Celebrating the Season in Style: Best Decorated Inns for the Holidays
Holiday Specials & Packages
How I Became an Innkeeper: Carole's Bed & Breakfast Inn
CABBI Cookbook Recipe: Lodge Brownies
CABBI Cookbook Recipe: Raspberry Pikelets with Marscapone
Aspiring Innkeepers Workshop in January
Candlelight Inn Two-Night Stay Lodging Giveaway Winner
Three for Free: CABBI Holiday Gift Certificate Offer
Carole's Bed & Breakfast Inn
by Carole Dugdale
In 1980, bed and breakfasts were just becoming popular in the U.S. My husband Hal and I lived in San Diego at the time and decided to take a trip to the East Coast, where there were many bed and breakfasts. I told Hal that I would like it if we could stay in one, to see what they were like, and he agreed. The first one we visited placed us on the third floor and he had to take our luggage up to the room via the stairway. In the room he told me, "I don't know how long you planned to stay, but I will need 3 days to recover from lugging all that stuff up there!" Regardless of that, we had a wonderful time and stayed at bed and breakfasts all along the coast.
On the flight home, I told him that running a B&B would be my next occupation. He patted my hand and told me I would be good at it.
The next week when he came home from work, I told him I had sold the house. I felt I would do better with cash on the purchase (and I did!) A month later, I rented a condo so I could shop for my B&B. The first one I looked at was in North Park, a community in San Diego which is one mile from the world famous San Diego Zoo and close to many other wonderful attractions (location, location, location). It was an eight bedroom house, which I felt would be perfect for the B&B.
After my husband passed away in 1986, my son Michael became my partner in the business. We bought another property across the street, which we call The Annex. It has a four-bedroom house, two spacious garden studios, a huge two-bedroom apartment and a one bedroom house, all used for the B&B.
We are now in our 28th year, and we still love our business. We always say that 99% of our clientele is wonderful, and I do not know of any other type of business that can say that. We have met many interesting folks from all over the world, who continue to stay with us and now their children and granchildren also stay here when in San Diego.
Now, besides Michael and myself, we have my daughter Marine and her husband David, and my two grandsons Mikey and Casey, all who are involved in the operation of our beloved B&B.
Here’s to 28 more wonderful years!
Aspiring Innkeepers Workshop in January
Interested in buying and running your own inn? CABBI’s Innkeeping As a Profession workshop will be held Saturday, January 29 – Sunday January 30, 2011.
This two-day workshop provides a behind-the- scenes look into the innkeeping lifestyle. Sessions include: finding the perfect inn, financing, marketing, operations and more.
Ask veteran innkeepers your toughest questions and attend the InnSpire opening reception and trade show.
Congratulations to Karen Kreiss from Antioch, California. She is our most recent winner of a two-night stay at a CABBI inn courtesy of the Candlelight Inn in Napa, California.
Celebrating the Season in Style: Best Decorated Inns for the Holidays
Check into the spirit of the holidays with a stay at a bed and breakfast inn this season. Beginning this month, inns in California will be stringing lights, decking the halls, and bustling with holiday festivities. Below are just a few of the best decorated inns you’ll find. Also, be sure to check out the list of holiday specials and packages (see story at right) to help spread the cheer and your savings a little further.
No one puts up more holiday decorations in Mendocino than the MacCullum House Inn. With more than 10,000 twinkling lights strung along its rooflines, porch and grounds, this stately Victorian inn is transformed into a glowing beacon for holiday travelers. The MacCullum House also decorates two trees for the holidays, one of which is known as the Giving Tree. The ornaments on the Giving Tree each have a gift request for a needy child. Guests and locals alike are invited to pick out an ornament, purchase the requested gift, and place it under the Giving Tree by December 15. The gifts for the children are then delivered to their homes on Christmas morning.
At the Martine Inn, the innkeepers hang wreaths, wrap the banisters with boughs and holly, cover the mantles with garland, and put up individually decorated trees in every guest room. They also trim a large tree in the library and put up a traditional porch tree decorated with Monterey Peninsula historic building miniatures made by the docents of the Monterey History Art Association. The Martine Inn is a participant in the annual Pacific Grove Christmas Inn Tour, which attracts visitors from miles around to enjoy ten inns decorated in Victorian splendor. The tour includes entertainment and refreshments. Guests at the Martine Inn are given two complimentary tour tickets (a $40 value). The Monterey Peninsula also hosts an array of festivals, parades, tree lightings, tours, and music for sharing in the holiday spirit.
Each November, a team of local volunteers descend on the Gold Rush-era town of Groveland near Yosemite National Park and wrap everything in their path with silver paper and red ribbons: lampposts, pillars, trees, and buildings. If you stand still for long enough, the volunteers may wrap you, too! In the days leading up to Christmas, Santa visits every street and lane in the area, in his sleigh drawn by the Groveland Fire Department’s antique pump engine, and poses for photos with local children and their pets. The Hotel Charlotte, which is located in the center of it all, provides a cozy perch for enjoying all of the holiday finery. Sip a warm toddy in the parlor amid the period decorations and festive lighting, or dine at Café Charlotte by the fireplace and Christmas tree. Just be sure to check the labels on the presents; one may be for you!
San Luis Creek Lodge
Makes 12 Brownies
3-4 packs graham crackers, crushed
1 (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup walnuts, halves or pieces
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven 325°F. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients until moist. Spoon mixture into an 8 x 8-inch baking pan and bake 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Raspberry Pikelets with Mascarpone
Makes 4 Servings
5 ounces mascarpone
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
4 tablespoons yogurt
4 tablespoons milk
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup raspberries or blueberries
For topping: In a medium bowl, beat all topping ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready for use.
