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Retro Revival

Sleep in vintage style at the revamped Astro in Santa Rosa.



Quirky Quarters: The Astro creates a vintage aesthetic with contributions from local artists.

Photos by Bob Stender

From luxury digs to scenic glamping locales, there’s no shortage of hip places to stay in Wine Country. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a newcomer rockets onto the scene. Only this spot isn’t exactly brand-new; at the Astro, it’s what’s old that’s sparking change in an artsy Santa Rosa neighborhood—and oozing cool, as well.

Built in 1963, the 34-room motel sits across the street from Juilliard Park and the historic Luther Burbank Home and Gardens. Once a neighborhood eyesore, this site benefited from an ambitious remodel that stripped it to its studs, resulting in a truly standout design.

Each room is smartly furnished with mid-century modern pieces sourced at auctions throughout the country. Everything from the chairs to the light fixtures and water pitchers is for sale, so if you fall in love with a piece, you won’t be forced to leave it behind. The Astro staff will even ship it to you.

The motel’s design is turning heads, but this style also has substance.Avid cyclists will be delighted to learn that the Astro’s day manager doubles as a self-proclaimed “bike somm,” repairing and even assembling bikes, along with suggesting local bike trails to visitors. If your personal wheels didn’t make the trip, worry not: Shinola bikes are available for rent on-site.

When wildfires ravaged Wine Country last October, the Astro’s home turf in Santa Rosa was hit especially hard. The motel wasn’t ready to welcome customers quite yet, but in the midst of tragedy, it swung its doors open. Its first guests were evacuated neighbors housed complimentarily.

Mere blocks from downtown Santa Rosa, the new and improved Astro could bring more visitors to its relatively unknown neighborhood.Dubbed the SOFA (South of A Street) district, this up-and-coming arts community is home to artists’ studios and a handful of restaurants and shops.Local artists played a huge role in the remodel of the Astro, and visitors can see their contributions in wood headboards, blankets, bathroom sinks, geometric railings, and more.

Budget-friendly rates at the Astro start at $160 per night, which includes a $15 voucher for dinner at The Spinster Sisters, the property’s nearby restaurant. Wi-fi and parking are complimentary. The Astro is a nonsmoking and pet-friendly property. theastro.com.

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