Best Bed & Breakfast Fireplaces to Cozy Up to this Winter
A crackling fire warms the soul. Whether it’s a soaring stone fireplace, an elegant Victorian hearth, a flame at the foot of a soaking tub or a fire pit with an incredible view, find the perfect fire to gather around this winter at a California B&B.
Inside the luxurious main lodge of Eden Vale Inn in the Sierra Foothills, a stone fireplace rises 27 feet from the floor to the timber-framed cathedral ceiling. The slate rock for the fireplace was hand-picked from a local quarry by the owners of the inn nearly 30 years ago, when they were in the process of converting an old, classic hay barn into a home. The masonry weighs about 40 tons. Each winter morning, the innkeeper builds a roaring fire with oak logs. The glow of the hearth combined with the warmth of the leather couches and red cushioned wooden chairs beckon guests to gather in front of the fire. In addition to the fireplace in the main lodge, all seven guest rooms of Eden Vale Inn have built-in gas fireplaces. Guests can simply press a button and the lights will dim while fire begins to flicker. Outdoors, there is also a circular fire-pit to gather around and gaze up at the stars.
Another massive stone fireplace dominates the lobby and lounge of the Timber Cove Inn on the Sonoma coast. The inn was designed by a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright and reflects the architectural feel of the 1960s, but a $2.5 million renovation in 2008 has heightened its appeal. The three-story stone fireplace soars through the exposed, wood-beam construction of the A-frame style lodge and presides over cozy seating areas, an inviting bar, and a grand piano in the center of the lounge. In addition to the main fireplace, the inn offers several other spots for cozying up to the fire. The inn’s dining room features a 1960’s free-standing steel fireplace. Outdoors, a fire pit perched on a bluff offers dramatic ocean views above the crashing surf. The majority of the inn’s guest rooms also have in-room fireplaces and breathtaking views.
On the Mendocino coast, the enormous great room at the Brewery Gulch Inn is anchored by an iconic, four-sided glass and steel fireplace fabricated by a local shipbuilder. The over-stuffed Stickley-style leather couches, thick shag carpets and bank of windows overlooking the ocean add to the room’s appeal as a fireside gathering place. Guests read, play board games and sample the chef’s culinary creations by the fire. For more private fireside relaxation, each of the inn’s 10 guest rooms have gas fireplaces with comfortable seating areas with cozy throws and pillows.
The three guest rooms and great room at Yosemite Peregrine Bed and Breakfast feature unique rock fireplaces designed by "rock star" Hansel Kern and inn owner Kay Pitts. Each of the fireplaces were designed to fit the theme of the room. The Aspen Room features an aspen tree design; the Dogwood Room features dogwoods. In the great room, the fireplace features a design of Yosemite Falls with the upper falls centered above the hearth and the lower falls dropping to the left, then disappearing into the fire. The innkeepers stack the logs and kindling in the fireplaces of each guest rooms so that lighting the fire is as easy a striking a match.
In-room fireplaces turn up the heat on romance when combined with spa tubs. Some California inns even offer double-sided, gas fireplaces which offer views of the fire from both the bedroom and a spa tub for two. In Sacramento’s trendy midtown district, the Amber House Bed & Breakfast Inn’s airy Emily Dickinson room features a double-sided fireplace with a heart-shaped Jacuzzi tub and a ceiling of skylights. Two other guest rooms at the four-star inn—the Mozart and Vivaldi rooms—also feature fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs for two.
Three blocks from the beach in Los Angeles, the Inn at Playa del Rey’s romantic suites feature double-sided fireplaces with sunken soaking tubs for two on one side and luxurious bedrooms with seaside cottage furnishings and crisp white linens on the other. The windows lining the soaking tubs also overlook the 600-acre Ballona Wetlands bird sanctuary and nature preserve.
At the 1906 Lodge at Coronado Beach, which is just a block from the beach, guests can snuggle up in front of a gas fireplace in each of the 11 suites. Three of the suites have double-sided fireplaces with luxuriously-furnished king beds and extra-long, six-foot spa tubs, offering plenty of room for two to relax in front of the fire.
The Bella Vista Bed and Breakfast Inn in Placerville offers guest room fireplaces along with panoramic views of the Coloma Valley and the South Fork of the American River. The balcony of the Buena Vista room includes a chiminea fireplace with cozy blankets and comfortable chairs for enjoying a cup of coffee next to a crackling fire. The five-acre property also features two locations where the innkeepers set up beach fire pits and provide all of the ingredients for toasting s'mores.
Near the historic gold-mining town of Coulterville, Penon Blanco Lookout Bed and Breakfast Inn was built at the top of a peak where John Muir made a sketch of Horseshoe Bend and the Merced River in 1869. In addition to the views, the inn welcomes guests with a red Vermont Castings log-burning stove in the parlor and a spacious suite featuring a handsome, wood-framed fireplace with a cozy loveseat for cuddling by the flames.
Nestled in a quiet forest hollow of the High Sierras, McCaffrey House Bed and Breakfast Inn offers charming fire stoves in every guest room. The warmly-furnished rooms also feature Amish quilts, artful décor and views of the forest. Each evening, the innkeepers serve wine and cheese beside the glow of the fire in the living room.
The gas fireplace is the central focus of Las Fuentes Inn, which is a contemporary, single-suite bed and breakfast inn south of Palm Springs. The suite also features modern Native American art, a Japanese spa with steam shower, and French doors that open to a private patio and spectacular desert garden with a 60-foot saltwater lap pool.
The original wood-burning fireplaces of historic inns provide an inviting charm like no other. The elegant 1870s marble fireplaces in the living room and parlor of the Harkey House Bed and Breakfast Inn lure guests to relax in the graceful elegance of the rooms’ Victorian furnishings, including a well-traveled, antique Chickering rosewood piano. Breakfast is served each morning in the French Country dining room next to a cozy pellet stove. The inn also offers in-room fireplaces in two of its guest rooms and poolside cottage.
Each guest room of the 1929 Tudor-style Old Monterey Inn features a wood-burning fireplace with comfortable chairs and loveseats for curling up next to the warmth of the hearth. One of the most popular rooms, the Brightstone Suite, features a pedestal soaking tub next to the crackling fire. Breakfast is served in the dining room beside a roaring fire. The unique hammered-metal fireplace features a fleur-de-lis motif. In the parlor, the fire crackles during the evening wine reception.
Overlooking the rocky coastline of Pacific Grove, the historic Martine Inn is graced with wood-burning fireplaces in nearly every room as well. The Parke Room, which was the mansion’s original master bedroom, features a Victorian corner fireplace, windows on three walls with spectacular ocean views, and a rare 1860 Chippendale revival bedroom furniture set. The antiques include a canopied four poster double bed, highboy and lowboy dressers, table, chair and rocker – each hand-carved with elaborate fluting, claw foot legs and crown moldings. Exquisite antiques, beautiful views and Victorian fireplaces adorn the common rooms and most of the other guest rooms as well.
The fireplace at the 1874 Lavender Inn in Ojai becomes the favorite ‘hot spot’ in the house over the holidays when inn’s landscape designer decorates the mantle. Evergreen boughs, winter berries, twinkling lights and poinsettias add to the warm glow of the fire to create the perfect spot for sipping wine, listening to music and enjoying the winter holiday.