For the pikelets: In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, lemon zest, egg yolks, sugar and melted butter until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; add to yogurt mixture mixing until well combined. Gently fold fruit into batter, followed by egg whites. Cook 2 tablespoons of batter in a heated skillet or griddle with butter, 1-2 minutes per side. Serve 3 pikelets with a topping of mascarpone and berries for color.
For more delicious recipes from CABBI-member inns, order our CABBI Cookbook online at or peruse recipe collections at our new, Online Recipe Box.
Three for Free:
Receive Three Free Gifts with the Purchase of a CABBI Gift Certificate
In the spirit of giving this holiday season, CABBI is offering a “Three for Free” promotion to make gift giving three times as easy. Purchase of a CABBI gift certificate of $250 or more and receive three free gifts:
(1) A FREE copy of the California Bed & Breakfast Cookbook, which features culinary specialties from over 130 CABBI inns across California.
(2) A FREE copy of the California Bed and Breakfast Inns Travel Guide, which includes listings for over 250 California bed and breakfast inns.
(3) FREE UPGRADE to Priority Shipping (available only on orders shipping to the United States). This shipping upgrade allows your CABBI Gift Certificate to ship within 2-3 business days (plus processing time).
CABBI gift certificates make a perfect gift for a loved one or special friend. Order now to take advantage of this limited-time offer and receive three additional gifts. The Three for Free gift certificate offer is good through December 31, 2010.
Holiday Specials and Packages
The oceanfront Pleasure Point Inn bed and breakfast in Santa Cruz is offering 50 percent off the second night of any two-night stay in December and January, holidays included. Reservations for this holiday season promotion can be made through the end of November. All stays include expanded continental breakfast each day, free wireless Internet access, in-room snacks, use of hybrid bikes, and unlimited access to the rooftop deck and hot tub overlooking Monterey Bay and Pleasure Point beaches. The discount is applied to peak/weekend rates and is valid on two-night stays only. If more than two nights are booked, regular price applies for nights beyond the second night.
Toast the holidays at Avalon Luxury Bed and Breakfast in Sebastopol. Now through the end of December, receive a free bottle of champagne with any two-night stay at the inn.
At Shambhala Ranch, save 50 percent off the fourth night of any four-night stay December 23-27. An eco-friendly luxury lodge on 140 acres near Mendocino, Shambhala Ranch is ideal for festive gatherings. Snuggle by one of the inn’s two fireplaces, schedule a massage, have a relaxing soak in the hot tub or natural hot springs nearby, or go for a hike. The inn is closest to the pristine old-growth grove of Montgomery Woods State Redwood Reserve.
Join in the holiday festivities in the Victorian village of Ferndale and save on lodging at the Victorian Inn. On December 5, watch the Lighting of America’s Tallest Living Christmas Tree, a Ferndale tradition since 1934. On December 19, Ferndale’s local ranchers and farmers parade down historic Main Street for the annual Christmas Lighted Tractor Parade. Now through the end of December, the Victorian Inn is offering midweek and package specials. Call 888-589-1808 for details.
Treat your loved one to a massage this holiday season at the Eden Vale Inn in Placerville. Stay two nights at the luxurious Sierra Foothills retreat and receive a one-hour couple’s massage for just $99—a 50 percent savings.
Now through December 20, when you purchase a gift certificate with The Honor Mansion in Healdsburg, you’ll receive an additional 10 percent in value. For example, spend $100, and receive a certificate worth $110. The gift certificates are perfect for friends and family as holiday gifts, or buy one for yourself. The gift certificates never expire. Additional fees for rush orders may apply. Call 1-800-554-4667.
The Groveland Hotel’s Cellar Door Restaurant is the site of “Christmas Through the Ages,” a whimsical pageant and four-course feast available for two nights only, December 3 and 4, at 6:30 p.m. Beginning with the age of The Magi, costumed peasants arrive to serve hors d’oeuvres, accompanied by music and poetry. The salad course brings entertainment from the 1800s with servers in coats, furs, mittens, and hats performing readings and spreading cheer. The glamorous 1940s and Bing Crosby’s holiday melodies are the perfect backdrop for savoring the delicious entree. For the final course, enjoy dessert while Santa distributes small gifts to every guest. The cost is $69 per person and includes dinner, entertainment, non-alcoholic beverage, taxes and all gratuities. Make your reservations now; seating is limited with only one seating each night.
The Inn at Locke House in the Sacramento Valley is offering special packages for both Christmas and New Year’s. Their Christmas to Remember package includes a two-night stay with a Christmas Eve high tea, Christmas Day Brunch, and an elegant four-course Christmas dinner with wine. The Christmas package is $505 per couple for the Main House and $675 for the Water Tower Suite. Extend your stay before or after for only $115 Main House/$125 Water Tower Suite per night. Ring in the New Year at the inn with a murder mystery for eight special guests. The New Year’s Eve package includes cocktails and appetizers, a three-course murder mystery dinner, a midnight New Year’s toast, a night to dream about “who done it,” and a New Year’s Day brunch. The New Year’s package is $275 per couple for the Main House and $360 for the Water Tower Suite. Note that eight (8) persons are required for the murder mystery, so invite your friends. Reservations requested by December 10th. If you gather 6 of your friends to join you to for this package, you will be upgraded to the Tower for the Main House package rate.
Send 2010 out in style and ring in the New Year at the MacCallum House Inn in Mendocino. The inn invites you to feast on their superb New Year's Eve wine-paired dinner in the convivial Mac House dining rooms, warmed by river stone fireplaces and accompanied by live music. Every year Executive Chef Alan Kantor creates an elegant and delectable menu for this annual fete.