Well, it’s official. I have now stayed at our Temecula Wine Country hotel more than any other guest or Ponte associate. Part of the reason is that I needed to be at the property for winery business and part of it was to iron out any wrinkles left over by construction items.

As we described on the various building blogs, we spent a lot of time thinking how to make a better hotel room. We built a model and furnished it. We traveled and stayed at different properties and studied hotel design books until we thought we had it “down”. But, as always, there is no substitute for actual experience.

The verdict: 9/10

The good:

Quiet. The room is so well insulated and quiet that you hear the whirring of the air conditioning pumps and they sound… noisy. Everything is relative, I guess. The plumbing is not audible except in some rooms you can hear a bit of water flow, but nothing like a “regular” high end hotel where you can hear toilets flushing next door. I have stayed at 5 diamond hotels that are no better than ours.

The mattress. It’s so good that it ruined me. I went back home and replaced my mattress. Granted, I got a deal since I had bought 100 mattresses. Still, it’s worth the money, even at retail. The downside is that sometimes you can sleep with your arm under you and can wake with a sore shoulder. In other words, it’s so comfortable you don’t even notice you are sleeping weird.

The Bathroom: I really like a separate commode area. Nothing worse that having the toilet in the same area as where you brush your teeth, not when you are paying good money for a room. The shower is perhaps too large, but maybe not for 2?

The desk: It’s just right if you do your work on a computer but perhaps a bit small if you need an area to spread out papers. I think when we replace the furniture in a few years, we’ll specify slightly larger desks. Maybe by then we’ll be paperless… right!

The balcony: I really enjoy having my coffee sitting outside. I do it at home and love it here in Temecula. The balloons are awesome flying overhead. The doors are difficult to operate. They are the best money can buy, cross my heart, but I needed to refer to the instruction sticker on the glass to refresh my memory on locking/unlocking/opening. Not bad after you figure out how.

The AC: Works great, but the thermostat is a bit different and we had to print instructions. Next time you check in ask the bellboy to show you. Again, not hard once you see how they work.

The ceiling fan: Awesome. My daughter Juliet has one in her room, and we figured, why not put them in at the hotel? There is something about the fresh air feeling of that fan circling lazily above that makes me feel super comfortable in the room.

The coffee bar: I really like the Keurig pod system and I liked the Green Mountain coffee we had originally. Now we have Starbucks and I don’t like it so much so I just go downstairs and get some French Press stuff from Bouquet Restaurant. The real thing. Strong. STRONG.

The Bad/Ugly:

The legs of the bed stick out and you have to careful or you will stub your toe. We chose residential quality furniture and the bed design has legs. Oh, well…

The doors slam. Nothing to be done here. The fire department dictates they must self close and it’s illegal to soften the return spring. Plus, it’s also for safety so you know the door will be shut and locked when you leave.

The door bells. We thought it would be a good idea to have door bells that turn off when you push the “DO not disturb” button inside. Neither the maids nor your friends care and they just knock until you open. Besides, the tones can be changed and instead of a nice “ding-dong” you get jingle bells or happy birthday, depending on what the prior guest set.

All in all, it’s a comfortable and relaxing escape from city life and we are quite proud of the result. For more about the good, the bad and the (not too) ugly, read what our guests have been saying on Trip Advisor.

Happy new year! We hope to see you at the winery and hotel in 2013.