Sonoma County hotel occupancy grew more than 8 percent last month, with about 56 percent of rooms filled, according to Smith Travel Research.

It was the best February performance in more than six years, the research firm said.

The average daily room rate rose to $93.39, up 3.4 percent from last year.

The survey covered 91 Sonoma County hotel properties with 6,122 rooms. Hotels sold more than 96,000 rooms last month for nearly $9 million, a 12 percent increase over last year.

Revenue per available room also rose 12 percent, to $52.43, the highest amount since 2007.

U.S. hotel performance continued to improve in March, with occupancy up 2.2 percent to 65.8 percent during the week ending March 17, according to Smith Travel.

Tennessee-based Smith Travel forecast U.S. hotel revenue to grow 4.3 percent in 2012.