, media and the arts, will bring his signature style to Sonoma with the introduction of three new food and beverage experiences at MacArthur Place.
The kitschy charm of Saddles Steakhouse will be transformed into something more modern: out with the cowboy boots, saddle bar stools, and creepy horse murals; in with the bright interior, clean lines, and farmhouse garden setting of Mediterranean restaurant Layla.
The old hotel bar, famous for its martini happy hour, will be completely transformed and renamed The Bar at MacArthur. Craft cocktails will be on the menu as well as sports games on two big screen TVs; stylish art deco furniture will create an old-school lounge feel.
Zakarian will also introduce The Porch, a coffee bar and marketplace that will serve coffee and pastries in the morning and agua frescas and fresh ice cream into the evening. Craft products will be sourced locally for the “stock house-style” space.
The hotel rooms at MacArthur Place will also get a new look, featuring warm and monochromatic shades and touches like barn doors, furnishings made with natural materials (wood, leather, stone) and fireplaces.
Finally, resort leadership is also undergoing a transition. Long-time general manager Bill Blum will bid farewell to the property he has managed for 18 years as new general manager Rubén Cambero takes over. Cambero comes from acclaimed hospitality stock: his family owned and operated Hotel El Peregrino in Spain, where his mother was a Michelin-starred chef.
The renovations at MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa are anticipated to be completed by early 2019. macarthurplace.com.