As we continue our cold-weather series of seeking out inns with fireplaces, this time we turn our attention to California -- and what a place to turn one’s attention! With a rugged seaside, deep forests and a chic but laid-back vibe, it’s hard to go wrong with any lodging choice in the Golden State. Especially when you make your choice from one of these fireplace-blessed B&Bs that guarantee a “warm” and wonderful time.
Courtesy Alegria Inn
Whoever said fire and water don’t mix didn’t know about the Alegria Inn situated on California’s Mendocino
coast. The water comes in the form of the crashing Pacific Ocean, visible from all six guest rooms and accessible from a path leading straight down from the inn. The fire is provided through a collection of gas and wood-burning fireplaces or wood stoves, one of which is also found in every room. There are two rooms in the main house and the rest are in cottages dotted around the property. The inn is situated within walking distance to some fab restaurants in Mendocino Village and is also close to a great trail through Headlands State Park, so there’s civilization and seclusion in one handy package. That is, of course, if you can tear yourself away from the cozy fires!
Alegria Inn, PO Box 803, Mendocino, CA 95460-0803; 800-780-7905; Rates: $229-299
Courtesy Inn At Playa Del Rey
It can get down in the low 40s in Los Angeles
in the winter, so while you might not think of needing a fireplace in your B&B room there, having one can make a stay in the sprawling metropolis a little cozier during the chilly months. Plus, the Inn at Playa Del Rey is modeled after a New England-style B&B, so even if it’s not all that brisk out, you can still pretend you’re on a wind-swept bluff in Maine. Many of the rooms contain fireplaces, but the Romantic Suites are true standouts with their flames flickering from a two-sided fireplace -- one side can be seen from the bedroom, the other from the Jacuzzi tub for two in the bathroom. Be sure to choose a room in the back of the house if you want a serene setting complete with dreamy views of the adjoining wetlands, bird sanctuary and nature preserve.
435 Culver Blvd, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293; 310-574-1920; Rates: $185-425
Courtesy Strawberry Creek Inn
Cabins and fireplaces go together as well as scones and clotted cream. Strawberry Creek, nestled in the San Jacinto mountains
certainly understands this concept. Seven of their 10 rooms -- all except Summer, Nancy’s Room and Oak Tree -- feature generously sized wood-burning fireplaces with mantles made from river rock. Several of the rooms have private entrances, so if coming and going without drawing any attention is important to you, be sure to ask about those when booking. The separate Ponderosa cabin not only has a fireplace, but a whirlpool tub and the closest access to the Strawberry Creek. In the winter months, there’s also a fire crackling away in the common room where you’re welcome to sit and snuggle with a book from the Inn’s library.
Strawberry Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast, 26370 Highway 243, Idyllwild, CA, 92549; 951-659-3202; Rates: $119-249
Courtesy McCaffrey House B&B
Few things beat cozying up in front of a fireplace in your very own B&B room. Except, maybe, doing so with your best friend and most loyal companion nearby. No, we’re not talking about your man or lady friend, we’re talking about your dog. At the McCaffrey House Bed & Breakfast, you and fido can curl up in front of the fire in three of their nine guest rooms (Sage, Rose and Sunrise) thanks to the inn’s generous pet-friendly policy. You can’t leave the dog in the room when you go out though, but that’s OK. The inn’s close proximity to Yosemite National Park
and Stanislaus National Forest means you’ll likely be off on a trail with fido all day any way. Return to beds draped in authentic Amish quilts and 5400 thread count sheets and sleep like a dog!
23251 Highway 108 (P.O. Box 67) Twain Harte, CA 95383; 888-586-0757; Rates: $159-189
If the complimentary afternoon wine tasting (held from 4:30-6:00 daily) isn’t enough to warm you up, then the 70s-style freestanding fireplaces you’ll find in many of the rooms at this Napa Valley
inn should do the job. As should the fireplaces in all five of the Inn’s luxury cottages. Then again, if those don’t get you defrosted and de-stressed, the heated outdoor pool or hot tub will most certainly work. If you feel like venturing out, you can continue to relax because the inn provides free transport to and from lots of stunning local restaurants. They also offer a chauffeured tour of local wineries for an additional charge.
1152 Lodi Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574; 888-465-4608; Rates: $235-695