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2016 BEST Hotel for Business: Vintners Inn

Author: Stephanie Derammelaere
May, 2016 Issue

"We're always trying to be on the cutting edge of comfort and technology." —Percy Brandon


For a business whose trademark is “Celebrate Everything,” Santa Rosa’s Vintners Inn has reason to celebrate itself. In addition to being voted Best by NorthBay biz readers in multiple categories this year, its also earned multiple awards over the last several years. In 2015, the hotel was ranked in the top 30 of the “Best in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler and won the California Green Lodging Program award’s top ranking, Environmentalist level. This last honor is a direct result of the organizations’ written environmental policy, which covers everything from waste minimization and energy efficiency to conservation, management and environmentally and socially sensitive purchasing policies.

The hotel has positioned itself to meet the needs of both business and leisure travelers in a beautiful Wine Country setting, situated on 98 acres of its own vineyards in the Russian River Valley. In 2015, Vintners Inn completed a yearlong, $1 million renovation of its guest rooms and lobby, with an emphasis on comfort, style and “going green.” Upgrades include energy efficient lighting and electric vehicle charging stations; the atriums are refinished with Venetian plaster and wood burning fireplaces are now eco­friendly electric fireplaces. The guest rooms now offer new drapery, bedding, furniture, lighting and artwork. The hotel also completed an upgrade to its event center just this year.

“Ten years ago, we built an amazing event center which is a great addition to business guests,” says Percy Brandon, general manager of Vintners Inn, who continues, “We have two primary categories of business guests—those who come in groups and use our facilities for their meetings, and individual travelers who come on a regular basis, mostly during the week, that are working in various industries here in Sonoma County.”

“Right now, we’re completing the upgrade at our event center with all of the audio visual getting to the latest high definition availability.”

Future plans include a 34 room expansion, which would almost double the inn’s current load of 44 rooms, and adding a full-service spa. The hotel hopes to complete the addition by fall 2018.

“We’re always trying to be on the cutting edge of comfort and technology,” explains Brandon. “Don and Rhonda Carano [owners of the hotel and also founders of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery] have always asked us to ‘exceed guest expectations,’ and that’s what we’re constantly reaching for. We are, after all, a family business and we run it as such, following the great example of the Caranos, who’ve been in the hospitality business for a long time.”

The hotel has also been very involved in the community, holding about 25 to 30 fund-raising events at their event center per year, including evening events, breakfasts and luncheons. By acting as an event sponsor and site, Vintners Inn helps various charitable organizations maximize their fund-raising efforts.

In the end, a big part of a hotel’s success comes down to its people. In this, too, Don and Rhonda Carano have been successful. “[The Caranos] have built an amazing team of professionals that have gotten us to this point,” says Brandon. “A lot of people here have worked for them for a long time. It’s a wonderful place to work and, because we’re a happy crew, we’re able to deliver great service.”


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