Whisk your loved one away to a romantic bed and breakfast. Spend a few days in a quaint comfortable setting where an innkeeper will warmly greet you at the door, personally prepare your room and serve you an intimate gourmet breakfast. According to the “Better Way to Stay” campaign which serves the entire B&B industry there are many three- to five-star inns to visit as an alternative to corporate hotels and motels in Southern California. The following are a few of our favorite Bed and Breakfasts. To find more B&Bs in California and around the country visit A Better Way to Stay.
The Inn at Europa Village
Nestled among the rolling hills of Temecula wine country is the romantic mission style inspired Inn at Europa Village. The full service, newly renovated Inn is a perfect weekend getaway on a hilltop offering panoramic views of the valley and vineyards.
Guests can choose to stay in a beautiful newly redesigned king size room with or without a private balcony. Each room’s décor is crisp, clean and country modern with dark woods offset with light colored linens. On the patio, couples can cozy up to a fire pit and sip on wine or soak in a large hot tub watching the sunset.
Early risers can view the hot air balloons, which ascend from the valley each morning weather permitting.
After watching the breathtaking balloon launching, get spoiled by Chef Dean Thomas who prepares a breakfast served with homegrown fruits and vegetables. Chef Thomas, an advocate for using regional and local food, says “The experience is always two courses, first a fruit creation using four to five varieties – many from our orchards – and a hot entrée dream depicting something of Europa nature.”
The Bissell House
Tuck away the laptops and cell phones next weekend and become reacquainted with your sweetheart at the Bissell House. Built in 1887, The Bissell House, named after vacuum magnate Melville Bissell, is a designated cultural landmark in South Pasadena. This three story Victorian mansion is a perfect getaway for those seeking a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the workweek. The Bissell House has been an anchor on the famous street for over a century, traditionally referred to as “Millionaire’s Row.” The romance begins when guests step on to the property passing under flower-covered pergolas and tranquil sitting porches. The intimate accommodations include bedrooms with vistas to flowering gardens, the pool, or neighboring treetops. Every room has its own private baths, some with original vintage fixtures. Gourmet breakfasts made with fruits and vegetables grown in the garden out back are served along with afternoon dessert tea. The Bissell House was selected as one of “Top Ten Best Romantic Getaways” by ILoveInns.com.
Mt. Ada: Catalina Island
Create a weekend rendezvous on an island retreat at Mt. Ada on Catalina Island. Whether you arrive by helicopter or boat the romance will begin before you step foot on the island. The Inn’s private transportation service will transport you to the bed and breakfast perched high atop a hill overlooking the town and harbor of Avalon, Catalina Island’s only city.
Guest rooms are tranquil and comfortable with upgraded amenities that blend in with a bygone era. Downstairs in the public rooms couples can relax in the den or living room and dine in the formal dining room. However, many guests prefer to dine outside on the picturesque terrace wrapping around the home.
Included in the price of a room guests will be served snacks such as fresh fruits, mixed nuts, soft drinks, beers, wines, ice cream sundaes, popcorn, coffee, teas, or cocoa. In the morning a hearty breakfast, and at lunch a choice of salads, hot or cold sandwiches, wraps, burgers or a daily Mexican special. In the evening, a host will serve appetizers.
Guests can also explore the island by driving one of the B&B’s complimentary golf carts.
Tuscali Mountain Inn Luxury Bed and Breakfast
Find a little bit of Italy between Santa Monica and Malibu at Tuscali Mountain Inn. Innkeepers and owners Bruce and Teresa Royer offer guests a private retreat in a gated three-acre estate with amazing views across Topanga Canyon.
The Rovers hospitality begins as soon you and your loved one arrive. Your suitcase will be taken to your room while you are handed a glass of California wine that you can sip on in the Italian garden style patio. The host will then serve Tuscan-style hors d‘oeuvers, like an Italian crusty bread and sundried tomatoes, or hummus spread with artichoke hearts and juicy black olives.
The rooms at Tuscali are spacious with Wi-Fi, en-suite bathrooms and flat screen TV’s. Some of the rooms have an entrance to a private courtyard or a wood burning fireplace.
In the morning, the clean mountain air will revive you as you walk to the patio for breakfast. On the table a vase with fresh cut flowers and music like Bocelli playing softly in the background will fill your senses before a warm homemade breakfast is served.
Casa Laguna Inn and Spa
If you love the ocean then sneak away to Casa Laguna. This bed and breakfast was voted “Best of Orange County” for nine consecutive years by readers of the OC Register, and recipient of both Silver and Gold medals at Select Registry’s Inn-Credible Breakfast Cook-off. Casa Laguna Inn & Spa was built in the 1920’s as a private residence that became a motor inn in the 1940s where artists preferred to frequent for its proximity to the California coastal landscape. In 2000, Casa Laguna was renovated to the bed and breakfast it is today. The inn today is designed to be a romantic getaway for couples and individuals with gourmet food, sincere hospitality, luxurious bedding, in a tranquil terraced-garden setting.
Whether guests choose to stay in a suite, deluxe room or in the free standing cottage they will be pampered with a seven-layer bedding featuring luxurious hypoallergenic down toppers, comforters, and pillow with eco-friendly linens. Every room also includes a double-jetted spa tub and fireplace.
In the morning, a warm breakfast can be served on a patio or brought to the room for private dining.
Beachrunners’ Inn in Long Beach
Beachrunners’ Inn Bed and Breakfast, located in the Bluff Heights Historic District of Long Beach, is only blocks from the beach, easily accessible from both Los Angeles and Orange County, making it a perfect romantic retreat and alternative to a standard hotel.
The Inn, a Craftsman style home, was built in 1913 as a single-family house that has since been restored as a bed and breakfast. There are five rooms each with its own bath offering a king, queen or full size bed. You can make yourself at home in the guest kitchen, eat breakfast in the sunshine filled breakfast room and enjoy a hot cup of coffee before you walk to the beach or escape to the private garden.
Michelle Mears-Gerst is a freelance writer in Orange County. Follow her on Twitter.