My Backyard: The Astro Motel

Jun 18, 2018

I recently took a Stastrocation…which is a really awkward and complicated way of saying I took a Staycation at The Astro.

Okay, starting over: I recently took a Staycation at The Astro in Santa Rosa, California, which happens to be the town in which I currently live. Needless to say, my travel day was a breeze!

There was a time when I would never consider staying the night in my own town. Heck, until I met my sweetheart I’d never even stayed the night in San Francisco after a late show – I always just stood grumpily in the corner, drinking water and looking at my watch because I knew I had to drive home and it would be late and I would be tired and WHAT EVEN WAS THE POINT OF FUN, ANYWAY?

Since I was introduced to the wonders of staying over, however, I’ve slowly worked my way closer and closer to home – much like an agoraphobic, except completely opposite. 

My stay at The Astro was initiated by simple curiosity. I’d seen the massive remodel taking place over the past year, turning what was once a shady suckhole of ill-repute into a clean, hip, easy-on-the-eyes destination spot. Say what you want to about cleaning up, or gentrification, or neighborhood improvement or whatever might upset you about people coming in and making something better, but if I can walk my dog past this place now without her sniffing out a speedball in hopes of playing catch with it, I’m gonna call that a win and say thank you. 

The Astro took its 1963 roots and went to town. The owners (same as The Spinster Sisters restaurant around the corner – ahhhhh, makes sense) combed through auctions, estate sales, probably even your grandma’s weekly garage sale, and furnished all of the rooms completely differently. We’re talking a portrait of Muhammed Ali in one room, some cubist art in another, an Eames chair in another…and frankly I’m going to stop pretending I know any Mid-Century Modern artists or style descriptors right now, so just trust me when I say this place is on-point. 

Add to that how comfortable the beds and bedding are, the fact that they have a whole variety of tea in the morning (or, coffee by Flying Goat, if you’re one of those ‘coffee drinkers’), AND kickass pastries from Criminal Bakery (yummm!), and I’m pretty sure they’re flirting with me right now. Case in point: when I stayed, I think the angels of heaven were tooting their tiny horns down at me because J Winery was pouring both still and sparkling wines in the very cool lounge, which I immediately set to work tasting like the very serious wine connoisseur that I am. I also got to hold the adorable grandbaby of the general manager, which is very random, but is also an incredible bonus to any lodging experience, as far as I’m concerned. 

As a quick local getaway, The Astro was a solid choice. If you’re visiting from afar, I’d say the same. While the property is uber-cool and fun to check out, there are hidden (only because I wasn’t paying attention at first) nods to their down-home intentions – like Gravenstein apple, clementine, olive and other fruit trees, bikes to rent if you want to spin around town, craftwork by local artisans seamlessly infused around the property, and a staff that is so welcoming and friendly I wanted to invite them over for dinner. 

And, I mean, I totally could, because I live here. Okay in hindsight please don’t tell them I said that; I’m not the greatest cook, so….

All in all, it was so easy to get away from the pile of dishes in my kitchen and the twisted-up sheets on my bed for one night so I could pretend to be a tourist: I can’t recommend it enough! Now to decide where I should go next. Or, better yet: where should YOU go next? 


** Shout-out of thanks to The Astro for welcoming me to your great property! I promise to throw a wilder party next time. **



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