Tucked into the rolling hills of El Dorado County in northern California, about 40 miles northeast of Sacramento, the Eden Vale Inn is a 7-room bed and breakfast that makes the perfect home base for exploring the nearby “gold country” and the El Dorado wine region.
Owners Mark and Gayle bought the inn in 1985, back when it was a hay barn on ten acres of grass and rocks. They lovingly and painstaikingly converted the 1919 barn into a livable space, which eventually became the inn. Today it’s a beautiful, inviting space with plenty of private nooks and crannies, indoor/outdoor living space, cozy common areas, and tranquil landscaped grounds.
Each room at the inn is uniquely decorated but all share a common modern aesthetic accented with Eastern touches that help guests reach zen. All rooms have gas fireplaces, king or queen beds, HDTV with DVD player, and access to an outside deck or patio (some rooms have private outdoor tubs as well).
My room, the Cyprus, was on the first floor. Just outside my door was a self-service coffee station and a wet bar with a small fridge, sink, and dishes available for guest use. Inside, a plush King bed dominated the room, which was decked out in muted tones of beige, mahogany, blue, taupe, and rose. There was a small desk with chair, and two armchairs and a small table in front of the gas fireplace. A wooden porch swing and deck chairs provided additional seating outdoors. In the bathroom, there was a vanity with sink and a large tiled shower with rainforest showerhead.
In addition to the 7 guest rooms, there are several cozy common areas where guests can gather, including a large living room with fireplace. A large selection of DVDs was available for guests to watch in their rooms.
Outside, a large guest kitchen offered a microwave, fridge, and plenty of seating for enjoying a meal al fresco. Nearby, a firepit ringed by Adirondack chairs was an inviting place to relax after nightfall. The innkeepers light a fire each evening and offer all the fixings for making S’mores.
Each morning, the innkeepers serve a cooked-to-order breakfast, as well as freshly made scones, fresh fruit, granola and yogurt, coffee, and an assortment of juices. After a delicious breakfast of waffles topped with baked apples, we enjoyed a stroll around the grounds, which also include a small wedding grove and a pond, complete with a rowboat for guest use. There’s also an onsite spa which offers a variety of massage options.
The inn is very pet-friendly. In addition to the resident dog, Sydney, I counted three guest dogs on the property. The inn allows dogs in three of its rooms, though there’s a $25/night fee and pets are required to be leashed. One of my favorite perks, however, was the inn’s “wine club member for a day” program. The innkeepers work with several local wineries to secure wine club member priveledges for guests. Upon check in, guests get a list of participating wineries where they’ll get free tastings and other perks like discounts on purchases.
The inn’s location, set between the gold rush towns of Coloma and Placerville, is ideal for visiting the local wineries or tracing the gold rush history of the area. And since it’s just two hours from San Francisco, it’s an easy weekend trip and a low-cost alternative to wine regions like Napa and Sonoma. With a delicious breakfast, plenty of onsite diversions, and luxurious rooms, the Eden Vale Inn is the perfect romantic retreat to explore the area.