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The husband and I decided to take a mini-trip up to the Solvang area for a relaxing getaway before he jumped into his new job. We really enjoyed our last Bed & Breakfast experience (in Julian) and decided to try it again. I did some searching online and came across the The Victorian Mansion at Los Alamos. I love Victorian homes and the themed rooms looked to be fun. Plus, private tub for two? Yes, please!
When we arrived, most of the guests for the night had not shown up so we got a tour of the rooms except for the Roman one which was already occupied.
On the first floor is the 50′s and Gypsy rooms. The 50′s room has a real Cadillac that was turned into a bed. There was a projector and screen set up to simulate the feeling of being at a drive-in. It was really cool except for the fact that the steering wheel was still attached so whoever gets that side of the bed should be really short or like to sleep in a fetal position. This room felt the smallest and the bathroom was tiny. The Gypsy room was really cool; the bed was in a covered wagon (don’t worry, the wheels were placed in grooves in the floor). The walls were painted with a forest mural and the tub was sunk into the floor and surrounded with stones.
The 2nd floor was the Roman and Egyptian room. The 3rd floor had the Pirate and Paris rooms. The Pirate room had lights that were rigged to sway and the walls were covered with wood paneling to simulate a cabin room on a ship. The Paris room was water-damaged during renovations so was unavailable.
We booked the Egyptian room. This room ended up being the largest in the house and the only one with a balcony. They really went all out with the theme. The canopied bed was on a raised dais in the center of the room.
The walls and ceiling were covered with material and murals to simulate a tent out in the desert. There was an LCD TV, DVD & CD players and a fridge hidden in the walls as well as a closet with robes. Each room had movies that were related to the theme as well as a copy of Sideways since that was filmed in the area.
They supplied bubble bath for the tub and there was a bottle of wine from a local winery as well as chocolate-covered strawberries waiting for us.
The King Tut statue was actually a pull-out door to get to the bathroom. The shower stall was tiled and had hieroglyphics painted on them.
The door to the balcony was also in the bathroom. There were two benches and you could look out onto the main street of town. The manager noted that our room was the only one where you could open a window/door to the outside so if you tend to get claustrophobic or like lots of fresh air, you should book this room.
Los Alamos ended up being a lot smaller than I thought. Almost everything closes at 5pm so we only had about an hour to wander around. Actually, it takes only about 5 minutes to walk across town. Heh. We spent the hour wandering thru an antique shop and stopping in at a wine-tasting room. With nothing else to do after that, we decided to have dinner. Based on recommendations by the B&B manager and a store owner, we went to Full of Life Flatbread. More on that later…
The wine that came with our room was a Syrah from Andrew Murray. Neither the husband nor I are wine experts so I can’t really comment on the quality. He enjoyed it more than I did and so drank most of the bottle. The chocolate-strawberries were excellent. I had stuck them in the fridge to enjoy as a dessert later in the night and they were nice and cold. The strawberries were ripe and sweet and had just the right amout of chocolate coating to compliment but not overpower the fruit.
The tub was awesome. You forget how nice it is to have a deep tub to soak in for relaxation. The water runs hot here so keep an eye on the temperature, otherwise you’ll end up waiting for the water to cool down. It takes about 10-15 mins to fill it up.
At night, it can get very quiet in the room. If you are like me and the husband and need ambient noise (like a fan), I suggest bringing something to assist with that. The bed was comfy…not overly soft or firm and the pillows cushy. Just be careful when getting out of bed as it’s really dark in the room and you have steps to contend with.
For breakfast, The Victorian Mansion operates a little differently. Instead of having all the guests meet in the dining room at a specified time, the Vick delivers breakfast to each room at an arranged time. There’s a little compartment in the wall that’s accessible from both outside and inside the room. They place the tray of food in it and knock on your door to signal that breakfast has arrived.
Breakfast for the first day consisted of individual quiches and muffins. The 2nd day was also quiche but with croissants. Orange juice and coffee (or hot chocolate) are served as beverages. Neither of us are coffee drinkers so we went with the hot chocolate. YUM! It was not overly sweet and had a hint of a coffee flavor to it. Dan really enjoyed it and ended up drinking most of it both days. We inquired as to the brand and turns out it’s Ghiradelli’s. I know what I’ll be looking for at the stores.
The quiches were a little bland but not bad. I sprinkled some salt n’ pepper and that helped. The egg filling was fluffy and not over done and the cheese had browned nicely. The first day quiches had vegetables mixed in – peppers, onions, olives. For the 2nd day, we had one quiche that was the same and a broccoli quiche. I didn’t like the broccoli one as it was too…broccoli-y. The husband didn’t touch them at all because they were “tainted by those evil green things that come from the ground”.
I didn’t get a chance to really enjoy the muffins as I was stuffed from eating the two quiches. Dan nibbled at the coffee-cake looking one till he discovered there were blueberries in it. I tried a little bit of both and they were tasty. Buttery and sweet, they had a “home-made” quality to them. The croissants were served warm and were good but I swear they were the same as the ones you get from Costco (which are good!) but there was nothing outstanding about them.
Since Los Alamos doesn’t have much in the way of tourist attractions, we went to Solvang and Los Olivos (wine-tasting rooms galore!!!) which are no more than a 15-minute drive away for something to do during the day.
Overall, this was a great place to stay. Diane, the manager was really friendly and helpful. The themed rooms were a lot of fun. Because it is an old house (built in 1864), you can hear people in the room above you walking around if it’s occupied. The tub is a really nice perk and the local bottle of wine a nice touch. We found the price ($250-275/night) reasonable considering all that you got. It’s the perfect place for an intimate, relaxing getaway for couples.
The Victorian Mansion at Los Alamos
326 Bell Street
Los Alamos, California 93440