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“Rustic charm” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sonoita Inn

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Sonoita Inn
Ranked #3 of 4 Sonoita B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Tucson, AZ
Level Contributor
42 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Rustic charm”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

Sonoita is horse-and-dog country. Built by a co-owner of the racehorse Secretariat, the inn was designed to look as if an old barn had been remodeled into a luxurious hotel. There are 16 large guest rooms on two stories surrounding a spacious common area which extends to the roof. Each guest room is named for a local ranch, with photos and plaques describing its history. There's a big stone fireplace with sofas and chairs nearby for lounging; giant chandeliers that look as if they came from a blacksmith's shop; distressed wooden floors; aged brick walls; and a front entrance that looks like the door to a barn. There's a small kitchen adjoining the common area, a fridge, a cooler with yogurt, milk, bread, hard boiled eggs and such, a large hutch with dishes, cereal, teabags, microwaveable popcorn, cellophane-wrapped pastries, toaster, and microwave. There's a coffee machine of the sort you find in convenience stores. The complimentary wine and cheese is only offered on Friday and Saturday (though you could try begging on other days.)

As you can see from other reviews, this isn't for everybody. Because the staff leaves at 5 or 6 pm, you may either revel in the freedom to do whatever you like in these splendid surroundings, or fret because there's nobody to wait on you. If a friendly black lab shows up in the common area in the morning, you may either enjoy tossing a tennis ball for it, or wish you had stayed in a chain hotel that bans pets.

I think the common area is great. If you happen to be the only guests, it's like having to yourself a living room that belongs in a mansion; otherwise, it's like being in a grand old-fashioned lodge where you get to meet and mingle with the other guests in front of the fire in the evening while you listen to the coyotes in the distance howling at the moon.

There are downsides. Some members of the staff are as obliging as can be, but at least one member is abrupt to the point of rudeness. It's never happened to me, but if there were other guests who were disposed to be rowdy, there would be nothing to rein them in after 5pm. There's some deferred maintenance: the towel bar in our bathroom fell repeatedly, the lock on the front door of the entire building required some coaxing to stay engaged, and the knob on the door to our room required so much fiddling to unlock that we were afraid to lock it lest we be unable to get back in after 5pm. The gas log in the fireplace was sufficiently fiddly that the staff member who helpfully lit it for us told us to leave it on all night rather than risk messing it up. Dining in Sonoita has historically been a bit unpredictable: restaurants open and close various nights of the week, and from month to month, and from year to year. The two convenience stores close mid-evening (though gasoline is available all night.) And it's a long way to the next town in any direction.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bicycledude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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52 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    13
    21
    12
    4
    2
See reviews for
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23
Solo
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3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tucson, AZ
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

HORRIBLE PLACE TO STAY! Manager was rude, workers ignored their customers, and chaotic environment. The area was dirty, and dogs were allowed to run free and rule the place. It was very noisy at night and turns into a FRAT party at night. The staff leaves at 5 p.m. and the guests are left to fend for themselves. No security, too expensive, and dirty... don't stay here! Motel 8 was better than this place.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RuthTucson_AZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaverton, Oregon
Level Contributor
84 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

We loved the lodge. The architecture is casual and impressive at the same time, and our room felt homey and comfortable. We enjoyed reading the displays about the history of the area and woman who built the inn. The self-service options for bedtime snacks and breakfast were just right and we found the minimal staff friendly and helpful. A little spendy compared to other places we stayed on this trip, but still seemed an excellent value, but the common area was a very nice touch.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank suemap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chilliwack, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2012

Our room was fine, but overpriced. Not much choice in the area. Front Desk clerk was friendly and helpful with area information. Complimentary wine and cheese late afternoon. Continental breakfast was okay. Good wifi.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank richardanddolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2012

Looking at its website, the Inn would appear be a unique, fun place to stay. Indeed, that was likely true when it was new 30 years ago but its shelf-life has definitely expired.. We were much disappointed upon arrival ... but that said, it is the only viable motel option in the area. The reception area was messy and the adjoining office looked like it doubled as a broom closet. Two young girls were on duty and when we entered, one was tossing dirty linens down over the railing from the second floor. The communal guest area was messy and less than clean. Our room was steeped in an unpleasant odor which must have been from the cleaning agents used or an ill advised "room freshener". The mattress seemed to be of the old innerspring type with the hard edges and made for a fitful night's sleep. The continental breakfast was marginal at best. As mentioned in several other reviews, there is no one on duty past 5pm. We were asked to be sure that the main door was closed and locked at night. Apparently the night before, it hadn't been completely closed and some Saturday night partiers from a neighboring bar had wandered in and spent the night on the couches in the lobby area. One plus is that it does have WiFi.
At $138, it is much overpriced. I considered giving an Average rating .. but, while it may not be Poor, it certainly is a challenge to rate it Average. On a scale of 1 to 10: 4. We wouldn't stay there again and in hindsight would explore some of the B&B options or stay in Tucson.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank M D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, AZ
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2012

Centrally located in the wine region. Room was clean and quaint. The bed was comfortable. There was a small tv but no DVD player. The room was fairly quiet but could hear some noise from the common area and the second floor in the morning. Each room is named after a local ranch, complete with photos and written explanation of their histories. That was cool. There were nice hygiene products with extras available at the front desk. Breakfast was continental - breads, muffins, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit. There was also microwave popcorn available. Very nice common area. Unfortunately the room was not ready at 1pm as promised, which put a glitch in our schedule. The bed was comfortable and the room large. Note: there are no restaurants open for breakfast in Sonoita. You either have to eat the continental breakfast at the Inn, bring your own or going to Patagonia or other nearby area. The proprietor was very helpful in trying to find a place for us to eat, but to no avail. It is within walking distance of 2 or 3 nice restaurants for lunch and dinner, however. Great place and I would stay there again!

Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank pebble_pups
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2011

We planned our stay here around touring the various wineries in Sonoita/Elgin. This is a perfect location. Fazila, the manager, was very friendly and welcoming. The building is beautiful and has a big open space and long table to sit and chat, play cards, drink some wine, and have a continental breakfast at your leisure. Would definitely return.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank joyfulfrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sonoita Inn

Property: Sonoita Inn
Address: Route 82 and Route 83, Sonoita, AZ
Region: United States > Arizona > Sonoita
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Sonoita
Number of rooms: 18

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